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Guest Jimmy The Kid

Fungus problem

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Guest Jimmy The Kid

So, after several years of keeping relatively temperate Sarracenias and Drosera I decided to start up a tropical, lowland terrarium.

It's kept at around 80% humidity and 22-25 degrees C, well ventilated but not with forced air. The substrate is reconstituted Exo Terra sphagnum moss with the plants in the substrates I bought them in (finding live sphagnum in any quantity around here is like drawing blood from a stone).

However, recently it's been covered in of fungus, I'm guessing botrytis but I can't be sure. It's a fuzzy mat of grey fibres about 2-3 millimeters long. Thankfully it seems to only be growing on the nonliving substrate so far but needless to say I'm worried about my plants.

I've sprayed it once with Safer's Defender but it grew back within a day, so I've sprayed it again with more vigor, soaking the upper layer of substrate.

I've searched and searched and can't seem to find any solid information on this so I'm asking you guys: what could this infection be, what dangers does it pose, and what is effective against it? My awful country has already banned everything good (read: benomyl).

I'll post pics when or (I hope) if the fungus returns.

Edited by Jimmy The Kid

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Trichoderma harzianum strain B-77 has been proven effective against Botrytis. Is more preventative than cure though. Google it

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Sounds like it could be powdery mildew. A picture might help with identification. I get it growing on the surface of dried Sphagnum moss that I have one of my Cephalotus in, it doesn't seem to do my plant any harm but is unsightly and resistant to fungicide. In my case, it seems to spread to older pitchers too, again not harming them. My plant is on a windowsill with good ventilation, as the window is frequently open.

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If it is powdery mildew, the cure is lots of fresh air and full sun...

Doesn't work for me. Plant is on my kitchen windowsill, which is frequently open and gets full sun (when you get sun!).

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Guest Jimmy The Kid

I live in Vancouver, so the sun is basically absent between october and april.

I do have 2x 25W CFLs over my partially-mirrored terrarium so that provides a good 800-1000 fc.

Anyway, I expected to wake up this morning to a fuzzy terrarium but it seems the fungicide/ventiliation may be working, since it was barely fuzzy at all and I couldn't even get a good shot of it with my camera, it was so un-pronounced. I removed the upper layer of nonliving media, sprayed the below layer, and spread out the little living sphagnum I have on top and hopefully that'll take care of it.

I don't think my P. moranensis is going to live though :D

I do appreciate all the help though!

Re: identification, it's mostly destroyed now so I don't have a picture but it's very fibrous and light grey in colour—I thought it was a spider's web at first.

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