Mosquito dunks and fuguns gnats.... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Mosquito dunks and fuguns gnats....

Anybody using it and how do you use it? I got a pack today. I have a mild fungus gnats infestation but not really bad at all. Of course, I don't want it to get worst. I have using neem oil extract from lowes. My plant mass is pretty dense in my vivarium and a lot of time I couldn't spray into the soil, just the leaves surface.

I broke up and crushed one and making sure as fine as possible. I then sprinkled them onto the soil area. Or on top of the plants and the pieces would eventually make their ways down to the soil surface. I then watered the plants very thoroughly. Are there better ways to use it? I didn't try to first dissolve it because I fear that the mixture would clog up my hand held mister.


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 12:26 AM
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Spraying anything on your foliage will do nothing to fungus gnats, neem included. Fungus gnats in fact dont affect the plant whatsoever. Fungus gnats are instead a symptom of over-wet soil conditions. They do not feed on roots, they feed on dead/rotting roots and soil matter. So systemics, foliar sprays, etc dont do a single thing to a fungus gnat since they're not eating or drinking the juices from the plant, but rather dead bits.

There are easier and cheaper ways to get rid of them. 1st and foremost, CUT BACK ON WATERING. Let the soil mass go very dry the next couple watering cycles, to the point that the plants start to wilt, but not so much that you have death. This will kill the larvae. The adults only live like 7 - 10 days, sticky tape around the soil surface can take care of the adults.

Additionally to kill the larvae, you can mix about a tablespoon of natural dish soap like Joy or Dawn to a gallon of water, and water your plants w/ that for a cycle or two. Something else you can do is slice a potato into wedges, stick your wedges here and there thru your soil, then pull them out after a couple days. The larvae will be more attracted to the potato and you can just toss em out w/ the potatoes wedges.

The mosquito dunks can work, but if you continue to have over-wet conditions, the dunks will not amend that. Fungus gnats usually are a sign of current or impending root rot/death.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Spraying anything on your foliage will do nothing to fungus gnats, neem included. Fungus gnats in fact dont affect the plant whatsoever. Fungus gnats are instead a symptom of over-wet soil conditions. They do not feed on roots, they feed on dead/rotting roots and soil matter. So systemics, foliar sprays, etc dont do a single thing to a fungus gnat since they're not eating or drinking the juices from the plant, but rather dead bits.

There are easier and cheaper ways to get rid of them. 1st and foremost, CUT BACK ON WATERING. Let the soil mass go very dry the next couple watering cycles, to the point that the plants start to wilt, but not so much that you have death. This will kill the larvae. The adults only live like 7 - 10 days, sticky tape around the soil surface can take care of the adults.

Additionally to kill the larvae, you can mix about a tablespoon of natural dish soap like Joy or Dawn to a gallon of water, and water your plants w/ that for a cycle or two. Something else you can do is slice a potato into wedges, stick your wedges here and there thru your soil, then pull them out after a couple days. The larvae will be more attracted to the potato and you can just toss em out w/ the potatoes wedges.

The mosquito dunks can work, but if you continue to have over-wet conditions, the dunks will not amend that. Fungus gnats usually are a sign of current or impending root rot/death.
I think I am going to do both. I water my vivarium a lot but the soil isn't soaking wet because my drainage area is all dry. Maybe a bit moist from the condensation. Two, my soil has to be moist in order to promote a healthy growth on my gold spikemoss. The RH is about 85% to 90%. And around 75% the next morning. I have a fan inside and there is air exchange. I see no molds.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 12:47 AM
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You may have a chunk of soil somewhere where there is not enough root mass to absorb water, leaving you w/ potentially a large chunk of unused/empty soil space that is staying water-logged. Also, RH doesn't have much to do w/ the wetness of the soil. You could have 90% RH and bone dry soil. You could also have 90% RH and water-logged soil. One way or the other, fungus gnats are indeed symptoms of over-wet soil and root rot. If I recall, you have used african violet soil in your terrariums? Do you remember which brand? Black Gold maybe? If I'm not mistaken, that soil is just a little thicker than a normal houseplant soil, and also has chunks of bark. It's also possible that they're just feeding on that bark that might be rotting.

Are you noticing any ailments in your foliage? Brown tips? Old leaves falling away prematurely?


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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You may have a chunk of soil somewhere where there is not enough root mass to absorb water, leaving you w/ potentially a large chunk of unused/empty soil space that is staying water-logged. Also, RH doesn't have much to do w/ the wetness of the soil. You could have 90% RH and bone dry soil. You could also have 90% RH and water-logged soil. One way or the other, fungus gnats are indeed symptoms of over-wet soil and root rot. If I recall, you have used african violet soil in your terrariums? Do you remember which brand? Black Gold maybe? If I'm not mistaken, that soil is just a little thicker than a normal houseplant soil, and also has chunks of bark. It's also possible that they're just feeding on that bark that might be rotting.

Are you noticing any ailments in your foliage? Brown tips? Old leaves falling away prematurely?

Miracle Gro with additional perlites and orchid barks. So, is really porous and well drained. I think fungus gnats are just some pests one has to live with for a vivarium and terrarium. I could even see some of the roots growing on the side of the tank.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 03:06 AM
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Meh, I have to politely say I disagree that they're just something to live w/ as they're a symptom of less than ideal soil conditions which in short term is no big deal, but in long term can cause issues. Some plants thrive in wet soils, others, not so much. Could be just one plant, in on area. Or, again, it could be something in the soil they're attracted to if not possibly rotten roots they're feeding on. That's why I was curious about if you're seeing any issues in your foliage anywhere.

Just offering my 2 cents, anyways.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by CannaBrain View Post
Meh, I have to politely say I disagree that they're just something to live w/ as they're a symptom of less than ideal soil conditions which in short term is no big deal, but in long term can cause issues. Some plants thrive in wet soils, others, not so much. Could be just one plant, in on area. Or, again, it could be something in the soil they're attracted to if not possibly rotten roots they're feeding on. That's why I was curious about if you're seeing any issues in your foliage anywhere.

Just offering my 2 cents, anyways.
I agree with Cannabrain, fungus gnats can be eradicated. They don't do anything to the plants, but are a bit annoying. From the pictures I'm a bit confused how you're draining the viv in general? It looks like you have filter foam or something like that as a drainage layer. I doubt that this will work sufficiently to drain the liquid out, but I also don't think that you can do anything about that now. Try to keep the substrate drier, and you can always throw in a couple of sundews. They deal with fungus gnats quite well and are prettier than tape. Reduce your watering and also seed your viv with springs and isopods. Other soil dwellers can outcompete gnats!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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I agree with Cannabrain, fungus gnats can be eradicated. They don't do anything to the plants, but are a bit annoying. From the pictures I'm a bit confused how you're draining the viv in general? It looks like you have filter foam or something like that as a drainage layer. I doubt that this will work sufficiently to drain the liquid out, but I also don't think that you can do anything about that now. Try to keep the substrate drier, and you can always throw in a couple of sundews. They deal with fungus gnats quite well and are prettier than tape. Reduce your watering and also seed your viv with springs and isopods. Other soil dwellers can outcompete gnats!

Hehehehe......I used 2 sheets of filter flossing to separate the substrate and the drainage area. The drainage area is suspended by egg crates, about 3/4 of an inch high. By the rear right corner of the tank, I inserted an air tubing, before putting the substrate over. If the water level is high enough and visible enough, I can just siphon it out.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CannaBrain View Post
Meh, I have to politely say I disagree that they're just something to live w/ as they're a symptom of less than ideal soil conditions which in short term is no big deal, but in long term can cause issues. Some plants thrive in wet soils, others, not so much. Could be just one plant, in on area. Or, again, it could be something in the soil they're attracted to if not possibly rotten roots they're feeding on. That's why I was curious about if you're seeing any issues in your foliage anywhere.

Just offering my 2 cents, anyways.

The plants are fine. The maidenhair fern by the far left corner is struggling. I have it for few weeks and it does not like their foliage wet from misting. Is coming around. Other than that, I am not seeing any unhealthy plants. I think the soil is fine. I see no molds. I have no foul smell in the tank even though I don't use charcoal or anything else. I have roots growing right through the substrate barrier (sheets of filter flossing).


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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BTW, it turns out the mosquito dunks do not get dissolved. Hahahah...at least not under 24 hours. The best approach is to either mix your substrate with it or to sprinkle them on the soil surface. On the soil surface, the mosquito dunks can slowly dissolve whenever you do your watering. When you crush the dunks and to put them in a sprayer, the little pieces can clog your sprayer.

I did put some in a smaller mister and to mist the plants and the soil with it in a selective area of the tank.


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