Oh, this is really exciting stuff to write about right? Well, he he, these are the day to day maintenance stuff that goes on behind the scenes of running this big vivarium. I noticed the past week that what I first thought was a flair up of the fungus gnats that usually come with the first heat of summer actually was something else. The little tiny fliers in the viv. were not black, they were gray and under a loop distinctly hairy! Eeewww… Well, as annoying as they are, these tiny drain flies are actually harmless as far as the orchids are concerned. They are similar to moths, typically nocturnal and like damp habitats like bathroom drains. The larvae live in aquatic to semi-terrestrial habitats, so I am thinking the gunk that collects in the bottom under the subfloor panels… and I want them gone.
So, I took floorboards out and scrubbed them with hot water and bleach, then I scrubbed and rinsed out the whole bottom of the vivarium too. Next the drip system/drain receptacle got the same treatment. This ought to wipe out the majority of the egg and larvae, and then I put up a couple of yellow sticky traps to catch the adult flyers. I also took the opportunity to clean out the drip system pump while I was at it. I keep the pump inside a nylon sock to help keep small particles out of the mechanics so it will last longer. I even put a nylon on the end of the drain pipe so I minimize the amount of debris that goes back into the drain tank. It is a closed system for the drip irrigation, so the less crap that goes back in that loop the better. I make sure the end of the nylon on the drain pipe has a lot of slack so it can collect a lot of junk before I have to empty it out. Works really well actually. Mmm, nice to be clean again.