Accidental Pet African Millipede Deaths: Could They Have Been Avoided?

[Pelmatoiulus Species African Millipede]

Pelmatoiulus Species African Millipede

On a rather different topic, we recently found two of our African Gold Striped Millipedes (Pelmatoiulus sp) lying on top of the substrate in their tank, both dead.  Having removed these two, the third millipede in the tank did the same thing about 4 days later.  We also had a small colony of woodlice living in the tank to keep fungus down who remained unaffected & lived quite happily despite the millipede deaths.

The substrate was about 8-10 inches deep & had been created from a mixture of eco-earth, oak leaf mulch, semi-rotting oak & birch wood & some old beech nuts. We had taken care not to include any components from pine trees as these can have natural insecticides in them.

We were very confused about the deaths … until we cleaned out their tank.

As we removed layers of substrate the amount of water gradually increased until about a half-inch layer at the bottom was found to be quite soggy. Most telling were the whiffs of marsh gas (hydrogen sulphide or bad egg gas), presumably generated from the combination of sodden soil & the organic matter that it contained.

Hydrogen Sulphide is more toxic than cyanide.  So, was there a chance that small amounts of hydrogen sulphide, generated by the decomposition of organic matter has diffused through the soil to kill the millipedes?

Has anyone experienced anything similar?

Until next time …

About waywood

Hi & Welcome to my thoughts. I share subjects that are important to me. As you’ll notice, these subjects can be quite broad & varied. I like variety; I like breadth & I like a challenge. I am passionate about helping others overcome their fears, grow in confidence & succeed. Although many people would label me as an achiever, I have battled low confidence, low self-esteem & a couple of nasty, long periods depression over the years. I can’t say, “I know how you feel” but I can hopefully empathise & offer some of the things that are helping me to turn my life around. Please feel free to comment, share & enjoy. Take care, best wishes & keep well Stuart
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