Many studies utilise enrichment of stable isotopes as tracers to follow the interactions occurring within soil food webs and methods have been developed to enrich bacteria, soil fauna and plant litter, Here for the first time we attempt to enrich a soil fungus to 99 atom% with 13C and 15N stable isotopes. In this study our objectives were to (a) assess whether the saprotrophic zygomycete fungus Absidia cylindrospora could grow on a medium enriched to 99 atom% with 13C-glucose and 15N-ammonium chloride, (b) to determine the level of enrichment obtained, and (c) to examine the change in growth rate of this fungus while it was growing on the dually enriched medium. To achieve this, the fungus was grown on agar enriched with 13C and 15N to 99 atom% and its growth rate monitored. The results showed that A. cylindrospora would grow on the highly labelled growth medium, but that its rate of growth was affected compared with the rate on either natural abundance media or media highly enriched with a single isotope (13C or 15N). The implications of these results is that although the fungus is able to utilise these heavier isotopes, the biochemical processes involved in growth are affected, and consideration should be given to these differences when using stable isotope tracers in, for example, soil food web studies. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.