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Dspdrew's Springtail Culture

springtails culture

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7 replies to this topic

#1 Offline dspdrew - Posted December 30 2014 - 8:14 AM

  • LocationSanta Ana, CA
While working on a new cricket bin that will have a hydration system like all the formicariums I make, I ended up changing my mind on something, leaving me with a partially finished container that I now needed to find a use for. I decided to make a springtail culture out of it. I made two more of these so I will have three cultures that will all be hydrated by the water tank that all three of them sit on. After the recent problem I ran into with my fungus-grower formicariums, where the water is eroding the Hydrostone away as it passes through it, I came up with a better idea. I decided to use some ultra fine nylon mesh to act as the hydration port instead of Hydrostone.
The water goes right through it and soaks directly into the substrate. This does let some very fine particles through and onto the sponge dirtying it a bit, but that's no big deal at all.
Here's what the whole setup looks like, water tank and all. These will probably stay moist for many, many months, without any extra work on my part.
There's a few different substrates that people commonly use for this, so I decided to try all three and see which does the best. The first one is ground up charcoal, the second is peat moss, and the third is ground up sphagnum moss. I am using some flakes of fish food to feed the fungus that the springtails eat. I'll let you all know how well each of these substrates work, or if there is even any noticeable difference.
  • drtrmiller likes this

#2 Offline Myrmicinae - Posted June 15 2015 - 9:05 AM


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Which of the substrates had the highest yield?

Edited by Myrmicinae, June 15 2015 - 9:06 AM.

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#3 Offline dermy - Posted June 15 2015 - 9:07 AM


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I'm also very interested in how this all worked, do you still have any Cultures running?

#4 Offline BugFinder - Posted June 15 2015 - 9:15 AM


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Those really look great Drew!  If this test goes well, I would probably be interested in picking one of these up from you if you were interested in selling one.

Edited by BugFinder, June 15 2015 - 9:25 AM.

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#5 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 15 2015 - 10:33 AM

  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

For a long time it seemed the charcoal had the least. It still does have the least. As for the other two, I'm not sure. I'll check when I get home, but I think it's probably not a big enough difference to matter. I think I'll consider everything and decide what substrate to put in all of them. I have tons of things that need springtails, so after I release the majority of them where I need them, I'll make these changes.

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#6 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 23 2015 - 12:20 AM

  • LocationSanta Ana, CA
I needed the three containers used on this for a prototype of my new Acromyrmex formicarium, so I decided to use one larger container instead. I couldn't tell which was better, the sphagnum moss or the peat moss, so I just used sphagnum moss. There were a TON of springtails in this thing and I moved them all into the new container.
The problem with the old one was that I used nylon mesh over the water holes in the bottom, so when trying to move springtails by filling the container with water and pouring them out, all the water would just drip right out the bottom. Also, even as fine as the mesh was, springtails were actually crawling through it and onto the sponges. This new one has tiles over the holes like everything else I make that has water ports now.
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#7 Offline dspdrew - Posted September 27 2015 - 3:17 PM

  • LocationSanta Ana, CA
This culture is working great. It's insane how many springtails this thing has at times when they're well fed. It literally looks like someone sprinkled powdered sugar on it, there's so many.
Anyway, I have a Pogonomyrmex tank that seems to have the out world completely infested with a darker species of springtails. The weird thing is the out world is completely dry--not a place you would expect to find springtails. Well, after doing some reading, it turns out there are some species of springtails that have learned to cope with dry conditions, and even possibly high temperature (which it definitely is where they are most abundant in this tank). This is great, because these can be added to out worlds where there is little moisture. Needless to say, I'm going to try to start a culture of these too.
These things seem to love Formula Blue.

#8 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 31 2016 - 9:42 PM

  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: springtails, culture

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