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Old 06-19-2019, 06:13 AM
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I am new to the hobby and I have 8 Tads that are just starting to Morph. I have 4 different springtail cultures All different sizes none of them seem to be producing great results. I have been feeding them bakers yeast and keeping and inch of water at the bottom lump wood charcoal that I pounded down to manageable size. I have tried to keep their temperature around 70. When I pull the lid the few springtails run and hide. I have tried to get them into my starter tanks by flushing them out with water and pulling out some the charcoal and I am not having great results. I have tried to supplement the froglets diet with melanogaster fruit flies and small dwarf white and purple isopods.

1.). Is there something else I should or can feed the froglets.

2.) Is there a better way to culture Springtails?

3.) Is there a better way to harvest the ones I do have?

Last edited by Querido42; 06-19-2019 at 06:15 AM. Reason: Typos
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:40 AM
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Default Re: Springtail Problems

Hello

1: If it is summer where you live, maybe collecting aphids outside is an option?

2: I have better results at higher temperature. However, it takes a while to grow a culture strong. I dont start harvesting until 4-6 monts in. Then it is a really strong culture that can be harvested and used for up to a year.

3:I am pulling out charcoal and shake them of in the tank. But your st might not be ready to harvest.

BR
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: Springtail Problems

I find it very easy to feed my frogs by putting a piece of cardboard in the springtailcultures and shake this piece of cardboard of in a small plastic container wich I hold above the cultures so no springtails escape. Than you can easily distribute the springtails over you tanks in the amounts you want. This makes it also possible to dust your springtails with suplements. I will try and upload a video on youtube this week of how I do this proces.

Ive have tried a varieity of setups.

My cultures trive best on a 5cm layer charcoal with 2 cm of water at a temperature of +- 25c. I feed them "baby cereal" with 7 grains, "breakfast instant wheat" and weekly mushrooms and an occasional carrot. They also eat the cardboard.

Greets,

Tijl
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: Springtail Problems

What Species? Some larger froglets -tincs can take small melanogaster right away and that is always preferable over springs due to the ability to dust them.

use old 'runty' melanogaster. They are almost as tiny as springs.

It seems to be a thing now, that no one mentions the species. Weird.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:58 AM
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Default Re: Springtail Problems

Oh yes! Like Philsuma said You should also feed melangoster and aphids!

I have a clip of one week old terribilis and tinctorius eating dusted melangoster, they have no trouble eating them :

https://youtu.be/cWfc90lzM-g
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Problems

I agree with all that has been said above, especially the suggestion that your cultures may be too young to be producing well yet. Even at peak production, my cultures are nothing like FF booms.

How long have these springtail cultures been set up? How much/often do you feed the yeast? I feed every five days, and feed as much as possible but not so much that 'mold' (probably yeast colonies) starts to grow on the sides and lid of the container.

Do you vent the springs? What water do you use?
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Problems

I have found that the water level plays a pretty big role in production. If it's too high, the yeast doesn't have anyplace to go other than water. If it's too low, it's much harder to get the springs out to feed. I feed them brewer's, not baker's yeast. I dip them out with a plastic spoon. Sometimes I need to tilt the culture to get at them. 70 seems low to me. Like Tijl said, I am more in the mid- to high 70s in the room I keep my springs in. The other advice in this thread is really good, too.

Mark
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:36 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Problems

I keep mine on reptisoil, with leaves and such for them to hide in/ on. Started with a container from the pet store in April(with a few hundred springs) and have seeded one tank (a month ago and it has thousands of springtails in it now) and have thousands of the little guys in my master culture still.

I feed them leftover crested gecko food and fish food and they seem to thrive.

For transporting them, I dig a bit of dirt out and put it into the new tank/container, they then flock to whatever water source is nearby.

My temperature is usually around 70F

I'm not super experienced with this yet but it seems to be working ok so far.
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Old 06-19-2019, 02:50 PM
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I have 3 different species of springtails, temperate silvers, tropical white, and tropical pink. Silvers I keep on a mix of 50% ABG and 50% leaf litter. The tropicals I keep on about 5 cm of finely crushed lumpwood charcoal, and i leave about half a cm of water maybe less. I have personally had trouble getting booming cultures with larger sized charcoal and even an inch or whatever of water. This might have had to do with the container I was using. I've found that I got better results with less charcoal personally so that's just what I've been doing, but you may have different results. Its also easier for me to see how well the culture is doing

I only recently got my pink springs so I only have 1 master culture. I have 4 master cultures of white springtails. 3 of them I feed exclusively bakers yeast in order to mitigate the risk of mites. The 4th culture I feed bug burger mixed with superpig and cal plus, and this is what I put into my grow out tanks for froglets. The idea is to make them more nutritionally viable for froglets before they can take dusted mels. This food is definitely a potential vector for mites, but I am ok with the risk because it's just the one culture, plus frogs will eat any mites that they are fed too. This food mix to be honest is what I've been using for a feeding station in tanks and it attracts fruit flies, isopods and springs.

To feed out from the cultures, I've just been blowing air through an extra mistking tube. It would probably be smarter to use cardboard or tree fern or something, but I'm lazy.

As previously mentioned, stunted mels from older cultures are great for feeding froglets. I keep older cultures far away from newer ones to avoid spreading mites after cultures are 4 weeks old, and this lets me keep feeding out smaller stunted melanos for smaller frogs. Just make sure you keep them away from your new good cultures to not risk a mite infestation.

Last edited by indrap; 06-19-2019 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:28 PM
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Sorry my froglets are Auratus Rio Cascajal and I have been culturing springtails from 6 - 4 months
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Problems

The ASAP goal is get all froglets on fruit flies so you can dust them with various superfine powered supplements. Some people claim to be able to dust springtails but man, I dunno.

One of the few hobby-available dart frogs that I have not bred or owned is Ranitomeya reticulata. They are tiny when they morph out. I did breed Ranitomeya ventrimaculata and they have to be pretty durn close to that tiny.

anyhoo....I did get them onto tiny wingless melanogaster fruit flies pretty quick and that's what you want to do.

Springtails are not a staple and certainly not a substitute for fruit flies (dusted).

To 'make' a runty culture (cx) of melos, just wait until the culture cup is old- like 5 weeks or even a little longer and it is way brown looking, crusty and a bit itchy with grain mites. Excellent. Now take those old runty flies, you will see that they look almost half the size of a bigger newly hatched fly. Tiny froglets will eat those runty flies that you can dust with calcium (way important) and vitamins.

I dust my flies with some sort of superfine powder EVERY single feeding for adults as well as froglets. Froglets need calcium to grow. Don't shortcut them with springtails.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:32 AM
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Default Re: Springtail Problems

Provided you can get those springtails multiplying, you can dust them. I use a plastic straw and blow them out of the culture into a larger plastic tub. Dust and feed. It is actually amazingly fast and easy. Tilt the culture over the larger plastic container and blow gently- they will fly out on the draft of air.
I raise springtails on charcoal, as you do, and as Mark said, the water level is crucial; and it's kind of a figure it out deal. You need water and land.
Also, crushed fish food, finely ground in rotation with yeast works for me. 5 yeast feedings to one fish food. Fish food can go rancid easily in that environment, so be sparing.
When I have had production issues, it has always been the water level- either too low or too high.
Hope this helps.
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:14 AM
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Default Re: Springtail Problems

Before I added ventilation to my cultures, I had problem to get them booming. Nowadays I use a multiple use coffee filter. It is a mesh smaller than the springs can escape and provide good ventilation.

BR
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by tropfrog View Post
Before I added ventilation to my cultures, I had problem to get them booming. Nowadays I use a multiple use coffee filter. It is a mesh smaller than the springs can escape and provide good ventilation.

BR
Magnus
This is a good point. I bet it helps to avoid rotting, fungus, etc., too.

Mark
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Old 06-21-2019, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: Springtail Problems

post of a picture of your ST culture. a picture is worth a thousand words.

Melanos and STs are staple froglet foods. Isopods are not a dependable food source IME.

EDIT:

STs are a "staple" but as mentioned above, will lack some of the vital nutrients for froglet growth.

another thing worth trying is small FF larva

Last edited by hypostatic; 06-21-2019 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 06-21-2019, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: Springtail Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypostatic View Post
post of a picture of your ST culture. a picture is worth a thousand words.

Melanos and STs are staple froglet foods. Isopods are not a dependable food source IME.

EDIT:

STs are a "staple" but as mentioned above, will lack some of the vital nutrients for froglet growth.

another thing worth trying is small FF larva
Disagree on the 'staple' label for springtails. 98% (a guess of course) of hobbyists do not dust springtails, so they should not be considered a 'staple' IMO.
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: Springtail Problems

I guess when I say staple, I mean they usually make a large portion of their diet. They can't supply the VitA and Ca that froglets need to grow, but they DO provide energy, which is important as well.

If you're not comfortable with "staple", how do you feel about "important"? I don't think I know of many hobbyists that raise froglets 100% without springtails.
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:49 AM
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Default Re: Springtail Problems

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Originally Posted by hypostatic View Post
I guess when I say staple, I mean they usually make a large portion of their diet. They can't supply the VitA and Ca that froglets need to grow, but they DO provide energy, which is important as well.

If you're not comfortable with "staple", how do you feel about "important"? I don't think I know of many hobbyists that raise froglets 100% without springtails.
geeze, 'important' is almost as bad.

I have ALL my grow-outs seeded with Springtails. Youbetcha. I just checked on 5 silverstonei froglets and they are in grow-outs with tons of leaf littler and as good of a springtail population as is existing inside the grow-out.

Now from 5 days into the grow-outs, I stop adding 'extra' springtails from my Cx's and introduce tiny melanogaster every 2-3 days with dusting every time, mostly calcium 3-1 over vits.

I feel it's essential to get all froglets unto dusted melos asap. Are the springs still in there grow-out? Sure, but I just don't add more in hopes that they eat enough springs so that they are more scarce than the dusted flies.

Springtails are like 'little debbies' but not calorically of course. Frogs cannot resist them and usually eat them instead of FF - think kids eating their desert instead of their meat and veg.

The other problem is certain % of newbies read posts saying it's ok to just feed springtails and boom...they are off. No more dusting for them, and you see froglets with thin legs and other problems.

I think there is only one staple and it's FF. I tell every new hobbyist that asks me for info...'if you cannot reliably and responsibly culture and supplement FF as a staple, then this hobby is not for you'
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Old 06-21-2019, 04:04 AM
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Default Re: Springtail Problems

Yeah, I understand how the phrasing can be misconstrued especially by novices... what word would YOU use for the need to include STs in the diet of froglets?

Quote:
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I tell every new hobbyist that asks me for info...'if you cannot reliably and responsibly culture and supplement FF as a staple, then this hobby is not for you'
This is certainly correct.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:36 AM
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Default Re: Springtail Problems

It wouldn't be 'staple', so maybe

'additional food item'

'supplemental food item'

I really never place that kind of importance on springtails or describing them. I just would be leary of giving them 'equal billing' with fruit flies as they are just not that important to provide.

Just like the other end of the spectrum - Crickets or my fav abbreviation 'Crix'. there pops up occasionally, a % of people who really feel terribilis should be given crix because they are big frogs and apparently 'like to eat them'.

I had a friend in MD who raised generations of Terribilis on nothing but normal size melanogaster. Not even hydei. No crix nessa

I think there are always too many hobbyists that want so desperately to use another food item other than FF for whatever reason - mainly not having to culture and feed out flies.

I feel that desire must be guarded against. That's why I would not give springtails 'equal billing' next to fruit flies.
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Problems

I have froglets that don't eat fruit flies when they are first morphed. They need spring tails (or other very small prey items that would present the same problems that you refer to). This very definitely puts them in the important/vital category for me. I completely agree that you should progress to fruit flies for dusting as soon as possible and it should remain that way for the life of the frogs, but that doesn't diminish the importance of the spring tails for those first couple of weeks. I have also had culture crashes before that left me with a food deficit. Temporary use of spring tails made this much easier to weather.

I understand what you are saying that fruit flies are the real staple of the hobby and dart keepers should be very familiar with how to raise them if they are going to keep darts. However, in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with keeping other foods around just in case or as more occasional foods. Raising other food sources as a complete substitute for fruit flies is probably not going to work out well in the long run.

All of this is to say that I have no problem labeling spring tails as important but in the grand scheme of things, fruit flies need to be the long-term staple.

Hope that distinction makes sense.

Oh, and add me to the list of people who only feed melos to terribilis. I have tried to culture hydeii but it's just too tough to keep track of the different life cycle times between hydeii and the gliders I use almost exclusively and I am too lazy to go to the store to get crix. Mints certainly don't NEED larger prey. They just need LOTS of little flies if you choose to go that route :-) I have had mine for years and they are just as fat (or more so) as everybody else's! I think it maybe a little bit better for them to have to track down more little prey because it gives them exercise. I would guess that they get better supplementation with smaller prey, too, due to surface area to volume ratio. They breed frequently and the offspring are healthy.

Mark
P.S. Great news on the Silverstonei! I will have to hit you up for tips on my Abiseo pepperi :-)

Last edited by Encyclia; 06-21-2019 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 06-26-2019, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: Springtail Problems

As promised, a clip of how I suplement my springtails :

https://youtu.be/exnGT1khP9s

It does not get easier than that...
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