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Old 12-27-2007, 11:16 PM
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Default Convinced you have the best springtail culture method?

Sometimes it seems there are as many ways to culture springtails as there are springtails in a culture.

If you're convinced that your way is truly awesome, post it here... because I'm not convinced that mine is.
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Old 12-28-2007, 04:47 AM
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Allright, so how about just very happy with your culturing methods?
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Old 12-28-2007, 04:51 AM
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Patience grasshopper. Five hours not long enough to invoke the genius of the dendroboard.





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Old 12-28-2007, 05:01 AM
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I haven't tried it yet but get a copy of Live Foods by Bruse et al. in the Professional Breeders Series. They describe a springtail culture method that is a bit complicated to set up, but the photo of the culture is amazing. It is basically a chamber with many shallow trays and the springtails migrate to the bottom where they are collected in jars.
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Old 12-28-2007, 05:25 AM
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Not that it is a great method but it works for me. I just use peat substrate mixed with wood chips, moisten it and some mushrooms and then the springs wait a week. and I have a booming culture. when I need to feed I just pick up a mushroom and shake it in the tank and it works fine for me.
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Old 12-28-2007, 06:42 AM
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Default springtail

I use sterilite sweater boxes/32 quart I believe. I add 2 inches of bed-a-beast and a layer of magnolia leaves. I then add springtails. I sometimes add some coco-huts on occassion. I keep the cultures at room temp. and collecting from these cultures is very easy. I just sprinkle bakers yeast on top of the leaves and they swarm everywhere. I keep my cultures just moist enough to keep the bed-a-beast a darker color, but not sopping by no means. These are from the same tropical springtails that I bought a couple of years back. I have yet to need to purchase any extras. I literally have thousands in these springtails in each container. I use the coco-huts and leaves to seed tanks and just replace leaves and huts as needed.I am adding some pics of the cultures.





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Old 12-28-2007, 01:27 PM
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I wouldn't say that my method is awesome, but it is producing consistently. I use Sterlite shoeboxes for my springtail cultures. Substrate is a mix of coco-fiber, charcoal, orchid bark and some leaf litter (so the mix is nice and airy) I usually add a good layer of magnolia or oak leaves, sprinkle with yeast and moisten lightly. The substrate is moist and damp, but not flooded.
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:06 PM
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A lot of the issues with the culture are limited by food.. If you are feeding the culture sufficiently then it will boom and there can be variations between cultures set up the same way. I have a stack of small rubbermaid containers that are all set up the same way and in two of them the bottom of the container is literally white with springtails. The others have a high density but not to the same level.

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Old 12-28-2007, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defaced
Patience grasshopper. Five hours not long enough to invoke the genius of the dendroboard.

LOL! Mike, Hilarious!
Sounds like another instant classic to me! :lol:
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:41 PM
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Strait coco chips work best for MOST. There are a lot of different types and some are specialists. For the ones that can be mass cultured such as tropicals common silver etc. because it`s like a high rise apt. Lots of surface area stable enough to be covered on all sides w/ springs. the fungus feeders seem to turn mushrooms into there own substrate and burrow thru the dark organic " soils" they make. I rarely see these springs distributed througout the coco chips, they congrgate around this black top layer most of the time. these are the white and blues that look segmented kinda like worms and are longer than the trop springs. the blues(blacks) can be small or med size. This" group" of springs can be recognized by their ability to bbend their bodies when they turn, similar to a millipede.
The nice thing about the coco chips is that you can make a dump pile in the corner for then to feed off and you don`t have to worry about dryer coco peat being ingested en mass. Just dump a portion of the culture in the tank and add more coco chips to keep the culture going. no trying to transfer them off anything or getting them to congrgate in one area to remove for feeding.
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Old 12-28-2007, 03:29 PM
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I culture my springs in 600ml take out containers..

half filled with peat spray it down then compress and drain off excess water.
I add a teaspoon full of an existing culture then feed with m own mixture of dehydrated and powdered food.

I feed every week and with in 2-3 weeks the cultures are jam packed with spring tails 8) I make about 30 cultures a week and never have a failure with this method.
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Old 12-28-2007, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
A lot of the issues with the culture are limited by food
I'd also add humidity. In dry cultures the springtails stay towards the bottom of the culture instead of at the top where the food is. In addition, ventilation is also a key component.

I use straight charcoal and feed Collembola food (tiny bit does magic) and white rice (that expired 2 years ago).
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Old 12-28-2007, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ
I make about 30 cultures a week and never have a failure with this method.
OK, did I misread that?

30 springtail cx's a week!! ??

WOW

S
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Old 12-28-2007, 05:22 PM
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:lol: yeah I feed 60% springtails to the bulk of my thumbs and pumilio..
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Old 12-28-2007, 06:39 PM
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Charcoal here.....

Feed mostly mushrooms and just spray the cultures and pour out the goodies!
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Old 12-28-2007, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UmbraSprite
Charcoal here.....

Feed mostly mushrooms and just spray the cultures and pour out the goodies!
Chris, interesting....
I must do that method wrong, b/c of all the methods I've tried, in my hands the water/charcoal has by far been the least productive.

Have you compared the same springtails done side by side with cocohusk/peat/leaves?

S
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Old 12-28-2007, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
I must do that method wrong, b/c of all the methods I've tried, in my hands the water/charcoal has by far been the least productive.
Same here, Shawn. My cx's just seem to do better with more organic substrate.

Side by side, the coco/leaves/bark mix outproduces at least 10:1.
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Old 12-28-2007, 07:10 PM
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I have cultured in both substrates however I haven't done so in a method that would allow an objective comparison.

I have also noticed the temperates are the only ones that really do well in this type of culture. I have switched to all temperates, use a small cup of charcoal with about a half inch of water. I buy mushrooms from the grocery store and they gobble em up. I occasionally supplement the collembola food from Europe.

Mainly I opted to go this route do to the ease of feeding them out. The cultures usually bounce back from a feeding in 4 weeks or so.

CD
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Old 12-28-2007, 07:21 PM
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'Temperates' may be the key there Chris.

I use only tropicals. 3-4 kinds.

recently [b/c I had a full can unused] I started feeding mine freeze dried copepods from brineshrimpdirect. Just out of curiosity. Dont know if they will bloom with it or not, too early to tell..

S
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Old 12-28-2007, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbrock
I haven't tried it yet but get a copy of Live Foods by Bruse et al. in the Professional Breeders Series. They describe a springtail culture method that is a bit complicated to set up, but the photo of the culture is amazing. It is basically a chamber with many shallow trays and the springtails migrate to the bottom where they are collected in jars.
Anybody have access to this article and could post it?
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Old 12-28-2007, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary1218
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbrock
I haven't tried it yet but get a copy of Live Foods by Bruse et al. in the Professional Breeders Series. They describe a springtail culture method that is a bit complicated to set up, but the photo of the culture is amazing. It is basically a chamber with many shallow trays and the springtails migrate to the bottom where they are collected in jars.
Anybody have access to this article and could post it?
It is from a text/reference book I believe Gary. I think BJ sells it, and I'm sure others do as well...

S
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Old 12-28-2007, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
I have also noticed the temperates are the only ones that really do well in this type of culture.
Unusual. I know Josh cultures his tropicals on charcoal and temperates on coco/peat, but I've always had the best lucking culturing on coco/peat/leaves.

Hmmm.
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Old 12-28-2007, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary1218
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbrock
I haven't tried it yet but get a copy of Live Foods by Bruse et al. in the Professional Breeders Series. They describe a springtail culture method that is a bit complicated to set up, but the photo of the culture is amazing. It is basically a chamber with many shallow trays and the springtails migrate to the bottom where they are collected in jars.
Anybody have access to this article and could post it?
I could scan the photo but not sure how cool that would be to post given that it is copyrighted material. The method is basically a glass cube chamber with multiple, very shallow, glass shelves that slide in like a little glass chest of drawers. The bottom slopes toward a couple of drain openings which have jar lids glued to the underneath (outside the cabinet). Each drawer is filled with media and the box is seeded with springtails. The drains are kept plugged initially but when the culture booms, the drain plugs are removed and replaced by screwing jars with some moist polyester cotton in the bottoms to the lids underneath. Springtails migrate into the jars by the kajillion if the photos are to be believed. They do mention there is a minimum size that will work. I think the secret here is that the cabinet is holding the equivalent of several springtail cultures in a small space, plus the shallow shelves and sealed cabinet create a constantly moist media with lots of surface area.

I actually use the charcoal method myself and have cultures that boom for over a year. White mist when you open the lid. I agree that mushrooms work well for food but I also toss in whatever is handy, Naturrose, yeast, dead puppies, etc. Like Chris, the thing I like about the charcoal method is that you can pour off thousands of springtails into a cup for feeding.

I culture mine in sweater boxes, and after reading the Professional Breeders Series book, I think the size of the culture container may be important but don't know for sure.
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Old 12-28-2007, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbrock
I could scan the photo but not sure how cool that would be to post given that it is copyrighted material. The method is basically a glass cube chamber with multiple, very shallow, glass shelves that slide in like a little glass chest of drawers. The bottom slopes toward a couple of drain openings which have jar lids glued to the underneath (outside the cabinet). Each drawer is filled with media and the box is seeded with springtails. The drains are kept plugged initially but when the culture booms, the drain plugs are removed and replaced by screwing jars with some moist polyester cotton in the bottoms to the lids underneath. Springtails migrate into the jars by the kajillion if the photos are to be believed. They do mention there is a minimum size that will work. I think the secret here is that the cabinet is holding the equivalent of several springtail cultures in a small space, plus the shallow shelves and sealed cabinet create a constantly moist media with lots of surface area.
Hmmmmmmmm, I guess I'm going to have to buy the book
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Old 12-28-2007, 08:13 PM
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I've gotta see a picture of this setup. Now where to find a copy of the Professional Breeders's Series texts...hmm
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Old 12-28-2007, 08:21 PM
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Great info everyone. I've heard from several people, in this thread and others, that culture size helps a lot with consistent high-level production.
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Old 12-28-2007, 09:26 PM
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My temperates I keep in charcoal and water. I feed them high quality fish food and rice. They are in a large ziplock plastic container (the ones with the red lids.) I keep the lid on tight and just crack it about once a week to clear CO2 and let air in. WIth the low humidity of MT this seems the best way to do it.

My tropicals I keep on an organic substrate (cocofiber, a tiny bit of orchid bark, broken up leaves, and sphagnum) in shoesboxes. I feed them the same things as the temperates. I also mist them but dont actually water them like the temperates.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by housevibe7
My temperates I keep in charcoal and water. I feed them high quality fish food and rice. They are in a large ziplock plastic container (the ones with the red lids.) I keep the lid on tight and just crack it about once a week to clear CO2 and let air in. WIth the low humidity of MT this seems the best way to do it.

My tropicals I keep on an organic substrate (cocofiber, a tiny bit of orchid bark, broken up leaves, and sphagnum) in shoesboxes. I feed them the same things as the temperates. I also mist them but dont actually water them like the temperates.
Hey Sarah, do you remember which type you gave me? They are white is all I know.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:48 PM
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I have seen a lot of great methods on how to culture springs and I have always had success with variations on the ways that people have listed, but it seems like one major problem for me (and I know of quite a few others) has not been brought up. The dreaded mite infestation......

It seems like no matter how I culture or what I culture (tropicals or temperates) I always eventually end up with mites and my production goes way down.

Any sure fire methods that people have used to mitigate this problem. I know the weekly culture thing works, but I would like to try something less time consuming.

This could just be a North West thing as most of the froggers up here have had this problem. Any thoughts....
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Old 12-28-2007, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jschroeder
I have seen a lot of great methods on how to culture springs and I have always had success with variations on the ways that people have listed, but it seems like one major problem for me (and I know of quite a few others) has not been brought up. The dreaded mite infestation......

It seems like no matter how I culture or what I culture (tropicals or temperates) I always eventually end up with mites and my production goes way down.

Any sure fire methods that people have used to mitigate this problem. I know the weekly culture thing works, but I would like to try something less time consuming.

This could just be a North West thing as most of the froggers up here have had this problem. Any thoughts....
Just a NW thing if NW wisconsin counts (I have mite problems as well).

Coco mixes seem to yield better, but also get mite damaged faster.
All charcoal cultures last longer, but produce less, and is more of a pain to harvest the springtails.
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Old 12-29-2007, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Unusual. I know Josh cultures his tropicals on charcoal and temperates on coco/peat, but I've always had the best lucking culturing on coco/peat/leaves.
All my springtails are on charcoal no matter what variety they are. Not sure if I'm the Josh you are referring to...

Quote:
culture size helps a lot with consistent high-level production.
So true. Much more forgiving also.
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Old 12-29-2007, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
All my springtails are on charcoal no matter what variety they are. Not sure if I'm the Josh you are referring to...
Whoops, my mistake. For some reason, I thought that you were culturing temperates on coco/peat. What are your observations on production between temperate and tropical varieties in terms of 'boom', all things equal?


Quote:
Any sure fire methods that people have used to mitigate this problem. I know the weekly culture thing works, but I would like to try something less time consuming.
I try to avoid the richer foods- fish flake, vegetable peels, etc and stick to feeding yeast solely.
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Old 12-29-2007, 04:10 AM
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Brent- you have the temperates

The only time I have ever had any problems with mites are with the tropical springs that arent on charcoal.
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Old 12-29-2007, 04:44 AM
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I microwave my media/substrate before I seed it as a mite preventative.
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Old 12-29-2007, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defaced
Patience grasshopper. Five hours not long enough to invoke the genius of the dendroboard.

LMAO
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Old 12-29-2007, 03:01 PM
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All charcoal cultures last longer, but produce less, and is more of a pain to harvest the springtails.
Harder to harvest? Just add water and pour out the water from the cultures. Couldn't be easier.
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Old 12-29-2007, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshsfrogs
Quote:
All charcoal cultures last longer, but produce less, and is more of a pain to harvest the springtails.
Harder to harvest? Just add water and pour out the water from the cultures. Couldn't be easier.
I use a turkey baster and just suck the tails off.
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Old 12-29-2007, 04:27 PM
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Same thing here... fill it up with water, they float right to the top... Use a turkey baster to place them in the tank, or if the water level is high enough, just blow them in to the tank. I then use the turkey baster to lower the water back down... probably the easier of the cultures I have had to feed out.
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Old 12-29-2007, 05:58 PM
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Here’s a picture of the “tray-setup” I saw on the Belgian forum.
It is not my set-up but looks very interesting and apparently works great

There is a German website explaining the principle.
http://www.froschkeller.de/spr_schu.htm
I haven’t had time yet to make such a system but I am certainly planning it for the future although it looks rather complicated to make.


Personally I culture different kinds of springs in plastic shoeboxes. Some are on peat, others on charcoal, some on big “wood chips” (it takes a little time to find out which type of springtail prefers which medium).

I have these big cultures for back-up and make very small cultures regularly. They seem to boom easier in small cultures it seems. And I can put the small cultures in the terrarium without a lid for fast feeding when I don’t have much time. Normally I suck the springs out of the cultures with a small device that you can make for catching ants (I think it’s a well-known principle: airtight bottle with two small hoses coming out. One hose covered with some kind of filter on the inside of the bottle. You suck the hose with the filter and hold the other one close to the springtails and they get sucked into the bottle).

The small cultures I try to feed lightly every 2 days. I make a mix of rice, pasta, brewer yeast, spirulina and some dry type of babyfood (you normally have to add milk to the powder) and put it in a coffee-grinder. I then put this mix in a bottle that used to contain herbs so I can fast and easily sprinkle a very small amount of food in all the cultures. Once in a while I feed them some mushrooms or carrot or cucumber peels. After a few weeks these cultures are loaded with springs and they can be usually used for a very long period when they are fed regularly.
The large cultures get fed once or twice a week, whenever I have time.

The small cultures are kept a little bit warmer (room temperature) than the big cultures that are kept in my basement. (I keep all tropical and temperate types at the same temperature).

I get two types of mite in my cultures from time to time: brown/red fast ones and round white ones that look like tiny eggs and move very slowly. I put the infested cultures in my pumilio-tanks and they rapidly take care of the problem. The mites are only on the surface of the cultures and the springtails are hiding deep in the soil, so after all the mites are eaten by the pumilio’s I can start feeding the cultures again and the spingtail-colony will be restored. When I get mites in the big cultures I scoop-off the top layer of the substrate and put it in with the pumilio’s.
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Old 12-29-2007, 07:40 PM
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For those interested... here is the above link translated to English. I didn't take the time to go through and correct for sentence structure or tense, so it's not the easiest to read right now but you should be able to get the jist. There is also a few words I wasn't able to translate, but you get the idea...

Spring tails are terrariums for some animals, but also for some of aquarium fish is an important element for the welfare and good nutrition. For one, "only" a welcome change in the dining plan, for the other, especially for the tiny terrariums among the animals, they are for survival. This could, for example, young animals of some poison arrow frog species or genus some chameleons Brookesia without this feed is not fed in the terrarium. For this reason, many Vivarianer deal with the breeding of this for their Pfleglinge important forage species.
Spring tails (Collembola) form with well over 3000 species zoological seen their own regulations. They come worldwide, even in the most inhospitable habitats such as the glaciers (Isotoma saltans) or on the surface of lakes (Podura aquatica). Most species live, but probably in the soil and humus in the forest and make it an important contribution to the fabric cycle in nature. They are for the crushing of dead animal and plant parts is responsible, they will be for further biodegradation prepare. These were quantities of 2000 Spring cocks in a litre of forest humus. Your name owe the animals jump Fork, about which most species. It will calmly under the body noted with concern, however, clicking the fork back and catapulted the animal often several inches forward. Although the number of species is so immense, terraristisch seen, ie as animal feed, so far only 3-4 types interesting. The most common type is probably bred up to 3 mm wide, snow-white Folsomia candida. This species is often used in flower pots of indoor plants, where it is easy to obtain a breeding approach. These floods is the flower pot with water. Since the Spring tails countless approximately 0.3 μ m wide, unbenetzbare Mikrotuberkel on their body surface, they swim, so that they are easily from the water surface skimming.
Spring tails are usually always on a humid to haltendem substrate (such as peat, gypsum boards, Mexifarnplatten) in plastic pots and held regularly, usually every 2 to 4 days, with flakes zerriebenem food for aquarium fish, potato slices, soy flour, beer yeast or other Geheimrezepten fed. They repeated the procedure lid on, feed pure, cover, several times, depending on how many farms it operates. Since the removal of the animals feeding on mostly by the Spring Ausklopfen tails from the oblique held containers, must be the breeding and plattenförmig substrate so that this procedure is not in the aquarium or terrarium lands. This disk structure has the disadvantage that the animals only the surface of the substrate settle without loose and porous material to be able to penetrate through the use of the settlement area and the population density could be increased considerably. Another disadvantage is that the choice for Spring tails unnatural substrates: one forgets that the feeding for a few days, or is due to holidays or other circumstances not in a position to supply its Springschwanzzuchten, the population density in the cultures within a few days back very rapidly.
Due to these considerations, I tried other loose materials from the settlement area of the Spring tails increase in a certain food reservoir should include: peat, bark, beech and oak hardwood forest humus and, in the usual plastic vessels, slightly wetted with breeding animals angeimpft. Before using the leaves and the humus still for about 5 minutes in the microwave heat to possibly existing Asseln, mites and other unwanted guests off. On all substrates were jumping well grow tails. When humus fell while additionally, that the cultures are not too sensitive to light feeding responded. Also in the farms with humus, which intentionally not once fed, increased the Spring tails just as quickly, as in the fed approaches. Logically actually, but it breeds in its natural substrate, in which they-at least in the first few months-enough food. The removal of the animals feeding designed to be very difficult, but came at the usual overturning of tanks and beaten Spring tails of the whole with humus. It was also a breeding method to find the overturning of a breeding animal feed container for removal unnecessary.
In the construction market, or plants available plant breeding Bowls with the dimensions 22 x 17 x 5 cm (LxWxH) were selected as a breeding tank. Therefore, I stuck to measure a glass cabinet, in which the containers to slide schubfachartig superimposed. The tank has the dimensions 24 x 30 x 51 cm (LxWxH). The front page is divided, the upper part with 48.5 cm height is a door with side silicone hinge and can be pasted into it very tightly. The bottom of the front page consists of a 2.5 cm high, firmly glued glass bridge. The deck to the rear wheel is about 2 cm gap, so that the condensation on the reverse side expires. The plant breeding shells are 15 mm wide strip of glass, the two side windows were stuck in the cupboard inserted. The lower bowl is also on rails, so that at the bottom of the Zuchtschrankes approximately 3 cm. The bottom plate of Glasschrankes is pasted into slanting, so that a gap left front. At this deepest station is the glass bridge the front page a 10 mm bore to the removal of feed animals, with a rubber stopper. The 7 breeding shells were approximately 3 cm high with loose humus from a beech forest filled, and so much water nanašanje that a water level of about 1 mm materialise. Each bowl has been a breeding approach of Spring versehen tails, and so in the glass cupboard inserted that the rear edge of the rear window of the cabinet touched. This has the sense that the Spring tails only at the leading edge of some centimeters distance from the glass door, escaping from the shells. The cabinet has been breeding in my room up terrariums in which the temperature is between 18 and 25 degrees Celsius. It turned in a breeding cabinet humidity of 90 - 100%. Well, it was only waiting. In the first weeks, I have a few Springsteen tails, which is by escaping from the shells collected at the bottom, not feed. I washed it every week, once with water from the extraction bore into a bowl and gave it back to the breeding shells. Only about 3 months after I began to the crowd of about half a teaspoon of the week below. The number of containers on the ground collecting animals grew steadily, so that I, since the culture for half a year in operation, about every 2-3 days a yield of a teaspoon to feeding. The breeding is now already more than 1 ½ years for me. It apparently has a balance between the Spring tails escapes from the breeding shells and their propagation. Although hardly look at the first animals in the breeding shells can be seen, as they for the most part in humus disappeared, the number of individuals is much higher than when my past breedings with the substrate plate was. This, I have reviewed, I have a breeding bowl flooded with water. Amazingly, how many animals because on the surface appeared! The main advantage of this breeding method, however, is that they are almost without sufficient care. Only every 2-3 weeks with something must be pulverized nachgefüttert fish feed. This is the fodder aufgestreut and then with a fork untergemengt the substrate. Additionally, as required fresh humus added, as in the breeding of these shells gradually collapses. As a "long-time fodder" I use the leaves of slightly rotting tree species such as chestnut, cherry, walnut, etc. The foliage will be in the autumn, dried and demand crumbles and in the breeding shells. From the leaves after a few weeks is only the Blattgerippe left, a sign that the Spring tails tasted. After about a year, leaves and humus dismantled extent that it is a pampigen mass compacted. Then, the entire contents of the shell, after separation of Spring tails removed and replaced by fresh substrate. This care is not cost more to the relationship that I once had when I have 20 to 30 individual plastic bowls with lids every 2 days supply. The total yield is about as I do otherwise with about 20 breeding containers the size of 11 x 11 x 5 cm achieved. In order larger quantities of animal feed to have, one would have to breeding cabinet and shells larger dimension.
In summary, that the described method for breeding from Spring tails at me perfectly well. It has proved to be extremely pflegearm and stable. Also mite infestation and mold growth so far, probably due to the high population density of the Spring tails, not yet occurred. Only the long some of at least 3 months, but you absolutely must comply, a Gedultsprobe for each animal breeders feed dar.
I hope that this article be a little Spring tail breeders to encourage to glass cutters and silicone syringe to grasp and even take a "mini compost pile for the living room" to stick. It is him permanently save some work!
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