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Old 03-24-2019, 07:39 AM
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Default Spring Tail Food

I've read in another message board that some people stand by feeding their spring tails brewers yeast.

My culture is in charcoal with a few inches of water. I've been feeding them baker's yeast with moderate success.

Does anyone know if brewer's yeast works better? Any suggestions on how to increase production would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:11 AM
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I feed them mushrooms and bamix or brinta
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Old 03-24-2019, 11:57 AM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

I've not used any type of yeast but I can tell you I started using raw cheap white button mushroom pieces and the springtails are going nuts over them.
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

I don't think it's brewers yeast. It's active yeast like the Fleischmann's stuff. At least that's what I feed to mine and they do very well on it.

Mine also really like a rice formula dry baby cereal.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:03 PM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

There've been many discussions on this in the past. Here's one that stands out to me not so much because it answers your production questions but because it gives a good reason to use baker's yeast -- contamination avoidance:

https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/fo...ml#post2856050

Likely a thorough search could yield the answer to the production question, too.
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Old 03-24-2019, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

Thanks for the link. I recall actually reading that one as well a few years ago but have since forgotten. Perhaps there are other factors that's keeping my culture from growing. I'll keep browsing for the answer.
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Old 03-24-2019, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

Quote:
Originally Posted by I'mNew2Frogs! View Post
I've not used any type of yeast but I can tell you I started using raw cheap white button mushroom pieces and the springtails are going nuts over them.
I have experimented with various mushrooms and the cheap white mushrooms are the ones my springtails enjoy the most.
Something else that I found with my research is CO2 can build up and be a factor in slowing growth. I bought a small battery operated hand fan and blow fresh air in twice a week when I feed them. My cultures have been doing much better since I started doing this.
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Last edited by chillplants; 03-24-2019 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

Mushrooms, especially 'raw' almost always resulted in white worm pest explosions.

Any thing 'cereal like' always draws mites.

never used rice.

Seems like yeast and powdered baby milk work great for me. The springs need a lot of calcium.

Some thoughts.
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

Quote:
Originally Posted by chillplants View Post
I have experimented with various mushrooms and the cheap white mushrooms are the ones my springtails enjoy the most.
Something else that I found with my research is CO2 can build up and be a factor in slowing growth. I bought a small battery operated hand fan and blow fresh air in twice a week when I feed them. My cultures have been doing much better since I started doing this.
Yes, I had a few crashes in the beginning that might was due to high co2/low oxygen. Always when the cultures was blooming at its best. I solved this with making ventilation holes to the container. I use resuable coffe filter as a mesh to cover the ventillation and stop the springs from escaping the container. Works really well now.

Most instructions say that springs dont need ventillation, buit in my experience it works much better with it than without.

BR
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

Springtail cxs absolutely need ventilation. They will die if sealed up.

FF carrying mites seeking the moisture of the springtail cx is how 90% of spring cxs end up with 'grain' mites.

Vents should be cloth like FF cx cups.
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Old 03-25-2019, 04:51 PM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

Huh. I tried, for a while, using fabric vent lids and got only OK production. The cultures perked up when I went back to sealed lids.

I open my cultures every five days (magnetic calendar board works wonders for keeping track of all my reptile room tasks) to add yeast and fan the culture very briefly with the lid, and feed off any booming cultures. If I go longer than ~10 days, the culture dies from CO2 buildup/lack of O2.
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

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Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
Huh. I tried, for a while, using fabric vent lids and got only OK production. The cultures perked up when I went back to sealed lids.

I open my cultures every five days (magnetic calendar board works wonders for keeping track of all my reptile room tasks) to add yeast and fan the culture very briefly with the lid, and feed off any booming cultures. If I go longer than ~10 days, the culture dies from CO2 buildup/lack of O2.
Opening the cx under 10 days would be my minimum. Sure they can stay 'sealed' for a number of days. I cannot fathom how production would increase due to lack of airflow.

But we are talking the average new hobbyist here. Some people don't check or feed their cxs for a couple weeks or even closer to a month.

They can eat a lot more than most people think also. I feed them every week or 5 days if they are booming.
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

I use fleishmans as well. And yes they can eat a lot more than people think. I feed my cultures a couple of times a week.


I put a couple of 2" x 2" pieces of unprinted corrugates cardboard to harvest easily. The springs hide in the channels of the corrugated cardboard by the thousands. Just pick up the cardboard and tap the springs exactly where you want them. I have found I prefer to harvest this way.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:42 PM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

I use pinprick holes in the tops of my containers or loose fitting lids. I drop in a few grains of dry rice every few weeks. The rice grows mold and the springtales consume it.

My 3 cultures have been going crazy.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philsuma View Post
I cannot fathom how production would increase due to lack of airflow.
My theory was humidity, but I didn't think about it too hard since going back to sealed lids worked well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philsuma View Post
But we are talking the average new hobbyist here. Some people don't check or feed their cxs for a couple weeks or even closer to a month.
I didn't realize that was the standard practice. Maybe I'm more 'hands-on' than I realize.
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:20 PM
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I use pinprick holes in the tops of my containers or loose fitting lids.
While this works and virtually eliminates the risk of asphyxiation, I personally prefer to have fully sealed cultures. I have tried both ways. The reason I prefer a sealed culture is that I don't want escapees. I know the escapees wont survive long outside their cultures, and I'm not concerned about them becoming pests within my house. But the escapees always seem to make it to my isopod cultures and establish a population, and I can't stand when that happens.
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Old 03-26-2019, 01:47 AM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

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" pieces of unprinted corrugates cardboard to harvest easily. The springs hide in the channels of the corrugated cardboard by the thousands. Just pick up the cardboard and tap the springs exactly where you want them. I have found I prefer to harvest this way.
Thank you for this, it's exactly what I've been searching for. I thought about using a piece of food like banana as "bait", but this seems a lot better.
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Old 03-26-2019, 01:53 AM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philsuma View Post
Mushrooms, especially 'raw' almost always resulted in white worm pest explosions.

Any thing 'cereal like' always draws mites.

never used rice.

Seems like yeast and powdered baby milk work great for me. The springs need a lot of calcium.
The calcium requirement is news to me.

I'm feeding them yeast now with a vent. The next experiment is with dough risen with yeast and sugar. This might help with propagating yeast while allowing the option of storing the rest in the freezer for later use.
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Old 03-26-2019, 03:54 AM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

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Thank you for this, it's exactly what I've been searching for. I thought about using a piece of food like banana as "bait", but this seems a lot better.
Glad I can help. You can also try a clump of tree fern fiber, but I still prefer the cardboard.

The advantages of the treefern are that it last for a very long time, much longer than the cardboard, which I replace every couple of weeks. The disadvantage with treefern is that springs get everywhere including on your hands and you can't pinpoint with great accuracy where you want the springs to land.
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Old 03-27-2019, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

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I put a couple of 2" x 2" pieces of unprinted corrugates cardboard...tap the springs exactly where you want them
I do the same with magnolia leaves...springtails collect on the bottom face of the leaf..done.
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Old 03-27-2019, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

I get the idea behind the cardboard/leaves trap. I've always found it simple (when culturing in water and charcoal) to simply flood the culture and pour off the floaters.
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Old 03-27-2019, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

To harvest, I got a small snap tight container from the Dollar Store and drilled two holes. Get two pieces of tubing and silicone into each hole to make airtight. Then you just suck on one end like a straw and put the other in the culture near the springtails and basically vacuum them out. Springs stay locked in the container until I get to the tank and I dump them in. This is my favorite method so far.
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:53 AM
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Default Re: Spring Tail Food

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While this works and virtually eliminates the risk of asphyxiation, I personally prefer to have fully sealed cultures. I have tried both ways. The reason I prefer a sealed culture is that I don't want escapees. I know the escapees wont survive long outside their cultures, and I'm not concerned about them becoming pests within my house. But the escapees always seem to make it to my isopod cultures and establish a population, and I can't stand when that happens.
Interesting. I don't have any isopod cultures, so maybe that's why I've never noticed an escape. I also only have a single pinprick, so maybe the number of escapees is just extremely low.
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