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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-27-2010, 08:37 PM
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Default Springtail Cultures

I thought I would post a couple of photos of a sweater box setup for springtails. You can see a quart fruit fly jar in the background for size reference. Also a few shoe boxes on the right. The medium is made from ground Maple leaves, sphagnum and ground coco and kept damp not wet. I have seeded it with black, pink, blue, micro, white temperate and tropical. I plan to use this for the substrate for my Melanophryniscus toadlets the next time I attempt breeding. So far the medium mix is working fantastic and the culture is taking off. I've been feeding mushroom slices, baby rice cereal and cucumber slices. I carved a pumpkin last night and threw some of that in as well and they are now on those pieces. I put a slice of cucumber in the micro and blue containers and they covered it by the next day after it dried off a little. In my opinion I believe this is a better setup than charcoal. I also have another 11 shoe boxes with all the above varieties, along with several small containers, of each variety separated to feed out of. The shoe box sizes have coconut chunks, not ground cocoonut, and I can take a handful out at a time, put in a seive and shake into my froglet containers and then return the medium back to the original container. I tied to get a good photo of the amount of springtails this is producing but every time I turned over a handful of medium they would disappear before I could focus. I'm not selling but thought I would share what has been sucessful for me.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

cool. Last time I tried a mix, one species outcompeted the next to the point of it basically becoming a single species culture. Nice to see you are getting success. I like the mix of substrate of yours. It would be awesome substrate in a viv, but I still like charcoal cultures for supplemental seeding, because its so easy to just flood and pour.



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Old 10-27-2010, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

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cool. Last time I tried a mix, one species outcompeted the next to the point of it basically becoming a single species culture. Nice to see you are getting success. I like the mix of substrate of yours. It would be awesome substrate in a viv, but I still like charcoal cultures for supplemental seeding, because its so easy to just flood and pour.
It's like my neighbor says across the street--She buys and plants the flowers she likes--the ones that survives she splits and replaces the dead ones. The coconut chips are extremely easy to feed from and it's out producing the charcoal. Instead of pouring water on and off you're grabbing a handful of mix and sieving. My opinion is this offers a more natural environment.
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:25 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

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The shoe box sizes have coconut chunks, not ground cocoonut, and I can take a handful out at a time, put in a seive and shake into my froglet containers and then return the medium back to the original container.
I like that idea
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Old 10-27-2010, 10:19 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

I only count one springtail in that second pic
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Old 10-27-2010, 10:52 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

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I only count one springtail in that second pic

Yeah but what you don't realize is he's an inch long!! Just kidding.

As I said every time I try to photograph, by the time I uncover them and get the camera to focos, they all disappear back under the medium. I tried about 6 more photos, before I read your post to illustrate but every time the same thing. I'll try again later--got company over now.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

Thanks for sharing. Always appreciate seeing what is working well for others.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:43 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

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Yeah but what you don't realize is he's an inch long!! Just kidding.
Thanks for knowing that I was kidding about your one and only spring ......there are always some people that don't get stuff like that.
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:20 AM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

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Thanks for knowing that I was kidding about your one and only spring ......there are always some people that don't get stuff like that.
Phil. I took offense to your sarcasm there. I think we need to fist fight over this.

Begin the virtual ass whoopin!!

-Mat

PS. That's one good looking culture you've got going there. As much springs as those bumble bee toadlets eat, I don't think it would be a bad idea to have a second one just as huge to make absolute sure you can feed them all. Keep 'em on springtails, supplement with flies once they get a hair bigger and hopefully you can get them all to fruit fly stage fairly fast.

Good luck with them this go around.
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:42 AM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

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Phil. I took offense to your sarcasm there. I think we need to fist fight over this.

<sigh>.......line forms back there

I started culturing big sweater boxes of springs but when they would go "bad" or get worm infestations ect...It made me only want to make the little deli cup cultures. The worst is when mite laden FF ride some grain mites into the cultures...

oh that's another thing.... I keep all my cx's sealed now. I used to think the Co2 would kill them, but unless they are really warm to hot....no problemo. I've come back from FL after 3 or 4 weeks and not opening the lids and they are doing jes fine!
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Old 10-28-2010, 04:21 AM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

Phil, I use micron filter material that screens to 0.3 microns in my tupperware lids. I just cut a hole in the lid, and silicone a piece of this stuff in. I really like the results. It allows gas exchange, keeps moisture inside stable, and is a great block against mites, etc

you can get it here:
Fungi Perfecti: micron air filters



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Old 10-28-2010, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

I'm definitely going to experiment with various springtail cultures after seeing this.

I've been wanting to come up with a LECA culture after making a cheapo (sorry Chris) quickie tank for Chris's GL lamasi, that I'm sitting. I didn't have the stuff to make a proper substrate. So I just dumped in a layer of LECA and put some sheet moss on top. I seeded with springs and figured I'd have to seed frequently. Later on, when I pulled up the moss to see what was going on down there, I saw that the LECA was teeming with springs.

I especially like the idea of just sifting springs into the tank and returning the media to the container. I'm thinking of doing one up with LECA, leaves, and orchid bark. Interesting stuff.
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

I have taken about 50 photos trying to show how well the mix is doing but I can't get them in focus with this little Nikon Coolpix camera I have. They look in focus on the camera screen but when I load onto the computer they are just way out of focus. The large container I'll split up into some smaller containers for substrate once I breed my Melanophryniscus again. I tried just LECA by itself last year thinking it would work like charcoal but it didn't work for me. Mixing it I'm sure will produce better results. In my shoe box containers I put a layer of leaves on top--some over the food, some with food sandwiched in between and they seem to congregate on the underside of the leaves. This is one that was in focus but it's of the pink variety by itself and not out of the big container. If you look close there are many more around the cucumber peel just they are over exosed and are hard to see. Again by the time I take the top off the container and expose them/flip over the leaf a lot of them scatter for cover. I sent baita83 a starter culture for his Mantellas, although I don't want to sell or ship more, that should arrive Friday 10-29 and if he sees this post he can respond to the culture (hopefully they make it alive). You can see the coconut chunks in this one that I sift from.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

I did one with just coco chunks and LECA a while back. It developed a horrible smell. So bad that I siphoned the springs into clean water to wash them off and threw away the media. I did, however, have a good bit of water in it (maybe 1/2 way up the container). Maybe that was the problem.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

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I did one with just coco chunks and LECA a while back. It developed a horrible smell. So bad that I siphoned the springs into clean water to wash them off and threw away the media. I did, however, have a good bit of water in it (maybe 1/2 way up the container). Maybe that was the problem.
When I was screening my backyard compost for them, and found a fair supply, my thought was they are not in standing water just moist dead leaves sitting on top of the ground. I sent baita83 a PM and asked him to post good or bad after he receives the cultures I sent him. One is from what I collected in the back yard compost pile.
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Old 10-29-2010, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

I just recieved my cultures in the mail and they were packed full of very active springtails. lots of variety and quantity. All I can say is A+++++ thank you very much TDK. I hope I can keep the cultures active I have a little over a month before I should have froglets and this will help greatly.
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Old 10-29-2010, 06:19 PM
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I just recieved my cultures in the mail and they were packed full of very active springtails. lots of variety and quantity. All I can say is A+++++ thank you very much TDK. I hope I can keep the cultures active I have a little over a month before I should have froglets and this will help greatly.

Good deal--set up some shoe boxes and get things going. As you can see the mixture is only damp. I think a mix that is dryer (damp) and not wet is the key for some varieties--the blacks especially. Take a magnifying glass and tell me if the blue and micro are "springing" around.
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Old 10-29-2010, 06:47 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

I took some pics with my macro lens and they are full of a wide variety of critters I will post them as soon as i can but I only have web access while working
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

Finally got around to posting a video of one of the cultures I got from TDK

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Old 11-15-2010, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

What kind of springs are those? Look like blue ones but not sure
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:46 PM
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Im not sure I got them from TDK and they multiply fast Im sure he can tell us lol
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Old 11-15-2010, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

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What kind of springs are those? Look like blue ones but not sure

.....and what are they congregating on, in that viddy ?
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Old 11-15-2010, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

they are on a piece of mushroom
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Old 11-15-2010, 11:37 PM
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Im not sure I got them from TDK and they multiply fast Im sure he can tell us lol
Those were mostly the blue and I saw a couple or other micro that look silver--they were both in the same shipment when I got them.
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

Something I've been doing with my springtail cultures is taking a whole carton of mushrooms sticking them in the blender with R/O water and making a soup to pour on my substrate. The sweater box size I setup I used about a gallon and mixed with the substrate before I added the springtails so that food was evenly distributed throughout all of the substrate not just a chopped section scattered here and there. I also did this with a cucumber as well. At Halloween I used the inside of a pumpkin as food.
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

Another thing I've been doing in my larger cultures is putting slices of whole wheat bread down and the Springtails congregate underneath and as it begins to decay they are eating it. I'm keeping my mix drier though and not using charcoal and water--I wouldn't recommend this in a wet mix.
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Springtail Cultures

Photos of bread slices in Springtail cultures.
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