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Discussion Starter #1
What would be the best mix of microfuana for any viv? Rather, what has given you the best result as a healthy bug population in your vivarium's? Without some killing off or being too competitive with each other?

I'm looking to stock up and attempt to get some bugs breeding on a large scale this week. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Garrett
 

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I think I remember reading a posting by Doug/Pumilo that f he had to choose just one iso and ST to seed vivs with he would recommend dwarf white isos and pink springtails, as these seem to establish the fastest in vivs.

I think that the best possible thing to do however is to seed with as many species as you can, as they might all fill slightly different niches in the viv.
 

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If you're going "large scale" I would be super careful about mites.
These little buggers can ruin your bug cultures.
A lot of people may have a big springtail box for feeding out but they nearly always have smaller cultures going as backups and to help others.

Tip: the substrate in springtail cultures should be changed about once a year. You'll notice a gradual decline in their population due to some (possibly hormonal) chemical buildup.

As far as which bugs to seed with.... the more the better but if on a budget, I'd go with at least one springtail species and one smaller isopod species. (like mentioned above)
 

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Im not so sure about cultures dieing off, this could just have something to do with the media mix, the food and other means like temps and such. Ive had large established cultures last 3 yrs without decline. I had to start over after the move but Id be willing to be with my new media mix they last longer.

I would not go so far to say only 2 speices will last, I produced a mixed culture that held 8 micro fauna species than in a large viv we can still find all species when digging in the leaf litter. Now which ones thrive better in a culture will differ in the viv when there are more readily available food supplies and a managed population control due to the frogs.

Id start with either white or pink springs, but wouldnt rule out tossing in podura, tomocerus, and others as well as multiple isos, you really cant go overboard on establishing a micro fauna population in a viv though I would be leary on the larger iso species,

Michael
 

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Id start with either white or pink springs, but wouldnt rule out tossing in podura, tomocerus, and others as well as multiple isos, you really cant go overboard on establishing a micro fauna population in a viv though I would be leary on the larger iso species,

Michael
Just to clarify, are you referring to the "giant" species like P. dilatatus/laevis (~20mm), or the oranges (~13mm) as well?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok thanks guys. I figured I would have back ups, wouldn't want all my eggs in one basket haha. But I was planning on going overboard to try and give everything a better chance of making it in the viv. I heavily seeded my 40vert with white springs for my o. pumilio "cristobal"s. I'm getting the impression that the female thinks something is missing (rediculous I know). But the male successfully coaxes her onto and into the offered broms. I'm going to get more "leafy" broms than what is offered like fireballs and olens. Its a proven pair btw
 

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I was referring to the larger species that are commonly used in vivs like the spanish orange, the tans and natives. We just got a piece of the puzzle on the oranges being carnivorous. They are eating FF whether its the calcium they are after or not they are actively hunting ff and eating them. They are also known to become over populated inviv due to not being edible at certain sizes.
'
Michael
 

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I was referring to the larger species that are commonly used in vivs like the spanish orange, the tans and natives. We just got a piece of the puzzle on the oranges being carnivorous. They are eating FF whether its the calcium they are after or not they are actively hunting ff and eating them. They are also known to become over populated inviv due to not being edible at certain sizes.
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Michael
Could you please link some references to this information? This is the first time that I've heard about Porcellio scaber "actively" hunting Drosophila. I was under the impression that this species was predominantly a detrivore, and the closest I've read about them hunting on the forums was something about cannibalism of Porcellio scaber eggs.
 

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Thank you Michael and Ed for the links.

Ed - this particular paper talks about isopods predating on pupae, which in my non-expert opinion isn't much different than scavenging on dead animals, as the pupae don't really run away or anything. In my opinion this particular example doesn't sound much different than an iso finding a tasty fish flake and munching on it.

If you've seen videos of "vampire crabs" hunting down adult drosophila on youtube, that is what I think of when someone says isopods hunting. I feel that P. scaber is just too slow and clumsy to "hunt down" a fast adult fruit fly.

Also, I've read several times that P. scaber won't eat frogs' eggs in the viv; doesn't this sort of data indicate that they should be likely to?
 

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Before that point, it was commonly thought that isopods didn't predate on anything. The pupae was an easily documentable example in that paper.

Ed
 
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