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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got my order of temperate springtails from Josh's Frogs... Now what do I do? I plan to start a bigger culture and there are brief directions that came with these, but I still have a few questions...

1. How do I collect some up to seed my vivarium? They're so tiny and I don't want to dump charcoal into my vivarium.

2. How do I move them to a bigger culture? There is about 1" of water in the bottom of this culture and I don't want to drown the springtails if I just dump everything into a bigger container.
 

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To seed your viv, you could just flood the culture and then use a turkey baster to remove them and place them in the viv.

To start a bigger culture, I don't think there's any way around it...you have to just dump them in. Unless you want to spend all day with the turkey baster. :D
 

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Doug...the cultures I received from Josh's came with very small peices of charcoal. There wasn't any big chunks to pick up and tap.
 

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Typically you'd want to transfer the ones you got from Josh's in the blue tub to 2 sterlite shoeboxes. You'd want to fill the shoeboxes about halfway with charcoal and about an inch of water then split the culture in half. Add a couple sliced mushrooms and watch the culture take off.

When you harvest some of the springtails, you just add some more water and dump some into your viv. They wont drown, they bounce around on the surface of the water, but I'd wait a couple week until you see them swarming in the shoeboxes first.
 

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Doug...the cultures I received from Josh's came with very small peices of charcoal. There wasn't any big chunks to pick up and tap.
OK, but if you upsize to bigger cultures, use some big and some small chunks. In the meantime, back in the day, when we cultured on sphagnum, we would put a coffee filter on top and mist it. Put a tiny amount of yeast or whatever you are feeding, on the filter. By morning it would be loaded with springtails and you just pick it up and sprinkle it in.
 

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Hey, that sounds like a much easier way to do it than anything else I've seen. I can see the sphagnum rotting...but is there some reason everyone stopped with the filters?
 

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Hey, that sounds like a much easier way to do it than anything else I've seen. I can see the sphagnum rotting...but is there some reason everyone stopped with the filters?
I've run sphagnum for a couple of years with no rot. The coffee filters will begin to disintegrate and be eaten by the springtails after a while. I think the charcoal tapping and the flood and dump method became more popular.
Another great one is a small piece (like 3" x 3") of sterile tree fern panel stored on top of your culture. They crawl up in it and you just tap away.
 

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Well, I don't have any tree fern...but I think I'm gonna give the coffee filters a try on top of my charcoal cultures and just change them out every so often. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, here's what I did...

I bought two 6qt Sterelite containers because I couldn't find 5qt. I bought a 4qt bag of organic gardening charcoal and I filled each culture with 2qt of charcoal. I added enough distilled water until there was around 1" in the bottom, and I made sure all of the charcoal was moist. I then put half of the culture I ordered in to both containers. I put the lids on and put them in my room near my frogs. I then added 5 grains of rice in the middle of each culture, and I put 2-3 grains elsewhere around the cultures.

How moist should the cultures be?
 

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Okay, here's what I did...

I bought two 6qt Sterelite containers because I couldn't find 5qt. I bought a 4qt bag of organic gardening charcoal and I filled each culture with 2qt of charcoal. I added enough distilled water until there was around 1" in the bottom, and I made sure all of the charcoal was moist. I then put half of the culture I ordered in to both containers. I put the lids on and put them in my room near my frogs. I then added 5 grains of rice in the middle of each culture, and I put 2-3 grains elsewhere around the cultures.

How moist should the cultures be?
Out of the many, many foods I've tried, none has produced as poorly as rice. Plus, rice is a grain. It's just a matter of time before you get mites. Yeast. Active Bakers Yeast.
 

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Another great one is a small piece (like 3" x 3") of sterile tree fern panel stored on top of your culture. They crawl up in it and you just tap away.
I use tree fern in some of my cultures, and have also had good results with a square of corrugated cardboard.
 

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I then added 5 grains of rice in the middle of each culture, and I put 2-3 grains elsewhere around the cultures.

How moist should the cultures be?
I don't put the food directly in the cultures anymore...the mold throughout the container grossed me out. Lately I've been placing the food onto one of those tiny butter bowl lids and then placing it into the container. If something happens and it gets a little too yucky, I throw it away and replace it with a new one. Just keeps things a little cleaner and still lets the mold grow without taking over everything.

If you're keeping about a half to an inch of water in your container, the humidity inside should keep everything moist enough as it is. That's what I do and there's always condensation dripping from the lid.
 

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I don't put the food directly in the cultures anymore...the mold throughout the container grossed me out. Lately I've been placing the food onto one of those tiny butter bowl lids and then placing it into the container. If something happens and it gets a little too yucky, I throw it away and replace it with a new one. Just keeps things a little cleaner and still lets the mold grow without taking over everything.

If you're keeping about a half to an inch of water in your container, the humidity inside should keep everything moist enough as it is. That's what I do and there's always condensation dripping from the lid.
Hey Wendy, you should really try letting it get good and gross. It is the...liquifying food that they really go nuts over. Or, just go with Active Bakers yeast which liquifies right away on contact with the wet substrate. Try it and watch your production go through the roof!
 

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Hey Wendy, you should really try letting it get good and gross. It is the...liquifying food that they really go nuts over. Or, just go with Active Bakers yeast which liquifies right away on contact with the wet substrate. Try it and watch your production go through the roof!
Yeah...I know, I know...it's the really disgusting stuff that they like. It just really, really grosses me out. I've cleaned out tanks and had my hands in frog poop, gently picked up a dead frog to check on it, killed fruit flies directly on my skin...but that mold...ACK!

I do use the yeast as well as fish food and rice (I know I've been lucky so far)...and my cultures produce far more than I can use. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Out of the many, many foods I've tried, none has produced as poorly as rice. Plus, rice is a grain. It's just a matter of time before you get mites. Yeast. Active Bakers Yeast.
So if I leave the rice in there, mites will come? Or is that after a while of feeding rice? How do I get rid of mites or prevent them? I'll start feeding active bakers yeast. Do I need to take the rice in there currently out? :confused:
 

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Yeah...I know, I know...it's the really disgusting stuff that they like. It just really, really grosses me out. I've cleaned out tanks and had my hands in frog poop, gently picked up a dead frog to check on it, killed fruit flies directly on my skin...but that mold...ACK!

I do use the yeast as well as fish food and rice (I know I've been lucky so far)...and my cultures produce far more than I can use. :)
Ahh, but if you eliminate the others, and only feed yeast, it liquifies in a non disgusting way, just like dissolving. Feed the right amount, a couple times a week, and you can totally eliminate the mold, odors, and "disgust" factor! Really!
 

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I've used rice for several years, and have never gotten mites (I have with other grains). In fact, I've never gotten mites since I started keeping springs on charcoal.

I've also never had any other foods produce springtails as well for me as rice has, especially after it forms a nice thick, moldy layer. They also produce a ton better for me if I keep them slightly cooler (I keep them on the bottom shelf in the basement).

To the OP - I would try a few different ways, and see what works best for you.
 

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I've used rice for several years, and have never gotten mites (I have with other grains). In fact, I've never gotten mites since I started keeping springs on charcoal.

I've also never had any other foods produce springtails as well for me as rice has, especially after it forms a nice thick, moldy layer. They also produce a ton better for me if I keep them slightly cooler (I keep them on the bottom shelf in the basement).

To the OP - I would try a few different ways, and see what works best for you.
Curious if you have tried active yeast? I am wondering if the type or brand of rice makes a difference. When I was experimenting with rice, it remained untouched by the springtails for about 2 weeks. They showed no interest in the grains until it fully molded over.
 
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