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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking about buying a few containers (and charcoal) and setting up a few more springtail cultures so I can have way more on hand. The idea is to seed my tanks weekly - my varaderos rifle through these things like nobody's business, and my four terribilis froglets will, too. In order to do this, I want to have a few cultures producing, but at different stages. So culture A will be tapped on week one, culture B on week two, culture C on week three, etc. The question I have is one of timing: how long, based on feeding daily or every other day, do springtail cultures take to bounce back after being tapped into? If it takes a month, then I want 4 cultures producing, which will then be staggered weekly (and kept track of accordingly). Obviously, if it takes longer, then I'll have more cultures booming, since I want to do this weekly.
 

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That's kind of tough to come up with an answer. It is too dependent upon species, food type and amount, ventilation, temperature, and how many springtails you leave behind to repopulate.
 

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I am starting to change over from charcoal to ABG mix and add crushed oak leaves. I believe you do that as well, Doug? I know my isos are in that type of mix and they love it. I recently bought some temperate springtails from a vendor and that is what he uses. Please comment Doug.
 

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I use ABG mix with LOTS of leaves mixed in. As much as half to 2/3 leaves. This is the mix I use for my Isopods. I add more leaf litter as it breaks down and gets consumed. If you're busy or whatever, you can walk away and not feed for weeks. Production may drop but they feed on the leaf litter so you don't have a starvation crash. For some reason, in my Dwarf Gray cultures, they like to congregate on the charcoal pieces in the ABG mix. For collection purposes, it can be helpful to throw a little extra 1/2" pieces of charcoal in.
For springtails I still prefer straight up charcoal. Mostly because I find it easier to collect feeding and seedings from charcoal.
 

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I culture springs on ABG with lots of shredded oak leaves and some coco cubes. Honestly I think I am getting much better production than from my charcoal culture. I think the charcoal cultures trick you because the springs are much more visible against the black chunks...this is just my opinion, I only have 5 spring cultures so my experience is limited. I feed out of the cultures every other week (moderately, leaving plenty of adults behind) and I haven't seen a production drop. If you want to set up a rotation, I think the more cultures the better. Instead of trying to time them like FFs, maybe just have enough so you can feed from one or two each week and still have booming backups.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
How the heck do you get them out of the ABG mix though?
 

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How the heck do you get them out of the ABG mix though?
You never do a complete harvest this way. A good way is to put a piece of tree fern panel, about 4" x 4" on top of the culture. You just store it there constantly. Pull it out and tap it with something like a metal spoon to knock the springtails loose into your viv.
 

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That's a little tip I picked up from Michael (Poison Beauties).
 

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I just flood and pour...never tried the treefern but Doug is the Bug Guru so I think I'm gonna take his advice.
I do this as well. I pour about 2 ounces of water in the bottom of the cup and carefully, without losing media (a few pieces is good), pour into the tank. This is working very well for me. I use coconut husk chips and oak leaves added in the ABG mix and I have had much better production than charcoal. Doug does know his bugs and I like to experiment with different set-ups and use the ones that work for me.
 

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As for getting isos out, I put some powdered food on a wet piece of Epiweb, then after a day put it inside the viv. Seems to work great!

And dfrmav, if you only feed out of 1 culture per week you could get away with only using 2 larger cultures. At least for me, 2 weeks is plenty of time for my springs to repopulate. The more cultures the better though. If I can suggest a good container for them, it would be these....

Rectangular Food Storage Containers - Potluck Size GladWare | Glad

They are quite large, but at the same time very shallow. Its super easy to pour out springs without disturbing any of the charcoal.
 

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Personally I think it's a good idea to "refresh" as it were the springtail substrate. I grow my cultures on shredded coco husks. When I feed them out I just scoop out the substrate loaded with springs onto a culture plate and then place that in the viv as a feeeding station. I always see the frogs hanging out there.

When I've mostly fed out the culture I set up a fresh new culture and place the leftover substrate from the old culture, still loaded with springs, onto the top of the new culture. Within a month's time the new culture is loaded with springs any ready to feed out.
 

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I have springtail cultures that are a bit bigger than most people are used to (5l boxes). I put a layer of damp peat to maintain a good climate for the springtails. On top of the thin layer I put a layer of bark (small size) and I put some bigger pieces of bark I can tap it in the viv.
I can feed my frogs constantly with 1 box (everyday other day) but I have more boxes just to be safe.
The trick is to open the cultures frequent to let fresh air in. Don't feed too much.
 

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i like the soil idea as well and only put about 2cm layer on the bottom of the two litre food tubs i use,the soil i use is the stuff where stinging nettles are foundas it's meant to be very rich in minerals and calcium and is very clay based plus some in the local woods mixed 50/50 as i believe the spring's pick up detruis and calcium from the natural soil rather than the plain eco earth bricks which i've stopped using for my insect cultures.also you can use a large clean magnolia leaf lightly spray it then put a tiny amount of live yeast on it then wait a few hours then you can harvest them in massive numbers,one other thing i do especially for babies is tap the mag leaf with spring's into a plastic cup the party type then you can dust the springs really well...also Grimm we think alike as i use the epweb technique for the larger pink springs.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
As for getting isos out, I put some powdered food on a wet piece of Epiweb, then after a day put it inside the viv. Seems to work great!

And dfrmav, if you only feed out of 1 culture per week you could get away with only using 2 larger cultures. At least for me, 2 weeks is plenty of time for my springs to repopulate. The more cultures the better though. If I can suggest a good container for them, it would be these....

Rectangular Food Storage Containers - Potluck Size GladWare | Glad

They are quite large, but at the same time very shallow. Its super easy to pour out springs without disturbing any of the charcoal.
I do use these for one of my springtail cultures (pink) and my dwarf white iso culture. They are pretty good, I agree. Yours bounce back in 2 weeks? What do you feed them? I stick with yeast, which is why I'm asking; maybe what you feed them causes them to bounce back quicker?

And from reading what people have said on here, I am going to try that tree fern idea (similar to the epiweb idea that Grimm does, i suppose). There's a store near me that sells it so I'll buy a few panels. I figure what the hell, it's worth a shot, right? The worst that can happen is that in my next tank, I'll use the fiber in my background to grow orchids, haha.

Also, I have some spare ABG mix so I'll set up a third culture on that as well and see how that turns out.

Oh, and I'm not a fan of pouring directly into the tank. I prefer the flood method where you flood the culture (which is on charcoal) with water and use a turkey baster to suck up the water, and the springtails in the process. Obviously that won't work with the ABG mix, so I'll do tree fern with that as well.

Thanks everyone!
 

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hi there for the pink springtail's i feed mainly mushrooms as they can be quite fussy,where as the common white and small tropical white tend not to care so much,but i do like to exsperiment with wild food which soon i'm going to get a cheap vegetable dehydrator then dry out dandelion leaves clover leaves plus flowers, every now and then pink thistle flowers and lichen from tree bark.then grind it into a powder as a supplement which i store all supplements in the fridge.

I also find that the pink and tropical white do much better on dryer substrate just (slightly) moist with hi humidity. but you still need to vent them often.

I also very much like pumilio's idea of having filter discs which i will do eventually.
 

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I do this as well. I pour about 2 ounces of water in the bottom of the cup and carefully, without losing media (a few pieces is good), pour into the tank. This is working very well for me. I use coconut husk chips and oak leaves added in the ABG mix and I have had much better production than charcoal. Doug does know his bugs and I like to experiment with different set-ups and use the ones that work for me.
Sounds like we are using very similar substrates...I am really happy with the mix, springs seem to be doing better on it as well.

I do use these for one of my springtail cultures (pink) and my dwarf white iso culture. They are pretty good, I agree. Yours bounce back in 2 weeks? What do you feed them? I stick with yeast, which is why I'm asking; maybe what you feed them causes them to bounce back quicker?
I used to feed yeast and production was soooo slow. I switched to mushrooms and production has been so much better. Maybe set up a small culture just to test out shrooms...I microwave them for 15-20 seconds.
 

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also just one last thing PLEASE PLEASE!!! keep them away from fruit fly cultures cursed mites lol,i now keep them in a seprate room altogether
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I used to feed yeast and production was soooo slow. I switched to mushrooms and production has been so much better. Maybe set up a small culture just to test out shrooms...I microwave them for 15-20 seconds.
I will try that. That's what I'm concerned with, the production rate. If I can get them producing like crazy, that would be fantastic!
 
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