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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I`m sure this topic has been covered a few times before, but I thought I would share anyway.
About a month ago because of a lack of room I started keeping my Sprintails ( Tropical Whites) in the bottom of an old Exxo-Terra cabinet. I`ve noticed a significant increase in productivity since doing this, I`m probably talking double the amount.
Is it just me or do they really prefer the dark. They`re charcoal cultures and I feed mushrooms or fish flakes.
Thoughts, if any?
Thanks.

John
 

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I've heard this as well. I've heard fruit flies do better in the dark as well. I keep all my feeders in the dark in my closet, just due to space. I really never paid much attention to when they were on my rack in the light though, so I don't really know how much better they're doing lol.
 

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I have found the opposite with fruit flys... I kept mine under my stand.. had several issues with no cultures going. Moved them out near the light on top of my tanks. Boomed.

I heard springtails boom period with mushroom.
 

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a few people i know with good breeding results keep theirs in drawers. ive tried both in light and in dark and havent noticed too much of a difference, especially considering a couple of my tanks wont ever need to be seeded with them again they have so many.

could also be a species preference.
 

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They do produce better in the dark it seems. If you notice they scatter when lights hit them. Everytime I put together a small growout tank I add a bunch of springs and isos and then add some yeast and cucumber slices. I then seal it up and put it in a dark cabinet. In about two weeks its jam packed with microfauna and perfect for getting a froglet started and fattened up. Just my experience. Yours may vary.

Also, they do go nuts for mushrooms but I also notice more mite activity with mushrooms.
 

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Might be a slight temperature difference. Some springtails will produce faster if kept a little cooler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Doug, I have noticed in the past that I get better production when it cools off a bit.
It has gotten a bit cooler here lately.
Interesting.

John
 

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How are you accounting for the fact that most of the springs are photophobic so a significant portion are going to be avoiding the light when kept in lighted enviroment versus a dark enviroment? Is it really that they do better or are just more visible...
 
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How are you accounting for the fact that most of the springs are photophobic so a significant portion are going to be avoiding the light when kept in lighted enviroment versus a dark enviroment? Is it really that they do better or are just more visible...
Good point. If you are culturing on charcoal, you could flood the culture completely and give it a quick stir. The floaters would tell the story.
 

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Ed, for the most part I bet us hobbyists just feed our springtails on top of the substrate. Keeping them in the dark would allow more time with the quality foods we have added don't you think?

Also, im sure there are many exceptions, but as a generalized statement, don't fungi prefer a dark environment for growth? Would more fungus then equate to better springtail production?
 

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I have 1 Day light CFL under my 185gal tank int the tank stand,
It comes on with the daylights (7am and goes out at 7pm)
It has a glow paint coat insid the dome so it glows for about an hour after lights out.
I keep all my FF and ST and Brome seeds in there.
I dont have any comparisons to judge by but I will say it seemes to be working becaus I have a lot more springs than I did when I started cultureing.
I would like to try to culture flour beetles next.

Just thought I would thro this out there for people to comment on or to get an idea from.
 

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I have a lot more springs than I did when I started cultureing.
I would like to try to culture flour beetles next.
If you attempt to culture flour beetles next to your fruit flies or springtails, you may be surprised by real problems with mites.. grain mites do really well in cultures like flour beetles, and mealworms..
 

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Ed, for the most part I bet us hobbyists just feed our springtails on top of the substrate. Keeping them in the dark would allow more time with the quality foods we have added don't you think?

Also, im sure there are many exceptions, but as a generalized statement, don't fungi prefer a dark environment for growth? Would more fungus then equate to better springtail production?
I'm not sure what you count as "quality" foods.... ;) but it is pretty clear that while they are photophobic, they obviously are willing to overcome that to feed (otherwise you wouldn't ever see them on the surface). The question that needs quantification is whether or not the being kept in the dark allows for a greater conversion of food to growth and reproductive output. I was pointing out that that it is possible that an incorrect conclusion could be drawn unless it the numbers visible were actually from an increased output and not simply from more being present on the surface.

I am going to correct a common misconception about springtails.. they do not only feed on molds or require molds to do well.. they also feed on liquifying organics and the microbes that reside in/on the liquifying materials so it is probably moot about the fungi. If the fungi aren't growing the springtails will still feed on the foods as it breaks down.
 
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