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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know mites are a pest to us (just read the million posts on them) but what do they really do to a culture ? Do they eat the fruit fly larvea ? Do they just stress the culture out ?

Now depending on how them questions are answered, I am wondering if mites live (thrive) in a charcoal based springtail culture ? What do they eat in that type of culture ? The springtails ?

I ask these questions because I am experimenting with different types of black/silver springtails & white tropical isopods, grey stripped isopods and am wondering if charcoal is a better substrate to use to keep mite's in check verses a soil / sphagnum based culture.

I have also been told that mites don't seem to bother these types of cultures, is this true ?

Thanks,
Dan
 

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There are many different types of mites. Some are predatory and feed on the flies directly, others feed on the media (such as the grain mite) and compete directly with the flies (and can reach numbers that reduce fly production). This is covered fairly well in the literature on fruit fly culture.

As for springtail cultures, substrate is less of a risk than food source, as many food sources can directly introduce mites into the cultures (as an example grain mites from grain based foods, or mushrooms) or the mites can migrate to the cultures from another source (such as other insect colonies (mealworms or fruit fly cultures are a good source) attracted by the foods fed to the springtails.

Ed
 

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Different mites eat different things. A predator mite will attack and eat live bugs in your cultures. Detritus and grain mites may take advantage of what ever foods you are feeding your cultures. It is said that feeding only active bakers yeast will cut down on what mites can survive in your cultures. That is what I feed my springtails cultures. I have however, experienced two different mites that seem to thrive just fine on only yeast. The biggest problem with mites is competition for food. They can eventually out-compete your springtails for food.
In my experience, mites don't seem to be nearly as much a problem in Isopod/woodlice cultures. Perhaps some isopods are eating their eggs??
Mites can survive and thrive in charcoal cultures.
 

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Different mites eat different things. A predator mite will attack and eat live bugs in your cultures. Detritus and grain mites may take advantage of what ever foods you are feeding your cultures. It is said that feeding only active bakers yeast will cut down on what mites can survive in your cultures. That is what I feed my springtails cultures. I have however, experienced two different mites that seem to thrive just fine on only yeast. The biggest problem with mites is competition for food. They can eventually out-compete your springtails for food.
In my experience, mites don't seem to be nearly as much a problem in Isopod/woodlice cultures. Perhaps some isopods are eating their eggs??
Mites can survive and thrive in charcoal cultures.
Some mites do just fine on yeasts or fungus food sources and if these become established in a culture (which often leads to direct contamination of other near by cultures), then they are going to do well. Using yeast reduces the risk of grain mites or other detrivores from establishing in the tank.

Ed
 

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Some mites do just fine on yeasts or fungus food sources and if these become established in a culture (which often leads to direct contamination of other near by cultures), then they are going to do well. Using yeast reduces the risk of grain mites or other detrivores from establishing in the tank.

Ed
I agree completely. You need to strive to prevent contamination in the first place, through the use of the proper feed (active bakers yeast), starting with a clean, mite free culture, and properly sealing a culture. I use .3 micron filters on my cultures to provide ventilation, while still providing a sealed environment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks ! Good info here, not what I was wanting to hear Lol, I was thinking Charcoal substrate wouldn't give them a food source and I could control / prevent them easier. I have read about them .3 micron filters here, I guess I need to get some.
Dan
 
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