Culturing Springtails

Springtails are very small insects which are a part of the Collembola group.  They can also be referred to as springs.  Today’s post will let you know how I culture springtails.  The easiest way if you do not have any current springtail culture is to start with a new culture from Glass Box Tropicals or NE Herp.  Mine came from Glass Box Tropicals. img_0204.jpg

Dump your new culture into a sterilite bin.  Add some organic rinsed charcoal to fill 2/3 of the container.

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Add water to around 1/2″.  The water will help keep up the humidity.  Make sure that the charcoal can still be seen and is not flooded as the springtails cannot swim so any areas that are only water will not be used.  Once complete sprinkle your food source on the top.  Many people use rice, flake fish food, brewers yeast or Glass Box Tropicals makes a springtail food.  I use rice.

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Please note this photo is older and shows flake fish food as the food.  I have switched from fish food to rice and eventually will switch to Brewer’s yeast to reduce the risk for a mite infestation.

 

I find the method that works best for my springtails is complete and total neglect.  I know that many people spend a couple minutes twice a week feeding and maintaining their cultures.  I like to check in every couple of months and add some more water and some more food.  These springtails will eat mold or anything on the charcoal/ food supply which is why they make very good tank janitors.

 

I also feed off of the cultures every other month or so to prevent from over producing.  If I have some small froglets I will feed off more often.  As I said earlier, springs cannot swim and therefore it is very easy to feed off of the culture.  You can just flood the culture and pour off the springs.  When I say “flood” the culture, I just mean add some extra water – you do not need to add much more.

 

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Ready to start your own culturing of springtails?

Head to Glass Box Tropicals to pick up some springtail food & head to NE Herp to order a starter springtail culture.

 

 

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