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  #1  
Unread 05-24-2010, 04:36 AM
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Default Raising Collembola Spring Tail cultures

My tutorial for raising the
Collembola spring tails
written on 2010.05.23 Sunday

Since I've ordered the spring tail cultures (Collembola) species a year ago. I raised my own cultures in which one of them did crash that is to be expected just as it is when raising fruit flues. The main difference is I found by experience is that you have to continue to feed them.

For preparing the media I use a 3 part mix of Sera Micron and Blue Media from Boreal I found this product to be a great food source for raising the spring tails they seem to not be particularly picky eaters I've heard of every thing from cereal to mushrooms on other forums being fed to (Collembola) spring tails.

When feeding the spring tail cultures you should keep the cultures well supplied with a 1/2 teaspoon of the suggested media. For about a period of 3 days or more you will notice the food supply in the cultures consumed rather quickly.

It took about a month or 2 to get where they are now.

Where you can obtain the ingredients in stores or online

Sera Micron (josh's frogs)
Blue Media (Boreal Science) a potato flake based media
Brewer's Yeast - In Vancouver and lower mainland Capers, Choices would sell it

My 1st Collembola media recipe is a 2:1 ratio

2 parts blue media (equivalent to a 1/3 of a cup).
1 part Sera micron (equivalent to a half a tea spoon).
Brewer's yeast is optional.

My 2nd experimental Collembola media recipe

2 parts corn meal
1 part brewer's yeast
1 part methylene blue (its used in Boreal media as a mold inhibitor to prevent mold developing)

Methylene blue is a food safe additive that should be available at almost every well stocked fish & reptile store, if not it can be ordered online.

If you have plenty of of live cultures made previously. You can reuse the remainder spring tails in the soil to "seed" the newly created culture. One can repeat this process for each culture needed.

After I mix the in the food media so there is some food in there when the feeding site (where most of the food is placed) runs out.

These critters do need their food supply so its important to keep them fed regularly.

The desired moisture level is about 98% RH humidity for the inside of each container. So unlike raising the drosophila melanogaster fruit flies you don't need aeration holes in the lids for them to breath they do just fine it seems in there. The desired temps for the tropical spring tails should be from 23 degree Celsius to 27 degree Celsius.

Unlike raising the drosophila melanogaster fruit flies you don't need to puncture aeration holes in the lids of the containers. In order for the spring tails to survive they seem to do well with out the aeration holes.

Keeping each culture moist is beneficial to the survival of each spring tail culture. Anything above the 24 degree Celsius or too cold temperatures would not be too good the spring tail cultures.

When the spring tails came alive and reproduced I noticed they look thing micro-filament hairs on the side of the container. Visible but very, very, very small.

The photos you see are the fully matured spring tails they do move very quick for their size.

Always a good idea to have mite paper around for raising these sorts of cultures.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 3. Collembola Sp Tropicals.jpg (69.2 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg 4. Collembola Sp Tropicals.jpg (96.6 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg 5. Collembola cultures.jpg (29.3 KB, 22 views)
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2 M/F D. auratus
5 8th clutch D. auratus froglets
10 D. auratus tadpoles
2 M/F D. azureus (pair)
2 F/F D. azureus (pair)

Last edited by GraemeG; 05-26-2010 at 08:36 AM.
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  #2  
Unread 05-25-2010, 02:00 PM
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Lessons learned I should have cleaned out the cupboard where I'm storing my cultures.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1. Update spring tail cutlures.jpg (28.6 KB, 13 views)
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2 M/F D. auratus
5 8th clutch D. auratus froglets
10 D. auratus tadpoles
2 M/F D. azureus (pair)
2 F/F D. azureus (pair)
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  #3  
Unread 05-26-2010, 06:53 AM
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To create the substrate for the spring tail culture I use mainly sterile top soil and I do microwave the top soil for at least 10 minutes to sterilize the top soil to make sure that other contaminants don't enter the culture when the spring tails are being introduced to the culture. If you have some of the cultures available from other sources or cultures you started before.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1. Collembola Sp culture prep.jpg (84.8 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 2. Collembola Sp culture prep.jpg (66.9 KB, 5 views)
__________________
2 M/F D. auratus
5 8th clutch D. auratus froglets
10 D. auratus tadpoles
2 M/F D. azureus (pair)
2 F/F D. azureus (pair)
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Unread 05-26-2010, 08:32 AM
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When seeding the new culture I simply removed some portions of the spring tail colonies and placed them close to the placed food supply. As you see the blue stuff that is the Boreal media & Sera micron mix in the center of the culture.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1. Collembola sp, new culture.jpg (70.3 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg 2. Collembola sp. new culture.jpg (31.0 KB, 5 views)
__________________
2 M/F D. auratus
5 8th clutch D. auratus froglets
10 D. auratus tadpoles
2 M/F D. azureus (pair)
2 F/F D. azureus (pair)

Last edited by GraemeG; 05-26-2010 at 08:37 AM.
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  #5  
Unread 06-17-2010, 01:21 PM
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Do you raise any other varieties of springtails? I have Tomocerus sp (temperate blacks), Collembola (trop whites) , and one Sinella sp. (trop. pinks). I just keep them in 6 qt. sterilites filled 4/5 to the top with lump charcoal (Cowboy brand is the usual recommendation), as well as a small patch with coco husk/fiber (I feed in this area, the coco fiber stays wet longer than the charcoal, so the fish flakes/yeast I feed mold over more quickly).

I'm just curious why you go through the extra effort with the substrate/feedings.
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Unread 06-17-2010, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tclipse View Post
Do you raise any other varieties of springtails? I have Tomocerus sp (temperate blacks), Collembola (trop whites) , and one Sinella sp. (trop. pinks). I just keep them in 6 qt. sterilites filled 4/5 to the top with lump charcoal (Cowboy brand is the usual recommendation), as well as a small patch with coco husk/fiber (I feed in this area, the coco fiber stays wet longer than the charcoal, so the fish flakes/yeast I feed mold over more quickly).

I'm just curious why you go through the extra effort with the substrate/feedings.
>>> Hi there

I wanted to make sure the extra effort was not in vein for my first experiments. Since these are my first attempts at spring tail cultures they are in their experimental stages. Prior too now I have not raised any spring tail culture. When I first got my dart frogs I started with drosophila melanogastor and hydiei two of the most common cultures. I went through this effort eliminating what I felt were unnecessary editions or potential contaminants that maybe found in these products.

Out of concern for the health of my frogs I avoid adding charcoal briquettes in use for BBQs they may cotnain petroleum or petroleum based products that are often added. For the sources of charcoal I will be experimenting with wood charcoal in my next cultures comparing to the substrate I'm currently using.

What I'm curious about is does the charcoal sweeten the soil for the spring tails? And how does the charcoal benefit the spring tails in the growth of the spring tail colonies?

Currently I mainly keep the white spring tails (colembulla) since at the time they were the only spring tail species available in my part of Canada. Hopefully more spring species of spring tails will be made available in the future .

Also since I'm using only 20cm by 20cm sandwitch containers with no areation holes. The humidity retention does not fluctuate inside these small containers so I'm not too conerned about the culture that I'm using at this moment . I will post some photos of their growth process. Since they started so far so so good.

Good luck with your spring tail cultures too you have a nice variety of spring tails there .

Regards
~ Graeme.
__________________
2 M/F D. auratus
5 8th clutch D. auratus froglets
10 D. auratus tadpoles
2 M/F D. azureus (pair)
2 F/F D. azureus (pair)

Last edited by GraemeG; 06-17-2010 at 08:07 PM. Reason: topic specific issues.
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  #7  
Unread 06-17-2010, 08:19 PM
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I do not use any soil at all in my cultures, the charcoal IS the substrate.. supposedly the springtails release a hormone that stops reproduction at a certain population density, and charcoal supposedly adsorbs this hormone to some extent. Like I said, I do use a small bit of coco husk/fiber on top as the feeding area, it stays very moist and helps the food to mold quicker (mold is actually encouraged with springtails, they feed on it and on other microorganisms present on it).

I feed 1-2 pieces of Blue Buffalo dog chow at a time (expensive stuff but I already have it for my Boxers), and supplement with fish flakes/yeast.. and repeat when the dog food piece is gone.

The surface area of charcoal is really good because of the cracks/holes in the charcoal... when soil gets wet it tends to compact and reduce living space for microfauna such as springtails.

Lastly, the "Lump" charcoal is not the usual BBQ type, it (Cowboy Brand at least) does not contain accelerants or other additives. I hope I answered some questions for you
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Unread 06-17-2010, 08:40 PM
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I use the charcoal method as well and found "lump" Charcoal, 100% charcoal without any additives, from WalMart. I just feed them bakers yeast and alternate with mushrooms, I think the mushrooms really help them bloom.
-Beth
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Unread 06-17-2010, 08:48 PM
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Mushrooms do work well. I grow them for this reason.

Michael
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Unread 06-17-2010, 08:59 PM
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I have a show box full of the white springs that was given to me last weekend. It is full of charcoal with 1 inch of water at the bottom. I was told he just feeds them fish flake or if you want shitake mushroom. I have no idea of the charcoal does something special or if its just cheap and easy to get a hold of. Either way it matters not to me, the box is just crawling with an astounding amount of springs so I'm going to go with what has been working so far. I'm sure if I change it I'll crash the culture or something.
My next step is delving them out into smaller ziploc containers with charcoal and water and seeing if I can get them to keep going. I'll leave some in the original box though, don't want to temp fate and kill them all!
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