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Harvesting springtails from a redworm bin.

This is a discussion on Harvesting springtails from a redworm bin. within the Springtails (Collembolla), Firebrats, Silverfish, etc forums, part of the Food: Live, Frozen, Freeze-Dried, Pellets, etc category; I found a method to harvest springtails out of a redworm bin and thought I'd share it. With all these ...

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Old 18th May 2006   #1 (permalink)
joseph
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I found a method to harvest springtails out of a redworm bin and thought I'd share it. With all these morphs here and the redworm bin booming with springtails...

Get a soup strainer(a fishnet might work as well) and go to your redworm bin. Also get some kind of container big enough for the soupstrainer to go over. Dig around till you see a lot of springtails scurrying for cover. Grab up this and put it in the soup strainer above the container. Springtails should start falling through the holes. To get more of them out shake or tap the soupstrainer gently and blow from the top to scare them out. Seldom gets all of them but I managed to harvest quite a lot after a few handfuls.


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Old 18th May 2006   #2 (permalink)
jennifer
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That's an impressive yield of springtails. I don't think my worm bin has enough of them to do this.

We did a similar thing in school when we studied soil invertebrates. We put a strainer of soil over a cup, then put a bright hot lamp over it to make the invertebrates go down into the cup.



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Old 18th May 2006   #3 (permalink)
russ
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That's an awesome tip, much better than what I've been doing.

Thanks!



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Old 19th May 2006   #4 (permalink)
joseph
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Jenn: I've got springtails up to the point where you can find clumps of many dozens in certain areas and maybe ten or so harvested per handful everywhere else which appears almost devoid of springtails.

Russ: How do you feed the springtails out? I'm guessing you use them for the newly hatched plethodontids? I've been currently just throwing them into my setups assuming the morhps will nab them sooner or later. They pretty much all dissapear before the morphs can take much notice. I wonder if they might be more useful in a setup like bare bottom of with a wet paper towel. Are the morphs able find them in the soil? If might be nice to start up a booming springtail soil culture and then put the morphs into it to feed at leisure and in this case the density of springtails would be much higher.



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Old 19th May 2006   #5 (permalink)
russ
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Yes, I am using them for hatchling pleths and I also seed my adults' containers for a little waste management. For the hatchlings I place a small clay pot bottom with some soil in it in their container. the hatchlings are kept on Reptibark. The springtails prefer the soil over the bark so they say in and around it. The hatchlings soon learn to just set next to or on the soil and pick them off.



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Old 19th May 2006   #6 (permalink)
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I raise my springtails on shredded coconut and feed them yeast. I just put a pile of coconut and springtails in the corner of the tank with my juveniles.



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Old 24th May 2006   #7 (permalink)
joseph
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Russ: That is an great idea also! I gave something similar a shot and put some substrate and springtails into a milk bottle cap. They apparently stay around without much inclination of wandering off as I still see them after a day or so. I've seen some morphs looking at it so I'm guessing it is working.

Btw, a good place to check for springtails is under the wormbin(hopefully you laid something under there and had holes for drainage). What I suspect consists mainly of worm castings flows out and stays moist and goopy all the time. Lots of springtails collect there so you can move the worm bin and scoop this stuff up.

(Message edited by fishkeeper on May 24, 2006)



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