Two methods of raising Sprintails, which is good/?

I

ian

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Hi,

So far, I have heard of two ways of doing it.
1) Peat moss
2) charcoal

I have been using Peat moss since I originally thought they look more similar to what a natural springtail will live in. But I know that peat moss is acidic. So if I just put some peat moss in the newt morphs tank, that might not be good.

I have tried to put them on water and spoon them out. But I dont want my tank to be all wet. Bad for the substrate.

So I think the peat moss idea is very difficult to collect.

So how about the charcoal? will it be less effective in breeding springtails?

Please advice. Thanks
 
J

jennifer

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I haven't tried charcoal. I used coconut fiber (bed-a-beast type stuff). It's less acidic than peat, but also more costly.
 

duncan

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Hi Ian,

I use Bed-a-Beast mixed with compost (50/50) with chunks of charcoal embedded in it, all in a disposable tupperware type container (no holes in the lid). I keep it very moist and sprinkle with fish food every few days. I have tons of springtails (which I mainly use to feed my dart frogs). When I want to collect some I just take out a chunk of the charcoal and either put it directly in the vivarium, or knock the springtails into the tank.

Hope this helps,
Duncan
 
R

russ

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I started mine on top soil. I originally fed the colony shredded paper for about four years so now the texture has changes quite a bit. The last couple of years I have supplemented their diet with Gerber rice cereal flakes. When I need to collect some I place a small clay pot bottom in the container with some cereal flakes on it. The clay bottoms work well because the flakes stick to it when you go to tap the springtails off.
 

justin

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I have used charcoal, dirt, peat, gravel, and leca (expanded clay pellets) all for cultures. The gravel and leca are the easiest to use since you can just flood them and use a spoon to collect the Collembola. At the Nat'l Aquarium in Baltimore they used a concrete even with texture in it for theirs-- same principle, you just flood it to collect them. I have fed both with tropical fish food as well as yeast.
j
 
I

ian

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according to Alan, it seems like charcoal is a nice way to go. Is this a good way to culture them with Charcoal? (I got it from a website)

"The alternative method of growing springtails uses a sealable plastic box filled with washed barbeque charcoal. Put a few centimetres of water in the bottom, add some springtails and feed with some sort of organic matter. Most people recommend using some sort of carbohydrate such as dried pasta, but I seem to have better luck with vegetable peelings, banana skins, etc. To harvest the springtails, pick up some pieces of charcoal and bang them together over a collecting container to knock the springtails off, or blow them off gently."
 
A

alan

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When they get going, you can just wash them off the charcoal as shown in the link above.
 
A

adam

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I use an approach similar to Alan's, except I place 2cms of microwaved compost on the base and keep it very soggy and then fill the container to the brim with wet large lumpwood charcoal (sycamore) pieces, when i need the springtails i generally bang them off the charcoal into the tank, for aquatics such as rearing young discoglossus, I drop them straight onto the surface of the water. All rearing setups for caudates are "seeded" 2 months before use to enable springtails to colonise the enclosure. Hope this helps.
 
I

ian

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Thanks, now I will try to work out a way that suitable to me. Thanks for the suggestion.

So how about the nutritional value of springtail? Any idea?
 

justin

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That is a question for Ed-- only he would know that off hand...
j
 
A

alan

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The nutritional value depends to some extent on what they have been fed. I keep mine with water containing 300ppm CaCo3 and feed ReadyBrek, which is supplemented to calcium, iron and vitamins. The species I keep on soil/compost I feed the same but also mix ground eggshells into the substrate to provide calcium.

There have been no published nutritional analyses of springtails, but by comparison with other soil arthropods, they would be expected to contain a relatively good Ca:p ratio compared with other insects if maintained as described above. Experience of raising lots of dartfrogs primarily on springtails without any MBD problems confirms this.
 
E

edward

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Hi Alan,

there has been at least one published analysis of springtails as part of the mineral content of soil arthropods but I have not been able to lay my hands on a copy of it yet. I'll have to track down the reference to see if you have any better luck.

The assumption is that if the springtails are kept on a calcium rich substrate (like soil) then they would have a favorable Ca:p ratio as there would be the uptake of the soil with and on the arthropod. Gutloading calcium to adjust Ca:p ratios is marginal at best in all invertebrates studied to date and typically does not significantly shift the Ca:p ratios unless the invertebrate is ingesting enough Ca to kill it.

As is seen in other herps, if the growth rate is slowed down then the risk of "MBD" is greatly reduced and may not manifest itself.

Ed
 
A

alan

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Found that reference yet Ed?


My dartfrogs start out on a diet primarily composed of springtails (exclusively in some cases) and tend to grow fast compared with caudate metamorphs, but no MBD problems, so I'm happy with my springtails at least.
 
E

edward

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I'll dig for it...

I know of some anecdotal reports of limb tremors in springtail raised froglets but I think they were in froglets that were fed springtails removed from the culture. I'm more inclined to set froglets up in small cultures and allow the froglet to feed in the culture so they can uptake the substrate with the springtails. Now the problem may not be the calcium in the springtail but the lack of D3 in the diet that allows them to uptake and metabolize the calcium....

Ed
 
E

edward

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Hi Alan,

The reference you want is
Reichle, D.E.; Shanks, M.H.; Sunde, M.L.; 1969, Calcium, potassium and sodium content of forest floor invertebrates; Ann Entomol Soc Am 62: 57
(at least this is where I was told that information could be found)
If you can get a copy I would also be interested in one..

Ed
 
A

alan

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Thanks Ed. I've just checked and I'm afraid I can't get hold of that article. Anyone else?
 

lilacdragon7

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I'm also doing research on how to get my own culture going. Leading me to my questions.

So I'm wondering what a good calcium rich substrate would be. I mean, I can start collecting my egg shells and fruit skins, but I don't necessarily have access to pesticide free soil near where I live or any other kind of non polluted soil. I use coconut fiber (Bed a Beast) in my terrarium; should I just mix it all together in a Tupperware; the coconut fiber and skins and shells?

Do the spingtails consume the charcoal? Does the charcoal hold any significant benefits when it comes to nutrition? If I put a piece of charcoal in the tank would that harm my newts?

One more, do sprintails help keep soil clean OR are they simply food?

Thanks, Sara.
 

berksmike

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I use orchid bark to raise mine on.
I then feed them peelings and porridge oats mixed with calcium/vit powder. All my vivs have orchid bark substartes and so I just tip out some of the orchid bark and springtails out and replace with more bark. Seems to work well.
 

SalSA

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Realize this is an old thread but since its still up.

I've been trying 2 different colonies, one with charcoal and one without. The one without is just coconut hulls and peat moss. I have noticed that the one with the charcoal seems to be doing better. Another benefit of the charcoal is the springtails sit on it a lot and it makes it easier to feed them out that way.

I've been feeding them a mix of high quality fish food mixed with bakers yeast. It seems to be working good. None of the animals I've fed them out to seem to be having any developmental issues.
 
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    The tank is still running, I am cycling it (for 2 weeks) with guppys
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    Probably too soon, I read it take 6-8 weeks to cycle
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    How can I upload a pic?
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    hey! Don’t blame it on yourself. It happens. Is this your first axie? I’m a newer owner as well if so (I’ve had mine since Oct). I know how scary it can be
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    He's my first yes...
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    if you have the API water test kit, check all the perimeters in the tank. We can check the cycling process with the perimeters. And I’m actually not sure how to upload a pic lololol I thought it would be easier but I tried it myself and now I’m confused! It says to attack a link, I’m not sure how that works
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    Dont beat yourself up over this, your little guy will be ok 😊
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    I will do that for sure this afternoon! I really hope he pulls through :( He's so freakin cute
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    Thanks for your help :)
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    You’re so welcome! Keep a close eye on him and try to offer food a couple times a day. Maybe try some pellets too for a different smell, might get him interested. Keep me updated!
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    Will do, thanks!
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    @Paige1warren, turns out my pH was spot on, the test strips I had used were no good. I bought an API kit and the levels are all fine. So not the issue :( I just posted in the forum
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    Hey @Josiane ! I just responded to your post. Your little guy actually looks fairly decent for his size despite not eating well. I think it is stress from the environment
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    Also I forgot to add to my response on ur thread, keep trying to feed him bloodworms and see if he will start to take them. If you get a turkey vaster you can suck up dethawed bloodworms and dangle them right infront of his nose, might get his interest.
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    I rotate between blood worms and brine shrimp. He's in my bedroom and will stay there for a while, I closed the light and just left a salt lamp on. I will bring him a hiding place right away! Isn't he the cutest thing! 😂
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    Thanks for the reassurance!!
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    @Josiane An axolotl of your's size should be on a diet of chopped earthworms or live blackworms (if they're under 3"). Bloodworms and brine shrimp are not a sufficient diet.
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    @Josiane Based on the photo, I believe there is a chance your axolotl may have become impacted from ingesting sand. Axolotls under 5" should not be kept on substrate for this reason.
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    @Josiane The nearly diminished gill stalks are also indicative of poor water quality. You need to test your tap water's parameters using a liquid test kit (not strips! Those are inaccurate). The slime coat coming off may also be due to water quality or the water conditioner.
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    Im not sure to b honest. Id think once dead they aren't good anymore. Also I think0
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    I'd avoid feeding dead earthworms.
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    Kk thank you I’ll just suck it up with cutting the worms :D
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