This is 10× zoom and about 4 inches away. The green spot is the size of a dime. These are Podura (mini blue) springtails. #springtails #podura #bluespringtail #bluespringtails #cleanupcrewofinstagram #bugslife #cleanupcrew #CUC #cucofinstagram #cuc #bugs #bugsofinstagram #bug #bugsbugsbugs #hexopod #hexopod #springtailsofinsta #springtailsofig #springtailsofinstagram #springtail #springtailsandisopods #springtailculture (at Norms Zoo) https://www.instagram.com/p/CLGVnldF6R8/?igshid=19ajnrtrxgcwa
I use all the same stuff for my isopods and springtails! I just give my springtails less food and not as much protein :•)
I’m also going to be making each box different depending on what it’s for, so I could 100% pick out the stuff I think would be best for springtails! You can also request to get or not get certain things :•)
Part 1 Part 2 the fantastic place I’m getting my springs from
I decided I want to go the mesh-over-holes route for air, so I found some very fine nylon mesh bags online and cut them up.
Then made a strip of paper that was smaller than the filter strips so I can outline the paper on the bins
I got a really cheap (~$6) soldering iron and used that to melt out the holes
And hot glued the mesh onto the inside, applying a strip of glue to the bin, put the mesh in it, then ran the tip of the glue gun over it to spread out the hot glue and encourage some of it into and on top of it
Roach Crossing, where I’m getting my jumpy boys from. Part 1 Part 3
I wanted the lids to have an airtight seal, so I'm making a gasket of sorts out of silicone.
First I washed the lids with plain soap and water, and then wiped where the silicone would be with an alcohol swab to be extra sure I got all the oil off. Then I coated the rim of the bin with Vaseline
So my gasket will stick to the lid and not the bin. Then I used 100% silicone caulk and lined the edge of the lid with it
Then dropped the lid onto the bin and just barely pressed down.
I then noticed a spot that didn't seal. So once this drys I'll go back in with a little more silicone and fill it in. Until then I just squeeze out a little bit of silicone and let it dry on the tip of the tube to keep it usable. I'll just pull the dry part off when I'm ready to use it again
I ordered a bunch of different springtails from Roach Crossing, including “damp grain springtails” Willowsia buski which I’m thinking could make a great springtail for arid/desert enclosures.
So I’m hoping to document how i’m keeping them to figure out the best ways of culturing them and to hopefully experiment if they’ll do well in a sandy desert setup (like bearded dragon type setup)
For the container I went with a 6 qt tote from Michael’s that has a little more height than most (7 inches deep instead of sterilite’s 5 inches). I’m thinking that with a deeper substrate, it will have a better gradient of humidity
I decided to use bark as the main portion of my substrate instead of charcoal or coir chips because bark absorbs much less water than coir chips, but probably provides an additional food source unlike charcoal.
I got the bark from fallen branches/trees from the woods. I soaked them in water then microwaved it in big batches. I don’t need to actually sterilize these, just kill any critters/eggs so a short 2 minute zap worked fine. Then let them cool overnight. I bet orchid bark would work fine too though
I also mixed in a little leaf litter and sand for variety plus lava rocks and perlite to increase air flow throughout
Once I had most of the substrate mixed into the bin I poured in a little yeast and sugar just to get a head start on the food. Then topped everything off to about halfway up the tote with just bark to make a very coarse layer that should always stay very dry.
I’m still working on what I’ll do for the lid. It’ll likely be mostly a fine mesh to allow really good air flow. but i’m debating on some details. I’ve conveniently got until next tuesday before the lovely fella at roach crossing ships my new jumpy boys so i’ve got time
Now that it's winter and the sun goes down in the early evening im able to catch the cleaning crew without the hassle of waiting midnight to get atleast a glimpse of them :')
They're still very shy and hate the light though
This one's called "nope"
(In the remote chance you're wondering, there's a lot of springtails crawling around because i gave dry cat food to the snails and let some to rot for the rollie pollies to feast on. Springtails are just bonus work force 🤷♀️
My gecko Weasley has his own crew of “House elves”... more commonly known as springtails (there should be some isopods in there too but I haven’t seen them in a month so I’m a little worried he’s eaten them) and they seem to enjoy having pool parties...
I put this bowl of water in the middle of the terrarium, partly as a spare water source but mostly just for decoration as they got a little “pond” in there. It also helps with humidity for the springtails since they nest underneath it most of the time... and other times they’re just IN the water...
All those little white dots on the rocks and in the water, those are the springtails.
Turns out it's hard to take pictures of creatures under a mm long with your phone camera.
Found an interesting little globular springtail in my houseplants and scrambled for my hand lens. Under magnification, surprise! Two little cute white spots on it. I love spring tails, my plants have a big population if the generic longish grey sort. First I've seen a funky one like this.
I've decided to try my hand at terrariums. This one is bioactive!
This is really a pre-run for what I want to do in the future with an actual aquarium (this is in one of those large glass jars people generally keep full of cookies and the likes).
I grabbed some springtails from my yard (yes, that's correct, I literally grabbed bugs from outside and brought them inside) as well as several patches of moss from around the property. I plopped them into this enclosure that's lined on the bottom with stone and clay balls (like for hydroponics), topped that with coco coir & soil, then laid the moss in there with some bark chips, dead leaves, and a cutting off my strawberry begonia, and tossed the springtails in.
If the strawberry begonia doesn't get murdered (by whatever microscopic bugs I may have collected with the springtails), I'll know I've done it right... I guess?
In a few days I'll be adding some ladybugs so it should be good either way, though they may eat the springtails (this is kinda the idea as I'm going to try to culture both bugs, and eventually soil mites and nematodes as well - so I'll end up with a bioactive terrarium full of benefitial insects).
Ok not TECHNICALLY abt moss but! The other day i realized there's some friends living in the terrarium!!!!!!! Little teeny tiny guys called springtails, and I think i saw some little mites too! They're decomposers and they probably came in with the moss/dirt, and they eat the dead plant matter like the leaves and bark i put in there!!!!!
They're called springtails bc they have a little appendage folded under them and when they extend it they BOING away to safety!!! Fun and practical!
Anyway I already infodumped to my friends abt this but I wanted to do it again bc i!!!!! Love!!!!! Them!!!!!! I keep looking in there like "hi friends how are you" and theyre like " " and I'm like :)