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Springtail viv population size ?
#1
So I have seeded my viv 3 times with spring cultures, and I lost my split cultures with heat at the end of summer. The viv is about 6 months now. I see no signs of them in there (frogs are relentlessly hunting them) and I know I need them in there to keep up on fungus growth and general janitorial services. The frogs are fed plenty of FF so I am not sure why they still go nuts on the springs.

That being said, how often should I be throwing in new springs to get a good sustainable community going ? I have 5" of good airy substrate, lots of leaf litter and the plants are offering plenty of bug hides too. My froglets are getting bigger now(almost double the size when I bought them) so I am hoping they will kind of ignore the springs eventually. Any Ideas, recommendations, or suggestions ? I am all ears.
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#2
Have you turned over some of the substrate to confirm a low density of springs in your viv? how many frogs and what is size of your viv? As your already aware, It is possible the frogs are putting heavy stress on your springtail population. One practice you could adopt is to regularly add small chucks of veggies to the vivs, such as carrot, mushroom, or whatever needs to be tossed from the fridge. I spread out the small chucks and lightly cover them with leaves. This encourages the micro fauna to spread out and give boosted food supply. It also allows the springs some safety to feed away from the surface. I add veggies maybe every other month. As for new springtails, I seed each viv approx twice a month, but generally for the purpose of thinning my cultures. The exception would be my Pumilio viv, which is seeded weekly. If I had young small froglets, i would prob seed every 3-5 days depending on # of animals.

Extra tip - I also will occasionally add a chuck of banana so FF's can lay eggs. Once maggots start accumulating, the frogs will sit around it like a vending machine. Maggots are a more nutrient rich than the morphed FF. As the feeding station decays, it also helps feed the springtails.
Scott - North Dallas
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#3
Some vivs are unsuitable to microfauna populations, due to soil type, lack of aeration, wetness, predation and a whole host of other things.

I would also not use the word "need". There are many many vivs and frogs in collections that do just fine without any sort of springtails or microfauna whatsoever.

You can reseed as often or as little as you like. It's really hard to tell what any given springtail seeding will do - population wise. I wouldn't stress over it.
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#4
I have a 20 gallon with 3 juvie cobalts, about 1.5", I haven't turned the substrate, but I used to see them right up against the glass. When these guys were smaller though they were constantly kicking around the substrate and feeding, so I am just guessing they wiped the population.

I'm getting more mold growth, which I expected to some extent, being in the northwest, but I suppose now we are into fall I should back off misting. When I saw more springs I had very little mold. I bottle mist and only once a day. The extra fungus seems to be affecting my plants, some of the leaves have a melted look and I am getting a web type fungus growing on the underside and down the stems. I thought it was spider mites, but I've seen those before on other plants, and there are none on my plants in the viv.

I did see a lot of springs for the first month, then I seeded with a big substrate culture (I made to increase my substrate, then turned it into a culture) and then a saw a lot more. Perhaps I will turn the soil and see if there are some in there. It may be too wet. I have no idea which is why I was asking if its something I need to keep up on or something that should sustain itself. Perhaps I will have to change something and try again.

I have noticed people seem to get different species of springs. Where do I get different species? Perhaps a different species would do better. I just want the micro fauna to eat plant waste/fungus. I don't need them for a staple food for these frogs, but the occasional snack is always welcome.
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#5
Best place for microfauna is local - frogger meets or Reptile Shows.

otherwise

mail order some as long as the weather is good - not too cold or hot.
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#6
Update, I turned a little of the substrate and discovered there are a bunch of springs in there also they were jumping around with i moved the leaf litter to get to the substrate. THAT'S why the frogs are always kicking around the leaf litter!?!? haha. So I guess since they can't be seen doesn't mean they aren't in there lol. Another question I have. Can I put Iso's in too or is there any problems having them and springs? I don't want bugs that start eating my other bugs.
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#7
Cool. The mystery is solved. Sometimes populations of any type of seeded bug take a long time to become established and visually apparent, and people get frustrated with the longer time period.

You can certainly introduce Isopods. Most people report that these two feeder insects have a good chance of maintaining coexisting populations. I've witnessed it in my vivs and even master cultures. I wouldn't stress over this either - "bug supremacy" or "survival of the bug-iest".
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#8
Sounds good, I just wasn't sure if one would feed on the other in the larval stage and I would be creating myself a problem. Even if not a predator most things in nature are opportunists and will eat something regardless of 'trend'. If others are doing it with no problems that's what i was curious about. Thanks again Phil =D
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