How To Culture Springtails


New England Herpetoculture LLC

Springtails (also known as “Springs” for short) are detritivores, which means that they receive their nutrition by ingesting detritus (decomposing plant/organic waste). As a result, they make for an excellent clean-up crew in a live vivarium. They are an essential component in vivarium construction, and they may be introduced into a habitat by simply pouring a culture onto the substrate layer of an already established habitat. Springs are incredibly little organisms, measuring only around 1/16″ in length (adult real size:), which makes them a suitable source of food for extremely small species such as dart froglet larvae.

The following article will assist you in understanding care, breeding, and other topics.

Introducing Springtails Into A Vivarium

Once Springtails have been placed into a correctly constructed enclosure, it is likely that they will not need to be re-introduced and will be able to support themselves for the duration of the vivarium’s existence. This procedure, which involves the introduction of new microfauna into an aquarium, is known as “seeding.” Springtails should be introduced to a live vivarium 3-5 weeks before the introduction of any other occupants, if possible. While it is permissible to include them at any moment, allowing them to become used to their new surroundings before introducing other occupants helps them to develop a pleasant, healthy, and functional community.

  • Due to the fact that our mixed media cultures are safe to put directly into your substrate before (or after) the vivarium is built, adding Springtails to your vivarium is simple and straightforward.
  • It is sufficient to just spread the culture ingredients into the substrate layer and cover it gently with leaf litter, moss, or other decorative elements.
  • The material we use to create our cultures is NEHERP Vivarium Substrate, which is specifically designed for long-term usage in a live vivarium environment.
  • Each of our Springtail cultures contains hundreds of Springtails and may often be divided into more than one enclosure provided a proper acclimatization period is followed.

If you have any questions, please contact us. A single culture can seed three or four small enclosures (up to 12″x12″), two or three medium enclosures (up to 18″x18″), or one large enclosure (up to 18″x18″).

Setting Up A Breeding Culture

Unless you intend to breed Springtails for use as feeders, you can skip the rest of this section. We recommend utilizing charcoal as a breeding substrate for Springtails rather than other types of mixed media. If cultures on mixed medium are not kept in a mite-resistant environment, our experience has shown that they have a significantly higher probability of eventually becoming infested with mites. A Springtail Breeder Culture (which is now available as a kit!) contains the following ingredients.

  1. Adding approximately 1/4-1/2″ of water to the bottom will keep things humid and stimulate breeding.
  2. The following options are available for importing Springtails from a smaller culture: either drop the entire little culture into the new one, or add water to the small culture (which will cause Springtails to float) and pour them out into the new culture (see image below).
  3. Simply sprinkle some yeast onto a piece of charcoal or tree fern fiber, moisten it, and place it on top of the substrate in your springtail culture overnight to start the fermentation process.
  4. Repeat the process the next day until you have enough springs to start the culture.
  5. (Try to start with 50-100 springs, and if feasible, add even more!)

What about Shipping Charcoal Cultures?

We stopped exporting charcoal cultures in 2013 due to a lack of demand. On request, charcoal cultures can be made available to individuals who are willing to take on the significant shipping risk and who are hoping to create a breeding culture in a short period of time. Springtails frequently die in transit owing to the movement of the charcoal, which causes a considerable majority of them (90 percent or more) to perish. In a recent revision of this page, we explained how the mixed media cultures (which are less hazardous to export) may also be used to seed a new charcoal breeding culture.

Feeding Springtails

For food, we recommend only one thing: brewers yeast that is 100 percent pure. Pour in some dechlorinated water and spritz it with a very small sprinkle of brewer’s yeast once every 2-4 days (or less frequently if there is still yeast visible) and you’re done! This food source is affordable, simple to prepare, and the Springtails eat it in large quantities. The yeast will be totally consumed over the course of the following few days. When it’s gone, just replenish the supply. It shouldn’t take long for young Springtails to begin to develop, and before you know it, you’ll have an established and successful culture.

Avoid overfeeding with yeast.

Despite the fact that mites are an annoyance that can ultimately overwhelm and outcompete the springs in a culture, they are not a source of concern or harm to the occupants of your vivarium or pets.

In your culture, if you notice spherical, slow-moving bugs, it is most probable that you are dealing with mites. The most important thing to remember is that once mites have entered the house, they cannot be removed!

Pulling From a Springtail Culture

Mixed Media and Multimedia Cultures (What we sell) If you want to create a mixed media culture, simply drop some of the media into the vivarium with the Springs accompanying you on your journey. It’s as simple as pie. Cultures of Charcoal (If you’ve adapted our cultures to create your own) In order to eradicate Springtails from their charcoal breeding culture, there are two options available to the farmer. It is simplest to merely take a larger piece of charcoal with springs on it and shake them off into the vivarium, which is the most effective method.

(Springtails float on the surface of water!) Tip the culture to one side and drain out the water that will contain dozens (perhaps hundreds!) of Springtails floating on top of the water.


Springtail cultures that have just begun to produce should not be depended upon as a feeder supply, similar to how fly cultures should not be relied upon. It is necessary to employ fresh cultures in order to establish breeder cultures or seed vivariums. If you intend to use Springtails as a feeder source, it is critical that you prepare ahead of time by creating your own breeding cultures from which to harvest. Producing cultures cannot be sent without causing significant damage to the colony, so plan on waiting at least a month for your Springtail population to become large enough to be used as feeders before shipping.

  1. If you remove an excessive number of eggs, it may take many weeks for your breeding culture to recover to its previous level.
  2. If at all possible, maintain your Springtail culture on mite paper or on paper towels sprayed with mite spray to prevent it from becoming contaminated.
  3. Observing mold in the environment?
  4. When yeast is exposed to moisture, it rapidly molds over, providing an ideal food source for these waste-eating detritivores.
  5. Consider purchasing your first cultures from a trusted source!
  6. Well.
  7. Temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal.

Temperatures greater than 80 degrees Fahrenheit have been shown to inhibit the reproduction of our Springtails.

Direct sunshine may quickly overheat a culture, whereas full darkness results in a slower rate of development.

If you have a charcoal culture, take a lump of charcoal that is teeming with springs and shake it into a deli cup to remove the springs.

Springtails that are healthy and multivitamin-dusted are now available for your frogs to consume!

A culture that is too dry will not produce nearly as well as one that has the proper quantity of waterhumidity in the air.

A colony can be killed if it is entirely dried out.

Certain species (pink Springtails, for example) reproduce more quickly on mixed medium, however the vast majority of Springtail species with which we have worked reproduce best on charcoal.

Congratulations on selecting NEHERP as your Springtail information source supplier! Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries concerning the information included in this article. We’re more than delighted to assist you!

Microfauna: Springtails

Springtail cultures that have just begun to produce should not be relied on as a feeder supply, similar to how fly cultures should not be relied on when first starting off. Vivariums are seeded with fresh cultures in order to establish breeder cultures. If you intend to use Springtails as a feeder source, it is critical that you prepare ahead of time by creating your own breeding cultures from which to draw. Producing cultures cannot be sent without causing significant damage to the colony, so plan on waiting at least a month for your Springtail population to grow large enough to serve as feeders before shipping them.

  1. A large number of pulls might cause your breeding culture to fall behind by weeks if you have a large number pulled.
  2. If at all possible, maintain your Springtail culture on mite paper or on paper towels wet with mite spray to prevent it from being contaminated.
  3. Do you see mold in the environment?
  4. When yeast is exposed to moisture, it rapidly molds over, providing an ideal feeding environment for these waste-eating detritivores to flourish.
  5. Choose a trusted source for your first cultures.
  6. Well.
  7. Temperatures should be between 65F and 80F in the ideal situation, however Extreme temperatures are not a problem for springs, but temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit are best.

As far as we’ve found, ambient lighting is the best.

Got an itty-bitty dart froglet that might use a snack of Springtails?

Repashy calcium plus should be sprinkled into the cup and given a brief shake.

Maintain the humidity of the culture.

A small amount of water at the base of a culture, as well as 2-3 times weekly misting, may make a significant impact in the growth of your culture.

It’s important to remember that this essay was developed specifically for the most common (and, in our opinion, optimal for vivarium use) temperate Springtails.

Congratulations on selecting NEHERP as your Springtail information source provider! Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries concerning the information in this post. Let us know if we may be of assistance!

Housing Springtails

Springtails are most typically kept in plastic shoebox-sized containers outside of the vivarium, however they can be kept in a variety of containers depending on their size. One of the most important steps is to choose a container that is not entirely airtight, enabling the culture to a little “breathing room.” In order to grow springtails, the bottom of the culture should include 3-4 inches of charcoal and 1 inch of purified, reverse osmosis, or dechlorinated water at the bottom. There are numerous various possibilities for springtail substrate, with charcoal, coconut fiber, and other natural materials being the most popular.

A layer of charcoal is placed in the container at a depth of 3-4 inches after being rinsed to eliminate dust.

Feeding Springtails

Opinions on what to feed your springtails are as diverse as those on what to use for bedding. Spring to Life Springtail Food is the only type of springtail food that we use at Joshs Frogs. Dart frog keepers have had success with a variety of ingredients, including mushrooms (both fresh and dried), fish food, vegetable leftovers, and dog food. As a result of my research, I’ve discovered that grain-based meals (such as dog food and bread) tend to attract mites, which eventually take over the culture and lead it to collapse.

Springtails will not directly consume the food that you are providing for the culture, but they will feast on the mold that develops on it in the process.

Spring to Life causes the mold to produce a low-growing mat, which allows us to go many weeks between feedings before it has to be replaced.

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Adding Springtails to the Vivarium

One of the advantages of employing charcoal as a springtail culture substrate is that springtails may be removed from the culture with relative ease. In contrast to springtails, saturated charcoal has a tendency to float. Add more distilled, dechlorinated, or reverse osmosis water to the springtail culture, and then just dump the springtails directly into the vivarium when they have been rehydrated. Just that easy, and it’s a whole lot less bother than other techniques. Once established in the vivarium, target feeding springtails can contribute to the maintenance of a healthy and robust colony.

Given their tiny size, springtails do not break the surface tension of water and consequently float, making it simple to pour springtails out of a culture that contains charcoal as the medium.


Springtails (Collembola), while not absolutely required for properly maintaining dart frogs, do make appropriate husbandry a lot simpler to accomplish.

They serve an essential role in the home vivaria, primarily as nutrient cyclers and as a source of supplementary food for the inhabitants. They are easy to maintain and cultivate in the house. Take a look at this video on how to culture springtails:

Culturing Springtails

Springtails are extremely tiny insects that are a member of the Collembola genus of insects. They are also referred to as springs in some circles. In today’s article, I’ll show you how I cultivate springtails in my laboratory. If you do not already have a springtail culture, starting from scratch with a fresh culture from Glass Box Tropicals or NE Herp is the most straightforward method. Glass Box Tropicals was the source of mine. Fill a sterile bin with water and dump in your newly acquired culture.

  1. Fill the container with water until it is about 1/2 inch deep.
  2. Make certain that the charcoal can still be seen and that the area is not flooded, since springtails are unable to swim and will not be able to utilize any locations that are solely covered in water.
  3. Many people use rice, flake fish food, brewers yeast, or springtail food, which is available at Glass Box Tropicals.
  4. Please keep in mind that this photo is from a previous year and that the food shown is flake fish food.
  5. Complete and absolute neglect, I’ve discovered, is the most effective approach for raising springtails.
  6. I like to check in on it every couple of months and add some additional water and food if it’s looking dry.
  7. It is also necessary for me to feed off of the cultures every two months or so to avoid overproduction.
  8. As previously said, springs are unable to swim, which makes it very simple for them to feed off of the culture.
  9. When I say “flood” the culture, I am just referring to the addition of little additional water — you will not need to add much more.
  10. Go toGlass Box Tropicals to pick up some springtail food, and then go to NE Herp to place an order for a beginning springtail culture.

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In the forest floor, springtails (Collembola sp.) are an ancient genus of hexapods that spend their lives mostly in the leaf litter and decaying organic matter. Aside from that, they are one of the most often utilized members of a cleanup crew in a bioactive terrarium or vivarium, as seen by their widespread employment. Within the vivarium, they perform their principal job by decomposing waste materials such as animal excrement, fungus, leaf litter, and other decaying stuff. As a result, their own frass (feces) decomposes even more, increasing the availability of nutrients to the plants’ root systems as a result.

Preparing and growing springtails is a straightforward process that requires no expertise.

You should be able to use a renewable supply of fuel for your enclosures after purchasing your first starting culture, provided that it is properly maintained after purchase. The following resources will be required to get you started:

  • Springtail Food
  • Jungle Jewel ExoticsSpringtail Culture
  • Jungle Jewel ExoticsSpringtail Food
  • Jungle Jewel Exotics Biochar (also known as charcoal)
  • An airtight plastic container of some sort (16-32oz deli containers work well)
  • And Bottled or RO water (at a bare minimum, dechlorinated tap water is OK)
Setting Up A Springtail Culture On Charcoal Is Easy

Following the acquisition of the necessary supplies, begin by washing your Biochar (in dechlorinated tap water) to eliminate any fine dust from the material. Then fill your plastic container halfway to three-quarters of the way with the clean, moist biochar you collected before. Biochar is an incredibly porous medium that will offer your springtails with a large amount of surface area while also facilitating breeding. Now that the media has been placed in the cup, fill the cup with bottled or RO water until it completely covers the surface of the media and set aside.

In order for water to penetrate into the pores of your media and prevent your culture from drying out, it is necessary to soak your media.

This keeps the media from drying up and turning your new invertebrate pals into crisps even more.

Repeat this process once a week or as needed.

Adding New Springtails To Your Culture Or A Vivarium

Starting with the Biochar, rinse it (with dechlorinated tap water) to eliminate any fine dust once you have obtained all of the necessary materials. Then fill the plastic container halfway to three-quarters of the way with the clean, moist mix you made before. This very porous material will offer your springtails with a large amount of surface area, allowing them to reproduce more effectively. As soon as the media has been placed in the cup, fill it halfway with bottled or RO water, just enough to cover it.

In order for water to penetrate into the pores of your media and prevent your culture from drying out, it is necessary to soak the media.

This keeps the media from drying up and converting your new invertebrate pals into crisps even more effectively.

Whenever necessary, replenish any evaporated water.

Some Quick Tips About Springtail Culturing

From my own personal experience, I’ve found it to be useful to completely flood an established springtail culture every now and again. Any extra waste material and nutrient buildup will be flushed out as a result of this. The following step is not essential if you are actively feeding your springtails into a vivarium or utilizing them to feed little froglets. It is important not to overfeed your springtail culture, as this might cause the water to foul up or emit an off-gas, which can kill your Springtails.

Jungle Jewel Exotics


How to Culture Springtails

Springtails (Sinella curviseta) floating on the surface of the water are a common sight. Springtails are tiny invertebrates that provide excellent live food for young surface-feeding fish and amphibians, such as recently metamorphosed froglets, that are just beginning to develop. Springtails are also a fantastic cleanup crew for a wide range of reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates, including geckos, dart frogs, and millipedes, among other creatures. Here’s how to grow your own springtails from scratch.

First and foremost, you will require a beginning culture. Springtails are likely to be available from any firm that provides dart frog supplies and/or dart frogs. Some aquarium hobbyists, particularly those who raise killifish, will also have them. Of course, you may always get in touch with me.

Supplies for a Springtail Culture:

Water surface populated by springtails (Sinella curviseta). Springtails are tiny invertebrates that provide excellent live food for young surface-feeding fish and amphibians, such as recently metamorphosed froglets, that are just starting to develop. Springtails are also useful as a cleanup crew for a wide range of reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates, including geckos, dart frogs, and millipedes, among other creatures. The following instructions will teach you how to culture your own springtails.

Springtails are likely to be available from any shop that offers dart frog supplies or dart frogs.

It goes without saying that you may always contact me.

Feeding the Springtails

Apply a tiny amount of food all over the top layer of charcoal, using the shaker, to ensure a uniform distribution. Springtails enjoy wet food, so lightly mist the meal with pure water before serving. Springtails love having food accessible at all times, and they will produce much more abundantly if they are fed on a regular basis. Each day, I feed my springtails once or twice a day, spraying them after each feeding. By the time it is time to feed them again, the food is generally gone or virtually gone.

Harvesting Springtails

There are a variety of methods for harvesting springtails, but the quickest and most straightforward is to take up a few of the large, flat pieces of charcoal on the top layer of the culture container and tap them together over a ready collecting container (see illustration). After that, the procedure can be repeated with other pieces of charcoal, which are then returned to the culture. It’s just that simple!

Maintaining a Springtail Culture

With the exception of periodic feeding and misting, springtail cultures require relatively little upkeep. Make sure there is around an inch of water at the bottom of the culture at all times, and open the culture once or twice a day to allow for gas exchange to occur. A culture that is maintained in this manner can persist for years without the need for any extra care or attention. However, I do recommend that you maintain multiple culture containers running at all times in case one of your cultures starts to deteriorate for no apparent reason.

Run everything through the dishwasher to eliminate any bugs that may be present, then thoroughly rinse everything to remove any signs of detergent.

In order to serve as a fast reference, As a point of comparison, Here’s a video instruction on how to culture springtails that I made.

In other words, if you click on that affiliate link and make a purchase, I receive a tiny fee at no additional cost to you.

Care Sheet: Springtails (Collembolla)

Springtail, Temperate Springtail are some of the common names for this species (hobby use) Species name:Collembolla subclass (scientific name) Size: around 1mm in length Lifespan: Extremely variable, ranging from a few weeks to several years. Diet: Detritivore; decaying plants, bacteria, pollen, and fungi are all sources of nutrition. Appearance: Tiny, white and grey rice grains in a spherical shape. It is sometimes difficult to see. In the hobby, it may be used as a feeder insect for very little fish and insects, as well as a clean-up crew for enclosures.

  1. Maintain a temperature consistent with the surrounding environment; avoid direct sun exposure.
  2. One inch or more of charcoal (activated, horticultural, or barbecue briquettes are OK; avoid processed briquettes) and slightly less than one inch of distilled water are required for the substrate.
  3. The lid should be taken from the tub on a regular basis to allow for proper oxygen and CO2 exchange.
  4. Warm-blooded springtails, which are commonly employed in the hobby, are completely nontoxic and are suitable for any wet bioactive setup that includes animals, including as frogs, reptiles, and even ant enclosures.
  • Springtail, Temperate Springtail are some of the more common names for this species (hobby use) the subgroup of Collembolla is named after the scientific name Approximate length:1mm Duration: Extremely variable, ranging from one week to several years in certain instances. A detritivore’s diet consists of decaying plant matter, bacteria, pollen, and fungus. Diet: Miniature white and grey grains that resemble microscopic rice grains can be seen in their natural environment. Some people have difficulty seeing. In the hobby, it may be used as a feeder insect for very little fish and insects, as well as a clean-up crew for enclosures and tanks. 1-5L tub, depending on personal needs, with a fully covering lid—no need for ventilation, is our recommendation. Temperature: Room temperature
  • Do not expose to direct sunlight. Description: Heat should be avoided at all costs, as severe temperatures can be fatal. One inch or more of charcoal (activated, horticultural, or barbecue briquettes are OK
  • Avoid processed briquettes) and slightly less than one inch of distilled water is required for the substrate. A colony requires little to no upkeep after it has gotten off to a good start. The lid should be lifted from the tub on a regular basis to allow for adequate oxygen and CO2 exchange. In order to promote the population of springtails to flourish, the tankmates in a springtail culture should only be springtails. Warm-blooded springtails, which are commonly employed in the hobby, are completely nontoxic and are suitable for any wet bioactive setting that contains creatures, such as amphibians, reptiles, or even ant enclosures. To feed springtails, there are two common methods:

Occasionally, some individuals may give their springtails fish food/flakes, however this is strongly discouraged because fish food/flakes are significantly more likely to attract mites than rice or yeast. These mites have the potential to outcompete the springtails. In order to collect springtails for usage, there are two techniques to choose from:

  • Picking up a piece of charcoal that has a large number of springtails crawling on it is one method of transferring springtails
  • Another method involves flooding the culture with extra distilled water to a certain extent. Springtails are hydrophobic, which means they will float on the surface of the water. It is possible to pour off this water directly into the intended location for springtails, or it is possible to harvest the springtails directly with a pipette/turkey baster/plastic syringe

Springtails should be handled with care since they are exceedingly easy to crush. Springtails are small hexapods that are not considered real insects by the scientific community. Springtails are found in all soil-based, vegetated ecosystems on the planet, and there are over 3,600 different species. Temperate springtails, which are often employed in the hobby, are detritovores, which means that they primarily aid in the breakdown of organic matter by consuming fungus. The furcula, which is a tail-like appendage that may be seen on the majority of springtail species, is the source of the term springtail.

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When it comes to residences, temperate springtails may be a nuisance in areas where there is a lot of moisture, such as bathrooms or kitchens.

Springtails may reproduce in large numbers under optimum conditions, however it may take many weeks before a notable population increase can be observed in a newly established culture.

Temperature will have an effect on the rate of reproduction and development, with growth being the slowest at the coldest temperatures. Reproduction can take place either sexually or by parthenogenetic means (where the female produces young without a male, usually clones).

  1. Following a successful mating with a male, or in the event that the female successfully produces kids on her own, she will lay up to 400 eggs throughout her lifetime. The eggs hatch into smaller versions of the adults after around 10 days. There is no parental supervision, so they immediately begin foraging. When they are young, springtails go through three moults over the period of ten days before they reach the maturity of adulthood. Springtails will continue to moult throughout their lives, with reproduction happening between moults in female adult springtails. After reaching maturity, the rate of growth in height and weight decreases dramatically.

Handy Tip: When you start a new culture, it will take around two weeks before you observe a significant increase in population. When you turn over a piece of charcoal, you may notice that they are all grouped together on the underside like small white specks. Aside from that, placing some food down and checking back in a few days will allow the springtails to concentrate in an area where they will be easy to spot.

How To Make a Springtail Culture (Terraria Clean Up Crew!)

How to Grow a Springtail Culture (with the help of the Terraria Clean Up Crew!)

If you’re not using springtails for your terraria and plants, you’re missing out, big-time! Watch and learn:D

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In this video:

  • Springtails (what they are, what they do, and what they can do for you): the fundamentals
  • Detailed information on the many parts of culture
  • Follow along with me as I create a culture in this step-by-step lesson.

First, I’ll give you some basic information on springtails in case you’re unfamiliar with them, and then we’ll get straight into the tutorial.

What are springtails?

Springtails, sometimes known as “Springs,” are microscopic organisms belonging to the genus Collembola that were previously classed as insects, but are now categorized as hexapods, according to the International Union of Naturalists. There are several distinct species that vary in size, appearance, and habitat, but in general, they are approximately 1/8″ long or smaller and dwell in moist and humid circumstances with decomposing waste, and they are found in the southeastern United States. In practically every part of the planet, they may be found.

What are the benefits of springtails?

  • When they burrow into the substrate they help to aerate it, which in turn may promote healthier plant growth
  • And in my opinion, they add interest and can be entertaining to watch along with one of my other favorite microfauna, the Dwarf White Isopod (Trichorhina tomentosa), which is another of my favorite microfauna to observe.

How to make a springtail culture

Springtails are quite simple to care for. In my plant collection and terraria, I have a variety of various species that have taken up residence. The ones I’ll be using for this article are a huge, white, temperate kind that may be found in great numbers. My favorite thing about them is that they multiply really quickly, and because of their increased size, they can consume more decomposing debris, which helps to minimize mold outbreaks.


They are quite simple to care for. In my plant collection and terraria, I have a variety of various species that I care for. It is a huge, white, temperate species, and that is what I will be utilizing for this guide. My favorite thing about them is that they multiply really quickly and that their increased size allows them to consume more decomposing debris, which helps to prevent mold epidemics from occurring.

  • It must be watertight, which means glass or plastic are excellent
  • It must also have a tightly fitting cover in order to keep the humidity contained. I like containers with screw-on lids so that if you accidentally knock over the culture, it won’t leak out
  • It needs to be large enough to accommodate vast numbers of springs since they reproduce really quickly
  • And it needs to be tall enough so that they don’t leap out when you open it. If you’re going to use deli containers, steer clear of the shorter, smaller ones and opt for the taller types or another type of container

TAP Plastics provided me with the containers I’m now using. I believe that these are the ideal container for springtail cultures to be grown.

  • They are made of crystal transparent plastic, allowing you to see everything in the culture with ease
  • They are rather solid, so they do not buckle or bend when you pick them up
  • And they are lightweight. Despite the fact that the cylindrical form has more space, the square model has a thinner side with grip, making it easier to pick up. as well as the fact that the lids screw on, providing additional security, as previously indicated


Among the many different types of materials available, charcoal is by far the most effective. The advantages of charcoal are as follows:

  • Among the many different types of materials available, charcoal is by far the most effective. Charcoal has a number of advantages.

It is possible to get horticultural charcoal from home improvement stores, garden shops, and vivarium supply companies, which is what I use.


The water will be kept in the container to preserve humidity, and a technique of spreading springtails into your terraria will be provided by this approach.

It is preferable to use distilled water since it does not include any chemicals or minerals that might cause issues in the culture.


Most of the food I feed my springtails is vegetables such as zucchini and squash, with a few freeze-dried blood worms thrown in for good measure, and occasionally specialist meals such as Repashy Bug Burger.

  1. You may rinse the charcoal if you wish, but it isn’t absolutely required. Fill the container with charcoal until it reaches the required depth. I’d say 3 or 4 inches would be appropriate. The more the volume of charcoal used, the greater the population that can be supported
  2. However, be sure to select a container that is tall enough so that the substrate is not too close to the top, or the springtails will leap out when the lid is removed. Fill the container with distilled water to a depth of approximately 13 or 12 times the depth of the substrate
  3. Springtails from your beginning culture should be added. a modest amount of food should be added Close the jar with the lid
  4. Place the culture in a reasonably dark place, away from direct sunlight and harsh temperatures, and let it to develop.
  • Initially, less food will be needed since there will be a smaller population to consume the food while the culture is still in its early stages. You may increase the amount of food you give them at each feeding after they’ve reproduced a little and their numbers have exploded. It is best not to add more food until the current food supply has been depleted
  • I would recommend having at least two, ideally three or more cultures to ensure that you always have enough springs for your terraria and plants to draw from. In addition to providing you with a sizable population, it will also function as an insurance policy in the event that one of the cultures perishes for any cause
  • It is possible to utilize springs from one culture while the other cultures grow in population, then remove the springs from that culture from circulation and begin utilizing springs from one of the others. This is possible when there are many civilizations. This will ensure that you have the least possible influence on the cultures at any given time. Pour some water out of the culture into the plant container when you wish to add some springtails to your terrariums or plant bins, and the springtails will float to the surface of the water. Replace the water that has been lost after a few tiny pours or after one huge pour

Again, I am the inventor and founder of Another World Terraria, and I am a self-professed miniature-plant and bryophyte junkie, as well as a photographer and an enthusiast for DIY. In the areas of rare micro plants and creative nature displays, I aim to educate and inspire my audience. You may find fascinating films on plants and terraria on my YouTube channel, which you can subscribe to.


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Easy Springtail Breeding: I Never Buy Them Again

White springtails (Collembola sp.) are beneficial insects that may be used to supplement the diet of tiny insectivores such as frogs, fish, geckos, and other small insectivores, among others. Springtails are not only an excellent food source, but they are also excellent cleaners, and they may serve as the janitors of your terrarium, vivarium, or paludarium, among other things. Unlike other insects, springtails are detritivores, which means they solely feed on decaying organic matter such as fungus and bacteria.

After learning this breeding procedure, you will never need to purchase springtails again, and you will continue to have this valuable bug available from your own culture for many years to come.

All you need is charcoal, water, food, and of course the springtails to complete the task successfully.

It is simple and quick to culture springtails on charcoal (Photo by TruBlu Supply)

Setting up a breeding culture in 3 easy steps

Although there are a variety of methods for cultivating and breeding springtails for use as feeder insects or to create bioactive settings for your aquarium, this specific approach is simple, inexpensive, and quick. You may get your own springtail culture up and running in three simple steps.

Step 1 — Find a suitable container

First and foremost, you must locate a container of appropriate size. For springtail breeding, Sterilite containers, deli cups, and plastic jars with screw-on lids are all ideal containers to use.

Sterilite containers or low large base deli cups with a minimum capacity of 6 litres (about 6 Quarts) are my preferred containers. It is critical that the container comes with a cover that can be closed firmly; otherwise, the springtails will be able to escape from their container.

Step 2 — Fill up half the container with charcoal and add water

The next step is to include the medium that will be used to breed the springtails. This is accomplished by the use of charcoal. You may also use potting soil, coconut fiber, or peat moss as growing media; but, harvesting your springtails will be more challenging with these options. It is especially important to dig them out if you wish to transfer them to a second breeding container later on. Springtails may be transferred considerably more easily when using charcoal. Springtails may be bred on a variety of different types of charcoal, including the following:

  • Lump wood charcoal is, in my view, the greatest type of charcoal to utilize. It is simple and inexpensive to purchase, and you may obtain big amounts of it. Yes, that is the charcoal that can be found in the BBQ department of the store. Sometimes it comes in enormous lumps, and in that case you’ll need to cut it into smaller pieces to work with it. Horticultural charcoal – This sort of charcoal works really well, and it is of great quality, but it comes at a significant cost, since it is a premium product. So the decision is entirely up to you. Also known as activated carbon, activated charcoal is a kind of charcoal with a high carbon content. This style is effective, however the bits are rather tiny. Despite the fact that there is nothing wrong with it, I am not a fan of it because of the price and the fact that it does not provide any additional benefits above basic lump wood charcoal. Smoked charcoal from a campfire—You may also utilize the charcoal from a bonfire. In order to start the fire without the use of a catalyst, it is necessary to clean the charcoal and rinse it with water before starting with the charcoal (like lightning fluid). Also, keep in mind that you won’t receive many excellent bits of charcoal from a campfire, so don’t expect to obtain a lot of it from one
  • Never use charcoal briquets—Never use charcoal briquets for grilling or smoking. It is not recommended to use these parts in the breeding of springtails.
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Half of the container should be filled with the charcoal of your choice. After that, add around 1cm to 2.5cm (12″-1′′) of water to the mixture. When it comes to water, it’s important that it’s chlorine-free, so if you’re not sure about your tap water, use demineralized or bottle water instead.

Step 3 — Place springtails in this setup and wait

It is now time to include the springtails into the mix. If you need to order your first springtails, the temperature white springtails are the best choice. You may have them printed on charcoal or a mixture of materials. When shipping a charcoal culture, several people have reported seeing an increase in springtail fatalities. When they are on charcoal, on the other hand, it is much easy to put them into your breeding arrangement (and you have to order them once if all goes well). This springtail culture may either be placed into your setup or filled with water, allowing the springtails to float to the surface and be poured into your setup as needed.

Wet the piece of charcoal or tree fern and sprinkle it with yeast powder to make it more palatable.

Repeat the method until you have moved the majority of the springtails.

More springtails, on the other hand, will accelerate the time it takes for your culture to be ready for harvest.

How to care for your springtail culture

It is now necessary to include the springtails into the mix. The temperature white springtails are the best option if you’re ordering your first batch of springtails. Depending on your preference, you may have them printed on charcoal or mixed substrates. When shipping a charcoal culture, some people have reported higher springtail mortality. It is much easier to put them into your breeding setup when they are on charcoal, though (and you have to order them once if all goes well). This springtail culture may either be placed into your setup or filled with water, allowing the springtails to float to the surface and be poured into your setup.

Sprinkle yeast powder over the piece of charcoal or tree fern once it has been moistened.

Repeat the procedure until you have transplanted the majority of the springtails.

Springtails are a beneficial addition to your culture since they will help it mature more quickly. Finally, it’s time to take care of them and see if they will reproduce.

Harvesting from a springtail culture: 4 easy methods

However, after you have a sufficient number of springtails in your breeding culture, you will need to harvest them from your breeding culture. Harvesting is carried out for three primary reasons:

  1. To be used in conjunction with animals that eat them
  2. Making a bioactive setup in an enclosure is the goal. For the reasons stated above, it is necessary to seed a second culture in order to breed with them.

It is recommended to keep at least two cultures on hand at all times. This manner, you may utilize one culture as a foundation culture and the other as a feeder culture (or for another reason), or you can rotate between the two cultures as needed. By doing so, you will always have a “back-up” population of springtails that will reproduce while the main population is being established. Also, always try to leave a few springtails in the container so that it is simple to breed with them again when the need arises.

It is entirely up to you which approach to employ.

Method1 — Water pouring

The first approach, which is referred to as water pouring, is one of the most straightforward. You will need to add extra water to the springtail container in order for the springtails to begin floating on the surface of the liquid. Afterwards, you begin to pour water into your container, and the springtails will float to the surface. This approach is useful for planting a second culture or for adding springtails to the enclosure since it is quick and easy.

Method2 — Tipping

With the next procedure, we just tip the container slightly and softly tap it on the bottom to let the springtails to fall out or jump out of the container as they like. This approach is most commonly used for adding springtails to an enclosure in order to create a bioactive setup or for feeding animals such as frogs, in which you scatter the springtails throughout the enclosure in a scattering fashion. It is not possible to use this procedure to seed for another culture since numerous springtails will leap out of the container and escape from it.

Method3 — Sucking up

The use of a turkey baster or similar instrument to suck up water containing springtails and spray them onto another item is another option. This approach is effective for feeding certain animals in an enclosure by spraying the springtails into the enclosure in specific locations. It can also be used to seed a second culture, if desired. It’s possible that any springtails have remained in the baster; if this is the case, suck up pure water a second time to flush out any springtails that have remained.

Method4 — Dump or placing

The last approach consists in just dumping or placing the entire breeding culture, including the charcoal, into another container or cage without any further treatment. This approach is employed when you want to transfer a tiny culture into a bigger container, or when you want to build up a new terrarium or vivarium in which the charcoal, including springtails, is embedded in the substrate and you have a lot of space.

Occasionally, we may place a whole container filled with springtails within an enclosure, allowing the animals to feed off of the springtails for a number of days. Springtails of various sizes, up close and personal (Photo courtesy of B. Valentine on Flickr.)

Some other quick tips!

  • The initial expenditure is between $20 and $40, and the first setup can offer springtails for many years to come (in fact, it is likely that there will be an endless supply). It appears that nutritional yeast reduces the likelihood of attracting and introducing detritivorous mites into your springtail culture
  • However, this is not proven. Never let your springtail culture to become dehydrated. Maintain a layer of water in the container at all times, and sprinkle the charcoal once or twice a day to keep it wet. Springtails are unable to reproduce when the environment is excessively dry, which finally results in the destruction of your springtail culture. Springtail cultures that have been produced from scratch are not viable, and when they are employed as a feeder source, they become ineffective for reproducing. For a springtail culture to be used several times, you must wait at least one month between each use
  • And while using a springtail culture to feed animals, never drain the container so that the culture may reproduce itself and refill itself
  • And Make sure they are exposed to regular ambient light, but never set a container directly in the sun. Direct sunlight will almost certainly cause scorching and the death of your whole culture
  • I’ve had the most success with temperate or tropical springtails in this situation. Naturally, there are many more springtail species that may be used, but this tutorial will focus on the utilization of these two species

Other insects may be simply bred in your own house! Aside from springtails, there are a variety of additional feeder insects that you may simply cultivate at home to avoid having to purchase them on a regular basis. See the breeding guidelines for these feeder insects if you want to learn more: Bird flies, fruit flies, and crickets are among the pests that might be found in the garden. Please spread the word about this page!

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How to Culture Springtails? Here’s The Answer!

Cockles are not liked by everyone, and some individuals despise them. You may not be aware of the several stunningly attractive and massive cockroach species that adorn our homes and gardens. What kind of food should you give dubia roaches? Yes, it appears to be a straightforward inquiry. So, if you’ve come across this post, it’s likely that you still have a few unanswered questions. For many exotic pets, fruit flies are the ideal source of food. Among the amphibians and reptiles that you may feed are frogs, (young) mantises, tiny spiders, and many more species.

How to culture springtails?

Fill an airtight container with a wet substrate such as activated charcoal or peat moss and place it in a dark, humid location. Foods such as uncooked rice or brewer’s yeast can be added. After the container has been prepared, place the springtails in it. As they grow in number, they will require frequent replenishment of water and food.

How to Choose a Suitable Container

Springtails are little, but they multiply in large numbers, thus it is essential to choose a container that is neither too small nor too large to become unmanageable when selecting a container. As a result, I propose that you use a tiny shoebox as a container for this purpose. The ability to seal is far more significant than the size of the device. Springtails must be cultivated in an airtight container, so keep this in mind when you’re out shopping for springtails. Furthermore, an airtight seal will help to retain moisture, which is essential for efficient culturing.

Type of Substrate to Use

Activated or pure charcoal is a good breeding medium for springtails, and it is also the quickest and most straightforward alternative. When purchasing activated charcoal, it is typically already broken down into small, manageable bits that may be readily put in a container and wet with water before use. Due to the high concentration of dangerous chemicals in barbecue charcoal and briquettes, they are not recommended for raising springtails. Springtails may be cultured in a variety of mediums, including peat moss.

Boiling it for about an hour or so will disinfect the medium and bring the pH level back to the proper range. Before putting it in your culture container, carefully rinse it and drain any excess water, leaving only enough to keep it moist for the duration of the culture.

What to Feed My Springtails

Once your container is ready, you can begin to fill it with food for your springtails to eat and survive on. Begin by adding a few grains of brewer’s yeast to your charcoal substrate if you are using it as your substrate. Because of the moisture and humidity in the culture container, yeast will mold, which springtails will devour. You may also feed your springtails small amounts of uncooked rice or couscous to keep them happy. Make cautious not to overfeed your springtails while they are in the culturing stage, as the food will deteriorate and begin to smell.

In the case of water, the same holds true.

How t0 Add My Springtails to the Culture Container

Once the container is complete, you may place your springtails in it and shut it up tightly. You have the option of using an existing culture or purchasing them. In any case, make sure the container is tightly shut to avoid the possibility of a springtail infestation in your house.

What to Do with My New Springtails

Once the container is complete, you may place your springtails in it and shut it tightly. Use an existing culture or purchase new ones if you don’t have one already. If you use a container, make sure it is tightly shut so that you do not wind up with a springtail infestation in your house.

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Culture Springtails

The lifespan of a springtail moves at a breakneck pace. The sperm cells left behind by male springtails in the ground are later picked up by female springtails when they deposit their eggs. They develop within 4-6 weeks of being hatched from eggs. Springtails have kids four times a year, and each time they give birth, they generate around 200 offspring.

Why are my springtails dying?

Inadequate access to moisture is the most prevalent cause of mortality in springtail culturing operations. They require humidity in order to reproduce and thrive. In a similar vein, they require continuous access to food. Springtails can perish in large numbers in the wild if they come into contact with pesticides or chlorinated water.

What is the reason for culturing springtails?

Springtails are excellent in aquariums and terrariums because they feed on trash and mold, which helps to keep the environment clean. They contribute to the nutritional cycle of soil and vegetation in a vivarium, much like they would in a garden, and they increase the amount of oxygen in the substrate through digging. They’re also an excellent source of nutrition for animals such as frogs.


The idea of hordes of small leaping beetles being useful may not often come to mind, yet springtail insects perform an important function in nature and are considerably more valuable than the majority of people believe. The itty-bitty animals act as live-in janitors, cleaning up after themselves and taking care of the mess in your tanks on your behalf.

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