Grindal Worms Culture on Peat Moss with Springtails surprise

Michael Langerman
11 min readDec 28, 2021

Buy Grindal worms and Springtails locally through Craigslist:

Or buy Grindal worms on Amazon (paid link):

I use this 16oz plastic container with a lid to set up Grindal worms culture on Peat moss.

I used Peat moss previously to culture Grindal worms.

We’ll see how it goes this time.

The Peat moss comes dry in a bag I bought from Home Depot.

Fill about half of the container with Peat moss.

That should be enough for the experiment.

Now let’s put the Peat moss into a pot.

And let’s add enough water to submerge the moss.

Peat moss takes in a lot of water.

So, add water as necessary.

Now, let’s cook the Peat moss!

Heat the water to a boil.

Keep it boiling on low heat for 30 minutes or more to kill any unwanted organisms that may be there.

We can bake it in the oven or microwave the Peat moss instead of boiling.

Either way works fine.

The point is to kill any bacteria, insects and their eggs, and whatever else could be there.

I turn off the heat after 30 minutes of constant boiling.

Drain the excess water from the pot.

Let the Peat moss cool down to room temperature.

Put the cooled sterilized Peat moss into a plastic container.

Here you can see eggs of some insect — boiling serves its purpose!

Now, let’s get Grindal worms.

I wash Grindal worms from a piece of plastic from my well established culture.

Grindal worms sink to the bottom.

Here you can see them.

Now I use a pipette to pick the Grindal worms up and move them safely to where I want to.

It’s either to feed fish or in this example to seed a new culture.

Seed Grindal worms on top of the Peat moss in the container.

Now let’s sprinkle a crushed flake of cereal on the top for Grindal worms to feed on.

Let’s poke needle size holes in the lid for air access.

The small size holes provide air circulation while reducing water evaporation.

Cover the container.

I seed the new culture on September 10th, 2021.

The next day September 11th.

The food remains there untouched.

Lets cover it all with a piece of plastic.

The plastic piece reduces water evaporation and makes it easier to collect Grindal worms.

The following day, September 12th.

Mold grows on the food that seems untouched otherwise.

I don’t see Grindal worms.

Four days later on September 16th.

I’ve been checking on this culture every day noticing only the mold spreading around.

I only spray the Peat moss with water to keep it moist, not adding food yet.

September 19th.

The amount of mold has reduced noticeably in the past 3 days.

I spotted some Springtails here!

Somehow, Springtails sneak in every Grindal worms culture I set up.

September 25th.

It’s been 15 days since I set up this culture.

The mold is practically gone after 12 days.

I don’t see Grindal worms.

Anyway, let’s sprinkle a crushed flake of cereal.

And let’s remove the plastic piece…

The last time mold started growing after I placed the plastic piece in.

The next day, September 26th.

The food stays basically untouched.

And the next day, September 27th, mold is already blooming here.

Just like the first time!

So, for mold it makes no difference if I cover the food with plastic piece or not.

Good to know for future setups.

September 30th.

I did not feed or moisten the culture in the past five days.

The mold is gone.

There are many Springtails here.

I give them a flake of cereal.

And spray some water to keep it moister.

Two days later on October 2nd.

The food is hardly touched and mold starts growing again.

Two days later on October 4th the mold is almost gone.

I am going to add food tomorrow.

October 6th.

I added food yesterday — it’s hardly touched again.

Put a piece of plastic again.

The next day October 7th.

Some of the food is gone and also mold started growing again.

Two days later on October 9th.

Springtails are everywhere.

The food and mold are basically gone.

So, let’s feed a flake of cereal.

The next day October 10th.

Some of the food is gone.

Springtails crawl everywhere even on the walls of the container.

I wonder what Springtails find so attractive for them on the walls of the container.

The next day October 11th.

The food is almost gone.

There are a couple small patches of mold.

Two days later on October 13th.

All food and mold are gone.

Let’s feed Springtails.

October 14th.

I don’t see any Grindal worms in this culture at all.

The population of Springtails has been growing fast and steadily.

The next day October 15th.

I don’t see any traces of mold this time.

Seems like the population of Springtails has grown large enough to prevent mold from growing in this container.

Now I have a well established colony of Springtails instead of Grindal worms to do more experiments!

Will keep you updated!

Have fun and happy terrariums :)