Springtails The Beginning

Michael Langerman
8 min readNov 9, 2021

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March 11th, 2021

I got a package with a Grindal worms starter culture from Ebay.

4oz jar of soil with who knows how many Grindal worms and a couple pieces of dry dog food.

Grindal worms are one of the best live fish food one can grow at home for aquarium pets.

Two weeks later, on March 26th, I noticed some critters in my Grindal worm culture.

Here you can see them crawling around among Grindal worms.

Those are Springtails.

I knew nothing about Springtails to begin with and have no idea how they get in and what to do about them.

One thing became apparent right away — Springtails breed as fast or even faster than Grindal worms.

It took about 2 weeks for the Springtail population to grow from nothing to…look how many are there now.

Also, Springtails and Grindal worms seems to thrive in the same environment.

Here you can see how I collect Grindal worms by dipping a plastic piece in water.

Grindal worms sink to the bottom.

Interestingly, Springtails stay on the water’s surface.

So, that is one way to separate Grindal worms from Springtails if necessary.

Here I use a pipette to collect Grindal worms from the bottom.

Put Grindal worms in a separate cup.

And the Springtails stay in the old cup walking on the water’s surface.

That is a pretty cool ability of Springtails to keep in mind!

Here is a close look at Springtails…and Grindal worms.

Both cultures coexist peacefully in the same container.

Adult Springtails grow about 2–4 millimeters long.

Baby Springtails are about the size of a speckle — it makes it really hard to notice them.

It looks like Springtails feed on the same type of food as Grindal worms.

I’ve been feeding them with different cereal flakes.

And Springtails like moisture — even more than Grindal worms.

Here you can see a lot of young Springtails.

They look like dust unless you zoom in and notice them moving around.

Springtails are great explorers.

Just open container for a second and they jump out.

Here I look for Springtails on the floor after I closed the container.

Surely, there are some.

Springtails jump very high.

As we speak — instantly gone!

Here are a couple more Springtails.

Yeah, funny critters they are.

Every time I make a new setup for Grindal worms Springtails arrive there shortly after.

And the population of Springtails grows staggering fast.

So fast that I start worrying about my Grindal worms cultures.

Even Springtails are totally harmless — with this agility and huge population density, Springtails probably consume the food faster than Grindal worms may get to it.

So, I decide to reduce the Springtails population in my Grindal worms cultures.

And so I did until…

I realized that there could be a better way.

But first, let my fish decide what I should do with Springtails.

So, I give Springtails with Grindal worms for my fish to try at a regular feeding time.

Let’s see what my dwarf guppies have to say about Springtails.

Here you can see guppy babies go after Springtails.

And that is an adult male coming for Springtails.

Seems like Guppies like to snack on Springtails.

And Springtails are the perfect size for small fish.

Now let’s give Springtails for my Endlers to try.

It is a regular feeding time — all fish are anticipating food.

And here come live Springtails instead of homemade fish food flakes.

A nice surprise party!

Endlers go in a frenzy after live Springtails.

Young fry and big moms alike, all go after Springtails.

Apparently Springtails are tasty snack bars my fish crave.

Seeing this type of reaction of fish for Springtails speaks for itself.

I have to culture Springtails!

My pet fish deserve to have the best food I can get for them.

And I already learned different ways to culture Springtails and ways to collect them.

I will show how I do it all with details in a couple of upcoming videos.

Have fun and happy fish :)