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Arid Springtail Care Guide

Arid springtails require care unlike any other springtail commonly kept, but it is still quite simple. 

Materials Required:
--Soil (could be our Premium Detritivore Substrate, topsoil, coir, etc.)
--Sealed bin
(We highly recommend the "Mainstays 11.8 Cup Tritan Food Storage Containers")
--400 mesh: 35μm ultrafine mesh (Can be bought at Springtails US)
--Glue (We use hot glue

Setup Instructions:
-- Cross ventilation or a large lid vent on the dry side is key for arid species, they need the added airflow it provides. We find that cross ventilation is superior to a lid vent for maintaining the low humidity on the dry side.
--Cut or drill your ventilation all along the front 1/4 of the bin or lid and glue your mesh over the vents, the side that you ventilate will be your dry side. The more ventilation on the dry side the better.
For the recommended bins we drill six 1in vents into the sides and front for arid setups.
--Add 1-3 inches of soil to your container. You can optionally bake half of your soil dry to create an immediate moisture gradient. If you don't dry the soil you can instead let the vents dry out one side of your soil.
--Keep 50%-75% of the soil dry and 50%-25% of the soil on the unventilated side wet for egg laying and moisture regulation.

Care and Harvesting:
--Other than having a lot of ventilation and a dry side the rest of their care is similar to other springtails. Just feed them springtail food every 3-7 days (make sure all food is eaten between feedings and not to feed so much that it rots or molds) and make sure the wet side stays wet.

--The easiest way to harvest from soil
 is to have bark, charcoal, or other hides in the culture for them to gather on. You can then pick these pieces up with tongs and tap them off wherever they are needed. You can also use an entomology aspirator to easily collect them directly off the soil.

Extra Information:
--Low humidity and a proper dry side is essential for arid species. They also enjoy leaf litter and other clutter which creates micro-gradients in humidity that better allow them to regulate their needs. The air will be humid below the clutter and dry above.
--Arid springtail bins will dry out fast, and even arid springtails require access to moisture to survive. Be sure that at least 1/4 of the soil is moist at all times. A pile of moist sphagnum moss on the wet end can help.
--Many arid species are pollinators in nature and can benefit from bee pollen being added to their diet.

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