Calcium Bearing Clay Powder is used to make a substrate to culture tiny invertebrates, called Springtails on.
Using a Clay Substrate for springtails is becoming increasingly popular within the Dart Frog hobby around the world. While the traditional method of using horticultural charcoal like Biochar, is still the most popular, the clay substrate has other major advantages.
One of the main advantages of using Calcium Bearing Clay as a springtail substrate is that it allows you to “Dry Harvest” your springtails. Now you are able to “dust” these tiny invertebrates with minerals and vitamins before feeding them to your pets, such as Dart Frogs. This is especially beneficial for raising tiny baby froglets, as they have tiny mouths and may not be able to hunt or eat other larger prey items like fruit flies.
Another advantage, is that the springtails will also digest tiny amounts of the Calcium Bearing Clay.
The clay contains large amounts of calcium carbonate which is highly beneficial to proper bone growth and development in froglets. The clay also contains trace amounts of other minerals such as copper, iron, strontium and zinc not normally found in a commercially available vitamin supplement for your frog pets.
Now you can provide better nutrition to your tiny froglets that better mimics what they would eat in the wild.
250gm makes 4x 8oz cultures or 2x 16oz cultures
500gm makes 8x 8oz cultures or 4x 16oz cultures
1.5kg makes 24x 8oz cultures or 12x 16oz cultures
3kg makes 48x 8oz cultures or 24x 16oz cultures
How To Make Calcium Bearing Clay Substrate For Springtail Cultures
In an 8 oz. deli cup or suitable container mix 4 level tablespoons of calcium bearing clay powder and 3 tablespoons dechlorinated tap water (Reverse Osmosis or Spring water is ideal) mix well using a spoon, stick or gloved hand. Spread the mixture along the bottom and a little bit up the sides of the container.
A rough texture with lots of valleys will be beneficial to your springtails as this creates more surface area and tiny micro habitats within the culture. Add some new springtails from an existing culture, feed them a tiny pinch of Springtail Food and place a tight fitting lid on the container.
For a 16 oz. Deli Cup simply double the amount of clay and water – 8 Level tablespoons of Clay and 6 Tablespoons of water
This ratio can be scaled up to any size of suitable container. You can use little bit more water vs powder when you initially make the springtail culture. We find that a ratio of 1.25 to 1 is ideal, however the above 1.333 to 1 is highly successful and easier to measure out for smaller culture sizes.
In our experience you’ll want to feed the culture enough food to last them a few days, up to a week. Once the food is eaten, simply add more. By feeding at this frequency allows for an exchange of air in the culture, keeping it healthy. Over time the culture will start to dry out. You can mist a small amount of water to increase the water content in the clay. However, do not add to much water at a time to a well-established culture as it can cause a cascading collapse that the culture may never recover from.
When adding water, “Less is More” allow the mist to be soaked up by the clay and then add some more water later on, until you achieve your desired amount. Use a container with a sturdy, tight fitting lid.
Calcium Bearing Clay Powder for springtails is available for sale and shipping in Canada Only
The clay powder is very fine, please avoid inhaling the dust or getting the dust in your eyes. Use a dust mask, gloves and googles when working with the clay powder. While it’s nontoxic, the powder can be an irritant to your eyes and nose mucus. Flush and rinse with water until clean.
Not for Human consumption or use.