Springtail Experiment-9-10-12

I figured I’d better get something posted today before you guys start sending out search parties (lol)! It’s rather fitting that I’m posting something from a series that’s been MIA for months now, don’t ya think?!

Anywho…

It’s true, I haven’t been writing anything about my little springtail experiment – but that’s not to say that I’ve been completely ignoring the bins since my last update (in May – yikes!). I’ve added food materials every so often and have, just generally, been peeking in to see what’s happening. I haven’t observed anything too exciting (you’d definitely know it if I did) – but the key is that the experiment is still alive and well, and I’m finally planning to do a little more with it.

Today, my original gameplan had involved assessing the Red Worm population in each bin. Once I dumped the contents out, however, the idea of actually counting loads of small worms just didn’t seem all that appealing anymore (go figure! lol). This wasn’t a complete waste of time, though. I noticed something really interesting. For some reason, the bin with springtails in it seems to contain a lot more intact bedding than the one without springtails.

Of course, this basically means that I now HAVE to do a worm count at some point (haha)! We need to figure out if this difference has to do with the number of worms that are now in each system (remember, we started with the same number – but that’s not to say the populations have been growing at the same rate). Obviously, if there are simply more worms in the worms-only treatment, it won’t be too surprising that the bedding materials are being processed more quickly (as was the case with our “Euros vs Reds” experiment).

Apart from exploring the general impact that springtails may or may not have on a worm population, I’m also really curious to see if they alter waste-processing speeds at all. While I have added food materials since my last update (as mentioned), the problem is that I keep forgetting to check back on a regular basis to see if there are any differences between the bins. That’s definitely something I plan to do this week.

Today I added an equal quantity (38 grams) of frozen romaine lettuce to each tub. The plan is to take pictures every day (or at least every other day) until the material has been fully processed, and determine if processing speeds are faster in either of the bins. Once the lettuce is gone I’ll do my worm counts so I can see if there’s any major difference there as well.

I should have another update sometime in the next couple of weeks.
Stay tuned!
8)

Previous Posts in Series
Springtail Experiment-5-08-12
Springtail Experiment-4-17-12
Springtails – Helpful? Harmful? No impact?

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