Substrate Matters

As long as our farm was under construction, we had to store the grubs at the home of our hosts. We started giving the larvae shredded leftovers to feed them.

This substrate consisted mainly of pineapple, mango, and bananas, which are Fruits, that have a lot of moisture. We also added some water to make it a bit more pulpy.

The first few days, the larvae looked very healthy. They ate and continued growing. Even the first prepupae were already leaving the bin in order to pupate.

After about eight days, though, we realised that the activity of the larvae was receding. They also stopped growing. We decided to replace the substrate, which had already started reeking by this time.

Afterwards we wanted to find out why these problems occured. After a workshop in a rooftop-restaurant, we researched a little bit and found that we had used too much water. Even though the substrate should be moist, the larvae also should not be submerged in water. The substrate did not allow the larvae to build tunnels that make airflow possible. Without this airflow the substrate became anaerobic and the grubs did not get enough oxygen.