An international network of/for intelligent organisms
I saw a story on the Paris zoo featuring a new exhibit containing Physarum polycephalum. They keep the slime mould in a forest-style vivarium/terrarium that included dead wood branches, moss and whatnot.
What are your thoughts on this? Can anyone share any experience on keeping slime mould in a vivarium?
Yeh - I often do it for public events using plastic fish bowls ( that should never be used for fish ). A layer of fresh compost, a good pile of physarum ( about 3tbsp well colonised oats ) a light sprinkling of more compost then layer in moss, leaves and some twigs - they love lichen and will colonise it rapidly. Lid on the top for humidity and it's good for around 5 days then the spores start to form.
Speaking of spores - I'm totally new to slime moulds - what's the tolerance for light before it starts forming spores? I guess my question is, do you have to have them in a complete darkness or is it possible to keep them in a moderately lit environment? Thanks.
They're not fond of it but they put up with it when I have them at exhibitions, I've never gone beyond 4 days on a terrarium ( actual mould takes over) and I tend to have a rolling stock of terraria on the go. They don't get total darkness in the wild. I think it takes a few days of light to start them down the path but it takes longer to complete the process, the longer it is since they've 'woken up' the more readily they'll switch. I'm making terraria up next week, I'll post some pics
I have been to the exhibit and talked a little with the blobs keepers.
At first they tried to use an humidifier in the terrarium, but it was too strong and they could not see the blobs well.
They use wood that stayed in water for days, they move slime mold on it, then move it into the terra.
On some places, they put a flag indicating the time the blob was placed on the wood so people can see the move.
They grow mushroom in the zoo, so the placed some in the terra.
It was the first public day,so they are still experimenting, anyway their was many blobs in the terra and they looked nice.
From my experiences :
works well in humid glasses container ; 1l jar, but I prefer 10cl cup, cover or spray it
they love clay pebble (idk why yet)
works nice with moss
In moss or plants, they fade away in a week if not feeded.
Atm I'm trying wood
More pics coming later