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Most frustrating part of beetle breeding

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So I had a fermented batch of substrate all ready for newly hatched larvae. After checking it today I noticed a horrid stench on each container. The containers smelled like ammonia. It smelled earthy when it was finished so I thought everything was good to go. I guess it fermented again. It is super frustrating because all of the hours I spent to gather the wood. Either I boil it or keep mixing it daily or I start all over. This is a major setback. What is the most frustrating part of beetle breeding for you?

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I always leave mine to sit for a month or two longer and continue mixing every once in a while because this often happens.

Breakdown of the wood during the process of making substrate comes in stages. As more easily obtained nutrients are used up and the more difficult ones become the next source of food. It starts with simple sugars such as starch and ends with cellulose, leaving us with wood that's broken down enough to be useful for feeding larvae. When the yeast you initially added and cultured in the substrate die, they leave behind nutrients for other microbes as they rot. If you stop mixing, things get anaerobic and smell pretty bad as you've noticed.

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