Maintaining/Feeding Live Food Cultures - GTA Aquaria Forum - Aquarium Fish & Plants serving the Greater Toronto Area.
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General Freshwater Discussion For all topics relating to freshwater fish to the in's and out's of maintaining a freshwater tank.

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Old 07-05-2019, 11:57 AM   #1
Karen00
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Default Maintaining/Feeding Live Food Cultures

Hello folks,

I just got into feeding live foods to my fish (along with frozen) so am new to keeping live foods. I currently have grindal worms for the adults and vinegar eels and microworms (on oatmeal) for my fry (and I guess the adults).

I have a few questions about maintaining the vinegar eels and microworms:
1. How do I know when to add to the current media they are in? I'm assuming the media eventually expires and needs to be topped up/refreshed. For example does the oatmeal need to be added to with fresh oatmeal when it's almost a liquid (it's starting to liquify pretty fast) and for the vinegar eels do I have to add more vinegar or apples at some point and should the old apples be removed?
2. Do I eventually have to take a culture out of each and start a fresh batch and toss the original cultures? (Meaning the current cultures get too old to continue to harvest from)
3. How do I know when a batch is bad and needs to be tossed out? Does the oatmeal smell/look weird and the same with the vinegar?

I have found so many resources online about how to start and harvest from both types of cultures but not how to maintain them. The grindal worms are easy because the soil doesn't go bad and all I have to do is remember to feed them but oatmeal and vinegar are a different beast. :-)

Thanks!


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Old 07-09-2019, 06:13 PM   #2
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If your micro worm culture gets too wet the worms will drown, so, add a bit of oatmeal to soak up the excess. Start a new culture when the old one starts to get high and look a little grungy. how long you can maintain a culture without starting a new one depends on numerous factors. It could last a month or many months. Regardless, it doesn't hurt to start a new one while the old one is still going strong.
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillD View Post
If your micro worm culture gets too wet the worms will drown, so, add a bit of oatmeal to soak up the excess. Start a new culture when the old one starts to get high and look a little grungy. how long you can maintain a culture without starting a new one depends on numerous factors. It could last a month or many months. Regardless, it doesn't hurt to start a new one while the old one is still going strong.
Thanks for this!! I have three going and two are starting to get quite liquidy so the timing of your reply is perfect! I didn't think about them drowning. Time to get cooking. :-)

Do you have any experience with vinegar eels? I was wondering how I know when it needs feeding and whether that just means adding apples or do I also add the apple cider vinegar.
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:09 AM   #4
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I have no experience with vinegar eels. With regard to "get cooking" are you cooking the oatmeal?
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:27 AM   #5
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I have no experience with vinegar eels. With regard to "get cooking" are you cooking the oatmeal?
Yes, I'm using oatmeal as my base. Is there some tip/trick with oatmeal? I'm using the regular Quaker Oats oatmeal, not the fast cooking (although I read it doesn't make a difference).
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:19 AM   #6
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I don't cook the oatmeal. Just dampen and add a bit of yeast. if it gets a little too wet, I just sprinkle some more oatmeal to absorb the excess water.Cultures can last a moth or more, but always good to start one before the one you are using expires.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillD View Post
I don't cook the oatmeal. Just dampen and add a bit of yeast. if it gets a little too wet, I just sprinkle some more oatmeal to absorb the excess water.Cultures can last a moth or more, but always good to start one before the one you are using expires.
Thanks so much for this! Gosh I didn't even think to put the oatmeal in uncooked. Gosh that's so much easier than cooking them all the time!!! I would also have to think it preserves the integrity of the nutrients in the oatmeal compared to cooking them which might degrade some of the vitamins, etc.

What is the yeast for? I could never find an explanation for this in any of the posts I found about microworms. I have four cultures going and none them have yeast added to them. If yeast helps I know what will be on my shopping list this weekend. :-)

I also wanted to ask about getting extra nutrients into the microworms (which in turn will be available to my fish). Obviously oatmeal is already full of a bunch of vitamins but could something like spirulina powder be added to the oatmeal for extra nutrients? Will the microworms continue to thrive with that added?

Thanks again!

Cheers.


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Old 08-10-2019, 09:35 AM   #8
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If I remember correctly, the yeast (technically a fungus) feed off the oatmeal as it degrades and the micro worms feed off the yeast?
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