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Re: Chocolate Gouramies and Live Foods
I have found mosquito larvae to be an excellent live
food. I have a wheelbarrow in some bushes out back
with water in it. I top it off with dechlorinated
water every once in awhile.
You can see the egg rafts if you look carefully. They
look like floating pieces of grey foam about and
eighth of an inch long and oval shaped. Not all
mosquitos lay eggs in rafts, however. If there is
some detritus on the bottom along with a little algae,
the larvae will have enough food. You may want to put
a screen on top of your container to keep out birds
and debris. A half shaded location is important so
the water doesn't get too hot.
Do not ever put any of the water from the mosquito
container in your tank! I use a brine shrimp net to
collect them, first putting the bottom rim under the
surface, and then sweeping it across the water when
the larvae have resurfaced. You should be able to
tell when they have reached full size. The normal
culex(?) mosquitos are about a quarter inch long when
mature. Another species looks like a big comma, but
only larger fish will eat them. Do not let any
escape! Collect them all about every week or so, only
letting really tiny ones stay. Have a small container
full of tank water to put the net caught ones in. Of
course, it should have a cover.
A turkey baster is handy for feeding them a few at a
time so they all get eaten and don't grow up to get
their revenge on you. Almost any fish will relish
these. The fish will learn to eat from the turkey
baster, and will soon be unafraid of it.
DO NOT let your neighbors know about your mosquito
culture! If you get them all (which is easy to do),
you will be taking them out of circulation. Offer
that explanation if discovered. If you see any of the
comma ones turning dark, they are pupating, so feed
them at once.
This might sound like a hassle, or even dangerous, but
it doesn't have to be if you're careful. After
awhile, you may get the choclates to eat a good flake
food if you squirt it past them with the baster.
Ocean Nutrition (whom I am not connected with) makes
Earthworms are a great food too. Perhaps the smell
will tempt them. Grindal worms are a dependable year
round live food as well. Check the Krib for more on
these. Later, Cavan.
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