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BOUNCE killietalk at aka_org: Non-member submission from [Matt Hirvonen <mdhirvonen at tds_net>]
While catching up on killitalk, I saw your posts and I would also like to
learn your no dirt methods for raising grindal and whiteworms? I raise and
feed alot of worms (as well as fruit flies and daphnia), and I am always
looking for new ways to increase production.
Because they are cheap and readily available, I use "Idaho Spuds" brand
instant mashed potatoes as fruit fly medium. I also had problems with mold
and sour/runny medium when I started experimenting with the stuff. I found
that it was not the medium that was to blame but my cleaning
methods. Bottom line is that I do not get any mold or early souring of the
medium if I use clean bottles each time, and wash my hands before preparing
cultures. By cleaning up my act, so to speak, using the spuds straight out
of the box (contains small amounts of preservatives) works well most of the
time - I keep several cultures going and just dump the occasional batch
that gets sour and runny.
I use equal parts of water and spuds, with a pinch of active dry yeast in
24 oz plastic pepsi bottles to raise both d. hydei (larger species) and d.
melanogaster (the std. size). I put a piece of foam, or paper towel with a
rubber band as a stopper. I wash the bottles out with hot water (when I
finish drinking the pepsi) and put the cap on until I am ready to use
them. When the culture has run its course, I screw the cap back on and
toss it out.
I also raise the d. hydei maggots for use as food with only slight
modifications of the procedure using pint mason jars (larger mouth makes it
easier to harvest and clean) which I cover with a double layer of paper
towel and a rubber band. Again I had problems when I tried using a jar
twice without sanitizing, so now I run the jars through the dishwasher
before each use to sanitize them. I use ~1.5 tbsp of spuds with equal
amount of water and a pinch of yeast and add about 30 adult flies. After a
week I dump out the adults, and add a bit of water if the medium is dry.
After 10 days (at ~72F) the maggots start crawling up the sides of the jar,
and I harvest the whole batch. They have eaten most of the medium by then,
and I just add water and shake the jar to loosen up left over medium. Let
it settle for a few minutes and pour off the water (maggots fall to the
bottom) and repeat a couple times to clean them. I get a heaping tablespoon
of pure maggots per pint jar and they vary in size so I can sort them out
(a std green fish net will let small ones thru) an feed small ones to the
juveniles, and larger ones to adult fish. Most of my fish (epiplatys
excepted) seem to like the maggots more than the adult flies.
Well, I thought I would let you know what works for me... and thanks in
advance for doing the same with your worm methods!
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