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Re: Live Foods Digest V1 #130

Re all the enquires and replies on Gram Flour.
As I think the use may have originated from our web site and I use it
extensively perhaps I can clear up some of the queries.

On the packet I am using at present it is called Gram Flour also
Kichererbsenmehl, Farine pois chiche and Harina de garbanzo. 
It states it is perfect for making sweets savories and soups and is sold in
Indian food stores. A 2kg bag costs just over one English pound.
The ingredients are Split Tyson Chick Peas (Chana Dal), Yellow Peas 
So it would seem that Chana Dal is the same thing.
The recipe on my bag is for Onion Bhajia.

The flour is a very pale yellow in colour and I feed in the following manner.
Indoor Moina cultures (I gallon sweet jars) - I simply take a pinch of the
flour between my fingers and disperse into the culture by rubbing my
fingers together. A milky cloud is produced. If the culture is clear the
next day I feed again. If not I do not feed and if it remains cloudy then I
aerate (Not very often this happens) until it is clear and the culture is
blooming again.
Outdoor Daphnia cultures - As the sizes of the various containers vary I
mix a third of a pint of flour with two thirds water to make a thin milky
liquid. Depending on the density of the culture I add enough of this
mixture to cloud the whole culture in thriving cultures and less to those
that are not (experience will eventually come).
I always remove at least two thirds of the population from a thriving
culture to feed my fish as I find that it normally recovers to full
capacity the next day, if it has not then I  do not feed from that culture
until it has recovered.
Do not forget that a given volume of water can only support a given
population of Daphnia / Moina and regular harvesting encourages the female
to produce young. Most  cultures will pulse this is normal just feed
sparingly and within a few days the culture will normally bloom again.
The writer who said he used Gram flour on his dormant culture and had no
results should not be surprised as he was only adding pollution. Provided
there is mulm on the bottom of the container then it should contain resting
eggs. The normal causes of a culture crashing are:
1 Lack of food - As we are feeding the culture this should not happen.
2 Bad water - Overfeeding will cause a lack of oxygen and the culture will
3 Low / high temperature - Not a problem with indoor cultures but outdoor
ones will often disappear during the winter months until spring when they
reappear. I am not sure how high they can go but some of my outdoor
cultures can reach 90oF during the summer without problem.

As soon as any of these conditions start to occur in the culture the
females will star producing male offspring which then mate with the females
who will start to produce eggs that fall to the bottom and rest in the
mulm. Therefore any culture which has crashed should be able to be
restarted (this is how the Daphnia reappear in the spring). The method I
use is to change 50% of the water for fresh tap water and add aeration to
assist oxyidisation of any fouling. This will also encourage the production
of bacteria which the young Daphnia / Moina feed on. As soon as the water
is clear I stop aeration and observe if any Daphnia have hatched if so I
feed sparingly and wait for the culture to reach saturation before using
for food (again soon known by experience).
I also use a few Red Ramshorn snails in my cultures as they do not seem to
eat the resting eggs and will clear up any overfeeding normally. If they
start to leave the water in number then it is normally a sigh of bad water
and a 50% change will often stop the inevitable crash.
Hope this helps and do not hesitate to ask any further queries on this

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