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Re: Mold inhibitor in fruit fly culture

Non-member submission from [George Slusarczuk <yurko at warwick_net>]   

>  Original text: 
>  Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 00:23:20 -0500
>  From: George Slusarczuk <yurko at warwick_net>
>  To: Live-Foods at actwin_com
>  Subject: Re: Mold inhibitor in fruit fly culture
>  Hello All 
>  Has anyone ever tried co-culturing micro worms and fruit flies
>  together?  
>  Any thoughts on instant potato media? I use it occasionally (when I have
>  a large population of flies going) but have inconsistent results with
>  it.  I use one part potatos one part water a teaspoon of sugar and a
>  pinch of yeast but the cultures mold or get covered with bacteria rather
>  quickly and only produce a few flies.  When I use Carolina's media I get
>  hundreds of flies and several generations.  I would like to get the
>  instant media down before I run out of commercial media, help!
>  Thanks 
>  Dave
>  Hello Dave,
>  I don't know about the mixed culture of microworms and fruit flies - it
>  does not seem to offer any benefits & to present handling and
>  competition problems.
>  As to a mold inhibitor - "Methyl p-Hydroxybenzoate" is an excellent one
>  for cultures. It is not very toxic. Carolina probably sells it (and
>  maybe uses it in their fly medium).
>  I don't remember the dosage. Try at 0.1 % and go lower, or higher,
>  depending on results under YOUR conditions. The problem will be weighing
>  and handling very small amounts of Methyl p-Hydroxybenzoate: for a pound
>  of instant potatoes (dry), at 0.1 %, you will need only 0.45 g (that is
>  0.016 oz!) of the inhibitor. Unless you have a balance accurate in that
>  range and can mix the inhibitor uniformly throughout the potatoes,
>  buying the ready medium (don't they sell it in bulk?) might be the
>  smarter move. Too much inhibitor will "spoil the stew"!
>  Another thing you might try:
>  Col. Jorgen Scheel (of the killie fame) used "bread rinds" for culturing
>  fruit flies. Bread usually has a mold inhibitor added (check the label),
>  so no problems with molding. If you have a bakery close by, "second day"
>  bread usually is inexpensive.
>  Please let me know how you fare.
>  George Slusarczuk
>  yurko at warwick_net