Page 1 of 7 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 69
  1. #1
    Marty's Avatar
    Marty is offline Geckos Unlimited
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,049
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Fruit Fly Culturing


    LOG IN TO CLOSE THIS AD   


    Here's a mini HOW-TO for making fruit fly cultures. By no means this is a definitive guide. I tried a variety of methods, containers, recipes, etc. This is what works very well for me, so I thought I'd share it with you guys.

    1st is the recipe for the media. This is very simple with no frills and it produces extremely well. It's also cheap !


    Ingredients
    • White Vinegar - The cheapest you can find. No need for Heinz here. Bottom shelf, no name.
    • Hot tap Water
    • White Sugar
    • Brewers yeast - other types of yeast just don't cut it. Be sure to use brewers! (check your local bulk foods store)
    • Instant mashed potato flakes (also bulk foods).
    • Fleischman's instant yeast


    Tools:
    • Whisk
    • Bowl
    • Fruit Fly containers & lids
    • Excelsior or Coffee filters


    Make a mix of 50/50 water vinegar mixture. Add brewers yeast and sugar. Whisk until dissolved. Add potato flakes until you get a mix of consistency looser then apple sauce.

    Let it stand for about 5-10 minutes until it thickens. It should now be as thick as apple sauce. If it isn't add more water/vinegar mixture. If it's too runny, add a bit more potato flakes and let it stand for a few minutes until it thickens.



    Add about an inch of the media into the cup. I guess if you're into re-usable then you can use jars or even bottles. I don't like it and I refuse to clean the mess, so I just use the plastic 32oz fruit fly containers with meshed lids. You can get them here



    Sprinkle a small pinch of instant yeast on top. Not sure if this actually works, but the popular belief is that the adult flies feed on this. I didn't notice any difference in production or life expectancy when I don't add it...but, it's not expensive, lasts a long time and doesn't really take that much more time, so might as well add it. Just a pinch.



    There's probably as many opinions about the filler that you put into your cultures for fruit flies to climb and lay eggs on, as there are media recipes. A lot of people like to use coffee filter paper. Personally I don't. It gets wet, it's flimsy and sometimes falls out. If you like it and it works for you use it, if you like something else use that.



    Excelsior works great for me, so that's what I prefer to use. It's expensive if you buy it at a craft store. It's cheap if you get it at a packing place of go to home depot early spring when their water fountains come in Don't ask, just take an empty box with all the excelsior you need and tell the cashier it's empty- they never seem to mind. I did that for a long time, then I needed it in the fall, home depot didn't have any, so I bought a bail of it for about $50. That was 2 years ago. I gave a ton to other people and I still have enough for the next 5 years! Get few guys, get a bail and your excelsior problem will be solved. I don't remember where I bought it tough...somewhere on the web at a packing place.



    Make a little ball, shake out any loose threads and pack it into your containers. Make sure you press it into your media. You're now ready to seed your new cultures with fruit flies.



    Before you add fruit flies from an old culture, be sure you inspect it for mites. If you have mites, well.... you have a big problem to deal with. I won't get into it here, so lets assume you don't have mites

    Few things to remember when making cultures:
    • Get yourself good anti-mite paper. Make sure it's fresh.
    • Never leave your producing cultures on other surfaces other then the mite paper.
    • Don't use very old cultures to make your starter cultures. Try to pick'em at their prime
    • When you stack the cultures on the shelf, make sure the lids don't touch.


    Add about 100 flies to each new cultures. You can add more, but be warned. Your culture will practically explode with maggots and fruit flies. If you leave too many flies in your culture, it may crash and shorten the useful life of your culture. It's better to add less flies and have it produce for a longer period of time, then have a huge population for a short time.



    Above is a melanogaster culture that's packed with maggots. Like I said, you can get more maggots if you seed with larger number of FFs but this will come at a price, so don't be fruit fly greedy It's better for the culture to last you longer, so you don't have to make them as often.

    Here's a closeup


    I make my cultures probably once every 3 weeks. I make both melanogasters and hydei's



    Here's a good tip that will make your fruit flies last much longer ! When I make new cultures I always make few extra that I don't seed. Just leave them empty. I make them my "Overflow" storage containers. If a fruit fly culture produces more then I can use, I'll throw the excess FFs into the "O" containers where they will be able to survive without a problem. This alleviates the strain on the culture that produces, which makes it last longer. You now also have all the fruit flies that you'll ever need in the overflow. This will also mean that you've SUPER seeded the overflow culture. Which is OK as this is just an "O" culture. It will still be useful for feeding off the adults, but remember it will also explode with a population when it matures. I don't use the Overflow cultures for seeding new ones. I only seed new ones from healthy cultures. The Overflows are great buffers to keep your cultures in check and not crashing. It's also great when your cultures are not ready to produce. Works great for me.



    Here's how I keep my cultures. I've been doing it for several years, so I've got it down to a science. Before I needed many more cultures, now with the overflow containers my cultures are much healthier and produce much longer. I typically toss'em out when they still produce. I'd keep'em longer, but after about 3-4 weeks they tend to start to stink. I don't like stinky cultures, so off they go. I put the freshest cultures near the top and older cultures that I'm using to feed on lower shelves.

    Hope you find this useful ! I know some of you have tiny gecko babies, FF would probably make a great starter food for them.

    MistKing.com - Adjustable Reptile & Amphibian Vivarium Misting Systems

    Thanks 4fursnme thanked for this post

  2. #2
    loogielv is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    35
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It really bothers me that nobody replied to this awesome thread.

  3. #3
    John is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    ON
    Posts
    51
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default A couple of housekeeping questions

    Great explanation. It makes sense to me.
    However, I do not understand how you manage to keep the house from becoming infested with them (my wife would be FURIOUS). Second, How do you feed them to the babies? I have been feeding my phelsuma laticauda babies with micro pinheads but, sometimes I can't get them small enough, so the fruit flies sound like a good option.
    Thank you,
    John

  4. #4
    heiser's Avatar
    heiser is offline Junior member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    L.I., NY
    Posts
    259
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    How much sugar and brewers yeast do you add?

    Regards,
    John

  5. #5
    Elizabeth Freer's Avatar
    Elizabeth Freer is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    11,969
    Post Thanks / Like

    Talking Keeping fruit flies contained

    Hi John ~

    When I feed FF to hatchling mourning geckos I cover the tank with a lightweight cloth and then replace the screen top.

    Mist the tank gently prior to adding the FF.

    Some people use a lid of baby food to attract the FF.

    Quote Originally Posted by John View Post
    Great explanation. It makes sense to me.
    However, I do not understand how you manage to keep the house from becoming infested with them (my wife would be FURIOUS). Second, How do you feed them to the babies? I have been feeding my phelsuma laticauda babies with micro pinheads but, sometimes I can't get them small enough, so the fruit flies sound like a good option.
    Thank you,
    John
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 01-13-2009 at 12:24 PM.
    "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

    Click:
    Leopard Gecko Care Sheet
    Health Questionnaire

    ===> URGENT: No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside a vivarium EVER <===


    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Lygodactylus kimhowelli ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ P. tigrinus

  6. #6
    Elizabeth Freer's Avatar
    Elizabeth Freer is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    11,969
    Post Thanks / Like

    Arrow John Heiser & Marty

    Hi John ~

    This is what Marty posted about the yeast. Can't find the answer as to how much sugar.

    I have heard that yeast retards mold development.

    Sprinkle a small pinch of instant yeast on top. Not sure if this actually works, but the popular belief is that the adult flies feed on this. I didn't notice any difference in production or life expectancy when I don't add it...but, it's not expensive, lasts a long time and doesn't really take that much more time, so might as well add it. Just a pinch.

    Marty ~

    Many thanks for your wonderfully informative and visual post! Three cheers!!!
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 01-11-2009 at 12:51 AM.
    "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

    Click:
    Leopard Gecko Care Sheet
    Health Questionnaire

    ===> URGENT: No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside a vivarium EVER <===


    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Lygodactylus kimhowelli ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ P. tigrinus

  7. #7
    John is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    ON
    Posts
    51
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Thank you

    Wow!! So simple but a great idea.
    Thank you,
    John

  8. #8
    Marty's Avatar
    Marty is offline Geckos Unlimited
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,049
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Vinegar takes care of the mold. Some people use sodium propionate, which is a preservative used by bakers to prevent bread from going stale and moldy.

    No problems. I remember how I was searching for a well producing recipe and went through a lot of them too! This is by far simplest, cheapest and produces like a champ!

  9. #9
    heiser's Avatar
    heiser is offline Junior member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    L.I., NY
    Posts
    259
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    Hi John ~

    This is what Marty posted about the yeast. Can't find the answer as to how much sugar.
    Hi Elizabeth,

    I saw the part on the instant yeast, but Marty also listed brewers yeast. I was wondering how much brewers yeast as well as sugar he used. I currently just buy a prepared mix as the last home brew I used didn't produce nearly as well. I was hoping to find something better/cheaper.

    Regards,
    John

  10. #10
    maxsan's Avatar
    maxsan is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    7
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default


    LOG IN TO CLOSE THIS AD   


    wow this is cool. How long did it take you to come up with the recipe??
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Page 1 of 7 12345 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •