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Live Food

Discussion in 'Tropical Discussion' started by AbbeysDad, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. AbbeysDad

    AbbeysDad Member

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    Located on the north side of my garage, here is a snapshot of the outdoor bins I'm using to culture daphnia AND collect mosquito larvae. I collect the mosquito larvae twice a day. Not only are they an excellent 'free' food source, in theory, the larvae I collect results in far less mosquitoes around my place!
    [​IMG]

    Footnote: Although I culture several live foods, I also use a blend of quality commercial flake foods to ensure balanced nutrition and good health. The result: I've raised and sold many fish considered to be "show quality". Much to my surprise, at a recent club sponsored fish auction, I had a pair of red swordtails sell for $27.
     
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  2. Back in the fold

    Back in the fold Fish Addict

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    Everything I've ever read about feeding live foods confirms your results of show quality fish. There is nothing better than live food for raising healthy well grown fish. I like the looks of your set up. I've raised Grindal and tubifex worms. Takes a little fussing but worth the effort. I'm considering wingless fruit flies. Sounds easy to do. I would really like to see what a $27 dollar pair of Swordtails look like. You also say that your efforts probably helps keep the mosquito population down. I agree. I've heard people say that what you're doing encourages more Mosquitos but I don't think that's right. They are going to go somewhere but they they are going to you instead and then to your fish.
     
  3. AKfish

    AKfish Fish Fanatic

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    I really want to do this. Planning to start a brine shrimp hatchery. Mosquito larva was like a light went off in my head. I Live in Alaska and we have nooooo shortage of mosquito. I often will take a freshly killed mosquito on the tip of my finger and feed them to my bettas. They eat them off my finger eagerly. Only thing is ours are large and they don't like the legs lol. They work hard to pull them off if possible before eating. Anyway off subject. I would have to do my cultures inside and not sure I want to. At least most the year inside. Looked into blood worms really want to look into tubifex worms. Used to buy them back in the day and pour a hole bunch into a sand bottom tank. They would live fore a few weeks before all the little heads were eventually plucked from the sand. They are higher I'm fat and more of s treat. But they help with a fish that may not be eating. Many times tubifex will get them to eat when other offerings dont.
     
  4. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    For everyone who has mosquitoes in containers outside. It is against the law to "culture" mosquitoes in most countries due to the diseases they spread. However, if you have a bucket outside and it filled up with water (from rain, sprinklers or something else), and some leaves from a nearby tree dropped into the bucket, then mosquitoes would lay eggs in that container. If you collect those mozzie larvae and feed them to the fish, well that is not illegal and does help to control mozzie numbers in the area. :)

    If you get surplus insects/ larvae in warm weather, you can freeze them and use them in winter. I use to freeze small insects (ants, ant eggs, weevils and their larvae, small moths, flies, etc.

    I use to collect midges (like small mozzies but they don't bite) with a fine mesh net and put them in plastic bags. I put the bag in the freezer and used them as food when the midges weren't available.

    Mozzie larvae can be put into icecube trays with a tiny bit of water, then frozen. You can feed the frozen larvae in winter when mozzie larvae aren't available. You can do the same with daphnia and bloodworms (Chirominid midge larvae).

    Wingless fruit flies are easy to culture in plastic or glass containers.
     
  5. AbbeysDad

    AbbeysDad Member

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    I'm not quite a fan of brine shrimp as they are not sustainable. Baby brine shrimp are great if/when used for fry 24 hours or less after hatching. After that, they are far less nutritious unless gut loaded with say spirulina.
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    I heard from David Ramsey that wingless fruit flies can present a pest problem if/when you have floating plants (which I do in all my tanks) as they too easily escape (oh my wife would not like that and I can't afford a divorce!).
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    I live in a rural area and nobody is going to have knowledge or issue with some bins in the back of my garage and my culturing daphnia and also collecting mosquito larvae....and I have to believe that this effort is a win/win...fish get nutritious live food and the mosquito population is reduced.
    However, although I'm getting a lot of food from the outdoor bins right now, it's a short lived (2-3 month) thing here in the northeast US. Daphnia prefer cooler temperatures (55-75F). My outdoor daphnia bins crashed last year when we had a heat wave (85-90+F for several days). My basement daphnia bins did fine.
    [​IMG]
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    I think the biggest 'bang for the buck' in live food cultures is with white worms. Now many strains of white worms require quite cool (55F - 60F) and are often cultured in wine coolers. The strain I have tolerates warmer temperatures so I am culturing in shoebox sized containers on my basement floor. Some frown on white worms because they are 15% fat. However they are 70% protein which makes them a super food to grow out fry and young adults.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    I thought the same thing as Colin about raising mosquito larvae. I do everything I can to prevent them as they carry so many diseases here in the South. I even use Mosquito Dunks in my pond to prevent them. Last year Midge Flies got in my fish tanks and it was great! They laid eggs which developed into blood worms. I always had live blood worms in my filters. I’d just pull them out and feed them to my fish. Unfortunately, this year they didn’t come back.
     
  7. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    wingless fruit flies can't fly anywhere so if they live on the floating plants, that's where they live until they die a week later. The fish might eat them before then.

    My fish use to wait for the flies to walk to the edge of the water sprite and grab em. They would all be sitting under the plant in a head up tail down position. They would wait and wait and wait, then bang, the fly is gone. :)
     
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  8. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    Midge flies actually fly. Make a mess on your walls so don’t swat them!
     
  9. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Herder
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    Good point @Deanasue.

    I’m telling you, once when I was a little kid, I collected about 100 mosquito larvae from my lake. I put them in an open container, and waited until morning to feed my mosquito fish.

    Well.......let’s just say I had a lot of mosquito bites, and a very angry mom!

    Moral of the story is, “If you keep mosquito larvae in your hose, make sure to have a lid!” :D

    I usually don’t feed my fish mosquito larvae. The only Time I have every fed any of my fish mosquito larvae, was the time when I had my mosquito fish. I thought they carried harmful deaseases. :)
     
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  10. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    If you collect mozzie larvae that look like commas ,,,,,,,, they are nearly ready to hatch and should be frozen to kill them. If you use mozzie larva that look like an I, they are younger and won't hatch until they turn into a comma shaped larvae.

    Mozzie larvae are an excellent food for fish and are generally disease free if you culture them at home in buckets of water. Adult mosquitoes carry diseases that affect people, animals and birds, but their larvae are normally free of disease if they come from clean water.
     
  11. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Herder
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    Yeah..... I learned that the hard way...... :D
     
  12. AbbeysDad

    AbbeysDad Member

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    As Colin mentioned, it's adult [female] mosquitoes that carry disease from one mammal to another as they 'bite'. Mosquito larvae harvested from my bins of fresh water are disease free and excellent fish food.

    I believe that David meant that the wingless fruit flies can use the floating plants to get to the sides of the tank and crawl out.
     
  13. AbbeysDad

    AbbeysDad Member

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    Note: I harvest mosquito larvae twice a day. The afternoon/evening harvest goes in a sealed deli container (with air holes in the top) and in the garage refrigerator until the next morning feeding.
    Also, while I typically use a brine shrimp net to harvest daphnia, I use a 'regular' fish net to harvest mosquito larvae (and because of the mesh size, only large daphnia).
     
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  14. Back in the fold

    Back in the fold Fish Addict

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    Much to do about nothing. Skeetos are with us whether we like it or not. Feed your fish and stop the needless worry. Collect them every day. Feed them every day. Watch your fish thrive. Diseases, shimeaeses. Monkeys may also emerge from a nether orifice.
     
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  15. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Herder
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    Very smooth logic! :D
     

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