Subject: Questions about Whiteworms
I have been culturing grindal worms with great success for several months now but I am finding that they are too small for the adult fish I am feeding (tetras and barbs). I want to give white worms a shot as I understand they are the next size up.
My question is I have read that white worms require lower temps than grindals, between 55-68F. The space I have available is 72-75F and I am concerned that the worms may not fare so well. I have even read from several sources that the worms may even die above 72F.
I would appeciate your opinions and experiences with white worm and their temperature requirements.
The worms might not perish at say “73” but you will not find them multiplying much if the temp is over 65 or so. The refer is too cold and if you rig a refer with a new thermostat (from a beer making venture perhaps) you will burn up the compressor on the refer. It’s really not worth it.
However, we live in California and it gets pretty warm for long periods of time. We don’t see the 100s very often, but definitely into the 90 for extended periods. So what we do is…we culture the worms in Styrofoam fish boxes. We keep the lid on. The culture stays moist and dark and the worms love that. We put two 1 liter bottles of water into the freezer. When the weather climbs to the point where the temp inside the coolers is above 70, we take a water bottle out and put it into the culture. In a couple of days (depending on the temps) we exchange that now melted bottle with the other frozen one. The first bottle is now freezing…the second one cooling the culture. When the temps get really hot, we exchange the bottles every day.
In order to help ourselves a bit, we keep the cultures on the floor of the garage. The floor is the coolest place in the home.
This system has never failed us…every with the temp was over 100 for 10 days or so. My family didn’t do as well as the worms.
The Bug Farm
Subject: hay jim do you have to use a sponge filter for betta fry
hay jim do you have to use a sponge filter for betta fry i read on your website that you use java moss to get infusoria for the fry but do you have to use a sponge filter for betta fry or you dont have to because sponge filter create to much turbulance anf force co2 out of your tank not good for plant but no sponge filter no water turbulance on surface and water tension to high kill all your fry what is the best setup to raise betta fry and grow plant at the same time. - Ha
We always use a small sponge filter, but it is only with an extremely slow stream of bubbles. So slow that the water surface on the other end of the 10 gallon tank is not disturbed. The plants would be fine without the filter and the loss of CO2 is easily made up with a small amount of light. The reason for both the plants and the filter started with the concept of improving water quality for the fry. The side effect of both has been the infusorian sources for the fry. The filter needs to have air moving through it to keep the bacteria (those for both converting nitrites and ammonia) alive.
CO2 and O2 can both reach 100% saturation in the same aquarium setup. The two are not mutually exclusive…so a tank can have a high percentage of oxygen for the fish and a high percentage of CO2 for the plants. Any excess is loss through the surface. It is not possible (in an aquarium setting) to have “too much” of either gas.
The challenge with most plants is their need for a carbon source. Normally that is light. Some plants can do very well with less light, hence our choice of Java Moss. Most of the moss-like plants do fairly well to good in less intensive light environments. Anubias in generally are the same way. In high CO2 environments, more light is generally needed, so your plant choice can change, but then you are probably going to want to increase the amount of light. We have always felt that Bettas do better in moderate light situations and and not particularly “happy” in the bright lights of a intensive light setup…and that is why we decided to use J-moss…low light, lots of places for fish and fry to hide…covered with infusoria…it seemed to be a good choice (and still does).
Hope this helps a bit.
The Bug Farm
Subject: Confused Flour Beetles
Does the flour beetle culture need to be bought or do they invite themselves into the flour?
Apologies for the stupidity -__-’ I’m.. confused ! - G.
They are a pest. They will find their way into your flour, grains and cereals (personal experiences included!). You may actually purchase flour and grains from the store and have them “pop up” in a sealed container. However, that said…you may not either. The numbers of beetles needed for a sustainable culture are pretty dense. If you have some in your pantry you will be panicking having seen only a few. You would want to see hundreds in a culture before you harvest from it. Cultures of beetles are the best way (and quickest to the harvest) to start a culture.
You would not need to purchase a “starter” culture of the beetles, but it would be a faster path to a larger and sustainable culture. You might have better luck finding them in flour from organic sources.
But these beetles are a pest, costing agriculture BIG bucks each year. You would not want to keep them uncovered. We used to keep the culture containers inside of tubes made from nylon stocking legs.
The Bug Farm
Subject: Questions about Microworms
Is it possible to culture daphnia in side the house ? How.
It is possible. The quantities would be smaller and therefore the work per unit would be greater, but it is possible. You could use any container that you might use out side, but we tend to think that a 5 gallon bucket is the smallest that makes any sort of sense for production. Light and light cycles play a role in daphnia production. No light, no production…too much light does not do any additional good over “the right amount of light.” I would look for a bulb that was daylight corrected. Now days I would look for a compact unit as you would want to burn the bulb about 10-12 hours a day as if the sun was shining. Food is the same pallet of choices that you would consider out of doors. If you can culture green water that would be the preferred food. We used Gerber’s Baby Food (particularly sweet potato and/or peas) with fair results (a little goes a long way)…also “Liquifry” for either egg layers or liverbearers worked fine (again, a little goes a long way).
The biggest challenge will be the water changes that you will need to do to keep conditions ideal for the daphnia. They do very well in fresh water that is low in nitrates and high in greenwater…think first burst of sun after the pond fills up…greenwater bloom, followed by daphnia…the water gets funky, the daphnia die back. If you don’t keep the water quality up, the daphnia will start to lay eggs and your colony will go more-or-less dormant.
So if you can figure a system that solves all of these issues and can scale the production for your space you will be successful.
The Bug Farm