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Fist dip into live food, am I doing it right?

DaveWatkin

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26 Oct 2020
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171
Location
Aberdeen, UK
Hey all,

I have been wanting to produce live food for awhile but time/space and wife have always been against me. I decided recently to try this Hatchery and it seems to work well. Doesn't take up too much space, no extra equipment and provides plenty of artemia for two to three days feeding at a time (depending on survival of artemia).

I'm currently feeding this for two/three days and then peas or cucumber on the off day while I reset hatchery and to make sure the shrimp get enough food (although the amanos do hunt the artemia surprisingly). I'm currently really low stocked, just three guppies in one tank and four black tetras in another so I feed one or two pipettes a time and they send the fish crazy for 10 minutes catching them all. Question is, are these small artemia enough for grown fish? They seem quite small, although each fish eats 50-100 at time probably.

I have a school of 20 chilli rasboras arriving soon and I think these will be great for them but not sure about the bigger guys.

Thanks for any help.
 

Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
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Nottingham
My fish love them also (my shrimp grab them too!). I started with that Hobby unit, and it works very well, but I had to step up to the JBL Artemio 1 and brought some good quality eggs as I have around 40 odd fish to feed at once.

I think the general consensus is newly hatched (first 12-24 hours) the brine shrimp have a decent level of nutrition, but after that their nutritional value declines rapidly. The practical problem is that they don't all necessarily hatch at the same time, so on day two you don't know if you've got newly hatched ones, or two day old ones. I just tend to feed two days worth, and scrap the rest.

You could also try Grindal worms too - very easy and maintenance free to culture, and just about small enough for Chilli's too.

It's also worth feeding in between with a decent quality dried food (Fluval Bug bites are a good one), to ensure they get enough protein and other vitamins. Variety is key I think.
 

ScareCrow

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28 Jan 2019
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South west
I agree with Wookii grindals are really easy to culture. I also culture banana worms which are even easier. Microworms require the same care but are a bit bigger than banana worms so might be a better choice for your rasboras. My young kribs at just over an inch still take banana worms though.
 

DaveWatkin

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Aberdeen, UK
Bugbites is my current go to so I will continue that on days there are no artemia and start to bin after two days. Will also check out the JBL hatchery you suggest.

Worms interest me but the wife won't go for that in her house haha. I have a shed but I'm in NE Scotland so the temperature isn't great.
 

Wookii

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Nottingham
Bugbites is my current go to so I will continue that on days there are no artemia and start to bin after two days. Will also check out the JBL hatchery you suggest.

Worms interest me but the wife won't go for that in her house haha. I have a shed but I'm in NE Scotland so the temperature isn't great.

I don't think the JBL hatchery will be any good for you Dave, it'll produce too many at once unless you're going to freeze them off. You could improve your hatch rates, and shrimp quality by getting some better quality cysts (assuming you are using the standard Hobby ones).

I appreciate the worms might be a hard sell to the other half, but they are very self contained. I have mine in a layer of damp coconut coir in a sealed plastic tub - there are some airholes, but they are stuffed with filter floss so the worms have no way of escaping - not that they ever attempt to, as they remain in the soil, and only surface to eat the food I add (cat food pellets). Even after 18 month of being kept in the same box, there is no odour what so ever either.

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DaveWatkin

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That looks like a pretty good setup, might give it a try then. Do they need any special light/heat conditions or would they be happy enough in the cupboard under a tank?

I'm using the standard egg/salt mix hobby sell just now but swapping to separate eggs and salt so I can mix the water prior to adding eggs and hopefully get better results with the eggs I was recommended.

Been watching some reviews on the JBL, looks good but as you say, too much for me right now. Once my stocks are back up I may consider the change if the Hobby one isn't producing enough for everyone.
 

Wookii

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That looks like a pretty good setup, might give it a try then. Do they need any special light/heat conditions or would they be happy enough in the cupboard under a tank?

I keep mine out on a shelf, but I don't believe they especially need light, so in your tank cabinet should be fine, and room temp should be fine also.
 
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mort

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If you use the hobby hatcher and are getting a slow hatch rate, or you take a few days to feed them to the fish, you could try enriching the bbs. The bbs can't feed in the first 12 hours after hatching but after this once they reach there second instar stage, they are able to take in enrichment. I used to have to do this with my baby seahorse and pipefish. It's a simple process to add enrichment, I used phytoplankton mostly but sometimes selcon. You could do similar with some green water from a garden bucket.

If you dont have pretty open top tanks then you can put the hatcher on top and it really speeds up the hatch rate.

You can also make brine hatchers out of a margarine tub very easily that work just as well as the hobby hatcher.
 

DaveWatkin

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If you use the hobby hatcher and are getting a slow hatch rate, or you take a few days to feed them to the fish, you could try enriching the bbs.
I have some Spirulina powder, think that would work as food for them? How long can they survive in the hatchery? I would be interested in growing some a little larger for my bigger fish.
 

DaveWatkin

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I appreciate the worms might be a hard sell to the other half, but they are very self contained. I have mine in a layer of damp coconut coir in a sealed plastic tub - there are some airholes, but they are stuffed with filter floss so the worms have no way of escaping - not that they ever attempt to, as they remain in the soil, and only surface to eat the food I add (cat food pellets). Even after 18 month of being kept in the same box, there is no odour what so ever either.
Going to give this a try I think. How often do you feed the culture? I work away semi regularly so switch to dry food for those periods anyway but wondering if the culture would crash quickly or survive for a week or two?
 

Wookii

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Going to give this a try I think. How often do you feed the culture? I work away semi regularly so switch to dry food for those periods anyway but wondering if the culture would crash quickly or survive for a week or two?

I’m not sure how long they can go without food Dave. I’m currently away on a two week holiday, so I this will be a good test. I fed the cultures 6 cat biscuits each the day before we left, so I’m hoping the worms will be fine until in get home.
 
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mort

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I have some Spirulina powder, think that would work as food for them? How long can they survive in the hatchery? I would be interested in growing some a little larger for my bigger fish.

Should do. I tended to just use green water (you can simply leave a container of water out in the sun) or more commonly a product such as lipovit.

The problem with the hatchers is that they don't have a very large water volume and the water fouls quickly if you add a decent number of eggs. You could move the newly hatched brine to a new tub of water but I've had very little success with growing on large volumes of bbs to adult, at least not enough to warrant not just buying a frozen block of brine.
 

sparkyweasel

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To raise adult Brine Shrimps needs a lot of aeration. The classic way is to make an inverted pyramid from four glass triangles siliconed together, and put the output from an air pump at the bottom. Opinion is divided on whether an airstone is better, or larger bubbles straight from the airline.
 
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DaveWatkin

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Got my tubs, got my coir, now just need the starter culture :) Going away for a couple weeks next week so figured I'd wait till I'm back before buying.
 

Midwife

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8 May 2021
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Get micrworms off eBay. Buy the cheapest. Use instant plain mash potatoes. Cheapest is about 27p and yeast. Plenty of good videos on Youtube. Culture can easily last 6 weeks but will smell a bit. Add more yeast after a few weeks. Couple of small pinches. Have two cultures on the go at once.
No point spending money on more hatcheries. I have the one you have and I'm very p!eased with it. I also use a cheap £5 reptile. heat mat under it. My local aquatic store messages me every Friday when my live food order arrives. I also have frozen shop bought food.
Food I prepare and freeze down are boiled courgettes. At least 3 months worth everytime.Thats less than a pound. I also freeze down repashy. Fish and shrimps and bottom dwellers go nuts for it but not that cheap.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Get micrworms off eBay.
I'm a <"micro worm fan as well">. During the summer months <"my fish get 95% live food">.
Culture can easily last 6 weeks but will smell a bit.
If you use <"Rolled Oats">, rather than instant potato, the cultures don't smell bad, just slightly yeasty. The also last longer without having to re-culture.

@Midwife if you want any of the other live food cultures that I have you are more than welcome (for p&p). I think most of the <"cultures of Lumbriculus and Crangonyx"> in the UK probably originated <"via this forum">.

cheers Darrel
 
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Midwife

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8 May 2021
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Location
Down south
Hi all,

I'm a <"micro worm fan as well">. During the summer months <"my fish get 95% live food">.

If you use <"Rolled Oats">, rather than instant potato, the cultures don't smell bad, just slightly yeasty. The also last longer without having to re-culture.

@Midwife if you want any of the other live food cultures thatI have you are more than welcome (for p&p). I think most of the <"cultures of Lumbriculus and Crangonyx"> in the UK probably originated <"via this forum">.

cheers Darrel
I use to use rolled oats for a long time but I found occasionally it can go moldy. It could be my error though in making it. I swapped to mash and have had no problems with it so far. I use cold water. No need to boil water I have found,
 

Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
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Nottingham
Going to give this a try I think. How often do you feed the culture? I work away semi regularly so switch to dry food for those periods anyway but wondering if the culture would crash quickly or survive for a week or two?

Just to update, I came back from my two weeks away and fed another four cat biscuits, and there were loads of worms feeding on them a day later, so it seems being left unfed for two weeks has little to no impact on them.
 
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