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Flour Beetle Culture

ScareCrow

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28 Jan 2019
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Hi all,

As the weather gets colder here in the UK I've been trying to find some live cultures that are easy to keeping going indoors. I currently culture grindal worms and I've cultured banana worms and white worms in the past. I had problems with white worms crashing in the summer, which I think was due to temperature. Banana worms are too small for the fish I have now.
Today I stumbled across a video about culturing flour beetles Tribolium Confusum. They appear to be the easiest live food to culture I've found but I can't find much information about their nutrient content (other than journals relating to feeding them, rather than using them as food). They appear to be quite popular among reptile keepers. Has anyone cultured these beetles and do you think it's worth it as an additional food source for fish?

Thanks for your time
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
They appear to be the easiest live food to culture
They are, I've never had any fish that would eat the beetles, and even the larvae weren't that well received. Vestigial Winged Fruit Flies (Drosophila melanogaster) are much more palatable, but a lot more work.

cheers Darrel
 

ScareCrow

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Thanks Darrel, I did think it might be too good to be true, given the lack of information I found. I read the beetles can excrete a toxin but I was hoping the larvae would make a good alternative to white worms.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
What about crickets ?
I've never had any fish big enough for them to be a viable option for me. My guess would be that they are pretty suitable food for bigger fish and I know they feed them to young Arowana, African Butterfly fish, Archerfish etc.

cheers Darrel
 

ScareCrow

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Like Darrel I've not had any fish large enough for crickets. From what I've read Dubia roaches are easier to culture and more nutritious than crickets, so might be an option if you do have larger fish but like flour beetles I've not heard of people feeding them to fish.

I may give Hyalella azteca another try but reading on here that they can eat plants might rule them out as I would like them to live alongside the fish.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I may give Hyalella azteca another try
I've not tried them, they don't like soft water, but I know other members have <"cultured them successfully"> and I think you would be OK.

I have <"Asellus aquaticus"> and <"Crangonyx pseudogracilis"> in all the tanks. <"Crangonyx is a preferred food item">, but Asellus will survive in nearly all planted tanks, even with Dwarf Cichlids, Corydoras etc. I would expect that a nocturnal predator would eliminate them.

cheers Darrel
 

mrhoyo

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Like Darrel I've not had any fish large enough for crickets. From what I've read Dubia roaches are easier to culture and more nutritious than crickets, so might be an option if you do have larger fish but like flour beetles I've not heard of people feeding them to fish.

I may give Hyalella azteca another try but reading on here that they can eat plants might rule them out as I would like them to live alongside the fish.
Red runner roaches are easier to breed and babies are smaller than dubia so might be better for fish. The adults are much faster though and look more like your 'holiday's cockroach so don't suit everyone.
Isopod might be better for most people, they don't breed particularly quickly but it's pretty much a case of bunging some in a tub with dirt and wood.
 

ScareCrow

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Thanks for your replies.

@dw1305 thanks for the warning about soft water. I'd not come across that information so good to know as I intend to do a 50:50 mix of rain and tap water eventually, as my tap water is very hard. Do you know of any suppliers of Crangonyx pseudogracilis? I've found your post from 2016 "Live food culture - Crangonyx pseudogracilis" but I can't find a source for them.

I've not heard of red runner roaches but having a quick look, the nymphs look small enough to be a good smaller fish food. However, the site I looked at for culturing info. did suggest that they can cause allergies, so I'll do a bit more reading.

For anyone that finds this thread, here is another thread on the forum that covers Live food cultures well.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Do you know of any suppliers of Crangonyx pseudogracilis?
Yes I should be able to find you some.

I've just failed to send some Asellus, Lumbriculus and Crangonyx to Denmark, estimated time delivery was three days, but they didn't turn up for two weeks, apparently the moss looked OK, but all the invertebrates were DOA.

I'll have a look at what I've got and PM you. It won't be before the weekend.

cheers Darrel
 

ScareCrow

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Thanks @dw1305,

With the way things are at the moment don't worry if you can't spare any or don't have the time. If you can send some let me know how much I owe you and I'll send it over.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I've just failed to send some Asellus, Lumbriculus and Crangonyx to Denmark, estimated time delivery was three days, but they didn't turn up for two weeks, apparently the moss looked OK, but all the invertebrates were DOA.
Since then I've successfully sent some wild life to Denmark and to a couple of members in the UK in Kordon breathable bags, so @ScareCrow may be all right for some if they want to PM me.

cheers Darrel
 
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