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Why should you grow your own bugs!

dw1305

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nr Bath
Hi all,
Is some 10L bucket fine or something bigger
Same as Gill 10L is fine. This is the method I use for Daphnia culture:
I use ordinary 99p Builder's buckets, with a handful of limestone gravel, filled with rain-water, and with a good handful of grass clippings. I leave this a couple of weeks and then inoculate it with some Daphnia and a couple of pond snails. These are reasonably good and also produce Blood-worms and Mosquito larvae. As the productivity falls off you can just add some more grass clippings. If you use sheep or rabbit manure rather than grass they are more productive, but may crash. The same with positioning in the spring they can have full sun, but as the days warm up they need to go to somewhere with more shade (especially around mid day). If you want Mosquito larvae you need to float a cork in the bucket to provide a landing platform for the mosquitoes. If you can stop these freezing solid, they will produce Blood-worms and Daphnia even in the winter.

You can feed the cultures with a gram flour and paprika suspension, your also meant to be able to use bakers yeast, but when I tried this it all went horribly wrong (too much yeast?). I've cultured Daphnia inside using 1 litre ice cream cartons with very gentle aeration (you need big bubbles rather than the small ones from an air stone), a snail and the gram flour feed mix. They are quite high maintenance to keep going productively as they are very prone to "crashing", so you really need to keep multiple cultures, seeding new ones all the time. You can harvest every day from them when they are going well.

If you don't mind them not being very productive you can use an ordinary rain-water butt and just inoculate and then ignore them. The advantage of this is that you trickle feed them with water changes and the numbers never build up hugely into the "boom and bust" cycle. It should also give you a reservoir of Daphnia for seeding your buckets. Rain-water may not work for everybody, but It is all limestone around here and even my rainwater is above pH7.

cheers Darrel
 

a1Matt

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10 Mar 2008
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Bromley
I expect it will appear naturally given enough time.
I'd be inclined to spend 50p on a bag from the LFS just to get things going.
 

a1Matt

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10 Mar 2008
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Bromley
You'd be amazed what can appear by itself in a body of water outside. Things can get carried\blown\dropped in.
Even fish will appear if you leave a pond empty long enough!!
 

greenjar

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6 Feb 2011
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Coventry
This thread has inspired me to give it a go (culturing and harvesting daphnia) - seems like a win win situation - you get to rear and tinker about with another life form whilst producing food for another - cant wait to see the results :)
 

nayr88

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4 Feb 2010
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greenjar said:
This thread has inspired me to give it a go (culturing and harvesting daphnia) - seems like a win win situation - you get to rear and tinker about with another life form whilst producing food for another - cant wait to see the results :)

Great way of looking at it, not only can you feed your fish cheaply and well but you get to set up a little nature pond in a bucket :)
 

greenjar

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Joined
6 Feb 2011
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Location
Coventry
Hi folks

I set up a "nature pond" in a bucket placed outdoors using Darrels method described above (thanks Darrel) :thumbup: I intended to add Daphnia and try to grow these on for my fish but have'nt got round to adding the Daphnia to start things off yet.

I have however aquired some other little inhabitants and I'm hoping someone can help ID them for me and advise or assure me that these are ok to add to my tank to supplement the usual fish diet

I have added a picture showing these "black banana floating things" where I think these critters have hatched from. On the photo I've also circled one of the critters in question (about 2.5mm in size) Also sketched a pic to give you an idea of their form to the naked eye.

Any identification help would be much appreciated. Thanks :)

bug1w.jpg



bug2au.jpg
 

ghostsword

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Cape Town, South Africa
That looks like a mosquito larvae.

I got daphnia on mine, got mosquito larvae, but also got something else that I cannot identify. It is shaped like the daphnia buy way bigger.

Also I have run out of green water, and the water is in full sun all day. :)


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tonyg1

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4 Jun 2011
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i have a water but(well a disused pond filter)that is full of green water and loads of critters in it mozzie lava etc,it has'nt been used with the pond for years would it be safe to use these as live food in my tank?.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
that is full of green water and loads of critters in it mozzie lava etc,it has'nt been used with the pond for years would it be safe to use these as live food in my tank?.
Yes, you just need to keep an eye out for Dragon/Damsel Fly nymphs.

cheers Darrel
 

Sentral

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28 Jun 2011
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284
Location
London
I used to have a box in the garden full of these, and did so for around 7-8 months. Basically an unlimited supply for my tank!
Just leave a container out for a while so it collects water and debris (Leaves etc) and make sure it gets a bit of sun. I only chucked half a bag in and within a few weeks it was full of babies. Dead easy, just harvest a couple of nets worth every week or so.
 

Ben M

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1 Sep 2009
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662
I have a big tub outside with loads of moss balls in. It is full of mosquito larvae and bloodworm (I think) ATM. Yesterday I introduced a damselfly nymph to see how it gets along. I saw it today scuttling around in there and it seems happy up to now. I'm not too bothered that It'll eat some of the bugs, as there are millions lol. :D
 

ghostsword

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A while ago I lost my whole population of daphnia on the hot weather.

Have now placed floating plants and a bag from the lfs with daphnia. Got lots of them already.

Placed a spiralina tab, but is there anything else they eat?


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greenjar

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6 Feb 2011
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244
Location
Coventry
ghostsword said:
is there anything else they eat?

.

Luis - Im going to try feeding mine the juice from pur'eed peas once the green water they're in now is gone. I got this option for food from this website. Nice little read, this article :thumbup:

http://www.caudata.org/daphnia/#what3

I only added the Daphnia culture to the oudoors tank this weekend. Prior to this, the tank has been outside for 3 week developing green water for the daphnia. Amazing little creatures, intresting and fun to keep.....I think I can get addicted to keeping them :)

This is the first time I'm keeping them so cant comment on foods that I've tried and tested. Sorry

Keep us updated on how you get on...Ill do the same :)

Below is a picture of the daphnia tank on the day of setup some weeks ago. Unfortunately didnt take one with the water green. Rocks and plants are gone. Only the gravel and sand remains. Tank is sitting on the ground. The Ikea table its sat on was about to break in half the day after setting up....dont know what I was thinking haha :)

p1050383m.jpg
 
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