1. Hello guest! Are you an Apistogramma enthusiast? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's a great place for Apisto enthusiasts to meet online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your fish and tanks and have a great time with other Apisto enthusiasts. Sign up today!

Uncertain on Apisto Safe Food

Discussion in 'Apistogramma' started by Strong Style, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. ButtNekkid

    ButtNekkid Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2016
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    74
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Maybe you guys could scan the whole book for greater good!
  2. boofeng

    boofeng Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    18
    There are copies at our local library. If you're interested in any particular live food I could probably scan those pages and email them to you. But the whole book would be too much work!

    And we should support these authors too. :)

    (When it comes to academic papers, though, I'm with Aaron Swartz and think they should be public access, as many academics are publicly funded, and they don't earn profits - it's the journals that do. Plus research is like a public good - maybe we need to find a way so society pays for it rather than the private sector.)
    gerald and dw1305 like this.
  3. boofeng

    boofeng Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    18
    There's a term for this, even - ovitrapping! We piloted this locally for a while (dengue fever is a major problem here - I'm now almost immune to it as I've contracted it three times!), but it doesn't seem to be in use now.

    Re: attracting mosquitoes, bacterial blooms in water seem to attract them. One time I forgot to feed microworms after harvesting them in a little tupperware tub. After a couple of days the water turned cloudy. And soon there were many mosquito larvae in it. Mike Hellweg suggests adding a drop of milk to tubs, and using black ones, IIRC.
    ButtNekkid and dw1305 like this.
  4. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    640
    Trophy Points:
    113
    A drowned squirrel in a rain barrel works pretty well too.
    ButtNekkid and dw1305 like this.
  5. JosVermeulen

    JosVermeulen Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    8
    What's the concern if they are thawed? It's vacuum sealed and sterilized of bacteria, meaning that even if they happen to have thawed for a day or two they should not have any issues, right?
  6. aarhud

    aarhud Active Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    28
    This happened in one of my summer tubs. Scared the crap out of me. I thought it was driftwood.
  7. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    9,802
    Likes Received:
    1,325
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thawing and re-freezing destroys the texture and vitamin content of the product. It really depends on how long it was thawed (partially or completely?). Besides, bacteria can survive in sealed and sterilized packages. Why pay good money for improperly maintained product?
    dw1305 likes this.
  8. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    640
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Another concern with frozen foods is how the bugs were handled when first harvested. Were they frozen quickly before they died, or did they start to decay before their initial freezing and packaging? Once frozen, it's not real obvious.
    dw1305 likes this.
  9. dw1305

    dw1305 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,128
    Likes Received:
    522
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Hi all
    These are the buckets and Blackworms. It was just a quick swish through the Hornwort with an aquarium net, so there are plenty in there.

    The wood is just soaking until I need it, rather than being an essential element.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    cheers Darrel
    boofeng, Mbkemp and ButtNekkid like this.
  10. aarhud

    aarhud Active Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Interesting Darrel. Thanks for posting. I'm going to give this a try.

    Do you think the Asellus is important to the health of the culture?
  11. dw1305

    dw1305 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,128
    Likes Received:
    522
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Hi all,
    I don't know. There are plenty of them in all the buckets, and water butts.

    They help in the tank with breaking down any dead plant material, but whether they compete with the Blackworms I don't know. The Asellus aren't at all predatory, but I know that some Gammarus etc are.

    My suspicion is that they are irrelevant, but I've not had cultures without them.

    cheers Darrel
  12. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    640
    Trophy Points:
    113
    You might also try growing blackworms in tubs with Daphnia or other zooplankton. The Zoop's consume planktonic algae, which is unavailable to worms, and convert it to poop which the blackworms might then use as food. Worth a try?
  13. aarhud

    aarhud Active Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Speaking of live food. My garden cart was full of mosquito larva and I just harvested. I also see daphnia looking things as well. Do daphnia spontaneously appear?
    dw1305 likes this.
  14. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    640
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Not, not "spontaneous" really, but the dried ephippia (dormant "eggs") can blow out of dried-up ponds in windy weather and end up in odd places, or stick to twigs and grass at the edges of ponds where birds might take them as nest material. I've seen Daphnids in rock-crevice puddles on mountain tops.
    dw1305 likes this.
  15. dw1305

    dw1305 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,128
    Likes Received:
    522
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Hi all,
    There are Daphnia in the buckets, but they don't do as well in the buckets with Hornwort as the ones without.
    I've found that as well, Daphnia seem to appear in strange places, presumably via wind blown ephippia. The really experts in finding ephemeral water bodies are Seed Shrimps (Ostracods), so the Daphnia like crustaceans may be them.

    cheers Darrel
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
    boofeng likes this.
  16. aarhud

    aarhud Active Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I read Hellweg's book after this thread stirred up interest.

    Has anyone come across Dero worms? If you follow Hellweg's methods of culturing, the dero worms and tubifex worms seem easier to culture than blackworms. For those of you who do not have the book, the culture method involves a small container of 5-10 gallons and some cut up polyester sponge. He does recommend a filter, but no heater or light is needed. You feed the worms lightly with a sinking food.

    I'm going to give grindal worms another try using the soilless method. I always end up with gnats in my soil cultures. I tried the soilless method in the past, but the water kept getting smelly. I did not have the canvas needlepoint on top of my sponge. Maybe that is the trick so that the food does come into contact with the water.
  17. dw1305

    dw1305 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,128
    Likes Received:
    522
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Hi all,
    I tried to get a culture in the UK, mainly for feeding <"small Corydoras fry">, but without any joy.

    The scientific name is Dero (Aulophorus) furcatus.

    cheers Darrel
  18. boofeng

    boofeng Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Hi aarhud and Darrel

    Dero worms appear as contaminants in tubifex sold as live food here. A local hobbyist has written an account of how he cultures dero worms. I've tried culturing them before but the growth rate for the real estate makes them unattractive. I also recall coming across a paper describing how dero worms were cultured for lab use using brown paper towels in shallow trays, and did better without aeration.

    I've also tried tubifex culture, in a bare bottom tub with just a powerhead driving a trickle filter. The tubifex stayed alive for weeks, but kept diminishing in number because I didn't feed enough. But it does show that with good flow and good filtration the worms can survive well even in our tropical heat (water temperatures usually 28-30 deg Celsius)
    aarhud and dw1305 like this.
  19. aarhud

    aarhud Active Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I found Derro worms at a biological supply company that provides materials/cultures for science classes. The culture would be expensive for a few worms. The article you linked tempts me.
  20. aarhud

    aarhud Active Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I noticed my adult Apistogramma sifting sand where micro worms have accumulated. Do you think the worms are still too small to be used this way? I wonder if a significant amount of worms would be consumed by the sifting activity.