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I have acquired quite a few different cultures gradually,
work well for me and some don't. These are the ones I have kept going,
some better than others. My favorites are the BBS, microworms,
and grindals, because these are easiest for me, and I feed them to my
fish daily. In order of size, smallest to largest, they are:
Microworms and Walterworms
Baby Brine Shrimp
Grindal worms on green scrub pads
Daphnia vs Moina
I discuss my experiences with each on these pages, and I've included some
more web resources here. I
also have some notes from fellow MASI and SLAKA member Jack Heller, a
master breeder of killifish, on how he does some of his live food
cultures, including paramecia, white worms, and fruit flies, here.
And I continue to envy Charles Harrison's cool basement that
allows him to keep thriving cultures of white worms year round--see his
setup for those here.
For truly in depth information on culturing these and many other live
foods, there is now a terrific, up-to-date resource by my friend Mike
Hellweg, a master fish breeder and fish keeper who has just written a book on the subject. You can reach him here to find out how to get a copy of his Culturing Live Foods.
I've learned a bunch from my copy already, and am going to change
some of my formulas to reflect this new information. He discusses
all of the foods I have here in more depth, plus many smaller, larger,
and some just plain finickier than I have been able to keep going.
This book is also a primer on spawning fish--just because the
discussion is framed as culturing them as feeders for other fish
doesn't mean the tips and strategies mentioned are any less applicable
to breeding a wide variety of desireable fish. That's a lot of
great info for one book.
Some good web resources for more information on culturing live foods:
In case you missed the first link, this is where you can get Mike Hellweg's book Culturing Live Foods
The Bug Farm website
discusses which foods for which fish as well as culture techniques
American Killifish Association Beginner's guide has a good section
on live foods
discusses an extensive variety of live foods
The Live-Foods list is not very active but seems to be pretty good
The Killietalk archives
include many good threads on live foods
Notes from Jack Heller on
live food cultures, including paramecia.
Some images of Charles'
Harrison's live food cultures
Magic Worm Bedding
is available by telephone or mail order directly from the company, but
not yet available directly online.
And, of course, your local fish club is usually a great source of
starter cultures and helpful people who know enough to generate excess
cultures to give you a start.
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