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© 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, J.Atchison
Use these for:
· Betta fry when
Talk about an easy food to culture! If you have too much trouble with this food, you probably kill grass on a spring day.
You may be asking, "Why vinegar eels and not some other food?"
We have found that the lowly vinegar eel has some advantages over other similarly sized foods. The most commonly cultured food of a similar size (vinegar eels have a maximum size of about 1/16th of an inch , or about 2 mm) is the microworm (Panagrellus sp. or Anguillula edivivu (silusiae ). We use this food as a transitional food from greenwater and infusoria into baby brine shrimp and Microworms. However, the microworm, while easy to culture and harvest falls through the water column and then rests on the bottom or substrate in the tank.
Vinegar eels can survive for days, weeks perhaps, in water. Most live foods fed to fish are not truly aquatic and can die within hours of their introduction into the tank.
We use one-gallon plastic milk jugs and gallon sized vinegar jugs for our culturing containers. But it is possible to culture them in pint sized containers...although a container of such a size will of course have a limited production capacity.
The ingredients for the culture medium are easy to work with. In
acontainer we add ½ of an apple. After we place the apple into the container, we fill the
container about 1/3 full of tap water. The water does not need to be de-chlorinated. We
then add enough apple cider vinegar to the container to bring the surface of the culture
to about ½ of the way up the taper at the top of the jug. The ratio of water to apple
cider vinegar is approximately 1:1 (or 50/50).
The culture will be ready to harvest in a month so some advanced planning is necessaary. After the one-month has passed, there are a couple of options. If one does not need to feed any fish at the time, one can start a second culture with a small portion of the first. If there has been some fluid loss from evaporation, the vessel can be topped off with regular tap water. If one is ready to feed to fish, harvesting the eels is now possible.
We use a different method to harvest now, but it is possible to use a small baster and draw some eel laden fluid up and transfer it into a funnel with a coffee filter inside it. When one thinks that enough eels are harvested (generally two basters full), we wait a couple of minutes to let the fluid drain back into the mother culture. We then run a gentle stream of cold fresh water through the same coffee filter/funnel contraption and let them drain a bit. When the water has drained, we repeat the washing routine. We next turn the filter inside out and swish the inverted filter into a cup of water. We generally had a number of tanks to feed so we tended to swish the filter into a beaker of water and using an eyedropper, feed from the beaker of eels.
"We grow food not bait"