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I was wondering how common it was for people to raise their own live food to feed their fishes.
What do you raise, and how difficult/time consuming is it?

Thanks!
 

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I don’t know how common it is but a lot of people raise live food for their fish.

I’ve raised the following:

White worms
Drosophila (wingless fruit flies)
Micro worms
Brine shrimp
Euglena (infusoria)
The last three I used to raise fry.

I suppose that I have also raised in a serendipitous way, mosquito larvae by keeping some stagnant water around my home.

All of the above are easy to raise but require some regular attention but if you put in the work, your fish will probably respond by breeding for you.
 

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I raise Daphnia magna. I have them in two 5 gallon tanks with compact fluorescent light above the tanks to grow the algae to feed them. It works pretty well; my dwarf cichlids love them!
 

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I've raised daphnia pulex and magna. I've had better luck with Moina (higher yield, not as sensitive).
 

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I have 2 55 gal plastic rain barrels and harvest mosquito larvae, chironomid midge larvae (small red wormlikes about 1/2" long0, and occasionally daphnia from those barrels. In the past of hatched brine shrimp for fry.

Charles
 

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daphnia magna
white worms
baby brine shrimp
red worms (soon)
grindel worms (just got the culture)
vinegar eels

vinegar eels are easiest for me, they thrive on neglect. :D

I think i inadvertently raise cherry shrimp to feed fish. I keep them in my grow out tanks and dwarf cichlid tanks with no babies.... so they must be going somewhere.... :D
 

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Besides vinegar eels, what are some easy live food to raise? I mean like live food that thrive on neglect :)
I keep my microworms in a Gladware container on top of my T5 fixture. They grow on top of cooked, cooled oatmeal. They can last a month or longer before getting really stinky. MW's are better suited for raising fry. I'm into breeding Tetras though. It really depends on what type of fish you have and how you are keeping them to determine the best live foods to keep. I've kept blackworms in my refrigerator's crisper for months without water changes and they seemed to be reproducing.
 

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Yes, since I've started loving and keeping some dwarf cichlids, I've had to learn to keep some live foods. It's hard to keep the dwarfs and not want some of their babies to survive. (I figure that since the dwarfs commonly live only 2 or 3 years; then by raising up some babies, I safeguarding my initial investment and have replacements when my breeders are too old.)

Microworms are very easy to keep going. Probably takes 2-3 mins a day. Once a day, I walk to the fridge and get out the yeast to sprinkle a little onto my culture. This really keeps it going. I also am trying to raise daphnia and grindals.

So, my routine. First, feed/dose nutrients for the plants in the tank. Second, feed the fish in the tank. Third, feed the live food cultures - for the fish in the planted tanks. Fourth, and finally do any H2O top offs as needed. Yes, I've got too many tanks...(because I like the fish as much as the plants.) For me this takes about 30 min in the A.M. :clock:

This is seperate from any specific tank maintainace like H2O changes, pruning, filter cleaning, rescapes, etc., etc.

I really found this website very helpful:
http://www.livefoodcultures.com/
 

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Daphnia is pretty easy for me. I have 3 cultures (2 are starts from the main culture just in case of a crash) the main being in a 5g bucket. I feed them paprika or spirulina powder every other day.

BBS is hardest for me. I can never separate the unhatched eggs from the live guys.... I think im just doing it wrong/lazily though.... :p

I agree microworms are easy. the vinegar eels i forgot about for 2 months and found the culture still alive and well. LOL.
 

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I would highly recommend raising some amount of live food to anyone attempting to breed any fish that isn't a strict herbivore (and once you start culturing live food, you realize almost none of them are strict herbivores!).

I've never had a fish that wouldn't take some kind of flake, pellet, or frozen food with a little effort, but live food really ramps up breeding production and does wonders for fry survival.

I'm currently culturing (roughly in order of size):

greenwater/infusoria (ultra-tiny, for newly hatched fry)
walter worms (tiny, for fry, less work than vinegar eels)
cyclops (for fry, the kind I have are slightly smaller than the daphnia and moina)
daphnia (magna, I think, as well as moina, ostrocods, etc)
gammarus (scuds, these obtain a larger size and are much less crash prone than daphnia)
whiteworms (still testing these out)
guppies (although I rarely use these as feeders these days)
redworms (composting worms)

I've landed on these as they have decent outputs, and require as close to zero work and zero money as possible...which is pretty much the cost of a free bucket from my local grocery store bakery, and the periodic starting of new cultures to prevent crashes and keep output up. Every two weeks or so on the daphnia and every month or so for the rest.

I don't think having buckets of bugs and worms around is for everyone, but the fish sure seem to like it.

Cliff
 

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Depends on the age of the larvae and the type of mosquito. I collect the egg rafts from the surfaces of my daphnia cultures (to try to prevent sharing extra mosquitoes with the neighbourhood), and when the mossies hatch out they're barely visible...plenty small for decent sized fry even...

If by harlequin you mean CPD (not sure if there are others referred to as harlequins...), small larvae work great, but the fry are super-small, so if the larvae are of decent size, they'll probably pick off any young the adults aren't eating...and if they're simply too large for the adults to eat, you'll be hatching mosquitoes inside...

My CDP's seem to really like daphnia and scuds, but what they really seem to like best is eating their own eggs and fry. :(
 

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micro/banana/walter worms are easy to take care of. You just have to make sure you make a new culture before the old ones turn into a stinky worm wine :)

Grindals are also very easy to keep ime - I've forgotten about mine for a month once and sprinkled some baby cereal on the old cultures - came right back. These are too big for fry though, but are great for small tetras/danios/dwarf cichilds/etc

I grow Moina in outside containers, just need to make sure the cultures don't overgrow or they can crash. I just started feeding spirulina, had been feeding green water from another container. If you get a rugged container that wont crack with freezing, the cultures overwinter as well.

Mosquito larvae require no work other than harvesting from a stagnant open container outside.....
 
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