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Live food for guppies.

Endler enthusiast

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Hi, I’m McKenna (Mack and mick are nicknames) and I am a chronic over builder/ overachiever. I am nearing a new endler breeding project( also overbuilt) with an auto fry separator and two tanks dedicated to one colony. I haven’t decided what type of endler I will choose yet, but I know I want to feed both adults and fry live foods (in combination with repashy vegetarian option) and I needed help in choosing which live foods I should get. I wish to put the limit of different cultures to 4 ( not including bbs and the occasional mosquito larva from pooled water)
thank you for reading, and thank you for taking time to help me 🙂

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On 10/2/2021 at 10:25 AM, ADMWNDSR83 said:

I only feed bbs as live foods for all my fish, but I've seen some people have success with daphnia, maybe?  I do freeze dried daphnia and mysis shrimp at times.

Thank you for your comment,I was thinking of using micro worms, grindle worms, bbs, and occasionally some mosquito larva

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I'd try grindal worms for sure whiteworms have been great for my setups. Grindal is the same low smelling culture as the white worms just smaller worms from what I've researched. 

I currently do daphnia mostly outside once they rebound from winter.  They are a main live food in the fish room May-October or the first freeze and netting them out to feed will give me sizes from very small for young fish to decently large for adults,  

Also have Peanut beetles. once cranking provide a ton of larvae for fish. 

My whiteworms are easy culture doesn't smell bigger worms that probably would work for endless in a colony

My flightless larger species (hydei) fruit flies. These arrprimarily for my butterfly fish and wild betta but seem to be happily taken by my livebearers the highland swordtail, Characodon audax, Characodon Lateralis, one-sided livebearer. I'd assume endless also may take flies. 

My blackworm adventure is a long term culture with limited daphnia in a 10 gallon that has a sponge filter. The theory being ill have some small amount of daphnia through winter and they will keep the bacteria etc down and help clean the water for the blackworms. I have yet to feed a fish who didn't eat these. They also live in the tank they are fed into until eaten in my setups.  That is benefit that only daphnia and these seem to offer.

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On 10/4/2021 at 9:57 AM, ADMWNDSR83 said:

I've never attempted raising my own live food except bbs.  For EE's sake as well as my own, what is a good live to break into, and how?

Full disclaimer I feed prepared, frozen, grocery store items, repashy, and live foods to keep as much variety as possible and to avoid being stuck if something crashes, goes out of stock, or other issue on the supply side. 

I can only give you my observations of what live foods I have tried, and how I have tried them but in the event my limited experience helps:

Vinegar Eels - a bottle with a neck, water, apple cider vinegar, apple slices. a rubber band and a papertowel. very easy I start my  mother culture apple slices the mix of water and vinegar and a starter culture then rubber band a paper towel over the top to allow air exchange but keep out bugs. I also do the same to set up my working culture when i want to feed a push polyfill down the neck of the bottle and fill it with fresh water. eels climb up in n hour or so to get the air exchange and I pippette out the eels from the bottle directly into the tank im feeding them. They seem to last forever with nothing beyond the initial apples. hard to see but they are there once started at least in my cultures. The clear harvest water will get a little wavy for me and thats how i can tell there are eels.    

Live Baby Brine - excellent when needed - handy to have I have had the most success with the Ziss hatcher and coop eggs personally. I do 80 degrees with a heater in the center and no additional lighting - 2 tablespoons salt 1/2 to 1 tablespoon eggs depending on what is happening in the fishroom. They hatch in 36 hours for me up here

Daphnia " Russian Red" - outside in water very little effort to keep- I keep these primarily outside in a 70 quart / 17.5 gallon muck bucket with 2 inches of blasting media on the bottom and floating plants as well as indian almond leaves to rot and provide microscopic organisms to the daphnia. I filled the bucket with water change water initially and occasionally top it off for evaporation if needed. The bucket is located and relocated to receive 1/2 direct sunlight for a few hours per day. There is no heater, no air, no water movement, no water changes, and I feed them 2 tablespoons of powdered spirulina flake every 3 days or so. The water temperature in that bucket often ranges from 42 degrees to 60 degrees in a 24 hour period and I can harvest hundreds of daphnia daily and not make a dent on the population. I also have never seen it crash once established outside. 

Live Blackworms - own tank feed spirulina flake or wafers regularly and no heater- a relatively new adventure but extremely helpful to nearly all fish and particularly bottom dwellers. I have set them up on a 26x18x9 tank with a sponge filter and a small amount of daphnia from the outdoor bucket. The tank is kept as cool as possible and the water is changed twice per week with water from a cool water tank. I harvest with a turkey baster and then mix the colony up by sucking up worms and shooting them around the tank to break them up into more worms.  My as yet unproven theory is the daphnia will keep the water quality in the worm tank that much cleaner by filtering the water column a bit. The worms and the daphnia seem to be thriving both are reactive to light which is something I had not known prior to this experiment. These can get foul smelling fast and I have yet to figure out how to avoid that in my long term set up. One benefit is they will survive in the fish tank until eaten. Depending on what fish you are feeding this could be quite a while until they hunt them down and consume them. 

Live White Worms - tupperware container, cut a rectangle out of the top add the sheet formed polyfill used to make your own filter. (Not the resin stuff the straight polyester fiber stuff in a roll). The container is filled with coconut fiber"soil" or any other soil you have and kept moist. whole wheat bread smeared with live yogurt and brewers/nutritional yeast sprinkled on top of that yogurt to cover. I place that on top of soil yeast side down and replace every 48 hours. The whiteworms feed on the yeast yogurt and bread this culture doesn't really smell like anything the only catch is to replace the food to avoid any mold etc for my conditions anyway. These take a bit to get going but whiteworms are very popular with all my fish. I believe grindal worms work the same way. I have no experience with grindal worms.   

Peanut Beatle Larvae - this is also tupperware container, cut a rectangle out of the top add the sheet formed polyfill used to make your own filter. (Not the resin stuff the straight polyester fiber stuff in a roll). I do half with oats and half with cracked unsalted peanuts.  Feed them one slice of potato per week and try to keep the moisture content just below that which causes mold to start. If that occurs I try to reduce the humidity. This culture churns out peanut shells full of larvae which drives the fish wild. 

Hydei flightless fruit flies - this is a commercial supplied culture done in 32 ounce deli containers with ventilated lids that have a fabric on them to allow air exchange. The culture is ready to harvest at 2 weeks through 4 weeks for me. I start new cultures every 2 weeks. Any fish that feeds up top has eaten these flies but they are the larger variety which weighs too much for its wings to function. Butterfly fish really enjoy these as well as betta and goodied like characodon audax. The key is to have minimal floating plants and feed as much as the fish consume otherwise the flies will walk up the sides of the tank and look for an opening. They do occasionally get to the covers of my tanks but fall back into the water due to gravity. 

Excess fry / culls - a reality of keeping fish is some reproduce in numbers too great to share or too great to keep. In this instance they make for nourishment for larger fish just as in nature. A reality you can do this by leaving fry in a tank also and just let nature take its course.  My preference in setups is to have multiple species to encourage stronger pair bonds and to keep the weak or sick fry and in some cases fish out of the population. In my opinion this results in stronger fish long term. 

Mystery Snails - I keep these primarily for puffer food for both my hairy puffer colony and my mekong river puffer colony. The lay a ridiculous amount of eggs. once the snails are large enough those ambush puffers will eat the snail out of the shell. My puffers will not go through a shell but will go crazy for snail meat the size needs to be large enough for them to accomplish that otherwise they will ignore the snail in my setup until it is big enough for their tastes.

Ramshorn Snails  and Malaysian trumpet snails - both are food for the dwarf chain loach colony and the ramshorns are also added to tanks where there are assassin snails. They are a live food for a carnivorous snail primarily. 

That is all the ones I can think of that I use and how I use them when they are in a harvesting cycle.  


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On 10/5/2021 at 11:51 PM, mountaintoppufferkeeper said:


Vinegar Eels - a bottle with a neck, water, apple cider vinegar, apple slices. a rubber band and a papertowel. very easy I start my  mother culture apple slices the mix of water and vinegar and a starter culture then rubber band a paper towel over the top to allow air exchange but keep out bugs.

Where does one find a starter culture of Vinegar eels?  I have two LFS near me, but have never seen anything.  Granted, I never asked.

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