Here is a list of foods that can be cultured at home. If you want more info just post a question on the forum.
Green water microscopic food
Green water will contain plenty of organisms that are ideal for tiny fry to feed on. Use some old tank water in a large jar or small tank. Add some dead plant matter or detritus and place near a window to get some light or use another light source.Within a couple of days it will become cloudy and ready to feed to fry.
Use a turkey baster to suck up some of the green water ( but be careful not to suck up any of the mulm from the bottom ) and add to the fry tank.
Top up the culture with old tank water.
Alternatively add some java moss to the culture for a couple of days and add this to the fry tank. The young fish can pick at the organisms all day long.
Infusoria barley visible live food
One of the easiest ways is to get a small tank or bowl and keep an apple snail in it. Feed the snail on greens like lettuce or peas. Even old flake food will do. Snails only partly digest there food leaving a rich source of organic matter for the infusoria to thrive on. Use the water from this to add to the fry tank.
Vinegar Eels visible to the naked eye
You will need to obtain a culture of these to get started.You will need a container like an old glass milk bottle.Mix 2 parts wine vinegar with 1 part water and add a pinch of sugar. Pour this mix into the culture bottle. Add half the culture of vinegar Eels to this and the second half on day 2. Place the bottle in a cool dark place. The Eels will multiply quickly.
To remove the Eels from the bottle you will need to pour some of the liquid from the bottle through a coffee filter, catch the strained liquid and pour back into the bottle.
To feed the Eels to the fry you must rinse them in the coffee filter under the tap and then add them to the fry tank.
Micro worms suitable for small to large fry
Mix up some instant potato mix ( smash ) in a small clear tub, roughly 2 parts water to 1 part smash. Leave this for 24 hours. This should be neither thick nor watery. Add a culture of Micro worms by placing them on the top. Within a couple of days you will see them spread across the surface of the media.
To collect them place a small piece of good quality kitchen towel on a small section of the worms/media. Within a couple of hours the worms will have worked there way through the towel with no media attached. This piece of kitchen towel can stay in the culture to make it easy to collect the worms. To remove the worms simply rub a blunt object like a spoon across the towel and add the worms to the fry tank.
The worms will stay alive for over 2 weeks in the aquarium water.
Using a clear container allows you to see when the media is used up and time to start another. The dead media will turn brown from the bottom up leaving the good media a yellowish colour.
Grindal worms and white worms suitable for large fry to medium sized fish
These are usually cultured differently but this method works fine for both.Do a 50/50 mix of top soil and moss peat ( no fertilizers ). This should be boiled and then microwaved to kill off any unwanted pests. Some people don’t bother with boiling etc. and do just fine.
The mix should be left overnight to cool and should be damp and not too wet. Place the mix in a tub. I use tubs 12” long, 6” wide and about 3” of the mix is placed inside. This lasts about 6 months without starting a new culture. You can use ice cream tubs, but these need to be changed more often.
Add a culture of worms on top of the mix and place a piece of glass or plastic directly on top of the culture. The tubs should be kept at room temp. Max, and in a dark place.
Feeding is easy since worms are like waste disposal units. Bread, oatmeal, potato, etc. The best food seems to be old or cheap flake food. Depending on how many worms are in the tub will determine how much food to give them.
IMPORTANT; worms will not eat dry food. When you sprinkle the food over the culture you will need to sprinkle it with water so they can eat the food.
Once the food is offered place a piece of glass or plastic on top.
To collect the worms simply remove the glass/plastic and the worms will be attached. Rinse into a tub and feed the worms you have collected to your fish.
Brine shrimp – Artemia nauplii for fry and adult fish
To hatch brine shrimp eggs you need a cone shaped bottle. There are plenty on the market to choose from. I use a 2ltr. Bottle with the bottom cut of and turned upside down.In this you add a warm salt water mix. Most of the egg suppliers recommend 1 table spoon of non-iodized salt per ltr. of water, with 2 teaspoons of eggs.
I use 1 table spoon of salt per 2 ltr. of water and only 1 teaspoon of eggs. This works fine with a good 90% hatch rate.
An air stone is placed down the bottom of the cone with good aeration to keep the eggs suspended. It is important to keep them in suspension or they won’t hatch.
There is a direct link between the temperature and the time it takes the eggs to hatch.
At a temperature of 75-80f ( 24-27c ) the eggs will hatch in about 24 hours.
I hatch them at about 68-70f ( 20-21c ), the eggs hatch in 48 hours.
Once the eggs have hatched you can remove the air line.
I place a paper bag over the bottle just leaving the bottom ( point of the cone ) exposed.
Since the shrimp are phototropic ( they are attracted to light ) i point a lamp at the base of the cone.
After about 10 minutes the shrimp are at the bottom and the empty shells are floating at the top. Siphon the shrimp through a very fine net and give them a good rinse with fresh water to remove the salt. The shrimp are now ready to feed to the fish.
The remaining water in the cone can be passed through the net to remove all the empty shells and the water can be used again for about 2 weeks before you need to make a fresh salt water mix.
These are just a few live foods that can be used and I have tried to keep the info to a minimum. If you want to know more just ask on the forum. Myself or someone else on the forum will give you more info.
DARREN DALTON. Aka platty252