Diatomaceous Earth

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03 Jan 2018 16:10 #1 by Bill
Bill created the topic: Diatomaceous Earth
Anyone have experience or knowledge of using Diatomaceous Earth? I do have experience using it as a slug killer and on other horticulture pests.
My problem is, my Whiteworm cultures are full of mites. I've never had this before as I sterilise my soil before using it. Anyone know it it's safe for Whiteworms?
Bill

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03 Jan 2018 17:20 #2 by Bill
Bill replied the topic: Diatomaceous Earth
Decided to run an experiment.
I know that Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) is deadly to slugs, snails, mites, greenfly etc. but absolutely safe for all types of garden worm. D.E. is used as a wormer for poultry, dogs and cats; also humans. I suppose it will depend on whether the Whiteworms are closer to garden worms or intestinal worms what the result would be. I'm positive they are closely related to garden worms.
I've taken a batch of Whiteworms complete with mites and set them in a container. I'll use the D.E. on them and watch the results over the next 10 days. Mites etc. should be eliminated within 48hrs so I'll give the culture the rest of the time to see how the worms fare, although they should also be dead within the 48hrs as well if it's not good for them.
Any input in the meantime will be gratefully received.
Bill

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03 Jan 2018 17:48 #3 by JohnH
JohnH replied the topic: Diatomaceous Earth
That should prove an interesting experiment Bill, I'm keen to know how it goes.
I have tried several methods down the years including Moth Balls with varied results.
The most callous mite eradication ploy I used was to play a flame gun's flames across the medium momentarily. This will also have effectively killed some worms but I hit on the idea of firstly shining a light over the culture which caused most of the worms to move away from the light (after, of course, removing the feed and glass cover).
This did not eradicate them but it was a little while before they built up numbers again - only to be roasted yet again.
Eventually, though,I found the best way to keep them down was by regularly starting new cultures and chucking out the mite-infested ones.

John

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04 Jan 2018 12:36 #4 by Bill
Bill replied the topic: Diatomaceous Earth
During my research I found loads of ways that people have tried to get rid of mites and fruit flies, some methods include your flame technique and constantly starting new cultures. All said that eventually they would become infested again, eventually. I didn't, however, come across anyone that had tried DE. So as they say; nothing ventured, nothing gained. I'll post again how it works out.
I would like to say for anyone worried about these mites; they aren't harmful, nor do I think they compete for food or anything with the worms, but opening your box of worms to feed and see the surface covered by these mites and clouds of fruit flies and moss flies pouring out can be a bit annoying.
Whoever thought that algae fossils would become so helpful!
Bill

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10 Jan 2018 17:41 #5 by Bill
Bill replied the topic: Diatomaceous Earth
I received my new supply of DE today and have treated the batch of Whiteworms I separated last week. I'll update the experiment in a couple of days. Fingers crossed.
Bill

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11 Jan 2018 16:25 #6 by Bill
Bill replied the topic: Diatomaceous Earth
Well! Just checked the Whiteworms 24hrs after treatment, no sign of mites or moss flies. Seems to be successful. I had a poke around and the worms appear to be alive and healthy. Looks like a good method of getting rid of unsightly mites and moss fly.

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11 Jan 2018 17:13 #7 by JohnH
JohnH replied the topic: Diatomaceous Earth
Seems as though you might have found an answer to an age-old problem Bill.

I must order some, although I think both my White and Grindal worm cultures are now well past their best.

John

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11 Jan 2018 18:30 #8 by Bill
Bill replied the topic: Diatomaceous Earth
Hopefully, John. I've used it for a few years in the greenhouse and it just struck me the other week that it might just work on those blasted mites in the Whiteworms, after all, every greenhouse owners worst nightmare is red spider mite and it works on those, not to mention those pesky moss flies that come out the tub when you open it and fly straight into your eyes :))
I'll keep a close eye on the worms over the next few days, just to make sure they are OK.

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11 Jan 2018 21:53 #9 by fishmad1234
fishmad1234 replied the topic: Diatomaceous Earth
very informative posy bill.


dont have the need for any cultures of live food at the moment.


but a great read and very interesting


regards
craig

at the end of the day it becomes nite

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12 Jan 2018 14:57 #10 by JohnH
JohnH replied the topic: Diatomaceous Earth
I remember 'Diatom' filters in the 60s and later which used this as (I think) a media for curing all known ailments (my italics - possibly a little tongue-in-cheek).

Back then I could never afford one but they were highly recommended by the people in the know).

I don't know if they're still available - it might be worth checking out.

John

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We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl - year after year.


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12 Jan 2018 18:26 #11 by igmillichip
igmillichip replied the topic: Diatomaceous Earth
The first power filter I bought, JohnH, was a Vortex Diatom filter (if my memory serves me well).......... imported from the states at some stupid cost.

If you didn't mind cleaning your filter every day (well..... not quite, but close) then the old Vortex Diatom filters were great.
They looked like something from an 19th Century chemists shop ..... or maybe a old James Whale Boris Karloff film !!

But........... if you remember the old external air-driven hang-over filters, JohnH, and trying to get them to start, then anything seemed like magic.

ian

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12 Jan 2018 18:29 #12 by igmillichip
igmillichip replied the topic: Diatomaceous Earth
Like this..............for youngsters.....(not mine)


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12 Jan 2018 18:33 #13 by JohnH
JohnH replied the topic: Diatomaceous Earth
Ah, so that's what they looked like...

Were they as effective at disease control as was claimed?

John

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12 Jan 2018 18:41 #14 by Bill
Bill replied the topic: Diatomaceous Earth
I'd forgotten about those filters until you mentioned them, John. I could only afford the box filters that sat in the bottom back corner of the aquarium, I think they can still be found in Amazon and eBay; I'm sure they did as good a job as power filters do today.
As for curing most illnesses, when buying the DE you have to be careful. It appears to be a big money-spinner these days with food grade DE for human consumption costing around £9.00 or £10.00 for 500g and animal food grade costing around £16.00 for 6Kg.
The Whiteworms appear to still be alive and well.
Bill

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12 Jan 2018 18:53 #15 by igmillichip
igmillichip replied the topic: Diatomaceous Earth
In theory, the finer the pore size of a filter the smaller the disease causing organism that could be filters.
But these filter media are fluid....and so it would be more like impeding the flow of organisms through the filter media rather than blocking them.

Now, I have filters for filtering out bacteria (much better than a Hepa Filter).......... I would have used them when preparing degased purified water.
Those filters would filter any disease causing organism..... like if you put the water through RO.

But.....always a "but"......... you don't get something for nothing.
The high pressure required is not suitable for fishkeeping; and if it you could use it on a practical basis then it would clog pretty quickly.

I would say that the old Vortex would reduce the continuation of such things as white spot .......... part being due to the fine filter media, but also (I would say) part due to the fact that a decent power filter was pushing water around a tank and there may have been better biological filter things going on than a tank with no filter.

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