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Old 01-11-2017, 01:06 AM
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Default Methylparaben heating question

I'm going to be making my own fruit fly media and doing some comparison testing.

I use NEHERP media and the instructions state to use hot water. Josh's frogs media says to use boiling water.

Anyway, methylparaben obviously requires heating but just how much heat and what is the purpose? I've only seen vague mention of it needing to be "activated"
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

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Originally Posted by port_plz View Post
Anyway, methylparaben obviously requires heating but just how much heat and what is the purpose? I've only seen vague mention of it needing to be "activated"
Methylparaben does not need to be heated to be activated. I'm not sure where your hearing that as a reason, but its not true. Methylparaben is stable at 100 C (212 F) which indicates that nothing in or about the molecule changes ... Now if you heat it to 100 C and have a pH of around 9, you can cause hydrolysis of the molecule but then it doesn't function as a preservative.

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Old 01-11-2017, 04:22 PM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

I use MP in my homemade fly cultures and use room temp water from the tap with no issues. I have been doing it that way for 7 or 8 years now. No heating necessary.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

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Methylparaben does not need to be heated to be activated. I'm not sure where your hearing that as a reason, but its not true. Methylparaben is stable at 100 C (212 F) which indicates that nothing in or about the molecule changes ... Now if you heat it to 100 C and have a pH of around 9, you can cause hydrolysis of the molecule but then it doesn't function as a preservative.

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Thanks Ed

Here's the media that claims hot water activates the mold inhibitor.

Under directions on the right:

Quote:
Mix 1/2 cup of boiling water with 2 oz. of Fruit Fly Media (BE SURE TO PRE-STIR YOUR DRY INGREDIENTS BEFORE ADDING TO YOUR WATER SO THAT THE MOLD INHIBITOR IS MIXED IN). You need boiling water not hot tap water so the mold inhibitors activate.
Maybe you can answer why all the commercial medias I've used require hot or boiling water. Is it to help dissolve the ingredients?
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

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I use MP in my homemade fly cultures and use room temp water from the tap with no issues. I have been doing it that way for 7 or 8 years now. No heating necessary.
Thanks! Good to hear. Mind sharing your recipe?
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

Sure... I use either Stater Bros. (Local grocery store) or Walmart brand boxed potato flakes, regular granulated sugar and brewers yeast and MP from Joshs. I mix in large batches and typically mix 2 large boxes of potatoes (approx. 24 cups), 3 cups of brewers yeast, 3 cups sugar and 1/3 cup MP. The ratio is approx 8/1/1 plus whatever the ratio of the MP works out to be. I think it was originally something like 1 tbsp per 4 cups. Anything close to that mixture will work fine. It doesn't have to be measured exactly. As the user that I got the recipe from stated years ago here on DB, it's not like we are making French pastries.
I use 1/2 cup media mixed with 2/3 cups water. I use tap water at whatever temp it comes out of the faucet. I have used hot water too. Either works fine but I get more time to stir with cooler water. It sets up in a couple minutes and I sprinkle Red Star brand bakers yeast from Costco over the top. It comes in big bags for cheap compared to the small expensive jars most grocery stores carry. Then I throw some excelsior in and it's ready for flies. This method has been my only fly culture recipe that I have used for many years now. I have never had a complete crash, rarely get mold and if I do it is in only 1 culture of the 10-12 per week that I make, and the production of flies is great enough that I have to make sure to feed out of the cultures multiple times or dup some out to avoid them from crashing due to overpopulation.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

Awesome! Thanks for writing that up. I'll be using it.

I picked up a large amount of instant mashed potatoes at Costco but it has butter in it. Will this cause any issues that you're aware of?

The only ingredients listed are potatoes, butter and salt.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

Don't know for sure, but I would avoid it if it has butter or salt.
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

When you make the culture, the butter might get moldy or something
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:01 AM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

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Originally Posted by MELLOWROO421 View Post
Don't know for sure, but I would avoid it if it has butter or salt.
Quote:
Originally Posted by roundfrog View Post
When you make the culture, the butter might get moldy or something
That's pretty much what I thinking...

Anyone know of any bulk deals on potato flakes and powdered sugar?
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Old 01-12-2017, 04:17 PM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

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Originally Posted by port_plz View Post

Maybe you can answer why all the commercial medias I've used require hot or boiling water. Is it to help dissolve the ingredients?
There are two fundamental benefits to the use of boiling or hot water, the first is that it acts to reduce the risk of unwanted colonizers in the media, which can range from bacteria to grain mites. The second is that it does help to dissolve of the ingredients and distribute them more evenly in the media (powdered sugar for example).
A minor benefit comes from the fact that it hydrates the media faster and can break down the starches a little to make them more available.

I'm going to also add that claims of how good a media is based on production be considered with great suspicion as that is a subjective measure and is highly dependent on a number of genetic and environmental factors.

Finally claims of gut loading in fruit flies are problematic as the flies have a very short digestive retention time (six hours for a complete turn over), and are also very efficient at excreting calcium to the point that you cannot adjust the calcium content of the flies via diet.

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Old 01-12-2017, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

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Originally Posted by Ed View Post
I'm going to also add that claims of how good a media is based on production be considered with great suspicion as that is a subjective measure and is highly dependent on a number of genetic and environmental factors.

Finally claims of gut loading in fruit flies are problematic as the flies have a very short digestive retention time (six hours for a complete turn over), and are also very efficient at excreting calcium to the point that you cannot adjust the calcium content of the flies via diet.

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Ed
Ed, does this mean that the nutritional content of the media is not as important as finding a media that performs well? I see a lot of peoples recipes where they use some pretty interesting additives that are for "nutritional purposes". Are the frogs getting what they need simply from the nutritional content of the flies and the use of proper supplementation?
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

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Originally Posted by MELLOWROO421 View Post
Ed, does this mean that the nutritional content of the media is not as important as finding a media that performs well? I see a lot of peoples recipes where they use some pretty interesting additives that are for "nutritional purposes". Are the frogs getting what they need simply from the nutritional content of the flies and the use of proper supplementation?
I'm going to be lazy and use a link to a previous post I wrote where I reviewed the Repashy Superfly not as a method to tout the media but because I covered some of this question in that post (and I'm trying to get a bunch done today).

Repashy SuperFly

If you want to check out the post and ask questions on anything that is unclear I would be happy to see if I can clarify it (you can ask the questions here to keep from bogging down that old thread).

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Old 01-12-2017, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

Thank you Ed. Interesting read. If I am reading your post correctly it appears that all of the major vitamins that we are concerned with our frogs getting are not stored in the flies themselves. The supplements are much more important than the media the flies are cultured on. Am I missing something? Have I dumbed it down too much? It also seems that some medias are more mite resistant which may be a concern for some. I have not had an issue with crashes even though I am well aware that my cultures have mites. I use the 4 week method to help control them (never keep cultures past 4 weeks from the time they are seeded). Do you see anything that I am doing with my cultures that strikes you as a red flag?
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Old 01-13-2017, 03:53 AM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

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Originally Posted by MELLOWROO421 View Post
Thank you Ed. Interesting read. If I am reading your post correctly it appears that all of the major vitamins that we are concerned with our frogs getting are not stored in the flies themselves.
Not quite, the flies readily store vitamin E (tocopherols) and those levels maybe able to cause conditional deficiencies as vitamin A, D3 and E all compete for uptake. This is one of the reasons that great care has to be taken when working out a recipe as some things like vitamin mixtures tend to use tocopherols as antioxidants.

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The supplements are much more important than the media the flies are cultured on.
Not exactly, the flies are just as important as you want a robust fly with adequate reserves of protein and fat. The fat in particular is more important than people realize as the uptake of the A, D3, E, and carotenoids are all dependent on there being sufficient fat in the diet.

Another way to put it is that supplements are used to address deficiencies in the diet, regardless of the reason for the deficiency. The way in which we keep these animals is responsible for these issues due to multiple factors such as the demand for nutrients from constant breeding, the lack of exposure to UVB, diverse carotenoid availabilty and so forth ... and that you really can't correct all of the potential issues from a poor quality fly with a supplement and you can't enable the optimal supplement usage without a good quality feeder insect.

Many people make the argument that this can be addressed through the use of diverse feeder but regardless of the feeder invertebrate used, you are going to get a deficiency issue as they are going to be deficient in one or more nutrients.

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I have not had an issue with crashes even though I am well aware that my cultures have mites.
I haven't had a crash in years, I manage the mites simply due to the risk of allergy issues (you can also become allergic to the flies) as there is risk of cross allergic responses to other mites (dust mites) or even shellfish like shrimp.

I don't see any real red flags other than you could add a better diversity of carotenoids to your media, even though they don't store them like frogs or some other organisms do, there is transfer due to the short window before gut turnover, and on the exterior of the fly. There is a good paper that the addition of astaxanthin to the media was sufficient to increase fertility and survivorship in pumilio.

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Old 01-13-2017, 04:01 AM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

Thanks again Ed. I tried using spirulina in my cultures some years back but found that they often got moldy. Maybe I used too much. I'll try it again as well as some super pig. I'll revise my recipe once I get it right.

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Old 01-13-2017, 07:30 AM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

Thanks again ED we'd be lost without you!

I'm gonna be trying my hand at my own media once I get all the ingredients in. I'll be experimenting along side my regular NEHERP cultures just in case things go bad again

Have a couple questions (sorry)

I always have a lot of Repashy supplements (Calcium + and Vit A+) left when the bottle expires would it be OK to add this to the mix? I'd rather use it than toss it if at all possible.

Is there any way to increase the fat content in fruit flies? I agree with you that it is important, especially when breeding. My frogs lay way more eggs with much higher fertility rates when I fatten them up with bean beetle larvae and phoenix worms.

Thanks!
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Old 01-13-2017, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

bean beetle larvae and phoenix worms work great. I also ordered termites once a month to supplement with. They are offered here from time to time.
All these questions have been hashed before as Ed has mentioned. We have a tendency to go back to old ways and forget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by port_plz View Post
Thanks again ED we'd be lost without you!

I'm gonna be trying my hand at my own media once I get all the ingredients in. I'll be experimenting along side my regular NEHERP cultures just in case things go bad again

Have a couple questions (sorry)

I always have a lot of Repashy supplements (Calcium + and Vit A+) left when the bottle expires would it be OK to add this to the mix? I'd rather use it than toss it if at all possible.

Is there any way to increase the fat content in fruit flies? I agree with you that it is important, especially when breeding. My frogs lay way more eggs with much higher fertility rates when I fatten them up with bean beetle larvae and phoenix worms.

Thanks!
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

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Originally Posted by port_plz View Post
I always have a lot of Repashy supplements (Calcium + and Vit A+) left when the bottle expires would it be OK to add this to the mix? I'd rather use it than toss it if at all possible.
I would really suggest not doing this as one of the vitamins are vitamin E (tocopherols) which are taken up and stored by the flies and this level of tocopherol content could disrupt the proper ratio of A to D3 to E. That ratio in the offered dusted feeder should be as close to 10:1:0.1 as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by port_plz View Post
Is there any way to increase the fat content in fruit flies? I agree with you that it is important, especially when breeding. My frogs lay way more eggs with much higher fertility rates when I fatten them up with bean beetle larvae and phoenix worms.
Just feed them properly and try use flies that have been allowed to feed for at least 24-28 hours.

On a different note, how are you getting the bean beetle larvae out of the bean or are we talking about a different beetle?

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Old 01-13-2017, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

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On a different note, how are you getting the bean beetle larvae out of the bean or are we talking about a different beetle?
Whoops, you're right that was an error, I meant to type rice flour beetle. It would be interesting to crack open a bean tho

Thanks again Ed as always huge help!
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Methylparaben heating question

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Whoops, you're right that was an error, I meant to type rice flour beetle. It would be interesting to crack open a bean tho

Thanks again Ed as always huge help!
Dang I thought there was something I had missed about separating them out.

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