How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies? - Dendroboard
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View Poll Results: Which is the best way to culture fruit flies?
Completely naturally with high-nutrient, protein and starch foods, no man-made chemicals 16 44.44%
Somewhat naturally with mostly starch and sugars, some man-made chemicals 16 44.44%
Marginally naturally with all starch and sugar and more man-made chemicals 3 8.33%
I do not culture my flies, so I might not know what they're eating 1 2.78%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-29-2009, 03:19 PM
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Post How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

Let us know how important it is to culture with natural ingredients, man-made additives or high-yield, low-nutrient recipes. Share your fruit fly culture recipes with us if you've got a 'winner'!
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:32 PM
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Wink Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

Mine is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants nonetheless---and all without the controversial methylparaben...

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, bring to a low boil two ripe organic bananas, 1/8 cup organic molasses, 1 can concentrate grape juice, 3 cups instant potato flakes, 4 cups water, 1 cup apple cider vinegar. Stir constantly to avoid burning the mixture.

Once mixture just starts to bubble, remove from heat. When mixture cools down to 110 degrees Fahrenheit or less (tepid), add 1/8 tsp. yeast to each container and stir well. If it is thin or runny, add a few tablespoons of potato flakes until it is 'slightly slushy' in consistency. It should slowly move when you tilt the container.

Apportion 1/2 cup's worth into each container. Garnish with enough excelsior to reach the top of the container and mash it slightly into the media. Cover and freeze for later use. Bon Appetit!

Makes 8-10 containers worth.
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Last edited by earthfrog; 06-29-2009 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 06-29-2009, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

I'm a bit lazy, so I prefer a commercial media courtesy of Josh's Frogs that I will occasionally amend with spirulina, Naturose or dusting cup leftovers.
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyangler18 View Post
I'm a bit lazy, so I prefer a commercial media courtesy of Josh's Frogs that I will occasionally amend with spirulina, Naturose or dusting cup leftovers.
this is my method!!
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

Haha same here. Josh's Frogs media for the win!
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:31 PM
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Default Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

I was under the impression that you cant actually "gut load " flies other the retinal or vitamin A that is stored in their eyes.

Dan
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RecycledAgain View Post
I was under the impression that you cant actually "gut load " flies other the retinal or vitamin A that is stored in their eyes.

Dan
This is what I understand as well.
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

Hi Susan,

How do you define natural? I don't use naturally manufactured potato flakes, powdered sugar etc...

I do add spirulina, old banana (if available), and Naturerose to the media. Spirulia most of the time.

I'm not sure where your headed with the gut loading as a number of things play into the idea..
for example gut transit time is very rapid in fruit flies.. you can't adjust thier calcium level through nutritional methods...

If you are referring to protiens, fats etc, then this can also be dependent on the genetics fo the flies and when they've hatched. For example if you pull the flies at the time of the first boom and the flies are less than 24-48 hours (using numbers from other insects) then they might not have had sufficient time to replenish the nutrients burned off during pupation and if you are used to using flies that are genetically selected to be intolerant of the conditions in a culture post hatch then the flies may crash before they reaquire the needed nutrition.....


And yes if the flies are provided with sufficient carotenoids that are convertable to retinyl and light in the area of 430 nm (If I remember correctly offhand) then they will convert the carotenoids to retinyl and it will end up in the eyes.

Some comments,

Ed
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:27 PM
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Default Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

the media i started using is the following

1 cup powdered sugar
4 teaspoons methyln paraben
8 cups potato flakes
1/2 cup of brewers yeast

it make about 30 cultures


i have no clue how good it is but would like some info also

Last edited by chadfarmer; 06-29-2009 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:19 AM
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Default Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed View Post
Hi Susan,



I do add spirulina, old banana (if available), and Naturerose to the media. Spirulia most of the time.


Ed

i keep seeing this addition of spirulina to the mixture .. how much do you add to your cultures of say 1/2 cup dry media?
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dom View Post
i keep seeing this addition of spirulina to the mixture .. how much do you add to your cultures of say 1/2 cup dry media?
Hi Dom,

I add roughly a tablespoon per cup of dry media when I make up the cultures. I need to order more spirulina as my is getting old (since I neglected to store the excess this time in the freezer in a vacum packed bag.)

Ed
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:03 AM
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Default Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed View Post
Hi Dom,

I add roughly a tablespoon per cup of dry media when I make up the cultures. I need to order more spirulina as my is getting old (since I neglected to store the excess this time in the freezer in a vacum packed bag.)

Ed

and you answered my next question as well.. whats the best way to store it!!

i see you have taken to reading minds
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:56 AM
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Default Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

I have always used Ed's cultures except for when I had an emergency and had a local herper friend who also sells cultures that I was able to drop by on a moments notice. Now I am trying to feed the whole neighborhood with my extra's.

Planning to try the NW Power mix soon...
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

My method, which has worked pretty well for me....

I don't generally measure any of these, just estimate

A box of dried potato flakes (shoprite brand ones work well)
about 1 cup of brewers yeast
2 cups powdered sugar

Mix all of those together and store in a big ziplock bag until you need to make new cultures. Then when I make a culture i use about half a cup of this dry mix in the cup, then add a teaspoon of bananna baby food and a teaspoon of honey to each cup. I've heard that honey prevents mold, and this has worked well at preventing mold for me. Add warm water and mix until a good consistency Then put about 50 pieces of dried yeast into about 1/2 cup of hot water to soak for about a minute. Then spoon about a teaspoon of this mixture on top of each culture. I usually let this sit for a day then add flies the next day.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed View Post
Hi Susan,

How do you define natural? I don't use naturally manufactured potato flakes, powdered sugar etc...

I do add spirulina, old banana (if available), and Naturerose to the media. Spirulia most of the time.

I'm not sure where your headed with the gut loading as a number of things play into the idea..
for example gut transit time is very rapid in fruit flies.. you can't adjust thier calcium level through nutritional methods...

If you are referring to protiens, fats etc, then this can also be dependent on the genetics fo the flies and when they've hatched. For example if you pull the flies at the time of the first boom and the flies are less than 24-48 hours (using numbers from other insects) then they might not have had sufficient time to replenish the nutrients burned off during pupation and if you are used to using flies that are genetically selected to be intolerant of the conditions in a culture post hatch then the flies may crash before they reaquire the needed nutrition.....


And yes if the flies are provided with sufficient carotenoids that are convertable to retinyl and light in the area of 430 nm (If I remember correctly offhand) then they will convert the carotenoids to retinyl and it will end up in the eyes.

Some comments,

Ed
Hi Ed,

As to your question----"How do I define natural?"---the comprehensive answer to that is what I am seeking, so that's why I titled the post in question form---I wanted to get a range of answers as a community. IMO, natural is simply something that hasn't been chemically altered by man. There are differing degrees and definitions of natural---organic, naturally-derived, and plain ol', ambiguous, 'natural'. Some are significant in FF culturing, some aren't.

I have appreciated and applied your input, especially regarding the mfg. of retinyl in sunlight and using the 'elder' fly generations to prevent culture collapse. Reading your posts 'inspired' me to begin this thread so I could divulge more info from the community at large. Thanks for responding.

And as far as other inquiries, no, you cannot 'gut load' a fly, but as larvae they do consume the essential building blocks of an adult fly. It may not be as important to culture them on 'healthier' items than it is to culture crickets and such things, but it is still significant to use less man-made/altered components, I think.

Again, thanks Ed, and everyone, for responding. I asked because I am no expert---just good at culturing and want to get better. Pour on the info!
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

I'm currently working with a professional medium that's showing great results so far. I have no idea what's in it. I'm trying the instant medium to speed up the culture making process. We'll see.

This is the recipe I've been using for the last 5 months.

1 part applesauce

1 part bannana

1 part oatmeal

1 tablespoon each of honey and vinegar

I microwave the medium to kill grain mites and fliers.

It has worked very well for us.

Great thread Susan
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:47 PM
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Default Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

In general, I don't feel it's that important, especially when the word "natural" is such a moving target, and in comparison to the importance of other things. With regards to feeders, variety is much more important, IMO.
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

I'm too cheap to pick up man made mold inhibitors, so I use Honey and Vinegar. I have never had a mold issue. Besides, honey is a lot more nutritious vs. powdered sugar.

My recipe uses:

~1/4 cup Molasses
~1/4 cup Honey
~1.5-2 cups water
~1.5-2 cups vinegar
~any fruit I have laying around
~Flake Fish Food
~Baker's Yeast
~the cheapest potato flakes at the store

I have been meaning to replace the water with a Cal/Mag liquid supplement to see if I can raise the calcium level in the flies. But I would need to incinerate them and compare to normal culturing to see if their calcium level is any higher. Which means I would have to convince non-dart frogs keepers that I need to incinerate fruit flies...

My frogs eat the flies so quickly that it does not really matter as long as I dust them.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cindre2000 View Post

I have been meaning to replace the water with a Cal/Mag liquid supplement to see if I can raise the calcium level in the flies. But I would need to incinerate them and compare to normal culturing to see if their calcium level is any higher. Which means I would have to convince non-dart frogs keepers that I need to incinerate fruit flies...
.
Its been done.. see Dube, K.A.; McDonald, D.G.; O’Donnell, M.J.; 2000; Calcium homeostasis in larval and adult Drosophila melanogaster; Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology; 44(1) :27-39

Doesn't work as the fruitflies excrete it extremely rapidly...

Ed
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Old 07-02-2009, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed View Post
I need to order more spirulina as my is getting old (since I neglected to store the excess this time in the freezer in a vacum packed bag.)

Ed
Ed,

How long does spirulina keep without having been frozen? I have some that has been in powdered form out for six months, but it does have a silica pack inside the bottle to keep it dry.
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Old 07-16-2009, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: How important is it to culture so that you 'gut load' fruit flies?

I'm the queen of lazy: roughly 3-4 parts potato flakes, bulk from chain store, 1 part sugar, and 1/2 part brewers yeast. Add 1/2 hot water and 1/2 vinegar- usually about 3/4 cup of liquid to about 1 cup of mix, don't stir, don't swish, don't measure, just stick in support ranging from coffee filters to plastic netting. might add some more liquid after it swells up if it looks too dry. Sometimes i remember to add a few drops of yeast, sometimes I throw in a slice of banana, sometimes I add juice leftovers as part of the liquid...bottom line, its a very forgiving art..
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