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Old 07-08-2019, 05:48 AM
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Default Re: sterilizing FF culture cups

Originally Posted by CharValley View Post
I had problems with culturing fruit flies and trying to reuse culture cups. I'm sure a lot of you have had this happen too. You start with strong cultures and after a few months of culturing your fruit fly cultures either seem to become weak in size and also a smaller and smaller hatch content.
This could also be due to the genetics of the flies. If you consistently select flies from cultures early on in the cycle, you can actually selectively breed for flies that aren't adapted to handle the conditions of that specific media. It may help to choose flies to start new cultures from different cultures of varying stages in their cycle.

Originally Posted by CharValley View Post
I tried using mite paper, bleach wash on the cabinet surfaces but there always seemed to be an infestation of those dang tiny mites and I would have to buy new cultures and brand new culture cups, find a new cabinet space to start culturing again.
It might help to use culturing containers that are mite-proof themselves. There are no "mite-proof" containers on the market designed specifically for culturing fruit flies, but there are lids designed specifically for culturing mushrooms in Mason jars that will serve that purpose. The .3 micron filters are also designed to filter out other fungus spores in the air therefore eliminating contamination in the mushroom cultures. There are multiple benefits to these:
1) I had less mold growth due to the air filtering action of the lids.
2) The lids kept the culture humid therefore benefiting the flies and maggots and giving me awesome cultures.
3) The lid filters both ways. I estimate a 50% reduction in bad odor after using these.
4) They are reusable - they are rated to be autoclaved.
5) They are mite proof - eliminating the need for mite paper and reducing the possibility of developing an allergic reaction to the cultures through repeated exposure to the mites after handling the cultures with mites colonizing the outside of the container (therefore ruining the hobby for you).

Here is the thread where I learned about these:

Originally Posted by CharValley View Post
I put the lids into the bottom of the sink and while filling the used cups up with hot water, I let the hot water run over the lids to soften up the discoloration on them.

Once the cups are filled, the lids will often already start to look white again, I take the top off of a generic mouth wash bottle and using the top I fill it about half full and pour it into each culture cup that I am going to clean. I then pour a generous amount of the same mouth wash on to the lid so that it will cover the vent material on the lid.

I let each stand for about a day (probably doesn't need to be 24 hours but it seems to also clear hazing that might have happened to the cup too)
Sounds like too much work. I just freeze an expired culture for 24 hours before disposing of the contents and rinsing it out. I then fill the container half way with water, place the lid back on, and microwave it until it reaches a rolling boil. The steam will sterilize the lid and the inside will kill any nasties. Easy, simple, and no questionable chemicals.
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