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Old 09-08-2019, 05:45 AM
CharValley's Avatar
CharValley CharValley is offline
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Default Re: sterilizing FF culture cups

for years and years and years? You must have received the finest hand made plastic cups in history! Yeah I've tried the boiling water in culture cups, steaming the sides and lid... but some how the cups and lids tended to become brittle after a time and cracked, the fiber covering the vent holes would eventually tear, rip or peel and the adhesive would just give out and the fruit flies would eventually find a way out... which was awesome for the opportunity spiders that would hide around the frog room and usually made for a pain when they found their way into the rest of the house. Last thing I ever looked forward to was a complaining girlfriend about having fruit flies crawling on her!

I'm glad that this works for you Npaull but for the rest of us we have had, from time to time, infestations of mites, spoiled cultures and hungry frogs.

The idea behind this thread is so that anyone starting to culture can find helpful information to help them avoid some of the issues we have experienced and for others to share what has worked well in the past to give our hobby some simple but effective ways to clean culture cups and lids, reduce any mite growth before it becomes a problem.

I tried steaming in the microwave, dishwasher, hand washing with bleach, mite paper and a number of 'home made' remedies suggested by friends and family over the years and what I had come to discover is that everyone finds what works for them and it isn't always the same thing for everyone else.

I let the cups dry out so that the "gunk" either drops out or lifts off with a simple hot water/mouth wash solution (at one time I was culturing 6 to 8 cups every other week, so letting them dry out during that time was not a wasted couple weeks) and the lid and fiber material comes clean with very little effort, very rarely rips or loosens and any micro debris and discoloration seems to be removed again with little or no actual effort.

But I have yet run into a solution that included being a "wuss" about the "gunk" in the culture cups.

I'm happy that microwaved boiling water cleans your cups works for you but for me it has lead to cracked and brittle cups and lids and escaped fruit flies. Maybe not for the first half dozen cleanings but I have had to replace any number of cups over the years, maybe I just don't microwave as well as you do.

So thank you for your input but please don't insult everyone else because you find that your way works and you think other ways are less worthy.


Oh and one other thing, washing it out in the sink with the disposal running? That works depending on the media you use for culturing, ie. the stuff that is needed for the flies and maggots to climb up on for hatching and 'adulting' but if you use "tuffy" or any type of 'straw' type material you better be sure you have removed it all before you get it into the disposal because if not even small pieces of that material will not only not get cut up but will eventually build up in the disposal and/or immediate drain from it and in a year... maybe two you will be wondering why your sink is always draining so slowly and why you had to call a plumber to fix the drain in the sink. I know because in the beginning I did wash them out over the sink and had to replace a disposal after pulling it myself because the blades stopped working, being wrapped up in a twine of straw material.
Lehmanni, Histronicus and Bullseye in the 1980's

Last edited by CharValley; 09-08-2019 at 06:04 AM. Reason: additional insight into comment made
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