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Old 01-15-2020, 12:15 AM
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Default Poor fly production

Why is it that my fruit fly cultures donít produce like the cultures from Joshs. I use the Joshs media but still donít get a booming culture. What am I missing? Should I add a pinch of yeast, or more water or more flies to start. Should I keep them in the dark or keep them in the light?
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

There's a lot of good information on this topic in the "food and feeding" forum, take some hours to read. I've spent many hours reading there
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:29 AM
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What temps are they being raised in? I use this media and get over production (about 3/4 cup volume of flies) daily per 3 cultures.
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:58 AM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

Room temp, 72
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:18 AM
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I've had better luck with Repashy superfoods blend then the Josh's Frog blend
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:25 AM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

Fruit Fly culturing is 'Mad Science'.

There are a multitude of variables to getting it right.

Very frustrating for new hobbyists and why we recommend using a premade media mix to start.
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

Like Phil said- there are tons of variables that go into fly cultures.

Big ones off the top of my head, by order of importance:
Moisture
Temperature
Population density
Surface area
Nutrition

When I say Moisture (and list Nutrition at the bottom of the list), I’m mostly talking about the consistency of your media. I’m convinced that the wild variability between different people and the big name cultures is that each brand of culture has a different dry ingredient:water ratio. And based on everyone’s local culture environment (temperature, humidity, airflow), each brand performs differently.

72F is a little on the cool side IMO. The flies will still produce, but generation time would be faster if warmer.

Population density refers to the number of flies you start each culture with, and how dense you allow it to get as it produces. You might just be starting with small seed numbers compared to Josh’s cultures.

Surface area- whatever substrate you’re using for maggots to pupate on. Not a big deal, lots of options.

Nutrition- listed last to convince you the problem isn’t the particular brand of media. Still pretty important, but easily covered by using any big brand media.

ETA: all the Mad Science and opportunities for failure is why people recommend culturing flies for a month or two before getting frogs. A certain amount of failure and experimentation is part of the process.
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Last edited by Broseph; 01-15-2020 at 12:41 PM. Reason: ETA
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

I keep my fly cultures near my display lights (not on their hot spots) to assist with warming them up during the day and it's helped a ton. Be sure they don't get too hot or you will cook and kill an entire cup... Ask me how I know...
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:09 PM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

78F is pretty optimal.

70F + is def needed.

under 70F and your production suffers.

get a digital heat sensor / red dot - they are like, down to under $20.00 on amazon ect.

See what your room spot temps are...your kettle...the cats butt.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philsuma View Post
78F is pretty optimal.

70F + is def needed.

under 70F and your production suffers.

get a digital heat sensor / red dot - they are like, down to under $20.00 on amazon ect.

See what your room spot temps are...your kettle...the cats butt.
78 is what I shoot for too.

And a laser temp gun is a wonderful [strike]toy[/strike] tool. Pro tip: frogs chase lasers just like cats.

Edit: I see that strike tags donít work here. Youíll just have to imagine the strikes.
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Old 01-15-2020, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

Quote:
Originally Posted by Broseph View Post
Like Phil said- there are tons of variables that go into fly cultures.

Big ones off the top of my head, by order of importance:
Moisture
Temperature
Population density
Surface area
Nutrition

When I say Moisture (and list Nutrition at the bottom of the list), Iím mostly talking about the consistency of your media. Iím convinced that the wild variability between different people and the big name cultures is that each brand of culture has a different dry ingredient:water ratio. And based on everyoneís local culture environment (temperature, humidity, airflow), each brand performs differently.

72F is a little on the cool side IMO. The flies will still produce, but generation time would be faster if warmer.

Population density refers to the number of flies you start each culture with, and how dense you allow it to get as it produces. You might just be starting with small seed numbers compared to Joshís cultures.

Surface area- whatever substrate youíre using for maggots to pupate on. Not a big deal, lots of options.

Nutrition- listed last to convince you the problem isnít the particular brand of media. Still pretty important, but easily covered by using any big brand media.

ETA: all the Mad Science and opportunities for failure is why people recommend culturing flies for a month or two before getting frogs. A certain amount of failure and experimentation is part of the process.
Does surface area matter that much? I never had much issueas with production and I only put in a single toilet roll for them to climb on. Drosophila hydei larvae tend to make the roll disappear relatively quickly so all pupae are put on the sides and bottom of the culture. Yet I'm still getting loads of flies.

Maybe I could have even more flies if I give them more surface area, perhaps this is worth a test.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

One of the things that might be happening is something that I have tried over and over again to get retail locations to do when they get in new Fruit fly cultures.. it might seem a simple thing but check to be sure it isn't your issue as well...

Push the TUFFA or RAFFIA into the media Ö if it is left on the surface just "loose" the maggots have little or no surface to climb on and hatch from. When ever I make a new culture I always twist the "straw" into the media all the way down to the bottom of the jar.

They will be able to find new surface area to hatch from without needing to stick to each other and continue with several new hatchings.

When I finally got the retailer to do this, they pulled out the adult flies, pushed the raffia into the media and suddenly they had cultures to sell and a whole lot less to return for credit.

Not sure if this is a problem for you but if you are doing everything else right but still not getting them to hatch strong... try it.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

Great tip. I will try that.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:34 PM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

I hope it helps
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:51 PM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

For increased surface area I cut a hole in the bottom of an 8 or 12oz disposable plastic cup then push it to the bottom of the media. My biggest foe culturing flies is dryness especially in winter. I constantly rehydrate with a squirt bottle. I keep my shed 72-74 degrees in winter and notice bigger booms in summer months when it gets close to 80 at times.
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Old 01-17-2020, 01:31 AM
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You're stripping your cultures. Add 2 more culture cups into your rotation.

Biggie culprit is sexual maturity. Males mature almost 2 weeks earlier than females so when you strip the population down, you simply haven't enough mature females to to repopulate. GL!
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Old 01-25-2020, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

Can someone post a photo of the mites that cause problems with FF cultures. I have read the stickies in the feeding and food forum but for some reason I canít see the photos. Is it because the threads are old?
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Old 01-26-2020, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

take a magnifying glass and look at your cultures.

Mites are easy to see...round and always moving.
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:48 AM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

I noticed today that one of my cultures crashed. What is the more common cause of that?
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:51 AM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

over heating or too cold will cause non hatch and/or die off. Cleaning products (usually not in our hobby but it does happen) Ö those come to mind right off the bat.
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:54 AM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

My room temps are 65-72, is that within range?
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:57 AM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

my experience has been that anything below 72 and you are risking slow or reduced hatch.. getting into the 60's even the high 60's you are going to be having smaller hatches and risking die off.. the other risk you might have is if you try to use a "room" heater or localized heating source it can either over heat or dry out your culture, media and adult flies. If the cup is misting with humidity the media is over heating as well and this can cause problems with your culture success too.
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Old 02-02-2020, 01:37 AM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

winter-time = dry cultures

too dry is common winter culture killer
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:56 AM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

Is it ok to add water to an existing culture?
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

yes and no...

most people will try to spray the media to re wet it but you need to be sure it doesn't puddle on you.. plus the spray will potentially damage the hardening chrysalis of the maggots getting ready to hatch.

other option is to add water directly to the media and remix it already with maggots in it... this has it's own problems as you can imagine...

My suggestion would be... mix up a new cup and media... and before putting you Raffie in it go ahead and take the old drier media and mix it in with the new moist media.. make it just a tad wetter than usual so the drier stuff with soften... maybe practice on a couple different cultures to see what will work best. but if all works well, you put the raffie in the new culture and the maggots will spread out and you should be back in business
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

Thank you CharValley
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:18 AM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

hope that helps we've all been there
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: Poor fly production

Itís worth mentioning; my ratio of dry media to water is different in the summer than the winter. My general rule is if the furnace is running I should make the cultures wetter.

I also have put an open bowl of water in the fruit fly cabinet to increase local humidity.
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