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Old 06-04-2008, 07:32 PM
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Default how long to get hang of FF

I am just wondering, about how long before i get frogs should i start trying to culture the fruit flys? I plan on getting a few leucs soon but obviously want to get the hang of the flys first. How long did it take most of you to get the hang of it?
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: how long to get hang of FF

Really as soon as you want to, the more practice the better (just freeze the extra flies and toss them). How long it takes to get the hang of it varies from person to person... sorry I can't be specific but there are some people who are really good right off and others that take a while lol.
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Old 06-04-2008, 08:32 PM
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Default Re: how long to get hang of FF

makes sense... obviously some people will do better than others... i guess about a month should be ok, and if i don't have it by then, i'll just wait a little longer on the frogs
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Old 06-04-2008, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: how long to get hang of FF

I would say at least a month. You want to make sure you are successful with at least a couple of batches and that they don't crash on you.

Once the cultures get started, You may want to remove flies from the cultures (as if you were feeding to frogs) to keep the cultures from becoming over populated and crashing.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: how long to get hang of FF

A couple things stick out from my own FF culturing experience.

Temperature control. You must provide a stable temp for them. Too cool and they'll take forever. Too hot and they'll die or change to flyers. I like 75-80F.

Moisture control. This is really part of the art of it. Where you raise your flies makes a big difference. Because I raise mine in a dry, low humidity furnace room, I need to add more water than is typically needed, or they dry out too quickly.

Clean source. Get your starter FF/cultures from a "clean" source. When you transfer FFs to the next new cultures, they bring with them everything. That includes, yeast, mites, mold. Best to start with good FFs.

Do all these things right from the start and it'll only take a few weeks to get into the swing of it. Remember too that mite control is a real concern. There are several strategies for preventing and dealing with them. Regardless of how well a culture is producing, after 4-5weeks it should be thrown out or segregated from your newer cultures. I'd also recommend the use of mite paper.
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:04 AM
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Default Re: how long to get hang of FF

Have a backup source for FFs, as well, preferably local. Your cultures are going to crash sooner or later.
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:27 PM
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Default Re: how long to get hang of FF

Quote:
Originally Posted by zBrinks
Have a backup source for FFs, as well, preferably local. Your cultures are going to crash sooner or later.
That's the only problem i can forsee, so far i haven't been able to find any local sources, so if i do have a crash and no backups, it could be bad. But if that happens i know there are some froggers in colombus, oh, which is only about 1-2 hours drive depending on where at in colombus they are. Not that i plan on driving there on a regular basis, but in an emergency i could probably make the trip. (if someone that lived there didn't mind me taking a few flies from them. even though i don't know any of them). Plus this time of year there are tons of local bugs i could gather.
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: how long to get hang of FF

Another piece of advice: always make more cultures than you think you need. It's better to have too many flies than try shaking that last lonely FF out of a crashing culture.
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: how long to get hang of FF

Check out the regionals section for a group near you. I'm pretty sure there are a couple Ohio people floating around on the board that could help
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Old 06-07-2008, 04:06 AM
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Default Re: how long to get hang of FF

All good advice above, esp. the temperature advice.

But the first cultures you buy can easily last 6 weeks. They will give you plenty time to work out the kinks of how wet/dry to make things, and how many flies to add. Put a thermometer with the cultures, too.
I ended up discovering that making a new culture every 2 weeks gave me more than enough flies. If you get the flies at the same time as the frogs, just start making cultures at least every week until you feel comfortable and you will do OK.

And in an emergency in the summer it is easy: just add some isopods and other "field plankton" while you wait for your order of replacement flies to arrive.
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Old 06-07-2008, 04:32 AM
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Default Re: how long to get hang of FF

My FF cultures arrived the day before my frogs did. I bought two cultures two weeks old and ready to feed out and two cultures that were a week old. I also bought 30 cups/lids and 10 cups of premade FF media.

I never had a problem with the FF cultures. I'm sure you'll do fine.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: how long to get hang of FF

Thanks for the advise everyone.... I only recently got into the dart hobby, but have worked with alot of other small reptiles and amphibians... I have looked online for alot of info and been on many forums, and i must say that this group is awesome. Everyone is helpful/ nice. (i'm sure there are exceptions :evil: ), But i rarely see people bickering back and forth like most other forums. Anyways, just wanted to say thanks for being the best forum out there :!:
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:15 PM
 
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Default Re: how long to get hang of FF

Always make more than you need.. i just had about 4/5 cultures turn into flying fruitflies. That 1 culture is all gone pretty much so now i have 0 cultures just my springtails..
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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Default Re: how long to get hang of FF

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyangler18
Another piece of advice: always make more cultures than you think you need. It's better to have too many flies than try shaking that last lonely FF out of a crashing culture.
I took this one to the extreme I think. I took a recipe off of this site, made oh....8 cultures worth of media, and now have SO MANY flys. It gave me a chance though to figure out how much I need to put in the cups, a little experimenting, different amounts of media, different amounts of yeast, and different spots in the house to find where they were going to do the best. Well, the only ones I forsee any problems with, are the ones I put the least amount of media in. All cups popped at the same time, so now I know how long it will take for a culture to really explode, but I still have to learn how long my cultures will last. So for now, I just will make enough media for 3 cultures once a week, till I am sure that I have my flys established and learn how long my cultures will last before either crashing, or just dying off.

One thing I did notice, the flys in my cultures are a bit larger then the ones out of the original cultures, could just be my imagination, not sure though. I guess another thing I noticed, the more flys put in the new cultures, the larger the explosion when the new flys start showing up. Maybe another thing to consider when making cultures so you don't have an initial explosion that could crash the culture.(still learning I guess on how the flys work) I do know now, after my first bought cultures, that if you leave too many flys in the cup, it will kill them all off.
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:47 PM
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Default Re: how long to get hang of FF

Larger flies might be because the culture you started from was at the end of it's life and was lacking some food... some keepers use these stunted flies for the particularly small froglets.

And yes... there is such a thing as too much of a good thing! That's usually why 50-100 flies are recomended (believe me 50 goes a long way :shock: ) so you don't have the culture crash from CO2 and/or starving itself out.
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: how long to get hang of FF

One thing to consider here is the time it takes to get a culture going, in that I mean the time between starting a culture and having new adult flies develop in it. There are two main species of FF used Drosophlia melanogaster (smaller flies) & Drosophlia hydei (larger flies). The D. melanogaster take about one week, The D.hydei will take longer about ten days to two weeks. I also agree and highly recommend that you have have a back up source, like a near by friend you can rely on or a pet store that sells FFs. I recommend this so highy because once I had all of my crash once. They were all doing fine when I went to bed but when I woke the next morning all my cultures were FF graveyards, I think it could have been due to the unusual cold that night. Fortunatlly I had a friend who loaned me a couple cultures. If it were not for my backup I would have had some hungry frogs!
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Old 07-02-2008, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: how long to get hang of FF

try using widemouth mason jars (available at wal ma*t) instead of spending alot on plastic jars. just take out the metal lid and replace with a coffee filter. this saves some $ and they can be washed and even sanitized at high temps.
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: how long to get hang of FF

Another thing I thought I should mention regarding the humidity. In the FF cultures in important to maintain a good humidity, if it gets to dry the culture will crash. A good part of this depends on where you live, if its a hot or dry area humidity management becomes much more of an issue (I live in southern California, these days its like an oven out here). One tip to manage humidty depends on the kind of lid on your culture. The lids that are like coffee filters allow for drying to happen much faster, I would recommend those lids that are plastic with a foam plug in the center. Another way to manage culture humidity to keep a few wet napkins on top of the culture.
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