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Old 11-26-2019, 03:48 PM
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Default How long does everyone Melanogaster cultures last?

I'm only making one culture per week right now using repashy superfly. I usually have two I'm pulling from, and two waiting to be ready. I've found that my cultures only last about two weeks before they are overtaken by mites and fizzle out. But those two weeks they are producing, they are exploding. I keep all my cultures on mite paper. And the superfly media gets devoured. I feel like my cultures are dying because I'm not using enough flies from them, all my frogs are small juvies right now. Is it that, or is it the mites that's killing them?
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: How long does everyone Melanogaster cultures last?

Hard to say but I would guess that they are crashing from overpopulation.

How many flies are you putting in there to start a culture?

To answer your question I would say with my cultures once they get going I get probably 2 weeks of booms then production dwindles but they can last a little longer than a month.
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: How long does everyone Melanogaster cultures last?

Your problem is mites. I had the same issue. The solution includes multiple steps.

-make sure all deli cups, lids, excelsior or whatever your using are sterile. I microwave the deli cup and lid for 45seconds before adding the media(don't microwave the media)

-create a barrier for mites with mite paper or diatomaceous earth. I keep every week's cultures(2) in its own shoe box with a thin sprinkling of DE in between. Make sure the cultures aren't physically touching either to prevent mites spreading.

-start cultures with clean cultures. If a culture has mites, any seeded culture will have mites. Some have had success dusting flies w vitamin powder to remove the mites before seeding, but that didn't work for me. Best bet is to get clean new cultures.

-throw away cultures after 30 days! Even if they're producing, just do it. Old cultures are ground zero for mite infestations. I freeze all my old cultures just to make sure everything is dead.

Hope you get it sorted! There's nothing more stressful than constantly running out of food for your frogs. I had to switch to Turkish gliders after all my melos crashed due to mites. It happens




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Old 11-26-2019, 05:23 PM
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Keeping cultures as long as possible was my reason for getting mites. Usually I produce 3 every two weeks. Which leaves me w my oldest 3 cultures 4 weeks before they get eliminated.

The switch to DE was important too. I’ve got about an inch in a plastic shoebox the cups get nestled in.
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Old 11-26-2019, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrogTim View Post
Your problem is mites. I had the same issue. The solution includes multiple steps.

-make sure all deli cups, lids, excelsior or whatever your using are sterile. I microwave the deli cup and lid for 45seconds before adding the media(don't microwave the media)

-create a barrier for mites with mite paper or diatomaceous earth. I keep every week's cultures(2) in its own shoe box with a thin sprinkling of DE in between. Make sure the cultures aren't physically touching either to prevent mites spreading.

-start cultures with clean cultures. If a culture has mites, any seeded culture will have mites. Some have had success dusting flies w vitamin powder to remove the mites before seeding, but that didn't work for me. Best bet is to get clean new cultures.

-throw away cultures after 30 days! Even if they're producing, just do it. Old cultures are ground zero for mite infestations. I freeze all my old cultures just to make sure everything is dead.

Hope you get it sorted! There's nothing more stressful than constantly running out of food for your frogs. I had to switch to Turkish gliders after all my melos crashed due to mites. It happens




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I already follow all these steps, originally all of these cultures were started from clean cultures. But even with mite paper, they all developed mites. I read somewhere that the type of mite that infests our cultures are always present in our homes.
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Old 11-26-2019, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by thedudeabides View Post
Hard to say but I would guess that they are crashing from overpopulation.

How many flies are you putting in there to start a culture?

To answer your question I would say with my cultures once they get going I get probably 2 weeks of booms then production dwindles but they can last a little longer than a month.
I usually put around 50 flies to start my cultures. Sounds like my cultures act the same as yours in terms of production.

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Originally Posted by DPfarr View Post
Keeping cultures as long as possible was my reason for getting mites. Usually I produce 3 every two weeks. Which leaves me w my oldest 3 cultures 4 weeks before they get eliminated.

The switch to DE was important too. I’ve got about an inch in a plastic shoebox the cups get nestled in.
That's actually why I was asking. I'm trying to figure out optimal time to trash cultures and wanted to see if mine are prematurely dwindling. I wanted to get rid of them 5 weeks after they were first made. So two weeks to get started, than 3 weeks of production/feeding. But so far, they produce very very little after theyve been booming for those first 2 weeks.
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Old 11-26-2019, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: How long does everyone Melanogaster cultures last?

percentage-wise, the most probable reason for mites continuing to plague one's cultures is:

Making new cultures from ones that have a sizable mite population already.
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Old 11-26-2019, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: How long does everyone Melanogaster cultures last?

I have a similiar issue of populace as I am now only feeding a group of bumblebee toads and an imitator, found still existing alive in a discarded viv.

I am uncomfortable with booming overpopulated jars, I can smell the ammonia and see the flies never resting or self grooming in trapped dysphoria.

It impels me to make additional jars or freeze them.

I should probably get more frogs.
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Old 11-27-2019, 01:35 AM
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Default Re: How long does everyone Melanogaster cultures last?

I used mite paper in the beginning, but after watching mites crawl over it apparently without issue, I switched to a DE moat, with each cx cup sitting in a (shorter, slightly larger diameter) cup sprayed with permethrin.

I "sterilize" (not what any of our home attempts are going to do, but hopefully we all know what this means here) my cups and excelsior by keeping them in the freezer between uses, and the media stays in the fridge.

I also dust the starter FFs before adding them to the new cx.
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Old 11-27-2019, 02:52 AM
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Default Re: How long does everyone Melanogaster cultures last?

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Originally Posted by Philsuma View Post
percentage-wise, the most probable reason for mites continuing to plague one's cultures is:

Making new cultures from ones that have a sizable mite population already.
Yup, no matter how good your culturing technique is, if you're starting with contaminated flies, your flies are going to get overrun with mites
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Old 11-29-2019, 03:41 AM
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Default Re: How long does everyone Melanogaster cultures last?

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Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
I used mite paper in the beginning, but after watching mites crawl over it apparently without issue, I switched to a DE moat, with each cx cup sitting in a (shorter, slightly larger diameter) cup sprayed with permethrin.
.
My understanding has been that the active ingredient in mite spray/paper doesn't kill the mites, but instead renders them sterile and unable to reproduce.

Last edited by Dane; 11-29-2019 at 03:43 AM.
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Old 11-29-2019, 04:25 AM
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Default Re: How long does everyone Melanogaster cultures last?

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Originally Posted by Dane View Post
My understanding has been that the active ingredient in mite spray/paper doesn't kill the mites, but instead renders them sterile and unable to reproduce.
What ingredient is that? There may be more than one chemical used.

The DIY version of mite paper uses Benzyl benzoate, I believe, which is a miticide (https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/com...enzyl-benzoate).

One commercial paper (https://www.silkwormshop.com/shop_mladynobugs.html) uses Isopropoxyphenyl methylcarbamate, which is a general insecticide.

Some flea and tick sprays contain methoprene, which prevents insects from completing their life cycle (by interfering with larval development, I think). I don't know if this is used to prepare mite paper, though. If it was, and it hung on to mites long enough to interfere with their larvae, then it would likely interfere with any FFs they interacted with -- so I'm not sure this is it.
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Old 11-29-2019, 05:15 AM
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Just a thought because I don’t care to look up some of the regulated miticides. There are many that you cannot apply in succession or more than a couple times a year in greenhouses because they can breed resistance to the insecticide so quickly due to their reproductive cycle.

There are a couple very important variables in this thought. Mite species and chemical class. Just wonder about this and how it might work w mite paper.
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Old 11-29-2019, 01:52 PM
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Knock on wood, I never had a mite problem and have some cultures still producing 6+ months out.
My biggest culprit are phorid fly invasions and drying out during summer months, as I keep my cultures in my shed.
Granted I separate my older cultures from the new ones but as long as they yield a few dozen flies a week I keep them around. Plus as they get older they produce smaller flies perfect for froglets. I wonder if mites are more prevalent in the home vs. other areas.
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Old 11-29-2019, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: How long does everyone Melanogaster cultures last?

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Originally Posted by hiker9 View Post
Knock on wood, I never had a mite problem and have some cultures still producing 6+ months out.
I find that hard to believe. How would the media not be completely used up before that point?
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Old 11-29-2019, 06:44 PM
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Im not saying they have booms or anything but they still produce. I keep them hydrated and poke into the media with a pencil as they get older exposing the fresher media below. I just pitched my april cultures that still had a few flies in them. I figure it doesnt cost me anything but space and can come in handy if I have cultures crash. I obviously always start my new cultures from my fresh cultures.
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Old 12-01-2019, 08:08 PM
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I am sure i could get longer times but pull cultures at the 35 day mark. Keep media sealed in fridge and store enough excellsior in the freezer for 2 weeks..Never have issues with mites
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Old 12-07-2019, 04:28 AM
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I've started dusting with calcium when making new cultures, hopefully that'll knock out my problem. Also, has anyone tried using diatomaceous earth on the flies instead of calcium? Stumbled across a video from Josh's frogs where they dust their starter flies with D.E. before adding them to a new culture. Wouldn't this kill/hurt the fruit flies?
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Old 12-07-2019, 05:19 AM
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Default Re: How long does everyone Melanogaster cultures last?

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Originally Posted by Drthsideous View Post
Thanks for the advice everyone. I've started dusting with calcium when making new cultures, hopefully that'll knock out my problem. Also, has anyone tried using diatomaceous earth on the flies instead of calcium? Stumbled across a video from Josh's frogs where they dust their starter flies with D.E. before adding them to a new culture. Wouldn't this kill/hurt the fruit flies?
yes, DE would kill the flies and probably the frogs.

DE is 'tiny organic razor blades'
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Old 12-07-2019, 05:21 AM
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Default Re: How long does everyone Melanogaster cultures last?

Where do you live?

Put a nearby location in your profile and make an ad asking for flies.

I've gotten free cx's of everything from nearby local hobbyists. Gotta make friends.
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Old Yesterday, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: How long does everyone Melanogaster cultures last?

On dusting flies with DE: So I emailed Josh's Frogs, and asked if they recommend dusting FFs with 'Bug Blade' (their branded DE), and received this reply (emphasis mine):

"There are two types of mites found in fruit fly cultures. The first is white grain mites that are attracted to fruit fly media (wet or dry). These mites are in every culture, but are kept at bay by the fruit flies. They are harmless to the fruit flies and your animals. If the culture gets too hot/too cold in transit or storage the fruit flies can go dormant and the mites take advantage of the loss of competition. Since every culture contains grain mites to some degree, you should take steps to limit them including:

Use Bug Blade to dust the flies before making new cultures. The dust cleans off any grain mites that may be on the fruit flies before putting them in a new culture.
Keep older producing cultures away from freshly setup cultures.
Use Bug Blade around your cultures.
Throw out cultures after before they hit 28 days old.

The other type of mite is red/brown and attacks the pupae of the fruit fly cultures. This type of mite will result in cultures with lots of larvae and pupae with every few fruit flies ever hatching. To ward off this mite, keep older cultures away from newer cultures. These are the mites commonly referred to as "fruit fly mites." "

First: I didn't realize that mites predatory on FFs was a (remote) worry; I thought the only mite in FF cxs was grain mites. This is interesting, and there are some mentions of this on a search of the archives (many mention that no one here has ever encountered predatory mites in their cxs).

Second: I found someone out there recommending DE as a way to kill unwanted fruit flies:
https://www.redwormcomposting.com/wo...maceous-earth/

I'm not saying that any claim of anyone else that I've reprinted in this post is true. I do know that I personally will not be dusting any FFs with DE (unless, of course, I'm trying to kill them).
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Old Today, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: How long does everyone Melanogaster cultures last?

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Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
These mites are in every culture, but are kept at bay by the fruit flies.
Yeah this has certainly been my experience getting frogs from Josh's. 100% of their cultures are contaminated with mites. It's been like this for years.
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