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Hiya, and happy new year, everyone!

I've been working more on preparations for my future dart frogs (bearing in mind i can't really start anything meaningful for awhile due to some life-related shenanigans) but I've got a couple questions on fruit flies specifically. I've got a good bearing on how to feed frogs, but the archives have led me to some conflicting info on a few questions relating to culturing fruit flies.

1- How many cultures do I actually need? I've seen varying numbers from 1 new culture a week to 3 or more cultures a week. Given that i've no intention of having any more than a pair of leucs (for now, at least), will buying 2 starting cultures and making 1 per week satisfy the needs of my frogs?

2- Culture media. I'm currently conflicted between making it homemade and buying premade, or doing a combination of the two. I don't mind if premade media is a little more expensive, since IMO the cost includes the reduced labor, since everything is already mixed and just needs water (if i'm correct) However, I've seen mixed info on what actually produces flies well- any thoughts on that?

3- Culture cups. Where do you guys buy your cups? Conversely, if I'm going to DIY cups, what sort of mesh should I use for the lid to prevent fly escapes?
 

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2- Culture media. I'm currently conflicted between making it homemade and buying premade, or doing a combination of the two. I don't mind if premade media is a little more expensive, since IMO the cost includes the reduced labor, since everything is already mixed and just needs water (if i'm correct) However, I've seen mixed info on what actually produces flies well- any thoughts on that?
Buy a premade fruit fly media. It basically takes one of the variables out of frog keeping.
 

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Auratus "El Cope", R. benedicta, R. fantastica "LL", R variabilis "Southern", auratus "capurgana", l
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Hiya, and happy new year, everyone!

I've been working more on preparations for my future dart frogs (bearing in mind i can't really start anything meaningful for awhile due to some life-related shenanigans) but I've got a couple questions on fruit flies specifically. I've got a good bearing on how to feed frogs, but the archives have led me to some conflicting info on a few questions relating to culturing fruit flies.

1- How many cultures do I actually need? I've seen varying numbers from 1 new culture a week to 3 or more cultures a week. Given that i've no intention of having any more than a pair of leucs (for now, at least), will buying 2 starting cultures and making 1 per week satisfy the needs of my frogs?

2- Culture media. I'm currently conflicted between making it homemade and buying premade, or doing a combination of the two. I don't mind if premade media is a little more expensive, since IMO the cost includes the reduced labor, since everything is already mixed and just needs water (if i'm correct) However, I've seen mixed info on what actually produces flies well- any thoughts on that?

3- Culture cups. Where do you guys buy your cups? Conversely, if I'm going to DIY cups, what sort of mesh should I use for the lid to prevent fly escapes?
1, more than you think you'll need. It's always going to be dependant on how many frogs you have, but, crap will always happen. Always have a backup culture ready, and maybe even a backup for a backup if you've got multiple tanks going. Cultures crash. Cultures dry out. Cultures mold and get mites, get hybridized by outside species that give them the ability to fly, they can mutate and fly away in some cases... just always keep more on hand than you need.

2, I like the ease of premixed media. Personally, I get mine from Alex Menke/Frog Daddy. He has a cold mix blend that does well in areas like the south with constant high humidity. Smells great too, I always want to taste it... but anyways, everyone who has a dart business seems to be making their own proprietary blends these days to sell, and sometimes you just gotta play around with it. I used Josh's Frogs mix for a while, it's good stuff. There are also myriad recipes out there, and on here for home made.

3, I get my cups normally from Amazon, they sell them with the cloth tops and the hole punch. I don't use the hole punched ones as the flies rapidly close the holes with poop and the culture can crash pretty quick with no air. The flies can also mate with other species through those tiny holes, and that's where you'll get the flying flies. They can do it through the fabric ones too, but doesn't seem to be as common in my personal experience. You can also get the cups almost anywhere you can get flies and culture kits, on dart frog and reptile websites.

Lastly, don't forget your excelsior! The shreds of aspen wood are paramount to the cultures, and the coffee filter substitute is just terrible imo. You can get quantities from any of the aforementioned, but I snagged a10 lb box of it from somewhere. Amazon maybe? It's been a while, but they're out there. I don't have to buy excelsior again for a while! :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 
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I am personally new to dart frog keeping myself but I do want to try and answer your questions as best I can from the research I have done if I say anything wrong someone with more experience is welcome to correct me.

1. One culture a week is the bare minimum and if one of your cultures crash or don’t do well for whatever reason your food supply could be severely impacted. I currently I am making cultures on a 1-2-1-2 etc schedule. The rationale is that the extra one every other week can either be used as a backup food source and/or for breeding new cultures while the weekly on is for feeding. It might seem wasteful to make so many for 3 frogs but at the same time I don’t think the fruit flies mind as they don’t get eaten.

2. A large bag of media from Josh’s Frogs lasts around 3 months it is much better to let someone else make it for you.

3. I personally bought all the supplies I needed for a fruit fly culture from Josh’s Frogs including media, excelsior and custom cups with screen lids for around $30 and that should last me about 3 months. Compared to the price of dog/cat food that seems pretty reasonable to me.
 

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Regarding 2, someone did the math out for how much several popular brands of fruit fly media costs and it comes out to something like 50 cents per culture. Unless you have an army of frogs, that's something like a couple bucks a month. At that price the convenience seems worth it.
 

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Lastly, don't forget your excelsior! The shreds of aspen wood are paramount to the cultures, and the coffee filter substitute is just terrible imo. You can get quantities from any of the aforementioned, but I snagged a10 lb box of it from somewhere. Amazon maybe? It's been a while, but they're out there. I don't have to buy excelsior again for a while! :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
I can't stand excelsior. It gets everywhere. Coffee filters have less usable surface area for larvae, but the pay off with no mess is worth it in my opinion.
 

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Regarding 2, someone did the math out for how much several popular brands of fruit fly media costs and it comes out to something like 50 cents per culture.
 

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I think one culture per week will be more than enough for you. I have actually scaled back to one culture every two weeks and I consistently have at least three-four producing cultures. You should always have at least three healthy producing cultures at a time in my opinion. One new one, one to seed the next one, and one to feed with. Ideally you have at least four to have a backup. One weekly gives you more margin for error. I just buy the media from Josh's Frogs which I find to be pretty good, though maybe not the cheapest. You can get good cups online as well. Amazon or any dart frog company online has them too.
 

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Auratus "El Cope", R. benedicta, R. fantastica "LL", R variabilis "Southern", auratus "capurgana", l
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I can't stand excelsior. It gets everywhere. Coffee filters have less usable surface area for larvae, but the pay off with no mess is worth it in my opinion.
That's fair, def not for everyone. I've tried coffee filters for that very reason, but my area is simply too humid, and the filters fall and mold within a week or two every time.
 
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If all your cultures were to fail at once do you have a local store you can rely on? If so then one every two weeks will be plenty for two frogs. If you don't have a backup source then do one a week and keep them 6 weeks or so.
 

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Also worth connecting with another frogger in the area if you can. Then you can afford to keep fewer cultures, because you can rely on each other as back-ups if all your cultures happen to fail at the same time.
 

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I wish I could find someone else near me
Not to derail the OP's discussion, but those users who have met the Marketplace requirements can post ads there, or in the regional sections. Please thoroughly read ans fully understand the stickied threads there before posting, and if you have any questions contact a mod first. :)
 

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Culture cups. Where do you guys buy your cups? Conversely, if I'm going to DIY cups, what sort of mesh should I use for the lid to prevent fly escapes?
I use canning jars and the split type ring lids with a piece of old tee shirt in place of the flat. They last forever and produce little waste. Thinner tee shirts work best for the lids.
 

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I can't stand excelsior. It gets everywhere. Coffee filters have less usable surface area for larvae, but the pay off with no mess is worth it in my opinion.
That's fair, def not for everyone. I've tried coffee filters for that very reason, but my area is simply too humid, and the filters fall and mold within a week or two every time.
I also hate the excelsior mess, so I've started using this stuff:
Ready roll
So far it seems to hold up well to getting soggy (unlike coffee filters, which get soggy on me even in Arizona), and no mess like excelsior. I cut off a strip about a hand-width wide per cup. Haven't priced it out to see how cost effective it is 🤔 but you can find it in different brands and roll sizes I think
 

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I also hate the excelsior mess, so I've started using this stuff:
Ready roll
So far it seems to hold up well to getting soggy (unlike coffee filters, which get soggy on me even in Arizona), and no mess like excelsior. I cut off a strip about a hand-width wide per cup. Haven't priced it out to see how cost effective it is 🤔 but you can find it in different brands and roll sizes I think
This stuff looks cool, and I'm almost out of Excelsior. Hopefully is isn't a derail of this thread to ask for more info (photos, if you have them, to see how it looks like this is working). How long have you been using it?

It is available at Staples stores, too; good for my NY resolution to wean off of Amazon.
 
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