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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a guide on how I culture FF's. It can be done in MANY ways. This is just one way that works for me. Experimenting is key in making cultures. Hopefully this will be a start for new frog owners who will be culturing FF's.

First off reach into your box of 240 cups/lids (32 oz.) and get some for making the cultures. What, you don't have 240 of them just lying around. :)


Get out your media. I use this simple recipe.
6 parts instant potato flakes
1 part powdered brewers yeast
1 part powdered sugar

It's very simple but works, for beginners simple is key. This can be made when you make cultures or made beforehand and put into ziploc bags like I have done. Even put in the freezer if wanted.


Use a half of cup of media per container. This will double when you add the liquid.




You will want to add the liquid now to the container of media. I use 1/2 cup of warm water and 1/4 cup of vinegar. Use warm or boiling water, it will make everything mix much better. The vinegar is a mold inhibitor. Methyl Paraben can also be used to prevent mold. It's available at many sponsor websites. It's a powder. I have ordered some, but if you don't want to buy it vinegar is another solution to mold.

The warm water and vinegar.


Normal cheap vinegar is all you need.


Just poured in liquids.


After your stir it a bit it will look like this.


Your fancy stirrin' tool. :p


This what you want the media to look like after stirring for awhile. Takes less than 3 minutes to stir them. I also push the media down a bit to make it more level. Also if you look at the pic earlier with the dry media, it has doubled since then.


After this I microwave them. This is mainly because there are things called mites, they can and will destroy your FF cultures and turn them into duds. I don't microwave for more than a minute tops. Your just trying to kill any mites that MAY be in your media ingredients to start with. Your not cooking here, just nuking them for a bit. Let them cool for a bit after this.

The flies will need something to crawl on (you will have hundreds when it starts booming) so they don't just walk all over each other. There are many options for this. Excelsior is what I use. Coffee filters would be the second most used, but there are other options out there. I wouldn't mind using coffee filters or at least trying them out, just hasn't happened yet. If you do use filters, use more than a couple. Think over 5 at least folded up. For excelsior though take some out and make it into a loose ball. It doesn't need to be big, at all. Too much and your just wasting it. Just push it down a bit into the container with the media. Not alot, just so it won't move when feeding out the flies to your frogs.




Next add dry active baker's yeast to the culture. The flies will eat this and it's just good for the culture. NOT ALOT, just a small small pinch. Were talking 20 grain tops.


Next after this is adding the flies from an already booming culture. I didn't take pics. It's pretty simple after you make a few. Tap the established culture on the ground so the flies fall and take off the lid. The flies will climb to the top. Simply tip the established culture over the new culture and when they start to crawl out tap them into your new culture. Keep tapping them on the ground so none climb out if needed then close the lids on both when your done. 50 flies is a good number to start a new culture with. I just guess really, you will get used to it. I use two booming cultures to make 1 new culture. Preferable from different weeks in progress cultures. Say a 2 and 4 week culture for example.

After this it is good to put the date/what type of FF are in each culture.


After a couple of days you will start to notice that the top layer of media is a different color. If you look closer you will see the larva wiggling around


I made this on 12/26 so a week and a half later you will notice that the larva will turn to pupa on the sides of the container.


A week later and your culture is ready to feed out!!!!!!!!

Just some tips on mites. Their life cycle of a mite is around a month so it is good to throw cultures away after 4-5 weeks so you don't have a huge explosion of them. Mite are everywhere, you will get mites sooner or later. It happens, frogs will eat them actually but if you notice one with mites isolate them into a different place than where you normally keep your cultures at. Some things to stop them getting into all of your cultures is mite paper which can be bought at alot of places online.
This is mite paper underneath the cultures.


Also mite spray (bird version) can be sprayed on paper towels. You then put your cultures on the paper towel to hinder the mites.


Well I think that's it. I didn't cover everything, but it should be a good start for a beginner making FF cultures. These cultures were wingless melanogaster.
 

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Very good tutorial! The only additions I would have is that, after I wet the media and add excelsior, I microwave the cultures for 3 1/5 mintues. This will cut down on any spore and mites/mite eggs that are around. When they are cool, I add the yeast and then flies.

I also use the tedion solution to control mites. This comes as a solution that you apply to paper towels, allow to dry, cut into strips, and then add to the cultures when you're making them up. I think they really help keep the blooms of mites that can occur and kill off the fruitflies before all the media is used.

Over all, Good job! Take care, Richard.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Where do you buy the yeast to make the media mix?
Brewers yeast can be bought at GNC's for $11.99 Their is about 3 cups in the container (1 pound). Other health stores should carry it too. This will suffice if you don't make alot of cultures or until you can buy in bulk.

This website is where it can be bought in bulk. Bulkfoods.com Brewers Yeast 50 pounds Fast Online ordering with $5 Shipping on $75+ order.

Shipping is less than 15 bucks for normal shipping too depending where you live. 5 pounds for 20 bucks is cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Very good tutorial! The only additions I would have is that, after I wet the media and add excelsior, I microwave the cultures for 3 1/5 mintues. This will cut down on any spore and mites/mite eggs that are around. When they are cool, I add the yeast and then flies.

I also use the tedion solution to control mites. This comes as a solution that you apply to paper towels, allow to dry, cut into strips, and then add to the cultures when you're making them up. I think they really help keep the blooms of mites that can occur and kill off the fruitflies before all the media is used.

Over all, Good job! Take care, Richard.
The microwaving part is in there. Just not as long. I don't know if 4 minutes or 1 minute makes a difference so I usually do less thinking that too much will mess with the media somehow. I don't know if this has any merit though at all. :cool:

I thought about mentioning tedion solution, but don't you have to add something to it or something? I need to get some and experiment with it.

Thanks alot though! Figured this would help some new people making their cultures. Easy and simple for them until they get the hang of it and want to experiment a little.
 

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for newbies and experts alike....when talking media...SIMPLE and QUICK is key.

Soon, you will even be able to add all the different ingrediants by "eyeballing" it up - no more measuring cup.

I boil my water that I add....other than that.....your method is how I do.

Nice pictures....great tutorial.
 

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Brewers yeast can be bought at GNC's for $11.99 Their is about 3 cups in the container (1 pound). Other health stores should carry it too. This will suffice if you don't make alot of cultures or until you can buy in bulk.

This website is where it can be bought in bulk. Bulkfoods.com Brewers Yeast 50 pounds Fast Online ordering with $5 Shipping on $75+ order.

Shipping is less than 15 bucks for normal shipping too depending where you live. 5 pounds for 20 bucks is cheap.
I picked up 20 lbs for $78.56 and shipping was $5.00.
Nice tutorial but I have a better source of yeast for you. Supporting our vendors is always good. Besides, it's way cheaper than either of your sources. Josh's Frogs sell 5 lbs of brewers yeast for $11.99 or 50 lbs for $74.99.:)

Live Active Bakers Yeast (to throw the tiny pinch in before spiking with flies) is really cheap at Costco. 2 lb bag is like $4.:)

Using a week 2 and a week 4 culture for your flies is generally for D. Heidi flies as the males and females mature at different times. I have always made my Melanogaster cultures from whatever culture has the freshest flies in it (2 week culture).
Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
for newbies and experts alike....when talking media...SIMPLE and QUICK is key.

Soon, you will even be able to add all the different ingrediants by "eyeballing" it up - no more measuring cup.

I boil my water that I add....other than that.....your method is how I do.

Nice pictures....great tutorial.
:)

Nice tutorial but I have a better source of yeast for you. Supporting our vendors is always good. Besides, it's way cheaper than either of your sources. Josh's Frogs sell 5 lbs of brewers yeast for $11.99 or 50 lbs for $74.99.:)

Live Active Bakers Yeast (to throw the tiny pinch in before spiking with flies) is really cheap at Costco. 2 lb bag is like $4.:)

Using a week 2 and a week 4 culture for your flies is generally for D. Heidi flies as the males and females mature at different times. I have always made my Melanogaster cultures from whatever culture has the freshest flies in it (2 week culture).
Doug
Damn, that is considerably cheaper for the brewer's yeast. Thanks, I must have missed that on his site.

I've heard that it is good to use older flies than just new ones. Ed has posted about it. Since my cultures have the dates that they started it easy enough to just grab an old culture along with some new booming cultures to make the new cultures. Don't know how much it matters, I don't think alot of people do it the way I'm speaking of anyway.
 

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I don't know anyone who doesn't use brewers yeast to tell you the truth.
Yep.....It's pretty nessa....it provides the protein. The FF yields will be MUCH higher when using this:



Fine brown "fluffy" powder




Not to be confused with BAKER'S YEAST....which only gets a pinch sprinkled on top of the cultures:



And is made up of little balls or "grains" instead of the "fluffy" brown powder



Almost 99% of all new hobbyists get those two yeasts confused.
 

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Can anyone enlighten me as to why Brewers Yeast is used over bakers yeast from the start? I honestly haven't looked at prices or anything, but is the Brewers Yeast cheaper? Or is it because it's powdered it allows for more even and thorough distribution in the mix? Or is it actually a different species of yeast that has a benefit that the bakers yeast doesn't?
 

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I was speaking with some guys at the local feed mill (only place to pick up peat, perlite, etc, in my area) and they hoooked me up with a small bag of game bird mash (I think a 50lb bag regularly retails for around 20-30 dollars) to try in my cultures.

Has anyone tried anything like this in the past? I figured I would try to cut my current media by a third, and see what happens. It's non medicated and 22% protein
 
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