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Discussion Starter #1
As of right now I have two breeding groups of R. Imitators (nominate)...
I have been breeding Drosophila Hydei (Flightless Fruit Flys)

Lately I have noticed that my FF Cultures have been producing less and less FF's. I've been breading from the same stock for over 7 months...

I have noticed mites in the older cultures, I am wondering if they are a contributing factor.?

The Culture recipe that I use is as follows...

4 cups instant potato flakes

2 cups powder sugar

½ cup cinnamon

½ cup yeast
I also add a sprinkling of Repashy SuperVite

Now this usually produces a pretty larger batch that will last me a couple of months.

Is this Recipe not the most viable? Or should I seek a different Recipe?


The other thought that occurred to me is that maybe the genetics of the FF's is getting a little thin from, breeding from the same stock for to long...?

Any Help or foresight will be much appreciated...

Thanks
 

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You shouldn't be adding the supplement to the mixture. It contains tocopherols (vitamin E analogs) and the flies can concentrate the tocopherols and have them disrupt the vitamin A and D3 levels that the frogs can absorb.

Mites can decrease yields since the life cycle of hydei is closer to that of the mites than melanogaster. Are you using mite paper to help control
them?

The recipe is fine. I used the same basic one for years.

Ed
 

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If the mixture worked fine for the past 6 months it seems unlikely it's now your problem. I use have both Hydei & Melano's along with bean beetles to ensure an adequate food supply. I've had Hydei going real well and then suddenly fall off and stop producing. The new culture I purchased at NARBC in Chicago was loaded with mites but produced very well. I’ve used to keep cultures for 6-8 weeks, now I only keep them in the same room for a month.
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry for the delay response....
I did not know about the tocopherols in the supplements and putting the supplements in the FF media. I won't make that mistake again!

No I don't use Mite paper, yet.

And yes I've been using a 1/2 cup cinnamon... I was given this recipe from some one off a forum about a year ago...

As for the mites issue, I do not usually see the mites until the culture is about a month old.

I did a lot of reading yesterday, and have made the decision to do a complete change up on my FF cultures husbandry.

I made an order for Repashy Superfly and some mite paper yesterday.
It seems the Repashy Superfly has great reviews and is not all that expensive.
 

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The cinnamon thing is interesting; I recently purchased a tank, frogs, and supplies that included a large tupperware container of ff media. There was so much cinnamon that the cultures were orange, they produced okay but I thought they had a funky odor as they aged.
Brian
 

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You may be experiencing a problem with production due to humidity. I am not sure where you live, but I know that it is common for my cultures to not produce well when the heat is turned on for the winter. I know that others on the board have reported similar problems.

I usually adjust my cultures by adding extra water to the mixture when the heater gets turned on for the winter. Instead of making it really thick and goopy, I make it on the runny side so that if I insert a knife/spoon, it runs off of it. As it cools, it sets better. If I notice them starting to dry out, I feed out of them, and spray them once before replacing the lid. You don't want it too wet, or your flies will drown or get stuck and die.

Also, when making cultures, I use multiple cultures to make each fresh culture. Not sure how much this helps genetically, but I have noticed that my flies don't get as puny as when I used to make cultures and dump flies all from one culture in to make a new one.

Good luck to you!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
In hind site I wish I would have triple checked that source for the recipe I was using, non the less that is going to be in the recent past.

The mix did produce well in the beginning, and continued to produce up until about a month and a half ago.

I usually mix my cultures to a applesauce consistency.

I keep all of my cultures at room temp (70 - 75 degrees), in a closet that is not humid at all.
 

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I believe I read that you keep the cultures for a couple of months. Do you mean you keep them for 2 months before getting rid of the culture, or do you keep them for even longer than that?

I don't know how large the containers are, but I think this might also be part of the problem. The longer you keep the culture, the more it gets taken over by mites. If you're not keeping your cultures on mite paper you're essentially keeping a mite factory that is producing mites and allowing them to contaminate your newer cultures. Your fly production would then be declining because you're starting your new cultures with flies that are more and more contaminated with mites, AND you have a source continuously adding new mites into your new cultures.

I think most people only keep their cultures for a few (3-4) weeks until production starts declining, at which point its not really worth keeping because (1) they're not really producing sufficient flies, and (2) they can act as potential unwanted sources of mites.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I believe I read that you keep the cultures for a couple of months. Do you mean you keep them for 2 months before getting rid of the culture, or do you keep them for even longer than that?
Did I say that? Typo I guess... No I was keeping them for a about a month, and then disposing of them. But I was starting new cultures from older cultures and I was not using any mite paper.

Since the original post, I have changed my whole husbandry for FF cultures.
I am using Mite Paper now, and have been disposing of cultures around the 3 week old range.
I also switched over to The Repashy Super Fly culture media. And I'm quit happy with it!

As of now all of my issues with my cultures have been resolved.

Thanks for all your help!
 

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IMO if you are only feeding imitators i would think that hydei would be a little large to feed to them. The melanogaster are much easier for the imitators to catch/digest and i would think that the melanogaster cultures are a little easier to deal with-the hydei take longer to propogate and dont seem to last as long-but they do kick out a lot of flies for a short period of time! Just my opinion.Thanks. Ron
 
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