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Discussion Starter #1
So im having some trouble. I have only successfully made one culture. I make them and they go to little worms...then all die... the other one went to flies...but then they all died. The worm one smells like rotten flesh. The other one smells of ammonia. Any ideas? Pics below.


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Check your ventilation. The last couple months I've gone crazy experimenting and I notice when the "worms" go high like that it's because of a lack of good ventilation for them breathe, thus they go high to get air. Normally they'd stay somewhere in the middle.

You can experiment with different numbers of holes or size on top to see for yourself. You can even use coffee filter as a lid and see if it makes a difference in your case. The smell is also probably from poor ventilation. For me anyways, it's almost 100% because of ventilation.

If you are new to this I'd also recommend the coffee filters instead of excelsior. They will climb and attach to that better, or, I find it a better surface for them than the walls of the cup. When you use filter they'll go on it and you'll see a minimal amount on the walls. Just from mental comparison I see more consistent results with filters.
 

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Yeah, those cultures look too wet to me. Which is usually due to poor ventilation. Especially if you’re mixing Josh’s media according to the package directions- which calls for a fairly dry mix IMO.

Are you following the package directions? What kind of lids are you using? Where do you keep the cultures (cabinet vs open space)?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes following directions... lids they came with...tiny holes all over the lid... they are out in the open

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So i cut the lid...used coffee filter as a vent. Should this help? This is the last culture i got...


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Doing up culture lids old school! I love it. Coffee filter lids were the norm back in the early 90's. At least around Colorado.
 

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I use the 90 mm filter discs used for culturing mushrooms from Fungi Perfecti. The discs are used with wide mouth mason jars and the metal ring that comes with them. They seem to cut down the smell a lot. Kept in a living space, I never smell old cultures that are 6 or 8 weeks old even! They also keep out mold that is naturally floating in the air which also is a contributor to rank fruit fly cultures.

More details about them can be found in this thread:
https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/food-feeding/94348-3-micron-filters-why-how-where.html
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So i could use air conditioner filters as the filter material for the lid?

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everyone makes it harder than it ever should be.

Use the correct tool for the job.

These cups and lids are frickin' cheap.

Buy these and reuse them for 18 years, or 16.9 years longer than most people stay in the hobby.
 

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So i could use air conditioner filters as the filter material for the lid?

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I don't know. I don't think anyone has ever tried those. It depends on the airflow. You don't want to suffocate them, that would lead the culture to become anaerobic which smells like raw sewage.
 

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everyone makes it harder than it ever should be.

Use the correct tool for the job.

These cups and lids are frickin' cheap.

Buy these and reuse them for 18 years, or 16.9 years longer than most people stay in the hobby.
These are the lids I prefer as well. I think a few years ago there was even a shortage of the good lids? I remember people trying to use the ones with the tiny holes and had wet cultures where the larvae would pupate all over the lid, trying to get fresh air, all the while blocking off the air for the entire culture.

Sad times.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
everyone makes it harder than it ever should be.

Use the correct tool for the job.

These cups and lids are frickin' cheap.

Buy these and reuse them for 18 years, or 16.9 years longer than most people stay in the hobby.
I ordered the kit... now i know i should have gotten different containers

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These are the lids I prefer as well. I think a few years ago there was even a shortage of the good lids? I remember people trying to use the ones with the tiny holes and had wet cultures where the larvae would pupate all over the lid, trying to get fresh air, all the while blocking off the air for the entire culture.



Sad times.
I think this is happening to me... they covered the lid

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Josh's still sells the horrible tiny hole lids I think.

Man, if they do...what a disservice to the hobby.
 

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So i cut the lid...used coffee filter as a vent. Should this help? This is the last culture i got...


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Normally those vented lids are fine in cooler weather. During the warmer months it gets harder for them to breathe because of heat and condensation so a more open vent would work better. Your modification should work, and, the old lids could till work if you move the culture to a cooler location.

I also find that every culture acts differently too for whatever reason, however, the well vented lids always produce for me.

Your second pic from the original post looks like an old dead culture instead of one that went to flies and just "died". If you don't already know, fruit fly cultures have an average life span of just over a month before they start to die out. If you've had that culture for that long then it just means the culture died naturally instead of some other factor.

If the culture did die off naturally, you'd just have to breed one new culture per week to keep them going.
 
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