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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I never had mold problems before... I guess my deli cup are getting used up?
I used to wash them with hot water and a spot scrubber, same thing for the lids, then I would let them dry out. Always used the same media, without mold inibitor.

I read a bit about mold and I will be washing my delicup in the dishwasher, nuking the lids in microwave and will be using vinegar in the media.
I am usually using 1/3cup media for 1/2cup boiling water for 1 culture. How much vinegar do I put in there? Do I boil it?

Any other tips for getting rid of mold?

Tx
 

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Is it slimy or is it fuzzy? Color?

If you want the best chance to avoid mold, don't seed the cultures from cultures that had mold.. and before you seed them add the media to the cups (depending on how they come out you may have to add a little more water) and microwave them until hot. Place the lid on them and let cool before adding flies and yeast.

Keep in mind that your mold may also be coming from the materials like coffee filters and excelsior. If you collect the flies using a funnel make sure to wash and sterilize it as well.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll check this out tonight as I get back home... I can tell you it smells AWFUL tho.... It NEVER smelled anything in my frog room and I always been proud to say so to anyone visiting it because everyone thinks that many animals automatically comes with the smell.
Now it smells weird and I can tell its because of the mold!

Color is greenish yellowish. And actually, I remember the last cup I washed looked pretty slimy!!

I will have to get my hand on new culture I guess?

I usually put premade media in ceramic ware, then pour boiling water in there, mix with a spoon, refrigerate 20-30min then put the media directly into a delicup, then seed it with flies. I don't let the food on the counter or in an open delicup to prevent bad stuffs getting in there.
I never had problems this way for several monthes!

Maybe my coffee filters got infected?.. I keep it with my dishes.

I was thinking maybe I didn't wash my stuffs well enough?

I guess I should scrap everything up and start over.. these are hard to find around here tho ;(

Tx Ed, feel free if you have any other advice!
 

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Molding cultures simply stink. I feel the same way about my bugs. They don't stink, but occasionally food items (like a bad fly culture) will stink. Too much yeast can get the media rising and giving off a faint odor like alcohol.

Personally, I don't worry about a bit of mold. I spoon it out when it begins to forum and drop a small bit of fruit in to promote egg laying and larval activity. Once this occurs, mold doesn't usually stand a chance by action of the larvae turning the media.

A lot of people seem to feel a fly culture is a failure if a few mites or mold appears, but both of these things are everywhere and mostly harmless. I simply tolerate their occasional appearance. An active, healthy fly culture does not stink. Most cultures are salvageable, in my opinion/experience.
 

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If it is slimy and several colors then it probably isn't a mold but other microbes getting established. Your coffee filters could be the source of contamination. There isn't any need to toss all of the cups or lids.. Just wash them and soak them for 15 minutes in a cup of bleach to one gallon of water. (I use a 20 gallon rubbermaid trashcan so I can do lots of culture cups at one time).

Given the way you make the cultures I would start with the coffee filters as being the original source of contamination. Keeping them in a zip lock bag will help with preventing them from getting contaminated. (I use excelsior which I store in rubber maid tubs).

Are you using active or live yeast (baker's yeast) added to the cultures right before you add the flies? This helps to prevent colonization by other microbes as well as getting the flies to start oviposition more quickly.

Are you stirring up the dry media before you start the cultures? If you hit a pocket or two with a lot of protein in it, you can get smelly cultures that way as well.

Are the cultures melanogaster or hydei? If they are hydei, you can expect to get smellier cultures. One of the reasons I switched over to bean beetles.

If you don't have any unaffected cultures and it isn't a mold, you can probably keep using the same flies. Try microwaving the culture cup with the media and coffee filters in it until hot and cover and let cool. This will hold the heat inside the culture and let it steam itself. After it cools add the active baker's yeast and then add the flies. You may see a whitish slimy overgrowth for a couple of days (this is usually the yeast) which disappears when the maggots take off.

Ed
 

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Molding cultures simply stink. I feel the same way about my bugs. They don't stink, but occasionally food items (like a bad fly culture) will stink. Too much yeast can get the media rising and giving off a faint odor like alcohol.

Personally, I don't worry about a bit of mold. I spoon it out when it begins to forum and drop a small bit of fruit in to promote egg laying and larval activity. Once this occurs, mold doesn't usually stand a chance by action of the larvae turning the media.

A lot of people seem to feel a fly culture is a failure if a few mites or mold appears, but both of these things are everywhere and mostly harmless. I simply tolerate their occasional appearance. An active, healthy fly culture does not stink. Most cultures are salvageable, in my opinion/experience.
Actually a lot of moldy cultures do not stink in the same way as a bad culture will smell. The reason is that the mold invades the culture so rapidly that the other microbes don't have much of a chance to get established. If you don't worry about mold then you haven't had Aspergillus niger hit your cultures yet. The number of larva do not inhibit that mold from overrunning the culture(s).

Odor of a fly culture also depends on the ingredients that go into the media. A media that does not produce the optimal fly for nutritional purposes is unlikely to smell as one that is optimized for nutritional purposes.
 

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Anything that can be found in the enviroment.. if you culture microbes you can see that you get many different colors ranging from white all the way to greens and reds..

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have brown coffee filters in an open bag in the shelf along with dishes.. I guess I will be getting new ones, it doesnt cost much.

I don't use yeast or anything like that.... I have this premade dry food that I just add boiling water, then mix with a spoon, let it stand a bit (in the fridge) then I just dump a portion in the delicup, add a few new flies and there we go, a week later it is filled with hundreds of flies WHEN THERE IS NO MOLD! :p
I have both melano and hydei but the melanos are doing MUCH better. I also have beanweevils and a few other feeders but you know, FF are the staple!

So basically you are telling me I could add a bit of baker yeast over the cooled media, then add the flies? This will prevent a bit of the mold?
What about vinegar? Can I and should I use some?

Now I would like to try this all out, but ALL of my culture seems stormed by the mold :(

The mold is brownish, whiteish... VERY slimy.. some part looks a bit like the underside of a mushroom cap! It really smell just like garbage.... and ALL the flies are dieing in there.. Lost ALL of my hydei, now I fear even if I toss a few melanos in a new sterilized one, the mold will still take over right?
 

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If the cultures are all overrun then you can't use them for the newer cultures as they will simply bring the mold with them.
Adding baker's yeast can help prevent mold or other unwanteds but some molds like Aspergillus niger can still outcompete it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Alright tx a lot once again Ed!!
I will be gettin new cultures from a friend of mine this weekend.
I still have and almost dead untouched culture with a few old flies... I ll give it a try!

I use fleishmann instant yeast for my springtails, is this the good stuffs?

What about vinegar? Do you have any advice regarding this?
 

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The instant yeast is fine. Its what I use. I don't use vinegar so I'm not comfortable giving advice on it.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ok!

the premade food I have actually smells REALLY good... even with an old old culture, it still smells real good.. good enough that if it wasn't a fly culture, I would definately try eating some!
with the mold, it stinks up my whole frog room which NEVER smelled anything before :(
anyway I will be trying all the tips I received, tx to you all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Here's a pm I received

NVfrogger said:
Hi there;

I don't know if you have figured out your mold problem this is what i have done.

The first few cultures I made started to mold over so I started adding more water to the culture I do not use vinegar but the methal mold inhibitor. I have heard if the culture starts to dry it will mold so like i said I have added a little more water to the media. I started adding 2/3 cup to the media now I add 1 cup to the media it is like a pudding texture almost. I then put in the coffee filters and microwave for 1 minute I have not seen any mold since I have done this. I have even added FF's from a moldy culture and did not see any mold form the whole life of the culture. I think the moisture in the culture has a lot to do with the mold.

That is my experience hope this helps.
 
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