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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi, I'm interested in raising fruit fly's for profit. I already raise mealworms and getting superworms and dubias next. Fruit Fly's would help spark some interest in the dart frog community when I start selling feeder insects. Would like to do spring tails and the such, but that's for a later thread. I love insects, I wouldn't want to raise thousands of insects if I hated them and love the reptiles and amphibians that eat them. I have a whole 6 foot tall rack with 12 bus table tubs that will soon be filled with tens of thousands/hundreds of thousands of mealworms.

I've been looking quite a bit on fruit fly's(flies?) and have some questions to start this venture.

1. There's wingless/vestigal and some other kind of FF(they jump), which do you realistically use more? I'm not going to buy the wingless and culture them like crazy to have noone buy them because noone really uses wingless. So which is the all around one everyone uses?

2. Are the 32 oz. plastic containers with breathable lid the prefered way of culturing them? Their extremely cheap, but still just wondering?

3. I would culture melongaster and heidii(did I spell those right?), is there any other FF that people buy?

4.What is a good price for a culture of Heidii and then Melongaster? Culture consisting of 32 oz plastic container w/breathable lid,FF food at the bottom,excelsior then the FF. I'm thinking 5 bucks...shipping would be tacked on of course, but with USPS flat rate boxes that less than 5 bucks.

5.How do the FF's ship when it's cold out? Need a heat warmer? How about when it's really hot out?

6. How much of the FF food( I would make my own) do you put on the bottom of the container? Cup, 2 cups? Say you filled half the container of FF food, would this produce more FF's or will it rot/mold if it was just 1/5 full?

7. From what I've been reading it seems that at about 30 days(month) the cultures die down. I would be selling these so what would be a good number of cultures to start every week? 5-10 new cultures a week(?).....it all depends on business I guess.

8. I would like to make my own food, but is commercial foods better?

9. Starting a new culture I've seen anywhere from starting with 50-150 fly's per container. Does it matter?

I know it's alot of questions, but some of these I couldn't find exact answers on. I figured with this being a huge dart frog community of all people to know these answers you all would. I appreciate any advice.
 

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No offense intended, but... you want to start a business selling fruit flies yet have not even tried to do any research yourself? Or even made a culture? (sigh)

These are very basic and simple questions. You can find the answer to every one of your questions simply by searching these boards and taking a look at the websites of other vendors.

Like I said, I don't mean to offend... but if you want to build a good, reliable business, you should do some research and gain some understanding on your own. You may still have questions and I'm sure everyone would be glad to help you out...but at least make an effort.
 

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Here's a link for starters---it's at the top of the Sticky section in this Food and Feeding section.

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/food-feeding/18630-fruit-fly-culturing-mini-howto.html

After you assimilate that, and make your first cultures, you can ask more questions.
It takes time to formulate a good process and try it out. In doing so and in your own reading you will find your own answers to these questions for the most part.
What answers you don't find after all that, feel free to post about.

But, in short, I'll answer your questions. Elaborations on many of my answers can be found in the threads usually.

1) Mostly hydei and melanogaster, wingless or flightless.
2) Yes.
3) Yes, but not as often. Gliders are one kind.
4) Check out sponsor pricing here on this site in the Sponsor section for a general idea.
5) They use a heat pack in cold weather, use with care as it can overheat cultures and kill the flies. In hot weather flies aren't guaranteed above certain temps.
6) Any more food than a cup and a half tends to start molding before it's consumed in my experience.
7) You started answering this one yourself.
8) Not necessarily. They seem to have yeast and potato flakes and sugar, which makes a good yield for sure. I make my own recipe with more ingredients geared towards optimal nutrition.
9) The less flies you start off with (I use no less than 30, no more than 50), the longer and more consistently the flies will produce in that culture.

I hope this gives you a springboard to go and look up the rest using the Search function at the top bar.
 

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No offense intended, but... you want to start a business selling fruit flies yet have not even tried to do any research yourself? Or even made a culture? (sigh)

These are very basic and simple questions. You can find the answer to every one of your questions simply by searching these boards and taking a look at the websites of other vendors.

Like I said, I don't mean to offend... but if you want to build a good, reliable business, you should do some research and gain some understanding on your own. You may still have questions and I'm sure everyone would be glad to help you out...but at least make an effort.
I too, was frustrated (to say the least) to see this one. It's obvious you have not done any research at all here. As a business owner I have to tell you you are NOT going to be successful here without getting you hands dirty and doing some research yourself. You are trying to start a business and I know you have never started a culture.
 
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I too, was frustrated (to say the least) to see this one. It's obvious you have not done any research at all here. As a business owner I have to tell you you are NOT going to be successful here without getting you hands dirty and doing some research yourself. You are trying to start a business and I know you have never started a culture.
I was thinking the same thing as the two of you while reading this. As soon as learned that FF were going to be the main staple in their diet I started doing research and expiramenting with that before going any further with my frogs. The search button at the top can take you to many wondrous things.
 

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You will find people to be much more helpful when you've done some research on your own and have a specific question.
Doug
 

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You are also aware that you are probably going to have to aquire permits through APHIS (the USDA) to be able to ship at least some of the insects you have chosen to raise?

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Sorry for getting everyone upset. No I have never started a culture, nor have I said I have before to start with. I have researched the basics, belive it or don't. I should have researched more, I will. I ordered the fruit flies about 30 minutes prior to writing this post(original post). 2 cultures of each fly. Again, sorry will research more then.

I'm not trying to start a huge business out of nowhere selling FF's. Just something on the side, that's it. I have the mealworms and have been thinking of other things to try. I'll TRY first then ask questions. I do appreciate the answers that were given.
 

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Sorry for getting everyone upset. No I have never started a culture, nor have I said I have before to start with. I have researched the basics, belive it or don't. I should have researched more, I will. I ordered the fruit flies about 30 minutes prior to writing this post. 2 cultures of each fly. Again, sorry will research more then.

I'm not trying to start a huge business out of nowhere selling FF's. Just something on the side, that's it. I have the mealworms and have been thinking of other things to try. I'll TRY first then ask questions. I do appreciate the answers that were given.
I don't think anyone is very upset. Thank you for taking initiative to do the research. It's OK. Good luck.
 

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The answers to these questions are good starter info for any new PDF hobbiest, so I'll take a crack at them too. [thanks Susan]

Hi, I'm interested in raising fruit fly's for profit. I already raise mealworms and getting superworms and dubias next. Fruit Fly's would help spark some interest in the dart frog community when I start selling feeder insects. Would like to do spring tails and the such, but that's for a later thread. I love insects, I wouldn't want to raise thousands of insects if I hated them and love the reptiles and amphibians that eat them. I have a whole 6 foot tall rack with 12 bus table tubs that will soon be filled with tens of thousands/hundreds of thousands of mealworms.

I've been looking quite a bit on fruit fly's(flies?) and have some questions to start this venture.
1. There's wingless/vestigal and some other kind of FF(they jump), which do you realistically use more? I'm not going to buy the wingless and culture them like crazy to have noone buy them because noone really uses wingless. So which is the all around one everyone uses?
Wingless culture slower, and a great for thumbnails and young frogs but since they dont produce the volume of FF that a larger breeder needs, most use Gliders IME. Me included.
2. Are the 32 oz. plastic containers with breathable lid the prefered way of culturing them? Their extremely cheap, but still just wondering?
Yup, most use these, although if you have a smaller collection, glass jars work just fine.

3. I would culture melongaster and heidii(did I spell those right?), is there any other FF that people buy?
Those are the basics, although there are other species out there.

4.What is a good price for a culture of Heidii and then Melongaster? Culture consisting of 32 oz plastic container w/breathable lid,FF food at the bottom,excelsior then the FF. I'm thinking 5 bucks...shipping would be tacked on of course, but with USPS flat rate boxes that less than 5 bucks.
I"ve seen from 4-9$. The 'trick' is that most hobbiests can make their own for 1-2$/culture. I think getting a container with each one ordered helps offset buying them, and offering deals for bulk orders, or scheduled ordering is best. I'd need significant persuasion to switch from make my own to ordering. Esp since I use 50/week.

5.How do the FF's ship when it's cold out? Need a heat warmer? How about when it's really hot out?
My guess is that they need 65-80F, so a heat pack yes. I've never shipped them in winter though.

6. How much of the FF food( I would make my own) do you put on the bottom of the container? Cup, 2 cups? Say you filled half the container of FF food, would this produce more FF's or will it rot/mold if it was just 1/5 full?
i use a dry scoop using a 4oz cup, that 'doubles' approx once the media is wet down in the 32 oz container. U can use 4-8oz per container. More = more stable cx, but any more then 8oz is going to just rot IMO.
7. From what I've been reading it seems that at about 30 days(month) the cultures die down. I would be selling these so what would be a good number of cultures to start every week? 5-10 new cultures a week(?).....it all depends on business I guess.
I make 25 on Sat, and 25 on Wed. For me alone. :D

8. I would like to make my own food, but is commercial foods better?
That is going to require some searching. There are many recipes out their, including a commonly used 'Carolina Biological' mix that most hobbiest start with when they make their own.
9. Starting a new culture I've seen anywhere from starting with 50-150 fly's per container. Does it matter?
I use 100+, and I pick them from the most robust containers of young FF's. The older hatches are smaller and less robust. Any mold in a container? dont use that one for new cx's. Mixing 2 containers together or many together and dividing up is a way to keep cx's vigorous. Hydei need a week or more after hatch for both sexes to hatch out I believe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As an aside, it is illegal per the USDA to ship dubia roaches (or any roaches other than hissers) across state lines.
You sure? I could name you 10 websites selling roaches that ship in a couple of seconds. There's literally hundreds of websites doing this, if it's true then they are all breaking the law in plain view of the government. I know you can't ship to Florida, but didn't know about all states.

The answers to these questions are good starter info for any new PDF hobbiest, so I'll take a crack at them too. [thanks Susan]




Wingless culture slower, and a great for thumbnails and young frogs but since they dont produce the volume of FF that a larger breeder needs, most use Gliders IME. Me included.
Yup, most use these, although if you have a smaller collection, glass jars work just fine.


Those are the basics, although there are other species out there.


I"ve seen from 4-9$. The 'trick' is that most hobbiests can make their own for 1-2$/culture. I think getting a container with each one ordered helps offset buying them, and offering deals for bulk orders, or scheduled ordering is best. I'd need significant persuasion to switch from make my own to ordering. Esp since I use 50/week.


My guess is that they need 65-80F, so a heat pack yes. I've never shipped them in winter though.

i use a dry scoop using a 4oz cup, that 'doubles' approx once the media is wet down in the 32 oz container. U can use 4-8oz per container. More = more stable cx, but any more then 8oz is going to just rot IMO.

I make 25 on Sat, and 25 on Wed. For me alone. :D

That is going to require some searching. There are many recipes out their, including a commonly used 'Carolina Biological' mix that most hobbiest start with when they make their own.
I use 100+, and I pick them from the most robust containers of young FF's. The older hatches are smaller and less robust. Any mold in a container? dont use that one for new cx's. Mixing 2 containers together or many together and dividing up is a way to keep cx's vigorous. Hydei need a week or more after hatch for both sexes to hatch out I believe.
Each week you make 50 new cultures? :eek: Must have alot of frogs.

cx? Fancy name for a culture or something?

Thanks alot. Can't wait to get them. Also got 5 extra container w/lids and excelsior at joshsfrogs to make my own cultures.
 

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You sure? I could name you 10 websites selling roaches that ship in a couple of seconds. There's literally hundreds of websites doing this, if it's true then they are all breaking the law in plain view of the government. I know you can't ship to Florida, but didn't know about all states..
According to the USDA, I am 100% sure of this. I have read a letter directly from them stating as much. Same goes for bean beetles - both are considered crop pests.

I work for a company that stopped selling dubias as a result of this. Trust me, after constructing a 12'x12' roach culturing room and building up a very large breeding stock, then being turned down by the USDA for a permit, we did the research.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
According to the USDA, I am 100% sure of this. I have read a letter directly from them stating as much. Same goes for bean beetles - both are considered crop pests.

I work for a company that stopped selling dubias as a result of this. Trust me, after constructing a 12'x12' roach culturing room and building up a very large breeding stock, then being turned down by the USDA for a permit, we did the research.
Wow, how long has this been in effect? Well their's always Ohio residents who might want some. I don't want to be in the same sentence as U.S. goverment and fines or penalties. I'm sure they could kill any business with a huge penalty.

If you have a permit though you can sell them? I'll start looking at what else is banned and the penalties of being caught.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'd like to add that mite prevention is a must if you're going to be selling them. I've been using this mite powder for a year plus and haven't had a problem at all.

http://www.jtresser.com/drosophila.html

It's much easier than the sprays imo and last's a long time.
I was going to buy the mite carpet(roll of paper), but this seems just as good and cheap. Sprinkle it where the cultures will be? I've heard of people putting their cultures on carboard then putting mite powder on this. This I would think would be more effective than just sprinkling willy nilly.

Also the site above me has blue coloring. Anyone use this before? I don't really need it, but blue is my favorite color and I'd personally rather buy a culture with a "cool" blue medium than the bland white/tan. Harmful effects?
 

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Wow, how long has this been in effect? Well their's always Ohio residents who might want some. I don't want to be in the same sentence as U.S. goverment and fines or penalties. I'm sure they could kill any business with a huge penalty.

If you have a permit though you can sell them? I'll start looking at what else is banned and the penalties of being caught.
We found out about the USDA's position after trying to get permits to ship them, along with several other feeder insect species. Springtails, Fruit flies, and wax worms (both greater and lesser) are of no concern.
 

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This is a good thread - subscribed.

I can't remember a business oriented FF / feeder thread.

To the OP....it can be done. Now as far as big big $$.....start small and keep your goals realistic.

Not sure who entered the interesting tags for this thread but I think I can guess.
 

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Here's what we did. We made a tray to fit a dozen culture's out of cloroplast. We then added aggcrate and siliconed it in to add strength and to keep the culture's out of the powder. We sprinkled the powder liberally all over the tray. We brushed the power off the eggcrate and then placed the culture's on top.

The tray's on the shelving.



BTW We don't sell a ton of culture's, but enough to pay for our own frog food.
 
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