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Where am I going wrong with culturing grindals?

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Hmmm.... I've got three cultures that just went to mite over time. Can't even see any worms anymore. They've been outcompeted.

I'm not sure what the secret is... I've tried more food, less food, varying degrees of light, different medias (coconut coir, peat, sponge), different levels of moisture... Not sure what else to try.

Mite paper isn't going to help me keep a culture completely free and stop them from taking over.
 

Becca

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They're spring tails.

Change the water if you're seeing a lot of springtails. Feed daily, but no more than what worms will eat every 18-24 hours. They like cool temperatures.
 
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They're spring tails.

Change the water if you're seeing a lot of springtails. Feed daily, but no more than what worms will eat every 18-24 hours. They like cool temperatures.
They're grain mites.

I have springtails in one of my cultures also.

I seem to be good at culturing anything other than grindals.
 

mchambers

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They're grain mites.

I have springtails in one of my cultures also.

I seem to be good at culturing anything other than grindals.
I get them from time to time, especially in the warmer months. There is a lot of conflicting advice on the interwebs. I’ve usually just collected as many worms as Possible, washed them, and then used them to start a new culture.

There is a soilless method for culturing them, but I didn’t get a lot of worms that way.
 
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Even my soilless culture has them.

I need to find a cool spot to try to knock them back, I guess.

In the meantime, I'm feeding out the mites.
 

Frank Cowherd

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So the best way I ever found to combat gnats and mites and such was to throw a bath towel over the culture. The towel is easy to remove to get access to the culture and easy to throw back over the culture. It seems to prevent bugs from getting to the culture much better than any other method of keeping bugs out of cultures. And towels are cheap, come in any size you need and are washable. But they only work if you remember to put them back over the culture.
 

Becca

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Gnats did in my first culture, but I found some grindals that I'd thrown into my red wiggler culture and was able to start them back up again.
 

zendog

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I have springtails in the culture I got from Becca and mites in the culture from Matt - my fish enjoy both equally well, so I'm not too worried about it. Does anyone know how to actually catch springtails to feed them on their own? Those things are fast!

Be aware that you can get fungus gnats coming from potting soils and peat moss. So if you start new cultures and keep getting gnats, you may be re-introducing the gnats each time. Since relatively small amounts or material are needed for culture media, you may want to try baking or possibly heating it by pouring boiling water into the media before you start a new culture. Of course let it cool before adding your starter worms...
 

Becca

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I have springtails in the culture I got from Becca and mites in the culture from Matt - my fish enjoy both equally well, so I'm not too worried about it. Does anyone know how to actually catch springtails to feed them on their own? Those things are fast!

Be aware that you can get fungus gnats coming from potting soils and peat moss. So if you start new cultures and keep getting gnats, you may be re-introducing the gnats each time. Since relatively small amounts or material are needed for culture media, you may want to try baking or possibly heating it by pouring boiling water into the media before you start a new culture. Of course let it cool before adding your starter worms...
I've found that, even if I catch them, they tend to float so well that they can hop away from the fish.
 
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So the best way I ever found to combat gnats and mites and such was to throw a bath towel over the culture. The towel is easy to remove to get access to the culture and easy to throw back over the culture. It seems to prevent bugs from getting to the culture much better than any other method of keeping bugs out of cultures. And towels are cheap, come in any size you need and are washable. But they only work if you remember to put them back over the culture.
I've even done that. Lol. Feel like I've done everything.

I thought the darkness might be more conducive for the worms.

I'm going to try to be diligent at feeding out the mites and maybe things will tip in the balance of the worms.
 
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I have springtails in the culture I got from Becca and mites in the culture from Matt - my fish enjoy both equally well, so I'm not too worried about it. Does anyone know how to actually catch springtails to feed them on their own? Those things are fast!

Be aware that you can get fungus gnats coming from potting soils and peat moss. So if you start new cultures and keep getting gnats, you may be re-introducing the gnats each time. Since relatively small amounts or material are needed for culture media, you may want to try baking or possibly heating it by pouring boiling water into the media before you start a new culture. Of course let it cool before adding your starter worms...
Only if they don't come in with the grindals when you add them.

I've even tried restarting from a few grindals after letting the mites float and pouring them off.

I guess what I really should be doing is a combination of things. Sterile media. Finer mesh for breathing. And float the mites off any naked worms I put in. And the whole culture sitting on mite paper. Also sterilize the dog food bc I read that grain mites are found in all hard dog foods.

Hopefully heating it in vacuum will prevent any new ones from getting in.

And I have to be careful about any tools I use to take the worms out with.

Which really starts to sound like a lot of work... Like most things in this hobby. They always start out sounding so easy.

I wish my red wigglers would be more consistent about climbing the walls like the used to. I used to be able to swipe off tiny baby worms for feeding out.

Can't figure out how to reliability get them to climb... My Crypto myrnae are super lucky and refuse to eat any worms that aren't the tiny white babies. Or grindals or whatever they are.

I was never able to get enough grindals going for steadily feeding out for conditioning.
 

zendog

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I wish my red wigglers would be more consistent about climbing the walls like the used to. I used to be able to swipe off tiny baby worms for feeding out.

Can't figure out how to reliability get them to climb... My Crypto myrnae are super lucky and refuse to eat any worms that aren't the tiny white babies. Or grindals or whatever they are.
I expect those might be white worms, not baby red wigglers. I have some that popped up in a red wiggler culture and have grown into a decent culture on their own. I find they do better and are more likely to multiply if I keep the culture wetter. That also seems to send the red wigglers up the walls a bit, but be careful since if it is too moist you can kill off the red wigglers.

Try putting a few kibbles of dog food in the red wiggler culture on top of the media and if you find a bunch of the small white worms swarming to it a in few days, you know you've got white worms. Of everything I grow they are the live food my fish seem to love the most.
 
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I expect those might be white worms, not baby red wigglers. I have some that popped up in a red wiggler culture and have grown into a decent culture on their own. I find they do better and are more likely to multiply if I keep the culture wetter. That also seems to send the red wigglers up the walls a bit, but be careful since if it is too moist you can kill off the red wigglers.

Try putting a few kibbles of dog food in the red wiggler culture on top of the media and if you find a bunch of the small white worms swarming to it a in few days, you know you've got white worms. Of everything I grow they are the live food my fish seem to love the most.
Going to try that, thanks!

None of my fish seem to be loving the red wigglers all that much. Even if I purge the worms.

I've got spoiled fish.
 
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