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Mosquitos (and their larvae)

Contents:

  1. [F] Source of live food
    by booth-at-lvld.hp.com (George Booth) (6 Jul 1995)
  2. [F] Source of live food
    by patbob-at-sequent.com (Patrick White) (Mon, 17 Jul 95)
  3. Easy Live Food
    by "Darren J. Hanson" <djhanson/calweb.com> (Thu, 14 May 1998)
  4. general diet and feeding frequency questions
    by djhanson/calweb.com (Thu, 04 Feb 1999)
  5. Chocolate Gouramies and Live Foods
    by Ryan Mills <millsman7/yahoo.com> (Fri, 12 May 2000)

[F] Source of live food

by booth-at-lvld.hp.com (George Booth)
Date: 6 Jul 1995
Newsgroup: alt.aquaria,rec.aquaria,sci.aquaria

I would like to make the net aware of a possible source for high quality
live food.  

My wife works for a small biotech firm that does research in various 
parasites.  As part of their research, they maintain a large colony 
of mosquitos.  Once a week, they will separate the mosquito pupae
into males and females, keep the females and kill off the males. 
She brings home a small portion of the unwanted (but not yet dead) 
pupae for our fish. This "small" portion is about the same as 4-6 
typical portions of brine shrimp as sold by the local shop.  It keeps
our 400 gallons of discus, angels and rainbows *very* happy for two days. 

Some years ago, she also worked at a small college in LA where they 
were doing research in insect genetics and she was in charge of a 
mosquito facility there. 

If you have friends that work in biotech firms or in college biology 
departments, check around to see if they are raising fish food for
you.  

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
George Booth                         "Nothing in the world is more dangerous 
booth-at-hplvec.lvld.hp.com             than sincere ignorance and conscientious 
Freshwater Plant Tank Technology     stupidity" - Martin Luther King, Jr. 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


[F] Source of live food

by patbob-at-sequent.com (Patrick White)
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 95
Newsgroup: sci.aquaria

In article <DBCu73.IH3-at-da_vinci.ecte.uswc.uswest.com>,
Charles Bay <cbay-at-menken.NoSubdomain.NoDomain> wrote:
>booth-at-lvld.hp.com (George Booth) wrote:
>>I would like to make the net aware of a possible source for high quality
>>live food.  
>>My wife works for a small biotech firm that does research in various 
>>parasites.  As part of their research, they maintain a large colony 
>>of mosquitos.  Once a week, they will separate the mosquito pupae
>>into males and females, keep the females and kill off the males. 
>>She brings home a small portion of the unwanted (but not yet dead) 
>>pupae for our fish. This "small" portion is about the same as 4-6 
>>typical portions of brine shrimp as sold by the local shop.  It keeps
>>our 400 gallons of discus, angels and rainbows *very* happy for two days. 
>>Some years ago, she also worked at a small college in LA where they 
>>were doing research in insect genetics and she was in charge of a 
>>mosquito facility there. 
>Aha!  That's how you get such big fish!  :-)
>Actually, I've been thinking about starting a mosquito culture for
>my tetras (it's been such a wet spring here, and they are in the
>house anyway).  Every adult mosquito I kill and throw into the tank,
>the fish love.
>I'm not sure how to convince the wife of this, though.  :-)
>What does a mosquito culture look like?  How do you do that without
>scratching a lot?  Don't you have to fertilize the adults with blood?
>Can I support a culture like that in the home?

	I've been doing this since spring.. so here's what I do.

	1) set pan of water outside in the shade.  Preferably about 1' (.3m)
	   deep for easy harvesting (don't stir up as much sludge).  Also,
	   it's wise to have several going so can dump out and restart to
	   keep the adults down.  My pans always have a little scuz at the
	   bottom -- decayed leaves, old potting soil residue, etc.
	2) wait.  If you put the stagnant water out, they will come.
	3) harvest.  I just use a fish net (larger better) or an eye dropper
	   if the pan is small enough and the weather nice enough.  Stalk the
	   pan (the larvae can see you aproach and will dive to teh bottom and
	   stay there for a while).  Sweep through the water picking up
	   anything at the surface and as far under it as you can get without
	   picking up all the muck at the bottom.  Pick out the ubiquitous
	   floating debris.  The net I use has a fine mesh -- almost fine
	   enough to be a brine shrimp net.  it's not good for catching fish
	   (too visible), but it seems to do an adequate job catching
	   larvae.  I tried my better fish nets, which have larger holes and
	   are harder to see, but the larvae saw them coming just as well
	   and dove for the bottom.
	4) separate.  I don't know of an easy way yet -- I put them in a small
	   container and use an eyedropper to pick them out one at a time from
	   all the debris.  There's got to be an easier way though.  You can
	   store the extras in a container in the refrigerator for a few days.

	The larvae hatch out of egg rafts that float on the water.  They look
like small lumps of aquarium charcoal -- about 1/16" (2-3mm) thick and, if
you keep them, you can hatch your own baby larvae.  I haven't had luck rearing
them to larger size, but if a pan of stagnant water can do it, it can't be
hard.  There should be a way to store them for hatching later -- maybe in the
refrigerator or freezer.
	They go through at least 3 molts until the pupate.  When they pupate,
they look like little balls with tails that bob at the surface.  They are
extremely fast swimmers, but also very buoyant.  Seems to take about a day
for them to change to adults.  
	Don't be suprised if you have to teach your fish to eat them... it
seems all my fish had to learn, which means only add a few, preferably smaller
ones (so they don't turn into adults and leave the tank), and wait until they
are all eaten.

-- 
Pat White (work: patbob-at-sequent.com, (503) 578-3463)
hang 2 -- surf the 'net


Easy Live Food

by "Darren J. Hanson" <djhanson/calweb.com>
Date: Thu, 14 May 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Back in the late 70's I used to dig a hole in the ground large enough to
keep a 10 gallon tank in it. I would fill it with water and let nature take
it's course. Basically the mosquitos. I would collect the larvae with a fine
net every day, put them in a little clean water then freeze them. When I
needed to feed it to the fish, I would thaw some out in the tanks. It worked
quite well and I didn't have to worry about having them develop into flying
insects. The fish didn't seem to mind if they were frozen.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Kaycy


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general diet and feeding frequency questions

by djhanson/calweb.com
Date: Thu, 04 Feb 1999
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

> I've never heard of a disease problem with mosquito larvae, either. They don't
> need septic condition to live & grow so they should be OK, but I bet it doesn't
> make you very popular with the neighbors when they find out!
I had actually been populating these back in 1975. I dug a hole in the
back yard by the house large enough to put a 10 gallon tank in it. I
then filled the tank with water and just left it. Every morning I would
go outside with a fine mesh net and scoop out any and all larvae. I
would then take them in side and put them in a freezer bag and freeze
them. As I need them to feed fish, I would thaw it out in the tank and
the fish loved them. I don't know if my neighbors complained or not,
they never said anything. It was a great way of getting free live/frozen
foods for my fish.

JM2¢W

Kaycy

http://www.calweb.com/users/d/djhanson/index.htm


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Chocolate Gouramies and Live Foods

by Ryan Mills <millsman7/yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 12 May 2000

Hello.

I have found mosquito larvae to be an excellent live
food.  I have a wheelbarrow in some bushes out back
with water in it.  I top it off with dechlorinated
water every once in awhile.  

You can see the egg rafts if you look carefully.  They
look like floating pieces of grey foam about and
eighth of an inch long and oval shaped.  Not all
mosquitos lay eggs in rafts, however.  If there is
some detritus on the bottom along with a little algae,
the larvae will have enough food.  You may want to put
a screen on top of your container to keep out birds
and debris.  A half shaded location is important so
the water doesn't get too hot.  

Do not ever put any of the water from the mosquito
container in your tank!  I use a brine shrimp net to
collect them, first putting the bottom rim under the
surface, and then sweeping it across the water when
the larvae have resurfaced.  You should be able to
tell when they have reached full size.  The normal
culex(?) mosquitos are about a quarter inch long when
mature.  Another species looks like a big comma, but
only larger fish will eat them.  Do not let any
escape!  Collect them all about every week or so, only
letting really tiny ones stay.  Have a small container
full of tank water to put the net caught ones in.  Of
course, it should have a cover.  

A turkey baster is handy for feeding them a few at a
time so they all get eaten and don't grow up to get
their revenge on you.  Almost any fish will relish
these.  The fish will learn to eat from the turkey
baster, and will soon be unafraid of it.  

DO NOT let your neighbors know about your mosquito
culture!    If you get them all (which is easy to do),
you will be taking them out of circulation.  Offer
that explanation if discovered.  If you see any of the
comma ones turning dark, they are pupating, so feed
them at once.  

This might sound like a hassle, or even dangerous, but
it doesn't have to be if you're careful.  After
awhile, you may get the choclates to eat a good flake
food if you squirt it past them with the baster. 
Ocean Nutrition (whom I am not connected with) makes
good stuff.  

Earthworms are a great food too.  Perhaps the smell
will tempt them.  Grindal worms are a dependable year
round live food as well.  Check the Krib for more on
these.  Later, Cavan.  

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