by Mike LoBello
This column is to be dedicated to the best food you can feed
tropical fish. Live food! The prepared foods you feed your
tropical fish have been a boon to the hobby and makes it easy
for the hobbyist to feed his fish when in a hurry, but when
you really want your fish to shine and you want full color
out of your fish for a show or to bring the fish into breeding
condition there is really only one way to go. LIVE FOODS!
Over the next issues of Modern Tropical Fish Bytes we are
going to wander through the various live foods that are available
to the hobby and how to keep them alive as a culture. Many
of the live foods have several ways to culture the foods
to a harvest and we will make every attempt to cover all
of the methods of all of the live foods you may run across.
Be patient and we will find a way for you to feed live foods
to your fish.
The Vinegar Eel
One of the easiest of the live foods to keep and culture is
the Vinegar Eel. There is not a new way of keeping the culture,
however I'm going to give that receipt to you as well, but
there is a really great new way of collecting the minute Vinegar
Pic To Enlarge
First of all let's get a culture up and running. Take either
a 1 gallon pickle jar or a 2 liter Coke plastic container.
Anything of that sort should do just fine but you need more
than a quart or it's not even worth the time as a main culture.
Ok, easy from here: 1/2 water (tap water is fine) and 1/2
Apple Cider Vinegar. However big your container is then
make the fluid 50/50 water and vinegar. Leave some 'air space'
at the top . . . this is needed (1-2" . . . make room for the apple
slices and the starter culture). Take an apple, I've never
tried a green apple but I suspect it would work as well,
and cut the apple such that you have 3-4-5 slices of apple
about the size of your 'pointer' finger. Push those apple
slices into the mix of water/vinegar. For several days the
slices will float but very soon they will
sink to the bottom. Throw in the starter culture and you are
'good-to-go'. The top of the container needs to NOT BE CAPPED
. . . there needs to be an air exchange. If you use a 2 liter
Soda bottle you can use some "filter fluff" or a bit of cotton
to allow the air exchange. If you use a pickle jar you may
want to use some Saran Wrap and punch some holes in it .
. . you just want
to stop the water evaporation. Put the culture on a shelf somewhere
and in about 2-3 weeks come back and take a look at what you
have created. It's that easy!
Harvesting the Vinegar Eels: I
really have to laugh at all of the antics that aquarists, including
me, have gone through to get these
little critters to the baby fry. Over the years I have just
about heard, and tried, it all from coffee filters to kitchen
'scrubbies'. None really worked to my satisfaction but I always
kept the vinegar eel culture around for emergencies if the
micro worm culture went bad and the fry were too young for
newly hatched brine shrimp. That's why we are here today!
You are not going to believe this one. I don't know who thought
of this trick but this one is just GREAT!
Out of your big culture, siphon from the best part of your
vinegar eel culture enough vinegar/water/eels into a beer
bottle (12 oz) . . . one of the long neck types! Preferably
get a clear glass beer bottle and make things easy on yourself.
the beer bottle up until the vinegar/water/eels are JUST
a 'schooch'...if you don't know what a 'schooch' is I can't
help you . . . ;-) . . . above the place where the beer bottle
becomes the skinny, long neck.
Now, find some 'filter fluff' or some loose cotton and stuff
a wad of this down the neck of the beer bottle until it meets
the top of the vinegar/water/eels. Don't make it packed too
much but don't make it too loose either . . . yea . . . it's
one of those!
3) Very gently . . . very
pour some fresh water from one of your tanks into
the neck of the beer bottle and for the most part fill
it up to within 1/2" of the top.
4) Let the whole thing sit for an hour or so and `voila
. . . this is what you will have!
Pic To Enlarge
Trust me folks the vinegar/water/eels solution will stay
separated from the tank water for quite some time. Of course
the obvious can now take place. You can get those Vinegar
Eels out of there in any fashion. I have about 4-5" of
airline tubing stuck onto a syringe and it takes about a
milli-second to get all of the Vinegar Eels I need. No vinegar
water into the fry tank and is this slick or what?
Register With Modern
Tropical Fish Bytes: Make
sure you register with us. By doing that you will be the first
to know about the newest issues of MTFB. We will NEVER give
any information to anyone or any advertiser or use 'spyware'.
We dislike that as much as you do! Click
On The Blue Button. Thank
You Very Much.