DIY Fruitfly Culture

Discussion in 'Chameleon Food' started by Rocky, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. Rocky

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    Making a producing Fruitfly Culture is very easy. It can also be a great food source for little chameleons, frogs, geckos, etc.


    1. Make a media to put at the bottom of your container. I will list a few that I have and you can pick which ever one you want.

    2. Put about 1 inch in the bottom of your container (cup / jar / watever you want to use)

    3. Sprinkle Fleischmans Instant Yeast to the top. I read in a thread on how to do it that this will feed the male flies (open to debate on that though)

    4. Put something in the container to increase the surface area. Make sure the bottom of the item you use is stuck into the bottom of the media.
    - Coffee filters: These work well rolled up in a sort of funnel or crumbled lightly. The only problem is that they can get wet and soggy.
    - Excelsior: This is basically wooden wool. You can buy it at most places that sell packing materials or home depot/lowes. I found it at the UPS Store Wikipedia on Excelsior

    5. Add 50-100 fruit flies from an existing culture. They will be better if they are fresher.

    6. Put them on mite paper. Mites will kill your cultures. I do not know much about mite paper, so I bought it online. If you can find it somewhere else I would say get it there just to avoid having to wait for shipping etc.
    -Antimite paper

    Recipes (I found these on the internet when I was researching these and I just saved them to a word file. They are not mine in any way and unfortunately I do not have the website to link them. If it looks familiar you can say so and I will credit you :) )


    8 bananas
    1/4 cup sugar
    rolled oats (oatmeal)
    1 packet bakers yeast

    Put banana and sugar in blender and mix until the banana is liquified. Mix in oatmeal until it becomes firm, but still moist. Put mixture in wide mouth quart canning jars. Add a few granules of bakers yeast to the surface and add about 30 fruit flies. Cap the jars with a paper towel folded in fourths held on with a rubber band. Substitution with other types of fruit also works.

    Variation, use the following ingredients:
    1 cup banana (about 2 bananas)
    1 cup apple sauce
    1 Tablespoon vinegar
    2 cups oat meal


    1 cup water
    1 tablespoon cornmeal
    1 teaspoon powdered agar
    1 tablespoon molasses
    1/8 teaspoon calcium proprionate (optional)
    1 package bakers yeast

    Mix all ingredients except yeast, then heat until boiling. Quickly pour mixture into clean culture jars. Cap and let cool to room temperature. This mixture can be stored in the refridgerator with a tightly capped lid until ready for use. When ready to use, sprinkle a couple granules of baker's yeast on the surface and add fruit flys. Calcium proprionate is a mold inhibitor used in bread.

    Instant Potatoes

    baker's yeast
    brewer's yeast
    instant potato flakes
    tegosept (methylparaben)

    To prepare dry culture media, mix 1 part brewer's to 10 parts instant potatoe flakes by weight. When ready for use, mix 4 grams of the mold inhibitor, tegosept (methylparaben), to 1 gallon of hot water. Let cool and add an equal amount of water to the dry culture media (by volume). When the mixture solidifies, add a couple of granules of baker's yeast to the surface and add fruit flies. Calcium proprionate may be used as a substitute for tegosept.

    Instaflies This is the one i originally used and it worked good. I had to interpret the ammounts from the recipe so somethings might be better different but that is up to you.

    White Vinegar (Cheap stuff)
    Instant Potatoes
    Brewers Yeast(only brewers)
    Hot Tap water

    Make a 50/50 water vinegar solution (I used 1.5 cup water 1.5 cup vinegar)
    Then just mix everything (except insta yeast)in at equal parts until it is slightly lower apple sauce consistency. Leave it for 10 minutes and it should be thick and ready to use.

    Home Made Culture Recipe:

    * ½ Cup Instant Mashed Potato flakes.
    * 4 tsp. Cornflower.
    * 2 tsp. Active yeast.
    * ½ tsp. Sugar.
    * Apple Cider Vinegar.

    I mix all the dry in a larger portion and when needed add in the Apple Cider Vinegar before I use this. The Apple Cider Vinegar has 2 uses, first it is a good mold inhibitor, and second it helps bind the items together. When ready to mix the dry with the Vinegar you will want to mix it in a 1:1 ratio, it will be the consistency of a dry paste. You don't want it to be too wet, or it will foul your culture.



    * Water
    * 4 part Instant Potato Flakes
    * 2 Powdered Milk
    * 1 Sugar
    * Bakers Yeast

    Mix the Instant potatoes, powdered milk, and sugar together with an equal amount of water. Once thoroughly mixed, sprinkle bakers years over the top and lightly mix that in. Let this set for a few minutes. It will thicken some as the potatoes absorb the water.

    Useful Links Food, Fruit Flies.htm

    Basic Fruit Fly Care from Snail Tail Flies

    DIY Cultures from Snail Tail Flies (pre made containers to start a culture)

    Buy Fruitfly Ready to go Cultures

    Cant find what you need? Buy it here
  2. Rocky

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    I found the original guide I used to make them. He posted some good pictures. My camera is broken and I have to rent a camera from the school if i want to use one.

    He has some awesome pics on how to do it etc. He uses the second to last recipe I put. When I did it I used 4 of the recipes to see if i could find one that would work better. At the moment they seem to be doing about the same...
  3. SoCaliSon

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    Awesome! Thanks for working that up. Very Helpful.

    I'm sorry but I have too...
  4. Zen Reptiles

    Zen Reptiles
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    You can use methyl paraben or methylene blue to prevent mold in your cultures.

    You can also add 1/4 to 1 TBSP of cinnamon to make it smell not-like-rotting-fruit ;)

    Some other tips:

    -Don't make it too wet, or it will rot and stink the whole room up

    -Don't over-do it on the yeast. All you need is to sprinkle some on the top, you don't really need to add it to the mixture. Experiment with it, as too much yeast can cause gas buildup that will kill the fly culture.

    -If you get mites, you can buy mite paper to put your fly jars on

    -To keep a culture going more than a month, you can add a squirt of vinegar into the drying culture medium and this will add a few more weeks to the production.

    And my environmentally conscious tip of the day:

    -Instead of using coffee filters and excelsior, use your old toilet paper rolls! (I live in a house of 5, so there's always enough lol)

    Oh, and wide mouth mason jars work well, and are re-usable.

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