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Uncertain on Apisto Safe Food

Discussion in 'Apistogramma' started by Strong Style, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Strong Style

    Strong Style New Member

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    I've read that apistos can struggle with bloodworms (due to their chitin) as well as adult brine shrimp for similar reasons. However, these posts are a few years old. Are these foods safe for apistos? If not, what should I feed a pair of A. agassizi that prefers these frozen foods? Thank you!
  2. dw1305

    dw1305 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi all,
    I would be reluctant to feed frozen bloodworms. It isn't the chitin that would worry me, but the conditions the blood-worms were collected from, and what may have happened pre-freezing. I don't have any reservations about feeding live bloodworms that I've collected myself.

    I feed mine <"mainly live food">, so some-one else will have to chime in with which frozen foods are best.

    cheers Darrel
    Strong Style likes this.
  3. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    I think Darrel said all that you need to know. It's not the chitin. In the wild much of an apisto's diet is composed of chitin-rich foods (small crustaceans and insect larvae). When in doubt, always buy the best name brand foods.
    Strong Style likes this.
  4. Strong Style

    Strong Style New Member

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    Thank you for the information!

    I've been going with Hikari frozen foods as they explicitly state there's a 3 step sterilization process and seems to be one of the more respectable brands. Does the community here agree with such?
  5. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Hikari is good. I use it, among others. But just as important is how frozen food is handled by the retailer. Even the best products suffer if thawed and refrozen.
  6. Ttw

    Ttw Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I have fed my apistos frozen bloodworms and frozen adult brine shimp for years. I have not recognized any problems and the fish have done well. I would stay away from live black worms. The fish always develop problems if I feed those worms.
  7. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I trust live blackworms (farmed without fish) more than I trust frozen bloodworms. I chop them on a cutting board for Apistos and other small fish. BEST foods IMO are mosquitoes, bloodworms/midges, daphnia, and copepods netted from my outdoor tubs and rain barrels.
  8. dw1305

    dw1305 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi all,
    I tend to agree with Gerald. In the summer I feed 100% live food, and the fish really colour up.

    The problem I have with commercially collected Bloodworms (and Tubifex) is that to get the really dense populations you need to make it worthwhile you have to feed them on organic waste, so they tend to come from sewage outflows etc.

    I've had a Blackworm culture for ~5 years now. I feed them in moderation now (they are really popular with all the fish) and other than these <"unfortunate deaths"> I haven't had any problem.

    cheers Darrel
  9. ButtNekkid

    ButtNekkid Active Member

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    Hi,

    How does one establish such barrels? I live in a block of flats but we do have a balcony.
    What kind of net has such small holes? Will water from a tank do or does it have to be tap/RO?
  10. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Any water you can drink is fine - once it is dechlorinated. Just make sure it doesn't have contact with insect sprays. It does need feeding (organics). I'd try it but some of our mosquitoes carry West Nile virus, so I don't think that the neighbors would be pleased to learn I was raising mosquito larvae. I prefer Grindal worms to blackworms; less chance of aquatic pathogens. Worms are a good conditioning food, but excessive use can lead to obesity in fish and a shortened life span.
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  11. ButtNekkid

    ButtNekkid Active Member

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    Hi,

    Our water supplier does not add chlorine into tap. What do you mean by feeding? As in fish food or kitchen leftovers?
  12. dw1305

    dw1305 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi all,
    You just need to add some leaves (cut grass, tree leaves etc) to a bucket of water and then place it somewhere where it is in shade some of the time.

    The more disgusting and organic the water is the more mosquito larvae you will get. I like to go for less larvae and cleaner water.

    You harvest them with an aquarium net from the surface of the water, and you have to avoid your shadow falling on the water as that will cause the larvae to dive to the bottom.

    The mosquitoes will find it. The female needs something to perch on while she lays hers eggs, a small piece of cork or polystyrene is fine.

    cheers Darrel
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  13. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Tell your neighbors you are DECREASING the local mosquito population by attracting egg-laying females and then destroying their larvae. Whether it's true or not depends on how diligent you are at harvesting larvae, but it makes a good logical defense!
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  14. Ttw

    Ttw Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Darrel that is very impressive that you have kept a blackworm culture going for 5 years. Do you mind telling us how you do it? I have always failed to keep a culture going.
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  15. dw1305

    dw1305 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi all,
    In a 5 gallon (UK gallon) bucket of rain-water with some dead leaves and plenty of hornwort in it. I don't feed them, but the hornwort is pretty thick and sheds leaves etc. The buckets have snails and Asellus etc. in them.

    I'll get a photo tonight.

    It doesn't tend to get all that cold here (SW UK) so I leave the buckets out all year, and they haven't frozen solid since 2012.

    I keep a few spares inside in the winter as insurance, just in ice cream tubs on the window sill, these have spare floating plants and moss in them, and also I put a few in the external filters. They seem fine living in the PPI10 sponges in the filter.

    cheers Darrel
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  16. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Ahh... that explains it ... it's those UK 5 gal buckets. Blackworms just won't grow in US 5 gal buckets.
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  17. ButtNekkid

    ButtNekkid Active Member

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    Who would have thought of that!

    I can´t wait for the Darrel edition of cribs: "and this is where the magic happens..."
  18. dw1305

    dw1305 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi all,
    Yes, I think that extra couple of pints of water must make all the difference.

    The thing I really like about the buckets <"is the price">.

    cheers Darrel
  19. dw1305

    dw1305 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi all,
    I'm just really lazy and tend to follow the path of least resistance, and every now and then it works.Have a look at <"UKAPS: Live food cultures">.

    Years ago I started compiling bits that I thought might be of interest, with the idea that I might write a book, but when I had a look through them I realised that a lot of it consisted mainly of criticism of various large companies and advice that could go horribly wrong.

    The real magic happens when you find some-one who is properly knowledgeable on a specialist forum (like our own Mike Wise) and then just re-post what they say (on another forum) as your own opinion, job done.

    Now I've found that Michael Hellweg's (very useful) <"Culturing Live Foods"> sells for several hundred pounds, I'm going to start plagiarizing him relentlessly.

    cheers Darrel
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  20. aarhud

    aarhud Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I bought Hellweg's book in 2013 for $21! I should have bought a few more!
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