Culturing Live Foods

At Phyto Aquatics we try to keep and breed fish more naturally, we think a large part of that is feeding natural live foods. We offer a few easy to culture live foods that we believe are essential to breeding and raising fish in an aquarium. Following are our methods of culturing and feeding these foods, any questions email

Vinegar Eels:

-Vinegar Eels are a very small nematode that inhabits vinegars. They reach a size around 1/8 inch making them a great first food for many very small fry. Vinegar Eels will stay in the water column and can live in freshwater but to reproduce they need to live in cider vinegar. The female Vinegar Eel will give birth up to 45 young every 8-10 days, and live for an average of 10 months. Vinegar Eels do well at temperatures from 60-90 degrees. A glass bottle with a long skinny neck and wide base is recommended. Old wine or beer bottles will work great. The long slim neck of the container will allow you to harvest the Vinegar Eels from the culture very easily. Fill container halfway with apple cider vinegar and fill water up to the base of the neck. Add in a tablespoon of brown sugar or a couple apple slices, this will begin to break down and the vinegar eels will feed on the bacteria. Stuff a wad of filter floss or a cotton ball into the neck of the jar leaving it in the bottom of the neck. This will be a barrier allowing water to be added on top without mixing with vinegar. Take care not to push it into the bottom of the bottle, using fishing line around the floss will be helpful for removal. Now fill bottle to the brim with fresh water. The Vinegar Eels will come up through the floss into the freshwater where they can be sucked out with a pipette or baster and fed directly to tank. Add fresh water to fill bottle after feeding. Having a larger backup culture separate from your feeding culture is a great way to make sure you always have some when needed. I recommend starting two feeding bottle cultures and using the leftover gallon jug of apple cider vinegar for large backup culture, just add water and food source! 

Micro Worms:

-To culture microworms mix dry medium with water until very moist but not runny. Culture medium is organic whole grain oatmeal, harmless for fish if eaten. Add dry yeast to feed and kickstart the culture producing lots of worms! Mix dry medium until wet and goopy, no water should be able to be poured out, but do not let medium dry out or cake up. Mix dry yeast into medium and add starter medium from our colony into your new culture cup. As the culture grows the medium will start to become very runny as the worms eat and multiply. Microworms will do well at room temperatures. To feed take your finger or a small clean paintbrush, and remove the worms from the sides of your container and feed directly to tank. Stir culture every few days to keep fresh. New cultures will need to be started every month or when culture medium becomes very runny and stinky. Multiple cultures are recommended if feeding lots of fry or in the chance of a crash. Your culture will need to breath but insure no bugs or other contaminants can enter your container. Our full Microworm Kit comes with starter culture of worms, ventilated culture cup, dry medium, yeast and instructions.



White Worms:  - Coming Soon!