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Collecting Aquatic Insects

This is a discussion on Collecting Aquatic Insects within the Live Food General Discussion forums, part of the Food: Live, Frozen, Freeze-Dried, Pellets, etc category; I am in the process of getting 10 C. cyanurus from Jen and I was wondering about collecting live food. ...

View Poll Results: Would you feed live collected aquatic invertabrates to your newts/salamanders?

Yes I would/ Yes I do. 97 76.98%
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Old 22nd September 2009   #1 (permalink)
NV
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Default Collecting Aquatic Insects

I am in the process of getting 10 C. cyanurus from Jen and I was wondering about collecting live food. I was thinking of going down to a river this weekend and catching some small invertabrates and didn't know if this would be safe or not. If it is a good idea, what types should I look for? I already have enough blood worms to come out of my ears (discus breeder) and know they like that, just thought it would be neat to go out and catch some wild stuff for them.

Thanks in advance.

NV



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Old 22nd September 2009   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Collecting Aquatic Insects

The problem with wild invertebrates is parasites. They are vectors for a multitude of parasitic lifeforms, some which can be a real danger for the caudates.
My advice would be to stick to cultured food items, frozen foods etc...
The choice is yours obviously...but i personally think some wild invertebrates are too risky...



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Old 22nd September 2009   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Collecting Aquatic Insects

I find most wild caught foods, other than earth worms to be too much work. It can take hours a day to get enough critters to keep your pets fed well. Even more so if you have a group of growing juveniles.



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Old 22nd September 2009   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Collecting Aquatic Insects

Thanks guys for your feedback. It seems like a spit decision through the pole so far.

What types of critters would be good to look for? I was planning on going sampling this weekend just to check on the growth of the young fish in a certain area anyways. I stay away from crayfish, not even my 7" cichlids will touch little ones.



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Old 22nd September 2009   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Collecting Aquatic Insects

In the Wild Caught Foods category I go for earthworms, woodlice and slugs on a regular basis. I do culture these animals, but they are slow to culture and I currently have a high demand.

As for aquatics I strongly advise against it for the same reasons posted before. While parasites are a definitive danger I would worry more about hydra, bacteria, viruses, and fungi. There are quite a few of those in the Midwest and Upper Midwest that will completely wipe out your pets in a very short amount of time. The introduction of Hydra alone is enough to turn me away from it. Hydra tend to cost you money in the long run as they are nearly impossible to get rid of and eat up live foods your larvae could eat.



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Old 23rd September 2009   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Collecting Aquatic Insects

Alright, i will keep those little critters where they belong . If I find any caudates.. (which with the way the temp has been I doubt that) I will post some pictures.. and maybe they will be good enough to enter for the calendar.

Thanks so much for this help. I will stick with my bloodworms, earthworms (grown in home) and freeze dried daphnia, blood worms and river shrimp's.



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Old 24th September 2009   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Collecting Aquatic Insects

I collect Daphnia, shrimp and mosquito larvae regularly. This is almost exclusively from waterbodies where I know there are no wild amphibians present, and I keep them in clean water for a couple of days before I use them. I've never had any problems as a result of this.

Commercially cultured livefoods are not exempt from unwanted intruders- I've found leeches, flatworms, water boatmen, and hydra in commercial daphnia & bloodworm.



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Old 24th September 2009   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Collecting Aquatic Insects

When I raise eggs, I get pond water for them that is full of microscopic life until they are big enough for minced blackworms. Be careful though not to bring home damselfly/dragonfly larvae. They will eat your larvae up.



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Old 24th September 2009   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Collecting Aquatic Insects

Quote:
Originally Posted by otterwoman View Post
When I raise eggs, I get pond water for them that is full of microscopic life until they are big enough for minced blackworms. Be careful though not to bring home damselfly/dragonfly larvae. They will eat your larvae up.
I do the same thing I was starting to think that it was wrong because of this thread. I just go to the pond next to my house with a big brine shrimp net and go in knee deep water and scoop up as much life as I can, obviously I try to pick out any predatory insects fortunately I havent had one in a newt larvae tank yet.



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Old 24th September 2009   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Collecting Aquatic Insects

I better throw in I am overly paranoid. My location in the heart of factory farming country and proximity to a major airbase seriously affects my decision making as it pertains to WC foods.



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Old 25th September 2009   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Collecting Aquatic Insects

Wow, now I am torn.. I might try it with some discus fry before trying with my newts that will be coming next week. Discus fry are very treasured to me and helps support my hobbies soo it will be a test.

I have only used damsel/dragon fly larvae in one tank that I own and that is for predatory fish (6" and larger) I am predominately a cichlid breeder, but have always loved caudate's and am hoping that I can breed some in the next couple of years.

Thank you guys soo much for being so helpful, I mean I know that is what this website is about, but I really truely appreciate it.

-Nate



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Old 26th September 2009   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Collecting Aquatic Insects

I use a variety of collected and purchased sources of food for my caudates...I've never had any issues, but realize there is a chance.

I regularly collect amphipods and isopods from a small stream that runs through my parent's yard. These are readily accepted by most of my caudates; less so in regards to the isopods.

We use no pesticides or lawn applications and during this time of year I regularly collect field crickets and grasshoppers. Worms are a given.

My largest axolotls will eagerly accept small crayfish (field collected) approx. 1" in length and can eat up to 5 apiece with an every other day feeding schedule.

There is a waste water treatment plant close to where I live an the settling ponds are loaded with daphnia...A few times a year, particularly when I have large numbers of larvae, I collect loads of these to stock my live wells. No issues.

I've done this for years and have never had any issues. It is somewhat laborous to field collect food and I do it opportunistically, but it's part of poking around in the woods and creeks and I enjoy it.



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Old 12th January 2010   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Collecting Aquatic Insects

I have raise many larvae of different species and the first food I use are wild collected tubiflex and daphnia. I have never have any problems with parasites. I do test them yearly.

It is no different than using springtails or any other inverbrates however do you need to watch for predators like hydra and damelfly larvae etc.



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Old 12th January 2010   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Collecting Aquatic Insects

I used to collect Daphnia and Cyclops from the wild and only one had a problem with a parasite (it was a fish louse). I switched to a fish-free pond then.

Meanwhile I am culturing my own Daphnia and mosquito larvae (well...I let them lay their eggs and hatch in several tubs, no real "culturing" with the mosquitoes).
Quote:
Originally Posted by NV View Post
Thanks so much for this help. I will stick with my bloodworms, earthworms (grown in home) and freeze dried daphnia, blood worms and river shrimp's.
I never had success with feeding any dried crustaceans to amphibian larvae, they need live (or frozen) food.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caleb View Post
I collect Daphnia, shrimp and mosquito larvae regularly. This is almost exclusively from waterbodies where I know there are no wild amphibians present, and I keep them in clean water for a couple of days before I use them. I've never had any problems as a result of this.
To my mind this is counterproductive considering nutritional aspects as long as you don't feed them in the meantime. Daphnia will lose much of their nutritional value if not "gut loaded".



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Old 13th January 2010   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Collecting Aquatic Insects

I also have taken the chance and collected micro foods from lake and ponds. When you are trying to raise 200 larvae you have no choice. A large brime shrimp net dragged along the shore of a pond or the wind swept shore of a lake is great. I look in the net and inspect my catch in a large glass jar before I but it in my bucket. I find it alot easier than waiting for brime shrimp eggs to hatch. And a much more natural and varied diet for the larvae. But you are always taking a chance. Like Dawn said keep a eye out for dragonfly larvae. I switch to chopped backworms, whiteworms and cultured Daphnia as soon as I can though



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Old 15th January 2010   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Collecting Aquatic Insects

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azhael View Post
The problem with wild invertebrates is parasites. They are vectors for a multitude of parasitic lifeforms, some which can be a real danger for the caudates.
My advice would be to stick to cultured food items, frozen foods etc...
The choice is yours obviously...but i personally think some wild invertebrates are too risky...

OK, but I'm not sure parasites will be eliminated by frost, in the case it's of WC origin.



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Old 20th May 2010   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Collecting Aquatic Insects

Commercial frozen foods are at the very least supossed to be clean and safe.



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Old 20th May 2010   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Collecting Aquatic Insects

I've never had a problem with pond water and parasites. Thankfully. I always bring containers with me when I go fishing with my fiancee. Well he goes fishing.... I go herping/hiking. Most of his favorite fishing holes are only a short hike to a nearby vernal or fish free pond or two. Lucky me. I'm currently raising A. maculatum larvae on pond water and a smallish daphnia culture. Considering a mosquito larvae "culture" too, they seem almost too easy. But parasites and predators are a big risk to take with your pets. Most the predators can be seen and disposed of before introducing them to your tank. As long as you know what's not good for your caudates. But parasites aren't so easy to filter out.



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Old 28th May 2010   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Collecting Aquatic Insects

OK.

I understand everyone is worrying about parasites or little predators. So am I.
But I won't make the confusion : commercial = captive-bred = safe, even if it's frozen.
In fact, I've heard more concerns about commercial food than wild (caught by myself) food.

There are risks on both sides, and I don't know wich is the more risky.



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Old 29th May 2010   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Collecting Aquatic Insects

Ive also heard about bad batches, but i think those are specific cases and the problem was not related to parasites. In fact the issues ive heard about were not with frozen foods but with live ones (bad batches of live bloodworms causing mass death for example).

These days, commercial manufacturers of frozen foods for aquarium use offer a decent product.



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