Raising Paramecia: Quick and easy

 

Paramecia multimicronucleatum can be obtained from Carolina Biological Supply or Connecticut Valley Biological. The strain of very large paramecia promotes rapid growth of the fish larvae. The following method of growing the paramecia is simple, quick and very suitable for small, low-budget, fish-raising as well as for a large facility.

Grow seed cultures in 150 x 25 mm plastic petri dishes at 28.5oC. In addition, grow several small batches of seed cultures in other rooms at room temperature as a backup in case of a rather rare "crash" in the paramecia population. These cooler cultures grow slowly and need care only every four or five weeks.

 

Paramecia Seed Cultures

1. Add 10-15 grains of boiled wheat to 175 mls of system water.

2. Inoculate with 20 ml from an excellent existing seed culture dish or with a sample from the commercial inoculant.

3. Grow for 7 to 12 days before using.

 

Paramecia for Baby Fish (standard):

1. Use 2-liter glass bowls filled with system water (amber glass is preferred).

2. To each bowl add 30 grains of boiled wheat, 1/2 tablet of brewer's yeast, and 1/6 of a petri dish of the paramecia seed culture.

3. Cover and stack the bowls. Culture them at room temperature (slow growth) or at 28.5oC (fast growth) on well-lit shelves. The bowls closest to the warm light will be ready to feed first.

4. When the culture is ready for feeding, gently pour it through a clean cotton handkerchief into a funnel. The paramecia pass through, but the filter catches the thick "gunk" that has grown around the wheat. Feed up to 5 ml for each beaker of fish fry. Change the water a few hours after feeding.

The cultures will be ready to use in 4 days and will keep for about 3 weeks.

 

Paramecia for Baby Fish (small batch):

1. Use glass finger bowls filled 2/3 full (about 200 ml) with system water.

2. To each bowl, add 8-9 grains of boiled wheat, 1/5 of one 7.5 grain brewers yeast tablet, and 8 ml of the paramecia seed culture.

3. Stack the finger bowls 6 or 8 high, cover, and store at 28.5oC on well-lit shelves.

4. After 4-6 days, the paramecia are ready to feed to the fish larvae. Cultures remain useable and healthy for 3 weeks or more.

5. Filter as described above (#4 standard method).