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Vinegar eels: preparation, maintenance, harvesting and offering to bettas fry

Necessary material

a) a large glass with a wide mouth and a lid (very clean and without any smell);

b) a sieve made with 180-thread silkscreen. We recommend a minimum diameter of 6 cm for this sieve;

c) a container (used to serve ketchup);

d) a very clean glass cup with no smell.

Beginning and/or maintenance of vinegar eels

Pour the contents of an apple cider vinegar container into the large glass, and after emptying, refill it with clean, chlorine-free water, and mix with vinegar. Thus, we will have a mixture inside the glass, half and half, of vinegar and clean water, and without chlorine.

Add to this mixture a small apple cut into thin slices without stones - you can keep the skin, as long as it is well washed. Preferably, this apple should be one that breaks down easily - kind of soft, more crumbly.

I advise you to mark on the glass container, which must be very dry on the outside, with a special pen (and suitable for writing on this type of surface), the liquid level of the vinegar and water mixture.

As for ambient lighting and temperature, common sense recommends a cool place, with natural lighting, without receiving direct sunlight.

Once the mixture has the apple slices, pour the liquid with the culture (or strain) into the bottle with the mixture.

Important points:

• do not interfere with the culture;

• after preparing it, forget about it;

• look at most once a day, just to see how it is progressing;

• medication of pH, hardness or other physical-chemical parameter is unnecessary;

• it takes almost a week to be ready for the first harvest;

• culture, if properly maintained, can last a lifetime;

After a few days, the eel population in the vial tends to increase a lot, and visually you will see a “cloud” in suspension, all over the liquid. There, you will know that the crop will be able to harvest.

It is important, after a certain amount of harvest, to replace the water + apple cider vinegar mixture in the culture flask. This ensures that, even with the increase in population, there is propagation and quality in the culture of vinegar eels.

Cultura de vermes do vinagre

Harvesting and washing the vinegar eels

There are different ways to harvest vinegar eels. One, simple and effective, is the use of a clean ketchup container (or similar) - it is in the list of materials in this article.

Squeeze the ketchup bottle so that some of the air inside the bottle comes out. Then, touch the tip of this bottle to the “cloud” of vinegar eels that floats close to the surface. Finally, relieve the force on the bottle in order to suck the eels by filling this bottle, this time with the water + vinegar mixture, along with the captured eels.

Place the nylon sieve, previously washed and wet (it is important to wet it first!), In the nozzle of the eel bottle and, slowly, squeeze the ketchup bottle in order to pour the liquid with the eels on the sieve fabric: the mixture will return to the culture and the eels will be retained in the sieve. See the illustration, below.

Despejando os vermes na peneira: primeira etapa da colheita

The vinegar eel mixture is acidic. Therefore, they must be washed so that the remaining mixture around their bodies can be eliminated. To do this, wash the vinegar eels as follows:

a) open a faucet (for a sink, for example) with a continuous flow of water at the lowest possible flow, keeping only a trickle of water;

b) place the sieve with the eels in this thread of water, allowing it to pass through the mesh, washing the eels from the vinegar;

With the eels now washed, take some water from the aquarium (by means of a glass) where your fry are. Take a second glass, tilt the sieve and pour the water from the bottle (or glass) over the sieve, moving the eels into this second glass. The following image shows the procedure.

Serving them to fry

In the case of a litter of bettas, with the vinegar eels washed and transferred to the second glass, use a spoon or dropper and drop them on the nest, around it and in the surroundings so that the fry can hunt them, and feed.

Good luck with your culture!


[1] Betta Project internal archive


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