Vinegar Eels

Vinegar eels are extremely easy to culture.

I use a quart to half gallon container with no aeration and a 50/50 mix of water and apple vinegar. The apples are cut up and put into the liquid, and then the starter culture of vinegar eels is added. The apples float for several days, and unless you look really close you won’t see much indication of a viable culture for 2-4 weeks.

Vinegar Eels Container

Vinegar Eels Container

A word of warning – the cultures really look awful. After the culture is obviously thriving, you can harvest and feed to your fry.

Unfortunately, harvesting is not as easy as culturing.

I use the green scrubbing pads cut into strips, which I dip in the culture overnight. When I’m ready to feed, I pull the scrubber strips out and let them drain for several minutes. I then swish the strip in the feeding tank and the eels are ready to eat.

I’ve heard of a method of putting them in a slender container, and then pushing a cotton plug at the surface of the vinegar. Fill the remainder of the tube with fresh water and let it set. You can harvest when you see the worms swimming in the fresh water.

If you are using hard, alkaline water in your aquariums, the pH shouldn’t be affected too much by the vinegar (acid), but it is something to keep an eye on. I’ve heard of people using multiple layers of coffee filters and rinsing before feeding. The eels will live in straight water but not breed. They will also stay in the water column, so fish who are not bottom feeders will be able to feed on them for much longer than some of the worm foods.

By Denny | November 22, 2010 @ 10:28 pm | 1 comment

One comment on “Vinegar Eels

  1. hey d-rodge!
    thank you for the insightful information about vinegar eels. now i know that they do not just magically appear!
    -your grandkids 🙂

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