Obtaining a Culture
There are many different places and ways to get your starter cultures. It ranges from
purchasing from an online supplier, or getting a start from a friend down to starting your own
from easy to obtain items. Where ever you get your starter cultures just make sure that they
come from a reputable dealers/breeder and have been cultured in 100% safe nontoxic media.
Since there are a few different resources for starter cultures we will take a brief look at
them and ways you can obtain them.
There are a number of reputable online sellers of starter cultures and even specific
cultures can be ordered with relative ease. Many of the scientific supply companies offer quite
a few of the cultures that are used in the hobby and when they come from a scientific supply
house they are grown under laboratory conditions with strict observances of sterile media.
Scientific companies often carry cultures like; paramecium, Infusoria, black worms, snails,
micro worms, feeder fish, phytoplankton, euglena, daphnia, moina and avast slew of other
small organisms that are great live fish food.
The largest drawback to buying from a scientific
supply house is that you usually have to order
a large amount of the culture and the prices area bit higher
then most other means of
getting a starter culture due to the strict guidelines of laboratory culturing.
Another online avenue is the online fish stores that have been becoming more and more
popular over the last 10 years. Many of them carry a line of live foods and starter cultures.
Some even go so far as to carry complete starter kits that come with everything you need to
start your cultures and get them running. The online fish shop is becoming the pet store of
tomorrow due to the ease of ordering and the ability to make everything available to everyone.
The regional differences are becoming a thing of the past and the hobby is becoming rapidly
The third online supply is from internet auction sites like EBay and Aqua Bid. These sites
are designed to connect sellers with prospective buyers to make secure transactions. There are
many hobbyists that sell starter cultures and culturing supplies on these sites and it doesnít
take very long to find what youíre looking for with the search functions available on the sites.
Only one word of a warning on this method; I have been a buyer and have sold hundreds of
cultures through these sites and have learned a bit about them. Check the sellers feedback and
make sure their product is a sound purchase by other peoples opinions and also read all the
fine print, make sure what you are buying is what you are receiving and not a substitute. Again
these sites are a great resource for cultures but just approach with a bit of a guard.
Your local fish store more then likely stocks a few live foods and you have not even seen
them there. One that most fish stores stocks is black worms, they are often hidden in a cooler
somewhere that is in an out of the way location so ask an associate for help finding them.
Another is meal worms and feeder mice, all though often reserved for reptiles these foods are
also good for larger fish. Brine shrimp eggs and feeder fish are a few others that are common
among the fish store trade. Check with your local fish store before you take a walk across the
keyboard and see what you can save on shipping costs on.
Also if you want to support us here at Midwest Hatchery you can always email me at
The place to check for cultures is with your local fish club or friends that have fish in
the local area. I cannot stress enough how a local fish club can improve the hobby for you or
how making friends in the hobby will enrich your life. There are many people in this world that
have a fish tank and a lot of them are breeders but only a small percentage of the people that
have tanks are in a local fish club. Most local fish clubs can be found by an internet search
these days and often there are flyers in local pet stores or ads in local news papers. Go out and
get involved with a local fish club today. You can thank me later!