Vinegar Eels Culture

Vinegar eels are tiny white worms. They are great food for very small fry.

The great thing about vinegar eel culture is that it's a no-brainer. There is no maintenance work involved and the eels have the ability to control their own population. The culture never crashes as long as there's sufficient food and air.

To get a culture going, get a bottle of apple vinegar cider from the supermarkets. Mix up a solution of cider with aged water, 50-50. Throw in some apple slices and all you need is an innoculation from an existing culture. The eels multipy quickly and within a week or 2, there will be a white cloud in the solution. Hold the bottle against a light and you will see thousands of tiny white worms wriggling in the solution. Keep the culture in a cool and dark place.

Keeping the culture alive may be a no-brainer but harvesting the eels is quite a different matter altogether. There are 2 ways you can harvest the eels. One way (the wrong one) is to sieve the eels through a coffee filter. But the more desirable eels (the smallest ones) are so tiny they will pass right through the filter.

The other way (the Wright way) is to use a long neck bottle. The person who invented this method of harvesting vinegar eels is Wright Huntley. It's a very ingenious method.

To harvest the eels the Wright way, you will need 2 bottles of the cultures going. One would be the mother culture and the other (a long neck bottle) is what you use to harvest the eels.

Top up the solution in the long neck bottle with the mother culture until the level just reaches the neck of the bottle. Tie a string to a piece of filter wool and stuff it down the neck until it just touches the surface of the solution. Now fill up the neck with clean water. The wool prevents the water from mixing with the vinegar solution.

Leave the bottle to stand for 24 hours. The eels will be starved of oxygen and swim their way through the filter wool to where the clean water is. Now all you have to do is siphon out the worms with a turkey baster and feed them to your fish.

When you no longer need to harvest the eels, remove the wool and pour some of the solution back into the mother culture. It's important to keep the solution in the long neck bottle low so that there will be a large surface area for the eels to breathe.

If you don't know where you can get your own vinegar eel culture, bring your vinegar cider solution to me and I will innoculate it for free.