Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:34 pm Post subject: Vinegar Eels raised in Tea water
In line with Ramdas Nair and Mr Isaacs' DIY alternative vinegar eels culture medium, I was thinking there might be yet another medium that has the acidity required by vinegar eels.
Yet, it would not need you to go out and by more beer/feni/vodka; something, which a lifetime tettoaller like me might dislike doing again and again
My idea is that we use a health drink for the vinegar eels that has been used for thousands of years in Russia and Manchuria. Legend says it was offered by a sage to the Manchurian Emperor who was plagued by indigestion..
It promotes immunity among those who drink it's 'tea', and is also useful for re-creating intestinal microbes that are lost by patients who have taken antibiotics for a long time: the same microbes that help us digest our food better, and are in the lactobacillus tablets doctors prescribe for us sometimes.
The roles of microbes in human health is a fascinating subject but, since we are focusing on a live food for fish here, we must avoid a diversion and keep it simple for newbies! So let us say, we are just going to keep the Kombucha Mushroom for our vinegar eels and keep them thriving!
Here is what i am planning to do, and something you can do right away if you are one of those fortunate people who already know about this probiotic health drink or know someone who is:
1. Take a glass of water and bring to a boil. Add just enough tea leaves (okay, any brand!) that you would use if u were making that much tea (one fourth teaspoon?).
2. Then add as much sugar as you would normally take (one teaspoon?)
3. Then when the tea boils, turn the flame off. Let the tea cool to room temperature.
4. Add this cooled tea to a glass container (or stainless steel, but nothing else preferably, not plastic or ceramic since it might leach unwanted additives over time) of around a litre of capacity.
5. Add the Kombucha Mushroom. It is actually like a chappati not a mushroom, but the latter is convenient term to use, for understanding of its connection with a colony of benificial fungi and bacteria that live in it. This mushroom has similar properties to those found in organic yoghurt/curd (Dahi in Hindi) and is a self-perpetuating living colony.
6. After a day, you will see the tea is bubbly. This process might take 2-3 days, especially if it is cool in your house. Now add the Kombucha mushroom to this container.
7. The mushroom will float, the tea water will bubble a little like a carbonated drink, and every few days, you will get a new 'chappati' form on top, in around 2 days Kombucha tea will be ready!
8. Add this to your container of vinegar eel culture. You can also add the vinegar eels to the Kombucha mushroom container, yes, but once u do that, in case you wnat to try the health drink yourself you will have to get a new one, since once added, the vinegar eels will never leave the mushroom.
I would suggest u always keep the mushroom and the vinegar eels separate.
9. Once the vinegar eels reach a good populations size, harvest!
10. Change the tea weekly, or as per your preference. I can't say exactly now, but when i used to drink this tea, we drank 60% of the water and added fresh cooled tea water. Here an experienced live food person will need to take a decision, or wait for me to do it myself and make more suggestions. For now, considering the slow metabolism of vinegar eels, i would suggest once in 10 days, depedning on the appearnace of the Kombucha mushroom chappati. It should be a light brown, and u always take the old one out and throw /give it away, keeping the new one.
Okjaay,,,,,, that is about it, for the time being... Wake up if u are dozing. Live food is serious buisness for your fish, so it shoud be for you too!
The if u dont need the new kombucha mushroom 'chappati' give it to an IAH friend, or pass it on to anybody. Learn from Deepak Ganguly and Ramdas Nair, also Surya_niki and so many other IAH stalwarts! It is better to give than to always take!
You can also add it to your compost bin to make manure.
Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:39 pm Post subject: Re: Vinegar Eels raised in Tea water
I would suggest that the hobbyist keep only a wine glass like in the picture (wht a think stem, though!) since you don't need a lot of Kombucha tea. Even half a glass might be enough. I can't be more specific because although i am sure this Kombucha tea vinegar eel idea will work (with my long experience in live food now), Indians tend to be very wary and most will not want to try Kombucha tea for themsleves. Not without a lot of snob value or a 'Swamiji' attached to it So don't use a dish ('doonga' in Hindi), just a nice big sperical glass like in the pic. Or a square glass container like they use in laboratories, or even a borosil flask wit ha nice smart lid!
Anyone among live food keeprs who is interested in this alternative medium for vinegar eels, is welcome to add to this thread, preferably with photos.
I am hoping to get my new Kombucha Mushroom from Mumbai, so i can't take picture of it for posting here till then.
Last edited by Romi on Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:51 pm Post subject: Re: Vinegar Eels raised in Tea water
One thing i forgot to ad was that this pic shows a ceramic container on the left. Food Grade ceramic containers are hard to find in India, so as i said in the first post, do not use any ceramic to house the mushroom. Use either stainless stell or glass containers.
Lots of typos in the first post, please excuse.
Here is a website url for those who are very interested in the health food aspect of it.
Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:56 pm Post subject: Re: Vinegar Eels raised in Tea water
Iam going to start one probably by next week.
I used to have this Kombucha Mushroom with me years back. and like you said there were people who kept them near the photo of gods because
the chapatti gave birth to another chapatti
Lets do some R & D we sure will be able to have a low cost a totally teatotaller eels for our fishes.
Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:13 pm Post subject: Re: Vinegar Eels raised in Tea water
ha ha. I guess the mumbai wallahs have quite a live food scene going, all sparked up by Deepakg i suspect...
Thanks to Deepak, I might get the second chance to own some mealworms shortly. Abhi is out of station, and he missed the MAM meeting. In case he can still courier to ramdas only, i hope i can send someting to Ramdas for Abhi in lieu of his mealworms. Then my booty from Ramdas will be full of stuff, instead of juts 'eels!'
'Tetotaller eels' is a good description! How about 'tea-drinking eels? " hehe. Deepak told me today that he has 'beer eels', never suspecting that they are vinegar eels only! hehe, now, i hope he will not hesitate to forget feeding the eels beer (offering them tea instead) and reserve the beer to cultivate/enhance his sense of humour only!
Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:25 pm Post subject: Re: Vinegar Eels raised in Tea water
is Abhi Sending anything to me. Then can courier both of them together.
and I have got hold of water wisteria too.
readying the scotch brite in aquarium water. I think should be ready for transport by thursday.
Vipin had got some meal worms at the meet. He gave few to issac uncle.
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