Paramecium Starter Culture
Paramecium is one of the stalwarts of fish-keeping and is often called infusoria, although this name is a bit of a misnomer.
Paramecium is a large single-celled bacteria that thrives in “green water” and is easy to keep and harvest as once established it's easy to maintain as it thrives on rotting vegetable matter, and they are great for the smallest of fry.
I recommend that once you get the initial culture ready, that you set up a 2nd culture, and possibly a 3rd when the 2nd is ready, so that you will always have a decent culture to harvest, and when the original culture goes bad, you can dispose of it, and start a fresh one from the 2nd culture, and so on.
Keeping a snail or 2 in the culture, once the water has cleared, will help keep the culture healthy and the waste created by the snails will act as food for the Paramecium.
Just remember that when you throw out the old culture, don't throw out the snails, and don't add them to the fresh culture until the cloudiness has cleared. Also when the culture is no longer producing I add the water (not the sediment) to my daphnia cultures as food for them.
The easiest way I find is that the cultures with snails are ready for harvesting, and the one without is still developing.
To feed the cultures, I add a few (5-15) flakes of porridge oats or a few grains of dry yeast (depending on the size of the container), which we always have to hand as we use these for culturing banana, walter and micro worms. Always replace the lid, but loosely, to allow air in, but to inhibit an infestation of other bacteria etc.
To harvest the Paramecium all you need is a pipette or turkey baster and take the culture directly from the container (not when it's cloudy) and add it straight to the tank. The beauty of Paramecium is that it won't foul the tank water as it can survive in there until eaten, which it will be, and usually quite quickly too.
It can be difficult to know if the culture is active or not, but a hand magnifying glass will show whether the culture is active or not. Just hold the container up to the light and you should know immediately.
You will receive approximately 50ml of starter culture direct from my flourishing culture, which is more than enough to set you up.
Equipment needed to prepare for your Paramecium Starter Culture
A plastic or glass clear container with lid, bottles jars, etc.
Small amount of porridge oats or dry yeast, or a few drops of Liquifry (type 1) is good too.
Aged tap water at room temperature.
Pipette or turkey baster for harvesting.
Hand magnifying glass, for harvesting.