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Thread: Fruit Fly Culture Lid Modification

  1. #1
    100+ Post Member MikeM670's Avatar
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    Default Fruit Fly Culture Lid Modification

    Fruit Fly Culture Lid Modification

    By Michael W. McCormick

    There are two problems I have encountered in using the large 32 oz plastic containers and the snap on lids. The first is keeping the fruit flies out from under the rim of the lid where I squish them when attempting to put the top back on. The other one is how to keep fruit flies from getting away when trying to either feed them directly to the vivarium or prepare them for dusting. The solution I have come up with is to modify the lid to accept the cut off pour spout of either a plastic soda bottle or water bottle.


    Above image shows the completed containers. The left container with the yellow spout is a pop bottle and the right container with the white spout is a plastic water bottle. I found each type of spout has its advantages and disadvantages. The pop bottle is made of thicker more flexible and sturdier plastic but the top is a bit harder to spin off so you would not want to over tighten it. The water bottle plastic is more brittle and thinner however the top seems to spin off easier.

    The process is simple and can be accomplished with most tools and items found at home. Here is the list of material and tools you will need.

    • 32oz plastic culture cup
    • ventalated lid for culture cup
    • plastic soda or water bottle
    • hot glue gun
    • #11 X-ACTO knife
    • small sharp scisors
    • thin point marker
    • 3oz plastic cup



    The first step is to mark out the cut location on the plastic bottle. I do this by placing the plastic cup over the spout and using a black marker trace a circle around the bottle using the small cup as a guide. The left image below shows how I centered the plastic cup on the bottle and mark the circle with the marker. The right image below shows the bottle ready to be cut.





    I first cut the spout out below the marker line to remove it from the bottle and make it easier to trim to the line.





    The next step is to take the cut out spout and use it as a template to mark the circle on the vented lid where we wish to remove plastic.








    It is very important when cutting out the opening in the lid top that you cut inside the line to allow room for the hot glue. In the image below I have applied a generous amount of hot glue around the opening in the lid. I then press the spout onto the lid so the glue oozes out the outside edge.





    If there is not enough hot glue oozing out around the edge I simply reapply a bead around the outside edge to provide a better seal. Not so much to keep the fruit flies from escaping but to provide additional strength to the top when the lid is removed to clean out the cup and ready it for the next use. With proper care when removing the lid I believe the lid can be used for a very long time.
    You will not be able to stack the cups on top of each other to save space but I believe the convenience of the pour spout outweighs the need for additional storage space.
    Last edited by John; August 3rd, 2011 at 10:23 PM.
    1.2.0 Dendrobates tinctorius 'Azureus'
    1.1.0 Dendrobates Lamasi 'Orange'
    1.1.0 Dendrobates Ventrimaculatus 'Understory Line'
    0.3.0 Dendrobates leucomelas

    --------------------------------------------------
    As always your mileage may vary!
    I may or may not know what I'm talking about!

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  3. #2
    Moderator DonLisk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fruit Fly Culture Lid Modification

    Nice job Mike. This will save from having so many roaming around my wife's dresser drawers.
    Yeah, thats where I make the new cultures.
    1.0.0 Red Eyed Leaf/ Frog - Agalychnis callidryas
    1.1.1 Bumblebee Dart Frog - Dendrobates leucomelas
    1.1.0 Dendrobates truncatus - Yellow Striped
    1.1.1 Dendrobates tinctorius Bakhuis Mountain
    1.1.0 - Dendrobates tinctorius - Powder Blue
    1.1.0 - Ranitomeya vanzolinii

  4. #3
    100+ Post Member Ebony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fruit Fly Culture Lid Modification

    That's a great idea Mike . Im sure Don's wife is very very happy you shared this information .

  5. #4
    clownonfire
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    Default Re: Fruit Fly Culture Lid Modification

    I remember reading about this when you first had the idea. It's great, Mike. Will be very helpful.

  6. #5
    Leefrogs
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    Default Re: Fruit Fly Culture Lid Modification

    genius !!!

  7. #6
    100+ Post Member MikeM670's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fruit Fly Culture Lid Modification

    Thanks everyone for your comments. I would really be interested in hearing from anyone who trys this modification. My experance has been really good so far. Easy to pour out the flies into any container and they don't get all over the darn place.
    1.2.0 Dendrobates tinctorius 'Azureus'
    1.1.0 Dendrobates Lamasi 'Orange'
    1.1.0 Dendrobates Ventrimaculatus 'Understory Line'
    0.3.0 Dendrobates leucomelas

    --------------------------------------------------
    As always your mileage may vary!
    I may or may not know what I'm talking about!

  8. #7
    100+ Post Member MikeM670's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fruit Fly Culture Lid Modification

    Two things I want to bring up after months of building or using the lid modification.

    1) Make sure the screw top is fully screwed back down or the little buggers seem capable of crawling through the lid screws.

    2) When using he very hot settings of the glue gun it can melt the plastic spout and ruin the plastic. The glue flows better with the hotter setting so if you use the gun at this heat level just give the glue a few seconds to cool down a bit before inserting the pour spout onto the lid.
    1.2.0 Dendrobates tinctorius 'Azureus'
    1.1.0 Dendrobates Lamasi 'Orange'
    1.1.0 Dendrobates Ventrimaculatus 'Understory Line'
    0.3.0 Dendrobates leucomelas

    --------------------------------------------------
    As always your mileage may vary!
    I may or may not know what I'm talking about!

  9. #8
    wesleybrouwer
    Guest

    Default Re: Fruit Fly Culture Lid Modification

    I always use this cup for my cultures.
    It;s a 1 litre cup with some plastic fly screen glued into it..


  10. #9
    Lynx
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    Default Re: Fruit Fly Culture Lid Modification

    I've finally tried the mod, and it's BRILLIANT! I made more work for myself by not having the small drink cup as a template, but Mike, this is fantastic, and thanks so much for sharing this. The only possible issue, and it's not really an issue, is that sometimes the flies pile up against the lid instead of funneling down the spout, but if your culture is teeming with the little buggers, believe me, more than enough will pour out. No more squished against the rim or crawling out faster than you can tap them back in!

  11. #10
    Guenhwyvar
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    Default Re: Fruit Fly Culture Lid Modification

    i'd like to try this, but the photos aren't showing up for me. I really like to look at the thing i'm reading about. Is this just me?

  12. #11
    Moderator DonLisk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fruit Fly Culture Lid Modification

    Photos are showing up here. Try viewing them in Mike's photo album.
    1.0.0 Red Eyed Leaf/ Frog - Agalychnis callidryas
    1.1.1 Bumblebee Dart Frog - Dendrobates leucomelas
    1.1.0 Dendrobates truncatus - Yellow Striped
    1.1.1 Dendrobates tinctorius Bakhuis Mountain
    1.1.0 - Dendrobates tinctorius - Powder Blue
    1.1.0 - Ranitomeya vanzolinii

  13. #12
    100+ Post Member MikeM670's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fruit Fly Culture Lid Modification

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx View Post
    I've finally tried the mod, and it's BRILLIANT! I made more work for myself by not having the small drink cup as a template, but Mike, this is fantastic, and thanks so much for sharing this. The only possible issue, and it's not really an issue, is that sometimes the flies pile up against the lid instead of funneling down the spout, but if your culture is teeming with the little buggers, believe me, more than enough will pour out. No more squished against the rim or crawling out faster than you can tap them back in!
    Sorry for the late reply. I never saw any updates to this thread until this morning. I'm really pleased with how it turned out. Just one issue I have encountered with this. Make sure you screw the cap down all the way because those little buggers for some reason can work their way out of the top. I've had it happen a couple of times. Usually after I prep a new culture and forget to tighten the cap.

    No squished flies and I don't have that mass escape when trying to get some out. These guys are fast!
    1.2.0 Dendrobates tinctorius 'Azureus'
    1.1.0 Dendrobates Lamasi 'Orange'
    1.1.0 Dendrobates Ventrimaculatus 'Understory Line'
    0.3.0 Dendrobates leucomelas

    --------------------------------------------------
    As always your mileage may vary!
    I may or may not know what I'm talking about!

  14. #13
    100+ Post Member MikeM670's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fruit Fly Culture Lid Modification

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx View Post
    I've finally tried the mod, and it's BRILLIANT! I made more work for myself by not having the small drink cup as a template, but Mike, this is fantastic, and thanks so much for sharing this. The only possible issue, and it's not really an issue, is that sometimes the flies pile up against the lid instead of funneling down the spout, but if your culture is teeming with the little buggers, believe me, more than enough will pour out. No more squished against the rim or crawling out faster than you can tap them back in!
    Sorry missed the part about the flies piling up. When the flies pile up against one side I just rotate the container and they tend to fall through the spout!
    1.2.0 Dendrobates tinctorius 'Azureus'
    1.1.0 Dendrobates Lamasi 'Orange'
    1.1.0 Dendrobates Ventrimaculatus 'Understory Line'
    0.3.0 Dendrobates leucomelas

    --------------------------------------------------
    As always your mileage may vary!
    I may or may not know what I'm talking about!

  15. #14
    poison beauties
    Guest

    Default Re: Fruit Fly Culture Lid Modification

    nice ideas, but if your just trying to manage loose flies it may be easier to just line a cabinet or shelf in mite paper with fly paper and keep them in there. Also keeping the excelsior or coffee filters further away from the top will slow their escape atleast in numbers when you open the cup but tapping ithem down should be fine. kill the escapees with fly paper or a cup of beer or wine and limit the amount of work put into it. FF cups just seem so much easier to deal with.

    Michael

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