RE: Supplemental Feed

From: C.W. Lee (
Date: Sun Mar 21 1999 - 10:29:16 PST

Date: Sun, 21 Mar 1999 18:29:16 +0000
From: "C.W. Lee" <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg888$foo@default>
Subject: RE: Supplemental Feed

>Subject: Suplemental Feeding
>I was browsing through a pet shop and noticed freezedried bloodworms for
>in the fishfood section. Has anyone ever tried feeding this to
>say...Nepenthes or maybe S. purpurea? Seems that since both these groups
>contain fluid in their traps, they should be able to reconstitute the dried
>worms. But, is there any nutritional value left in them after drying?

I have tried several types of fishfood and they all seem to do the trick.
I've even bred crickets to obtain small victims for the small pitchers.
Obviously the latter method is a little more inconvenient especially if
members of your household do not enjoy cricket's chriping.
With the fish food, I've used the freezedried bloodworms by mixing the
worms with just enough water to obtain a worm paste which is much easier to
handle than each individual worm. Then with a pair of tweezers, put the
worm paste into the pitcher, give the pitcher a few flicks with your finger
and they will slide down into the water. Keep an eye on the pitcher's water
level because I find they have a tendency to dry up with the worms paste
for feed. Just keep filling the pitcher to midlevel and it should become
brownish after several weeks. Most pitchers survive the feed but are pretty
ugly after the feed with a dark brown sludge for pitcher fluid. But I can
definitely see a growth spurt after each feed.
I recently tried another type of feed which are the Koi feed for baby
Koi's. This feed is imported from Japan and the pellets are about 1-2 mm
round. VERY VERY good for those baby pitchers which you scrounge to find
things to feed and usually end up killing. One pellet is given to the
smallest of the smallest pitchers that I have in cultivation - with a pair
of tweezers, I pull back the lid and pop the pellet in the mouth. Release
the lid, and push the lid down on the pellet if the mouth is too small for
the pellet. Get a piece of thin wire or paper clip to push the pellet to
the bottom of the pitcher if necessary. After several of the small pitchers
receiving this treatment, the following pitchers are usually big enough to
just pop the pellets in. Very easy to handle if you have a handy pair of
tweezers. Time consuming but you are rewarded with good growth without
risking fertilization to the younger seedlings.
The third thing I have used are ...... CRICKETS. Do a search on the
internet and a variety of web pages will come up of how to breed crickets.
My roommates (and myself included) nearly went mental listening to the
crickets chriping until I moved them into a storage room. But eventually I
got some baby crickets which are so cute and delicious for my plants. After
getting baby crickets, then I feed all the adult crickets to my big
pitchers. YUMMY YUMMY for my plants and YEAH YEAH for my room mates and I.
MUCH harder to handle than dried fish food as you can imagine. Being the
Mr. Insensitive person I am, I usually drown the crickets before putting
them into the pitchers. I almost break a tear watching them drown but
nevertheless, dinner time for Neps. Keep in mind when you are drowning a
cricket, they can "hold" their breaths for a long time with air bubbles
trapped in their wings and exoskeleton of the crickets. Keep them
underwater until they start struggling and give the drowning twitch to
ensure they are dead. Even then, they still sometimes revive while I'm
trying to stuff them into a pitcher I know this is kinda cruel but because
I love my plants and they are grown indoor, I can't afford to let any of
them to escape!! The nice things about the baby crickets, they grow fast
which means you have the perfect size crickets for EVERY TYPE OF PITCHER
you have in your collection within 2-3 months time span. The bigger they
get, the harder they are to handle if they are very "healthy". I'm giving
up on the cricket method after this batch just because it is too hard to
handle them. I recently saw freeze dried crickets in the pet store but
these are BIG adult crickets and would only be suitable for adult pitchers.
I'll stick with the Koi feed for the baby pitchers.
My apologies to any Animal Rights activists but my Neps come first.

Good luck.
CW Lee
Richmond, B.C.

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