Jump to content

Culturing Blackworms


zhong89
 Share

Recommended Posts

During the last few months I have observed people have started culturing blackworms to feed their fish... Due the summer months my whiteworms are not doing as well as in winter (and no I'm not buying a fridge for worms!) so I thought I'll give it a go at culture blackworms. My fishes loves live foods and lately I'm having trouble meeting their demands!

The method I've heard is simply

1) small container with sponge filter

2) keep cool less than 26

3) feed carrots

Anyone has any success with culturing them? Good production rates?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2ft tank.... undergravel filter..... coarse gravel either mixed up with java moss or with a layer of java moss over the gravel...... feed stale fish food or anything else they'll eat (use vegies that don't break down quickly for water quality purposes - black worms eat lots)..... regular water changes.... use gravel vac to extract them......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have four calafornia Black Worm cultures going they are in the foam boxes fish come in. I have them on the concreat in the garage each container has a air stone in it. They are feed each day on high proteen cat biscets and a water change is performed once a week I have I use aged water as they dont seem to like it straight out of the tap

My grindel 4 Culture are just kept in the garage they to are in the foamboxes fish com in I have a layer of coir fiber that has been soaked and they are feed on high proteen cat buiskets

The foam boxes insulat the worms and they are up against an internal waal so no heat is transmitted to them through radiating heat. These cultures have been going for over a year now and have been through a summer without any probs these cultures meen I can feed my fish live food all the time and they are realy cheep to run

Cheers

Les

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Err, the 'feed carrots' part was just an example. :P

They eat anything organic. I also use some corydoras sinking pellets as I have spares leftover lol.

I also use some java moss for them. The sponge filter is basically just to keep the water aerated and help water quality a bit. If you don't use them (or you forgot to turn it on), they will crawl on the sides of the container, and may get above water surfaces, looking for air. (happened to me once)

That's why if you want to keep them and not culturing them, you need to keep them on very low water level - just to keep them moist - so that they can breathe air.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Hmmm! Never thought of culturing blackworms! I go through a lot, I buy 500g to 1kg of blackworms a month now, depending on how heavily I am feeding my fish. I keep the worms (until I use them all) in a 3foot tank with a chiller set at 15C!

I am nuts!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Les. I am not sure about the electric usage, I should get one of those gadgets and find out. Though I do not care really. Chiller works like a fridge comes on when the temperature goes above a certain temp and off when the temp goes down. Cooler the room less it will work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey sarah

For what you would pay for black worms bought from the LFS it could work out viable I find it hard to keep up my own suply and will have to increase how many tubs I have soon with all the fry growing fast

Cheers

Les

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Sarah, I initially bought the chiller for shrimp and it set around for a year! :P figured using it this way was the most beneficial way I could use it in my fish room. I was buying couple of scoops of blackworms a week as a treat for my fish and it was getting expensive.

Now I buy it in bulk (actually spend more money on buying them now!) in 500g or a kilo which is a lot of scoops. I am managing to keep them alive with chiller, two airstones and regular water changes until all used up.

Blackworm is now my main breeder conditioner instead of a treat. I collected eggs from 14 types of killies last night for example! Also conditioning 15+ Corydoras species to either get into breeding condition or to grow to their best potential to have a go at breeding them this coming winter.

My channoides and albimarginata love them too.

Unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to culture enough to feed my fish. Buying them from an awesome source is good enough for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

u don't need to culture enough to feed you fish. When you keep them alive in the chiller with airstone and water changes just throw in a couple of slices of carrots, the production is not enough to feed but will increase the total amount of worms you have and you get more value for your money.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah..Mal is a great source to use.

Actually having visited Australian Blackworms farm Mal mentioned that keeping blackworms cool, having water flow is essentially the foundation to keeping the worms alive.

The next thing is course gravel..as some of you mentioned.

The best source of food is not organic matter per se. To make sure they can build their numbers, they need protein. The best source of protein in this instance is good ol trout pellets

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First off, hi to all my friends here, especially the ones I have spoken to and those who have bought live or freeze dried from me. Now I have not joined this forum to try to sell extra worms to you, but to try to help those who are trying to culture or keep live worms.

There has been a lot written about keeping black worms alive [mainly from America] but I think the best way is also the simplest way, well, sort of. The first thing you have to realise about black worms is that they require water conditions as good if not better than your fish do. This means don’t get water straight out of the tap and expect your worms to appreciate it. Worms absorb oxygen into their body through their skin, which means if you have them piled on top of each other for a prolonged time, the ones on the bottom will get no oxygen and will die, which will very quickly turn the rest off. Some of you are already holding them in what I believe is the best way, which is in a container with course sand or fine gravel in the bottom. Worms multiply by segmentation and this is done as they work their way through the substrate. I have experimented in trying to grow worms in troughs without a substrate and it just doesn’t work. The temperature of the water should be as cold as possible, but as long as you have lots of air in the container, in the form of a very large air stone going flat out, the temperature can get over 20 deg for periods without killing them. If the conditions are not to the liking of the worms, they won’t disappear into the bottom, or if they have been in there for a while and the conditions change, they will crawl out and up the sides. If they do crawl up the sides, you must do a water change and possibly cool the water down. Of course all this will depend on you getting good quality worms to start with, and unfortunately that is not always the case no matter where you get them from.

As mentioned previously, they will multiply better if fed on a high protein diet and yes, I do use a food similar to trout pellets. The disadvantage of using this type of food is that it will pollute your water after a while, so you must be prepared to do a fair amount of water changes. Les’s idea of feeding high protein cat pellets may be a good idea. To harvest them, just use a gravel vac and run it through a fish net.

It would be pretty hard to grow a lot of worms using this system, but what it will do is keep the worms you have purchased in a lot better condition than just keeping them in shallow trays in a fridge, or just keeping them in a bare bottom tank.

I hope this has been of some help to you, but if you have any questions please ask and I will do my best to answer them.

Mal

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have never met or spoken to you Mal but I must say it is fantastic that you have joined the forum, not to increase sales but to help others. This is fantastic and must be comended.

Now having said that, is there any chance you can put an add in the classifieds as I would love to purchase off you. I am in Brissie so would love to know if I can.

Thanks again. :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Mal, welcome!

I get my worms from Mal by the way. I am very happy with the quality.

Because I am using a chiller and house a lot of worms, with Mal's suggestion I am keeping them at 15C. As Mal mentioned a few in a much warmer tank do fine as well.

I find I do more water changes on my blackworms then I do for my fish, but it is well worth it! I have just collected eggs from 20 different killifish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...