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The Nutrition Of Microworms/culturing Blackworm


Bender
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I just stumbled upon this site in searching for ways to encourage the monia in my tank to flourish as I have a sneaking suspicion that they have helped so many of my fry to survive. Of particular interest was this article on Panagrellus redivivus, otherwise known as the microworm. It gives a direct comparison of both protein and essential fatty acids in mw and artemia. Also it shows that microworm can be successfully enriched with fish oil and gives the results. There is heaps more information here, it will take me a while to go through it, but thought this particular info to valuable to keep to myself while I spend my time making sense of the rest of it!

This brief article also talks about the mw, it shows that mw's cultured on corn/wheat flour were found to produce better growth rates in fry than those cultured on oats.

This site is dedicated to discus but it's live food pages are a goldmine for all aquarists. In particular the pages on culturing blackworm for hobbyists will be of use I think.

Edited by Bender
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  • 2 weeks later...

I need to get grindle worms and white worms (anyone know where to get these?), then I think I may skip the bbs stage too. I haven't been confident in using greenwater, but will re-search it some more before I set up the next spawn.

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i prefer my fry with ventrals, so I minimise MW use if I can. Maybe the 'mw cause missing ventrals' is a myth, but once bitten!

I find the bbs thing kind of fun, anyway :giggle: . I am a methodical person and I get a lot of satisfaction from a good harvest :lol:

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I quite like to see the little feathery things fluttering in the water, but now I've had a few bad batches I'm quite reluctant to rely on them again. Perhaps it was just the extreme heat that gave me problems and at a different time of year they would be more reliable. As Peter mentioned, the price of mw is a huge bonus. I have ventrals on all my fry, but I did clean the bottom daily from day one, so I guess that would have reduced bacterial build up.

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All mw, no vacuuming (I usually don't do water changes :giggle:), and no missing ventrals in 5 years of breeeding Bettas (which I'm having a break from for a while). Bender, you can almost always get microworms and grindals at the fish auctions - next one is QAH on 21/3/09 :lol:.

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  • 1 month later...

I need to get grindle worms and white worms (anyone know where to get these?), then I think I may skip the bbs stage too. I haven't been confident in using greenwater, but will re-search it some more before I set up the next spawn.

Hi Wayne,

I received a lot of both from Lisa yesterday. Both the grindle and white worm arrived with barely any casualties (~ 95-97% survival rate). I did do the whole eany, meany, miney, mo thing with regards to the white worm... but in the end, I figured someone had to give it a shot... :yes: it can be done - but, ...I did have them sent express post.

I'm in Deception Bay (just north of Brisbane) so if anything, assuming environmental conditions etc. are not similar, I'd say it would have to be a little warmer & more humid here than Goodna (wouldn't it??). Lisa posted them late Monday afternoon and I fished them out of the mailbox around 10-10.30 yesterday morning. I'm not sure how long they were actually in the mailbox but they had either arrived late Tuesday afternoon or early Wednesday morning. I put the white worm straight into the fridge and within 45-60 min, all the ones I thought had perished... hadn't.

So if you are still after some... I'd give it a go.

Again a big thanks to you Lisa :) ... cultures are now underway :P ... and now hopefully, my babies will grow to be as big as yours :)

Cheers,

Linley

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:lol: Thanks Linley, My name is Julia. Waynne is Fishbites I think.

I did end up getting some grindals from Lisa, they seem to be doing ok! Let me know how your white worms go, it should be cool enough now I think.

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Apologies Julia :):lol: ... yeah, you're right I did mean Wayne (Fishbites - I think??).

Lisa mentioned he was after some and then I saw this post. I didn't even think to check who posted it :lol:, instead I just put 2 and 2 together and came up with 15 :P.

BTW The white worms are doing great so far.

Wayne... if you're out there... this message is for you :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

How are your worms going Linley? My grindals don't seem to be doing much, I'm wondering if the odd hot days we have are holding them back. I was waiting for them to get going to start the next spawn, but I need a fry fix, so they may have to go without!

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Thanks for replying Lilli, I knew you were at work and didn't want to bother you un-necessarily, your always so quick to help!

The grindals are in a takaway container with peat moss and a little shell grit, the moss was boiled before using. I started out giving them cat food, but they weren't getting through the piece fast enough, so switched to fish flakes that I sprinkle on a piece of plastic cut from a spare lid. The container is in the bottom of my bathroom cabinet.

They do come up to feed, but they don't seem to be multiplying. After reading through everything again I thought the mix may be a little dry, so I gave it an extra sprits this morning. They seem more active now, so maybe that was the problem. I was very careful not to make it too wet, is it possible I was too cautious?

There are lots of little mites getting around in there too, are they a problem?

I would like to try the soil less method, which others say they get less mites in, but need to get the population up before I can experiment.

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I think everyone gets the mites if they use a soil/peat mix. Mine have mites, but not many.

I'd keep the substrate about as damp as you'd have seedling mix to germinate seedlings. Maybe split the culture into a few containers and experiment with what's the best level of moisture? Maybe also experiment with seedling mix, which is what I use. And make sure it's not packed too densely, so they can locomode through it.

Glass rather than plastic on top of the substrate seems to make a difference too, for some reason I cant work out. I think it is the weight of the glass.

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Thanks, I'll try that, I quite like experiments. Also gives me an excuse to go to the garden centre, perhaps I'll stumble on what I need for my planted tank. :dance: What sort of depth do you have your seed mix at?

With the glass, the weight would make sense, because I am having trouble getting the plastic to make proper contact with the peat because I've not compacted it down at all. I thought of putting a few pebbles on it, but changing it for glass will be simpler.

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Got to have a few jars of green water at the ready at all times!

I have found microworms work well and easy to reproduce....but they do end up on the bottom

great for shelldweller...not as Good for bettas....bare tanks and a daily rough syphon sorts that out

Lots of plants also Helps because they get caught in the foliage as they sink A dose of bakers yeast gets a culture motoring if it begins to slow down.

Grindal worms are great but I find them fickle and prone to infestations...luncheon sausage is the best food!

White worms...great in Winter....not so good in Summer

I've just got some vinegar eels because someone here(sorry brain fade for name!) made the comment that they are good because the hang around the surface

That makes sense to me...Yet to get culture going

I also like to collect mossie rafts...again they hang around the surface

I have collected daphnia....they are great but only occur in numbers on rare occassions

Leave the lid of a depleted miroworm culture and you soon have plenty of maggots!

I have a constant supply of mossie wrigglers and bloodworms.....treats not feed to all fish...just breeders

Weekly blackworms.....work for me(my fish that is)

thinking of setting up a tub of salt water and throwing in some Brine shrimp.....can provide a constant supply....so I've read

Like any food...variety is Best!

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Ok, mine is about that depth too so I'm on the right track there. I definitely hadn't kept it moist enough, there is a discernible difference today. I couldn't get out to buy some seedling mix, but will try again tomorrow.

Is it ok to keep this thread going here, it's kind of turned into a discussion? If you think it's better please feel free to split it off.

Thanks Rod. Is this general advice or is the green water meant for use with the grindals too? Luncheon sausage? Is that devon?

I have lot's of very green green water, a 70litre glass tank sits outside with only one little (but fast growing) goldfish, some elodea, and a lot of snails. Interestingly I couldn't get a decent supply of green water until I added the goldfish, the trade off is she eats all the mozzie rafts. It is covered in duckweed, but that doesn't mater because it limits the number of mosquitoes and the sun hits the side of the tank in the afternoon. I have a small 10L culture of moina, fed on green water they do very well, flour was variable, yeast was a disaster. (btw, Lilli can you pm me your address, I'll post you some on Tuesday, Monday is a holiday here) I think you'd need a very large tank to have enough to use as a sole food, but a serve a day in a fry tank should be enough to give them a boost.

How much green water would you add to a fry tank at set up? If the ammonia/nitrate/nitrite levels were ok, would you consider using only green water to fill it?

Microworms worked well for me too, especially using the java moss to float them over. Lilli is probably the strongest advocate of vinegar eels, she had great success with them recently, and her harvesting method is simple. I like them too, but would like to find a way to buy larger quantities of cider vinegar than is available in the supermarket.

I've a fear of mosquitoes that inhibits my success with mozzie rafts. Those nasty striped ones that can carry dengue are often seen here already, so I'm reluctant to encourage them. I am thinking of draping a piece of fine mesh over the container and into the water when I set it up so I can lift it out each day and guarantee I get all the rafts and wrigglers, do you think that would work?

How do you keep up your blood worm supply? I had some in my mozzie bucket an in the dogs water in summer, but haven't seen any for a while. I was eaten by biting midges a couple of weeks ago (and found out I was allergic to them :D ), are their young blood worms too?

I'm not keen on bbs, they work well, but I am clumsy and ended up with a briny mess more than I liked. I did like the decaped cysts though.

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I am thinking of draping a piece of fine mesh over the container and into the water when I set it up so I can lift it out each day and guarantee I get all the rafts and wrigglers, do you think that would work?

It would, but you'd also get unwanteds like dragonfly nymphs, possibly. If you get every raft every day, you will be right.

How do you keep up your blood worm supply?

I haven't tried, but once I thinly spread vegemite on kitchen towel and hung that in the water and they swarmed on it. I reckon if you did that once a week you'd get a good harvest.

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