- Live Foods from Kordon
by narten-at-cs.duke.edu (Thomas Narten) (22 Dec 1994)
- AQUARIA FAQ: Food
by donald_wilson-at-mindlink.bc.ca (Sun, 16 Jul 95)
by narten-at-cs.duke.edu (Thomas Narten)
Date: 22 Dec 1994
In article <HoeschB.334.0008FB17-at-fws.gov> HoeschB-at-fws.gov (Bob Hoesch) writes:
> Also, I'd like to hear peoples' experiences with raising live foods. Mosquito
> larvae in the summer are no work at all, but I'd like to hear some hands-on
> accounts of culturing daphnia, Drosophila, white worms, etc.
I've been raising grindal worms and white worms and have been pretty
I've been culturing grindals for almost a year now. The FAQ pretty
much tells you what you need to know *EXCEPT* that you have to keep
the worms warm. They don't do well below 70 degrees. I have my worm
bucket inside a styro cooler with a night light for warmth. It takes
a bit of trial and error to get a steady supply. The worms tend to
come to the surface when there is food, but disappear once the food
runs out (which takes less than 12 hours once you get a good culture).
So you have to time things in such a way that they have food within a
few hours of when you want to harvest them. Overall, they are pretty
easy to culture.
Grindals are pretty small. Great for dwarf cichlids and fry.
I've only been growing white worms a few months. They're also quite a
bit larger than grindals (1cm long). They are just as easy as
grindals, *EXCEPT* they need to stay cool. 70 degrees or less. Don't
know how they will survive next summer. Any suggestions on how to
keep them cool?
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 95
I've read through the FAQ on live foods, and thought you may want to add
some additional info on white worms and microworms. I've been very
successful and growing both, and the info following contains some data
on effectively separating them from the culture media.
I grow white worms in potting soil in plywood boxes, about 16" x
12" x 6" deep, and feed them weekly with a mixture of BLENDED water, old
lettuce, fruit, and bread crumbs, blended as thick as the machine can handle,
and still turn over. I put in maybe a cup each week - it's mostly water
anyway (which they need to keep the cultures moist), in a small trench dug
down the center of the dirt.
Separating worms from the dirt - In a rich culture, a couple of days after the
food is put in, there will be a congregation of worms underneath the food. I
then use a tin can with both ends removed and with a piece of plastic window
screening fastened over one end (with string - elastic band - whatever). Sit
it in some type of tapered glass container (such as a measuring cup) with
water in it, so the can sits above the water (1/2" between the top of the
water and bottom of the mesh). Place some of the soil and worm mixture in the
can and place a light over top (i.e. a gooseneck lamp, with one of those
mini-spot lamps) and the heat will drive the worms out, through the mesh, and
into the water. Takes a couple of hours or more. The worms come out clean,
and can be fed to the fish directly, placed in a worm feeder, or frozen for
future use. This works well for white worms, large and small, so assuming
Grindal worms can be grown in soil, it should work for them, too.
Get some Oatmeal pablum...
Another culture media which works well and is cheap is cooked oatmeal,
(cooked so it is thick) with about a teaspoon of brewers yeast added. I
culture them in yogurt containers, made out of the "5" plastic (info on the
bottom, re recycling). This material is fairly thick and flexible, and the worms
will crawl up the sides in thick enough concentrations that they can be wiped
off with your finger. I've found the thinner plastic containers which are also
more brittle just don't work worth a darn, for some reason - the worms don't
grow as well, and they can't climb up the sides. I guess at the micro level,
this plastic doesn't provide them with any purchase they can use to climb.