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Culturing live foods?

Discussion in 'Husbandry / Breeding' started by TWA, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. central tanks

    central tanks Member

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    Chris i dont have much experiance with grendals, i use micro worms. A pretty standard live food feeding is normally every other day with mine, granted the micro worms are mostly for fry (if i ever get any). Im thinking of starting a blackworm colony in a spare 10 gallon, those i would feed every other day with a good flake/pellet as the main staple
  2. boofeng

    boofeng Member

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    Sorry for replying late - things got pretty busy the last couple of months.

    I think this "worm juice" might be a bit potent for aquarium use? I use mine on potted plants. My neighbour's ZZ plants and pomegranate produce noticeably more new growth when I give them regular doses of "worm juice".

    Glad to hear things are going well! I feed grindal worms virtually daily and don't see any issues. I don't just feed grindals though. I also mix in baby brine shrimp, frozen bloodworms, chopped earthworms, live moina. I think with a varied diet it's harder to run into nutrient deficiencies.
    dw1305 likes this.
  3. joemc

    joemc New Member 5 Year Member

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    the only live foods i cultured for fry in the past were micro banana and walter worms, very easy and very productive once you remember to keep making new cultures at present I only have daphnia which I grow in an old mortar bin in the garden, i do find lots of hidden extras in there like glass worm, mosquito larva and gamarus. here is a pic of the daphnia in the bin IMG_20170326_134536.jpg
    Happyfins, bbetta, boofeng and 2 others like this.
  4. Happyfins

    Happyfins New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies!
    Grindal worms are still fascinating me, so easy to grow, now I know what to do.
    One thing puzzles me though and would appreciate ideas: I started another culture from my original one, both have the same setup, ice cream container, scouring pads with hole in the middle of top pad. The old one has massive output of worms but is sustained on 4 kitten kibbles a day, the new one is picking up momentum and almost where the old one is but goes through 10 kitten kibbles a day. No other creatures in there as far as I can tell. Can anyone explain? Is it like a growing child needs more food to build up mass?
    @central tanks: I use microworm but they just get too small after a while, blackworms are great but I wouldn't call what I do culturing them exactly. With quite a lot of effort I get about 20 worms to feed every week. I have a small tank with COURSE gravel and a sponge filter which I feed cheap pellets. I then siphon off the worms with a weekly waterchange. It works but as I say not very productive. Any low tech improvements on this?
  5. central tanks

    central tanks Member

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    @Happyfins i have read that blackworms rarely breed sexually that they actually split by breaking apart. So Course/ sharp edged gravel would be a good idea, id just use a very thin layer. Then id put some stong air bubblers in, keeping them in the gravel or right above it, the aggresive bubbles can help split the worms. Havent yet started these my self. But it also says to keep them in fairly low water lv, about 2-3 inches above gravel line. Filter likely wouldnt be needed if you just sighoned water out and refilled in every week.
  6. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Shallow water over blackworms is intended to increase O2 diffusion to the worms in containers where they are not aerated. In containers with aeration or filtration, deeper water is good. In cool/cold weather I keep blackworms in a large aerated cooler on my porch; MUCH easier maintenance than keeping them in un-aerated containers in my refrigerator (during warm weather).
  7. central tanks

    central tanks Member

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    Okay then I think the on going question is how do you keep them reproducing? or splitting? Do you keep a colony going or just keep what you bought till its all used up.
  8. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Chopped up blackworms that wriggle into gravel and escape being eaten certainly do grow into new worms in my aquariums. But I don't know any good way to reproduce them in usable quantities in aquariums or tubs. I think you'd need a pond with continuous flow from a well to make it a worthwhile effort. Maybe 5 or 6-ft diameter child's wading pools might work, either with continuous flow-through or filtration+ frequent water changes? I think the commercial blackworm growers use trout feed.
  9. central tanks

    central tanks Member

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    Well that theory scaled down should work then. Say a 10 gallon tank with a sponge filter and an air stone on the other side. 1/2 inch of course gravel layering the bottom. Feeding ground down fish flakes/possibly veggies of some kind. Manually splitting worms every once in a while to allow the split worms to form more worms. Changing the water every 3 or 4 days, id only fill maybe half the tank volume. That in theory should keep a small colony going if your only feeding a few worms every couple days. Days you feed you split about 15 worms feed 5-6 of those worms and return the other split prices to the tank.

    IDK makes sense in my head, lets say were only feeding one apostolic tank with a trio, obviously with a bunch of fish to feed you'd run low on worms quick. But feeding 3 fish blackworms, and only feeding black worms every 3-4 days. Supplementing with pellets as main diet.
  10. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Yes if you only need a few worms a day, that should work. I use 0.25 to 0.50 pound of blackworms a month and can't easily grow that much.
    Let us know how it works out, and any useful tips you figure out.
  11. central tanks

    central tanks Member

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    WOW ya with that much worms being used i could see how you would need a kiddy pool for them lol. Ya itll be my only tank with fish in it ATM. So i wont need to use to many worms. Although i do have a planted 10 gallon i gotta put some kind of fish in.
  12. Happyfins

    Happyfins New Member

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    Some people seem to use a drawer setup where the worms are filtered through coarse gravel, chopped up and then pumped up again. So good aeration and splitting. I personally don't want to have more maintenance for the worms than the fish so my little setup works, although even more low tech without sponge filter and shallower water would suit me but then they would probably die from filthy water. The other problem is that they don't finish food easily so I keep MTS in the same tank with the blackworms. For a treat it works a treat but for quantity I still think soilless grindals is the way to go. They just look so much unhealthier than the blackworms, I am worried about the fat content.
  13. central tanks

    central tanks Member

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    I agree the whole drawer setup is a little more work then im interested in. I still haven't gotten this started. To busy getting a new tank set up, however since I only have like 6 fish to feed blackworms I wouldn't need to feed to many only feeding every other day. I will give it a try and see how this works. Ill probably do this in a 2.5 gallon tank, and just do 50% water changes every other day, wont take but 2 min to drain and refill that amount of water. I just gotta find a place around me that sells blackworms, or ill just have to order from California blackworms although there smallest order amount is more then ill probably need.

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