Raising Blackworms...literally! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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Raising Blackworms...literally!

I ordered some blackworms to feed to my young Discus until it got used to flake foods. I put half in the worm holder (kept at 4C), and put half into a 10g tank to see if I could "breed" them.

I originally did not feed them anything other than what was naturally growing in the tank, but I did put a few plants in. At night you could see some poke through the gravel and filter feed, but then one day I decided to throw in a small piece of an algae wafer....here is the result:



Ummm....I definately have worms! There was a spot like this everywhere I dropped a small wafer.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 03:26 PM
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Wow, that's really interesting looking!
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 04:45 PM
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Interesting....ew.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 04:51 PM
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I see it now. All blackworm tanks. A blackworm forum. It is the next thing after shrimp (which started out, remember, as live food).

Seriously. Now I want to do this. What is your substrate? What do you think they were eating, detritus?


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Substrate is just gravel. I set the tank up with new water (primed) but I moved a hang on the back filter from another tank. For the first couple weeks before I decided to feed them an algae wafer, I think they were just filter feeding bacteria and perhaps eating off of the moss and other plants in the tank?

The tank is kept around 72F, and I do 25% water changes once a week but the nitrates never got above 5ppm. However now that I will be feeding them (maybe once ever 2-3 days), I will keep a closer eye on nitrate levels at the end of each week and post here later.

Unlike others that have grown these, my 10g is full not just 5-6" deep. This way I can use real filtration. To collect the worms, I can just vacuum them from the gravel and funnel them through a net. No messy newspapers or burlap.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 06:20 PM
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do you think that you'd be able to keep a colony of them in a community tank? or would they be decimated by the fish?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 06:49 PM
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well the point of growing them is to feed them to fish, so I'm sure anytime one poked his little head out and a fish noticed....

or if you had sifting fish, they'd be diggin like crazy all day long getting after them!


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 07:53 PM
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I guess the point of my questions is to see whether setting up a colony of worms in the substrate would be self-sustaining food for the fish, or whether it would last a couple weeks and then fizzle out.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 07:57 PM
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I just vomited in my mouth like the baby in the e-trader commercial.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redfalconf35 View Post
I guess the point of my questions is to see whether setting up a colony of worms in the substrate would be self-sustaining food for the fish, or whether it would last a couple weeks and then fizzle out.
I think they would fizzle out. My SAE would probably stop eating algae and focus on them along with half my other fish. However before I went with a planted aquarium I used to vacuum the substrate thourghly and find live worms, just not in the numbers you see above, so they can survive....just not thrive.

BTW...here is a quick picture of the little guy I'm feeding the worms to. Eventually he should get some metallic blue and more red spotting:
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 08:09 PM
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ah, ok... sounds like my idea for free food is more of a pipe dream than a reality
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 06:18 AM
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These are pretty self sustaining in an aquarium with fish in it too. In fact, they can get hard to get rid of. I used to get colonies of them when I didn't do frequent water changes.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 02:40 PM
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It depends on what fish you have. Cories, loaches will clean this up. The population might survive with other fish combination.


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 02:53 PM
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When I had corries, this never happened. But now I have a smaller version of this happening in my tanks. My halfmoon doesn't seem to grok that these are food, but my giants will hunt them down and gorge. So I just swap the fish around as needed.


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