Re: Black worms in substrate

> I'm about this -> <- far away from purchasing some black worms to add to my
> substrate.  My initial assumption is that these worms are the worms that live
> in lake bottoms and sandy/muddy streams, and that they should be beneficial in
> spreading out the nutrients in my substrate.
> Before I go and do something that I might regret, I wanted to ask for others'
> opinions.  <snip>

Hey, David... I've been thinking about this, but haven't had the
guts to try it yet.  I hope you won't mind that I experiment with
your tank first, would you?  :-)

I would think establishing a colony of black worms shouldn't be
too difficult, but I don't know if the worms in the stores are
the same ones from the black muck on lake bottoms.  I do have
various other white worms and other spirulous-like critters
swimming around some of my plant tanks, though, and I think they
benefit the substrate (I'm only guessing).  Ok, I'm weird, but
I think they are interesting to watch also.  Several of my tanks
don't have fish, and I'm continually *amazed* at some of the
bizarre things I'll catch swimming in the tank.

Some of the issues I have are the following (you've probably
considered them already):

*  Once the worms are there, they probably don't go away without
   a full tank shut-down.

*  Some fish, like some of the corydoras, will destroy themselves
   to get at any worms crawling in the substrate.  To be nicer
   to the fish, make sure the gravel is not too large and not

*  Worms in the substrate should not be much of an issue if you
   have fish that eat the over-population forced to the surface
   of the substrate (even some moderately digging fish preying on
   the worms should be ok).

*  Dollars to donuts, the worm population will be a success.  I'll
   bet money you don't have a problem establishing the colony.

*  With an actively "live" substrate like we're talking, you can
   probably no longer hydro-clean (vacuum-clean) your substrate.
   Doing so will probably disrupt the cycles and activity there, 
   and cause tank swings.  (Unless you absolutely don't like where
   your tank is at, and then a vacuum may take it to a state you
	  prefer.  :-)  Of course, since many of the people on this list
	  don't vacuum the gravel in favor of plant root establishment
	  anyway, that may not be an issue.  I don't because I'm lazy 
	  (although I could probably come up with some b**sh*t explanation
	  for why this is a good thing; and I do dig up my plants every
	  now and then.)

Let me know what you decide.  I'm not too far from attempting
this also.

cbay at jeppesen_com