Re: Black worms in substrate
To: Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
Subject: Re: Black worms in substrate
From: cbay at jeppesen_com (Charlie Bay)
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 1996 07:53:12 -0700 (MST)
In-Reply-To: <199603260839.DAA16439 at looney_actwin.com> from "Aquatic-Plants-Owner at ActWin_com" at Mar 26, 96 03:39:02 am
> 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
cbay at jeppesen_com