Re: Blackworms in substrate

               Well you have brought anouther lurker out of the
          closet. I read the postings on the idea of using the
          Blackworms in the substrate and thought I would pass this
               First. Thanks to all for the great advise and
          discussions on this list.
               Now to the point. About two months ago, Sho-Sho, one of
          our cats, and I were feeding the fish ( 4 loaches, 10 Cory
          Serbea, 7 SAEs, 2 clown placo and a zebra placo ) in her,
          the cats, favorite tank, a heavily planted 30 gal. When I
          turned my attention to pruning the plants, Sho-Sho decided
          the fish must still be hungry, and dumped the cup with 1/2
          oz portion of Blackworms in the tank. Of coarse the fish
          were delighted, and the cat was happy that the fish were so
               Now I had always been told not to overfeed worms since
          the excess would burrough into the substrate and die, thus
          fouling the tank. So I immediatly set about tring to get the
          excess out. I knew I was not successful by the amount of
          worms that I could see in the substrate at the front of the
               I decided that I would monitor the tank closely and do
          water changes to prevent the tank from fouling. Well the
          long and short of it is that the ammonia, nitrites, and
          nitrates never changed.
               I know some of the worms survived. I see them in the
          AM, before the lights come on in the hood, in the substrate
          at the front of the tank. They soon disappear, guess they
          don't like the light.
               The only down side that I have seen so far is that they
          (the worms) seem to congregate under the intake to my
          filter. I assume that particals of food, plant material,
          ect. are drawn to this spot by the water flow. The problem
          here is that as soon as the loaches or the placos find them,
          a feeding frenzie starts. Four loaches and three placos
          sifting through the sand creates a lot of free floating
          debris in the water, which goes right up the intake to the
               I tried moving the intake and this solved the problem
          for about 10 days. The fish soon found the worms again and
          it is back to changing the filter media again.
               I'm presently setting up some additional breeder tanks
          and intend to try introducing a culture of worms into the
          substrate. I hope to have some definitive and monitored
          information available.
               Please don't try this on a well established tank that
          you aren't willing to redo.
               Hope this is of help to you.
                                   Doug Underwood
          ....In Oregon were we had two days of sunshine and are now
          back to normal. Cloudy and rainy.....