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Blackworms



Hi Erik:

They are often called incorrectly 'tubifex'  
and even worse referred to as 'bloodworms'.
They are not egglayers as tubifex. They are not
asociated with a fly like the 'bloodworm' which is
a maggott for the Midge fly, normally in the Orient.

Blackworms split by division, kinda like a Dahlia tuber.
Most come from trout farms in California, primarily from  
Redding in the north to Sanger near Fresno in the middle.
They are collected in settling ponds. Trout use very little of the
food they consume. Problem is many trout farmers use  
things to prevent disease we don't wish in our tanks.
Many still use malachite green, and the cheaper the better.  
High concentrations of zince are present, posibly cadnium.
These can collect in the worms, then in the fish. And there
is a posibility that a disease from the trout may become
virulent in warmer water causing further problems.   

I got my first in a shopment of plants from San Marcos, Texas.
The rest ca,e from the American abd Feather Rivers of California.
They stuck to the clay around the roots. My Discus loved them.
They do best about 56f. They tollerate higher temps but it is
more difficult to maintain adequate oxygen levels at higher temps.
We have a hand drilled (pipe of 1 1/4 " pounded into the ground)
well. My son just used an 8 inch post hole digger with homemade
attacchments to put in one a little west of town to over 30 feet.
56f is exactly between the danger points, freezing and 80f. So
our well water has as much heater capacity as cooling. They do
need lots of fresh water constantly. The better the food to the
worm, the better the worms are for the fish. I use fiberglass
salmon egg troughs. They are 16 feet long and about 18 inches
tall and wide. About every foot are two stainles steel baffles. The
first an inch from the second. Water is forced over the first,  
then under the second. That makes eggs/ worms in my case, to  
move constantly. Ones going to the bottom may suffocate and
foul the water. They will reproduce in warmer water, but in much
less density. Given good foods like leftover flakes smaller than I
choose to sell and calf-starter with acidilfalous sic bacteria, I  
expect one pound new worms per day from a 16 foot trough that
has a fairly constant 10 pounds. I cut back feed in warmer weather  
to keep ox up as my supply of water is limited. So are my funds
for the electricty for a pump running 24 hours per day. People
with a clear running spring have it made. I use them in fry tanks
as they collect the eggs, and filter the water clear. Manure will
feed them. I don't reccomend that. Pig fat and race hrse feed
will do if 'hammer milled' first. Use a good yeast with those.
Good Luck, Your fish will love ya;
Roger Get more from the Web.  FREE MSN Explorer download : http://explorer.msn.com


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