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Re: [Killietalk] Tubifex
In the Houston area, I have collected tubifex worms in shallow ditches -
especially those near the sewage treatment plants. Collecting is best in
very shallow water with some flow. They form reddish clumps that are easily
visible. A fine scoop will allow you to net up a batch quickly. WARNING! E.
coli bacteria among others like similar conditions! This is why many people
stopped using them and went to black worms. I have had problems with both
worms and now use only frozen. That plus the fact I didn't and still don't
like walking in sewer water. Great places for snakes and other reptiles.
Interesting plants as well. I leave it to my students to bring in the good
----- Original Message -----
From: "Leo Arieux" <HOLLIS1506 at webtv_net>
To: "killifish discussion list" <killietalk at aka_org>
Sent: Monday, January 26, 2004 4:13 PM
Subject: Re: [Killietalk] Tubifex
> I will try and give you my experience with collecting tubliflex worms in
> the "wild".
> This is based on my personal experience here in New Orleans way back in
> the early 50's. I received my instruction from a real gentleman who
> owned and operated Crescent Fish Farm from the 20's to the late 50's.
> His retail/wholesale outlet was on Mandeville St. in N.O. , it was in a
> covered brick building adjacent to his residence and covered an area
> 120' by
> 60'. The bottom area of the outlet was covered in a series of connected
> 3' by 5' connected ponds about 30" high. These were split into two
> groups of ponds, equally split down the center with a doorway into his
> residential area.
> They were surrounded by a small 3" by 5" gutter in the concrete into
> which he put many large fist sized groups of tubiflex worms being purged
> (at least 15 to 20).
> Back in the early 50's the water in N.O. only had chlorine and weak
> amounts at that. He collected on a weekly basis as he had thousands of
> fish to feed.
> He collected the tubiflex worms in a mud bottomed ditch leading away
> from a slaughter house in Arabi, La. (on the outskirts of N.O.). You
> would go to a stretch of the ditch that was thick with red tubiflex,
> take a shovel, dig just about 1"_under_ the mat of worms and throw it
> into a large galvanized tub, until the entire bottom was covered to a
> depth of 3". Then begin to fill another one.
> I would take both tubs home,and wait until the worms returned to the
> surface, scoop only them and as little of the foul smelling muck out
> into a smaller tub, swish this around and place a hose with the water
> running very slowly, directly from the tap to "purge them". This was
> done at least 10 times then I would take the "purged worms" place them
> in a large white porcelain basin, where I would separate them into the
> smaller strands and remove any dragon fly larvae, leaches or other
> unwanted /undesirable creatures that I did NOT want to feed to my fish.
> These worms were medium red with a slight black coloring and hair thin,
> totally unlike the blackworms that are being sold at LFS's now.
> Over all this was a dirty messy and stinky job but oh what extreme
> lengths we will go to feed our fish. I never had any problems with any
> diseases being transmitted by these worms ... if I did my job purging
> them properly (this was stressed by Mr. Schamburg VERY STRONGLY).
> I later discovered a site to collect boxes of daphnia and baby crawfish
> (the size of small freshwater grass shrimp). I then fed my fish daphnia
> by the net fulls. Talk about grow and condition, with no draw backs at
> all. The tubiflex had to be fed very sparingly in tanks with a gravel
> substrate OR they would die and pollute the water column very quickly
> .... then good bye fish!!
> However in today's modern antiseptic society these ditches no longer
> exist, OH they are an eyesore and terribly terribly unclean. SHEESH , so
> is a great deal of nature but we manage to live with that, without
> turning it into a golf course or a subdivision, with the attendant
> pollution from them.
> Off soap box mode and stay well all,
> Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler'
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