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Re: cultures suitable for feeding to basic community fish

> Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 05:31:22 -0600
> From: Andrew Ternay <macfish at airmail_net>
> Hi; I am looking for live foods that I can culture which will be of
> suitable size to feed to basic community fish (tetras, barbs, dwarf
> cichlids).  I have been culturing daphnia and buying blackworms, but
> recently moved to Dallas and cannot find an lfs carrying blackworms.  My
> greenwater cultures have crashed down here twice, something that I had been
> able to avoid in my former home of Colorado.
> Are vinegar eels a suitable size to feed to community fish?

ALthough some of the smallest tetras might eat them, they are really really
small, 1-2mm, so not very useful for adult fish.

> The temp in my home will reach above 80 degrees F occasionally during the
> summer--will this preclude culturing white worms and red worms?

As long as it doesn't get much higher than that or for long periods, both
species should be okay.  I keep my redworms in the basement, but people who
use them for home vermicomposting sometimes keep them under the kitchen
sink.  If you are worried about the whiteworms, you might keep some in the
the fridge over the summer, just in case you lose the main culture.  I suspect
that there are several different species or strains being kept as whiteworms,
and some are more heat-tolernat than others.

Btw, both redworms and whiteworms require so little time and effort to raise 
that I'm surprised more people don't keep them.  Redworms are extremely
nutritious and while whiteworms are alleged to be a bit high in fat, they
are an excellent food for young fish and a treat for others.  Both species
can be raised on 'garbage' - all non-greasy non-meat kitchen scraps for the
redworms, and any form of whole grain for the whiteworms.  My whiteworms get
any bread that goes moldy, leftover cereal or rice, etc.  The redworms get
the coffee grounds and filters, all the vegetable trimmings and anything we
are unpleasantly surprised to find at the back of the fridge.  I use newspaper
for bedding and they rapidly convert it to nice black compost.