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food for dwarfs - red wrigglers & grindals, mite infestations

Hi Tomoko,

I keep red wrigglers and feed the babies to my dwarf cichlids and other
fish.  I keep the worms very concentrated and just reach in and grab a
little of the compost. I then pick the babies out and put them in a cup of
water for a little while. It doesn't take too long.  But the worms I use the
most for dwarfs are grindals.  I just keep them in small covered bowls (with
small air holes in the lid) with a couple of inches of wet peat.  I feed
them dry baby oatmeal sprinkled on top in a thin layer where the worms are
concentrated.   The amount of food is just what they will eat in 1 - 2 days.
I cover them and the food with a small piece of glass.  The next time I feed
them, I lift up the glass and dunk it in a bowl of water.  The worms stuck
to the bottom come off and I pipette them into my tanks.  It is very easy.
I keep multiple cultures going at one time and harvest from only half at any
given time.  I bought grindals twice.  the first time I had no luck.  The
second time, I bought them from the link below and they were much hardier
and more prolific (may be different varieties? - definitely acted different
even though raised the same):

Grindals from:  Jim Atchison
High Prairie Farms
781 Del Ganado Road
San Rafael, CA  94903


Jim's very helpful.

I believe LFS has grindals as well.  I will be getting rotifers and Tubifex
from LFS.  He seems like a nice guy also.  I have daphnia and moina in tanks
ranging from 2.5 to 15 gallon tanks.  When I was raising algae (Euglena) to
feed them, I found I needed at least 4 times the volume of algae cultures as
daphnia cultures.  The smaller the tank, the harder the daphnia are to keep.
I find the moina to be hardier than the daphnia but the above holds true for
them as well.  (A friend of mine has the same daphnia and moina and he finds
the daphnia easier!)   I believe the moina are more tolerant of conditions
and have a quicker life cycle which allows them to recover more quickly from
your mistakes (over feeding, etc.).  I am not sure how many fish you have
but you might find it very difficult to raise successfully (and in enough
quantity) daphnia/moina in 1 gallon tanks.


WRT mites, when I kept white worms and got a mite infestation, I would
sometimes try one of two things.  One would be to do a major harvest, put
the worms in a bowl of water to make sure there were no mites with them
(mites float and can be poured off), and then use them to start a new
culture.  The other method which I saw in a post (on the Krib?) was to
submerge the culture in water and pour off the mites.  After a while, I did
not bother to try and get rid of the mites.  They did not seem to bother the
worms and occasionally I would feed the mites to my killie fish.