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Re: Live Foods Digest V3 #150

Hello Tomoko,

Yes, the Grindal worms are quite lethargic. That's normal for them.

I think that Tetramin is a bit too high in protein for a steady diet for
Grindals. Make certain that they eat it all before you add more.
Otherwise your bedding will go sour. 

Cheap fishfood -- mostly cereal -- is OK for them, or just cereal will
do. I feed ground up oat flakes, it seems to work fine.

Your container needs ventilation. Window screen is much to coarse  to
stop both fruit flies (& relatives) and mites. I use DENSE pantyhose or
thin synthetic blouse material. I cut out 1-2" circular holes in a lid
of a shoe-box sized container and attach the material, from the OUTside,
with aquarium cement. Spread the cement up to the edge of the cut, so
the worms can not crawl under the material, where they would die. The
lid has to fit snugly.

Have several containers working, so that you are not out of worms when
you change the bedding in one container. 

To harvest, place a piece of glass, plastic or aluminum foil on the
bedding. "Surplus" worms will crawl on it and are easily washed down. I
use a squirt bottle to do it. 

The worms must be separated from their muck by swirling in water. The
worms settle faster that the suspended muck. I do such "fractionation"
three times (takes about a minute per pass) and have pure worms to feed.

If you have too many worms, reduce feeding, but KEEP HARVESTING. Serious
overpopulation (such as happens if you fail to harvest a well producing
culture for a few days) will kill the worms essentially overnight. It
seems to be some organism that causes something akin to lysis. One can
not save a lysing culture.

Have fun!


> Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2001 07:48:03 -0600
> From: "Tomoko Schum" <tomokoschum at earthlink_net>
> Subject: Grindal worm
> Hi everyone,
> I bought a large culture of grindal worms
> along with my daphnia.  Unlike those poor
> daphnia I murdered, grindal worms are still
> alive.  I put the culture into a bed of peat
> moss about 2 inches deep in a Rubbermaid
> container (2/3 of plastic shoe box)
> temporarily. The worms came with a thick top
> layer of food material, some sort of spongy
> woody stuff, which sprouted a white cotton
> like mold next morning. I put the whole thing
> into the peat moss but removed the mold as
> much as possible.  So far the mold has not
> spread in the new bedding material.  If it
> starts spreading, should I replace the
> bedding with a new batch of peat moss?
> I was told by the vendor to use fish food for
> their food.  So I layed a thin layer of some
> Tetramin on the surface.  The grindal worms
> seem to have eaten them.  The food is mostly
> gone this morning and there are some little
> white worms in the vicinity.  However, they
> are not an energetic bunch.  They hardly move
> when I pick them up.  After waiting 10
> seconds or so on my hand, they start to move
> their little heads (tails?) around a bit.  My
> red wigglers would have gone back deep into
> the bedding long before that.  I wonder these
> grindal worms are somewhat weakened during
> the shipping.  Or is this normal for grindal
> worm?
> As for their permanent home, I am thinking
> about using a small dark colored Rubbermaids
> container to keep them dark.  I suppose I
> need to punch some holes into the lid or the
> side and cover the holes with a window screen
> material.  Can someone tell me what kind of
> container/set up is the best for these little
> creatures?
> TIA,
> Tomoko