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Re: Live Foods Digest V3 #162
My friend, Fred and I get a standing order of 2 pounds of tubifex (mixed with a
little bit of black worms) per week.
Fred uses 1.5 pounds of this and I use .5 pounds.
We keep tubifex (as well as black worms) alive in aerated 5 gallon buckets.
I keep about 1/4 cup (or less) per 5 gallon bucket with one airstone pumping as
much air as possible.
Since I have small individual pumps, I run eight buckets with 2 strong dual
outlet pumps and a nineth bucket with a tetra luft all to itself.
Whenever I empty a bucket of worms, the spare airstone is added to a bucket that
still contains worms.
The water level is kept to about 3 inches from the top.
I change the water in the bucket every week to 10 days.
My friend, Fred, who has a wonderful and very powerful air system (the pump?) ,
keeps up to 1 pound of worms in his 5 gallon buckets.
He runs a single airstone on high, per bucket.
Fred does 100% water changes daily.
Neither Fred nor I have any water problems so the water comes out of our garden
hoses and we use it untreated.
There is chloramine in our water, but apparently not in enough quantity to bother
our fish or worms.
There are many people here that keep their worms in drip systems.
While a big time waste of water, the worms survive best under drip and it is the
easiest system to work.
All one needs is a water faucet and a bowl to keep the worms in.
In the past, have kept tubifex in the refrigerator.
Unlike black worms that like to be barely covered, kept the tubifex about in a
quart jar filled with water.
About 1 tablespoon per jar.
Water changes (to the point were there are no white dead worms in the water) were
done every few days.
Have noted that the worms do not like the frig to be really cold.
If it is too cold, the worms can die and become a bloody, stinky mess overnight.
Since my live food was banished from the frig(s) with people food, the worms were
kept in their own tiny brown cube-like frig.
This was set at the warmest setting possible.
We also keep our black worms in aerated buckets or fish bowls.
Black worms keep better than tubifex in aeration, so we use them after the
tubifex are gone.
Culturing these worms require space and all the culturing media that we know of
smells really bad.
Most people here use either chicken or cow manure (yuck!), needless to say, even
outdoors, no one grows their own worms for very long.
The worm cultures also need flowing water or some sort of water recirculation
Some local petstores also use a small metal grate raised off the bottom of their
The theory is that this grate functions as an artificial substrate that the worm
ball can anchor onto.
The dead portion of the ball collects below this grate so cleaning the worms is
Haven't tried this myself so I do not know if it works.
Also be aware that our tubifex worms are not just the fine, very small baby ones
that I understand pet shops on the west coast sell.
We have occasionally gotten these when our normal tubifex supply evaporates as it
does from time to time.
Ours are a mixture of adult to baby and it is the adult worms that survive the
longest however one keeps them.
The tiny, baby worms are the greatest fish food, but no matter what is done to
keep these alive, they die in the matter of a few days.
> Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 17:30:54 EST
> From: AVukich at aol_com
> Subject: Keeping tubifex alive
> Greetings to all....
> I've recently acquired some betta coccina which definitely are not flake
> food eaters....blackworms (which I've fed other fish for years) are too
> large...so last Friday at the LFS I purchased both and stored both of them in
> the fridge with a minimal amount of water covering both...
> Here it is Tuesday and the tubifex are already dead...
> My question is am I storing them improperly and does anyone have an
> easy(well how about SOMEWHAT easy) way of culturing them....
> Thank you all
> End of Live Foods Digest V3 #162
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