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Re: Microworms in you Grindals?

At 03:39 AM 4/18/2003, Kim wrote:

Regarding your Grindal worm culture, I've been thinking about your
observation that
"... it briefly looks like you poured a bit of milk in the tank because the
juvenile worms are so thick. ..."
I've grown and fed very successful grindal worm cultures over the years, and
I've never observed such thick juveniles. I have observed what I would
describe as you did when feeding MICROWORMS. Do you think there's any
chance that you've got a combination culture of grindals and microworms?
If your original interpretation of the milky cloud is correct, then my
grindals have never had such juvenile-heavy populations.
Thanks in advance for considering this.


My tendency to hyperbole catches up with me at last!

The "cloud" effect is brief but real. My daughter and I recently tried to estimate the number of Grindle worms we feed the big tank nightly. On several successive nights, we each picked a single fish and counted how many worms that individual ate before the worms were gone. All the fish in the upper and middle tank get between 20-40 worms, so with 45 such fish we are feeding 900-1800 worms per night. Of course, adult worms make up a small number of that total-perhaps 10-15%. The 35 cardinals and rummy nose are eating the large majority of juvenile worms after the larger adult worms have been picked off by everyone. We excluded our catfish and loaches from that estimate-even though they love scavenging remaining worms from the gravel, we couldn't figure out how to count those.

Although I have never raised microworms, a friend at the Silicon Valley Aquarium Society (www.svas.info) accidently infected her grindle culture with microworms, so I've seen the two in one container. Darn, those microworms are ...micro! I'm confident my culture (and the cultures I've split off for friends) are pure grindle. I purchased my original culture from www.livefoodcultures.com, a recommended supplier.

I feed and harvest the worms using plastic needlepoint grid which is laid on top of the medium. I sprinkle baby oatmeal on top of the grid, and 24 hours later the grid is crawling with worms and a bit of remaining food. Too much food, and clumps of oatmeal end up in the tank when I swish the grid. Too little food and the worms have finished eating it and retreated to the medium before I get there to swish them in the tank. This method ends up feeding MANY more juveniles than other methods which rely on somehow removing adult worms from the surface of the medium.

I plan to write an article with photos for our club newsletter soon.