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Re: Live Foods Digest V2 #137

Hi Scott,

This must have been a real OLDTIMER! This method was published before
1937. I have tried it, but it did not do well in my hands -- perhaps
that was because in those days I did not have too much luck in culturing

My current method is quite similar to your friend's: I boil and decant
garden peat moss about four times, to reduce acidity. Unboiled peat
apparently is too acid -- in my hands the worms die in it. Put about
1/2-1" of the peat on the bottom and add Tubifex. I have *very light*
aeration to take care of overfeeding.

I feed them a mixture of 1 part dry skim milk (get the cheapest variety,
preferably NOT in foil packs), 1 part rye flour and 1 part dry cat food.
I grind the cat food in a meat grinder, then mix the three ingredients.
In a 10-gal tank, about half full, a teaspoon/day is about right. For
maximum production you want the water to be cloudy, but NOT anaerobic or
to smell!  

You can harvest in about 3-4 weeks, as soon as clumps of red worms poke
their "heads" out of the peat. It might take longer. I treasure them,
because cultured Tubifex are almost 100% certain to be free of any fish
pathogens (or so I think!).


George S

Scott wrote:
> Subject: feeding blackworms
> The subject of cleaning worms has come up again. Wayyyy back when, I
> remember hearing an old timer (that is someone predating one's self)
> mention that a person could put a piece of raw potato in a container of
> tubifex worms (and presumably black worms). The idea was that the worms
> would eat the potato, purging their systems.
>           First has anybody tried this? Secondly does this work?
> Thirdly, even though I have had good luck keeping worms washed and
> usually healthy in a refrig., can they be lightly fed? There is a good
> article on raising them at the Carolina Biological supply net site (Aug.
> 96) recommending the use of fish food tablets. I know of a local
> aquarist who has used dry dog food in ten gallon tanks with the worms
> and some peat moss one the bottom. Has anyone tried anything else?
>                          Thanks,
>                          Scott