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Re: Live Foods Digest V2 #295 more on worms

 "Bentley Christie" wrote: Recently I noticed some small red worms colonizing 
the glass and bottom.  Now the entire bottom mulm is crawling with them.  
They are about 1/2 inch at most, red, very thin, and swim with a 
spiraling motion.`	

It could be Dero. Look at the worm's tail. Dero will have a bouquet of gill
thingies, sort of like petals on a daisy. Dero can tuck them in and out. Don't
ask me where they go. Look at several worms or observe one for a time before
you see the gills. With a cheap microscope or good hand lens, you may see the
blood capillaries and an outside covering of cilia (hairs) on each gill. 

They are not Aeolosoma. You would have mentioned the polka dot look, and half
an inch is bigger than they get. If they are Naids, under magnification,
you'll see long soft hairs sticking out from the sides, and you may see the
way they reproduce asexually. A new head/tail forms in the middle of the worm,
then it breaks apart. This may be why they get bigger when cultured. The
really long worms are probably always long chains of individuals. Now this is
not scientific, so there are probably lots of other things you could have, or
that I could have instead of what I think I have. I would be interested in
learning more about these guys. I am now keeping only the Nais going, since
they beat out the others for productivity, and they are so thin, small fish
can eat them, while their length keeps them of interest to larger fish too.
Plus you don't need to buy them. Any North American lake probably has them in
any spot that is covered with duckweed. Fill a plastic bucket with duckweed
and water. When it sits long enough, the Nais will form "fingerprints" of
worms at the meniscus with their heads and tails in the water and their bodies
folded over each other in a whorl like a fingerprint. In cultures, I harvest
them by adding some liquefied vegetable to their unaerated water. They then do
the same thing they did when you collected them by overstuffing the duckweed
in the bucket. You can harvest them barely getting your fingers wet.