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NFC: How to raise blackworms

This subject came up on the NFC chat last night, and someone suggested that
I post it here for everyone to see.  Some of this information is available
on the rec.aquaria FAQ, but in my experience it's a lot easier (and cleaner)
than the FAQ suggests.

When you buy blackworms at the store, they typically have an unpleasant
odor.  This odor persists after you take them home, especially if the worms
start to die.  This is not an inherent property of the worms themselves.

I keep my worms in a wastebasket with about 1" of gravel covering the
bottom.  The water is filtered and aerated by a Tetra Brillant sponge filter
attached to a pane of glass.  (The suction cups wouldn't stick to the side
of the wastebasket.)  In hindsight, it would be easier to use a 5-gallon
bucket with a free-standing sponge filter such as the Jungle Dirt Magnet.
Even more worms could be kept in a 10-gallon tank, which is inexpensive.

Blackworms can be fed just about any type of plant matter, such as banana
peels, potato peels, bread, or crackers.  The sponge filter keeps the water
clear and prevents the worms from suffocating, and a properly maintained
setup has no smell at all.  I just rinse the sponge and change about 1/2
gallon of the water every week.

[\   Andrew Dalton
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