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Re: NFC: How to raise blackworms

-----Original Message-----
From: John M. Burns <jmburns at pressroom_com>
To: nfc at actwin_com <nfc at actwin_com>
Date: Monday, November 16, 1998 1:21 PM
Subject: Re: NFC: How to raise blackworms

>Having just dumped 4 ounces of blackworms on the floor and experienced the
>messy cleanup, I am curious about whether the worms climb the sides of your
>trash basket.  Even in my fridge, they climb the sides of the container
>they're in and crawl across the cover.

I think that they do this because they're starved for oxygen.  In my setup,
they just stay in the gravel and don't try to climb the sides at all.

>Also:  How far below the rim of the container is the water surface?

It's about 5" in my setup, but it shouldn't really matter since the worms
don't try to get out.  The water is over 12" deep, but that's to accommodate
the sponge filter.

>(to avoid collecting the "food" the worms are eating) and how often do you

I usually take worms out whenever I need them, and I try to cut back if the
population seems to be crashing.  I suck them out of the gravel with a
turkey baster, empty the baster into a plastic cup, and then rinse the worms
under tap water to remove as much crud as possible.  Then I use an
eyedropper to add a few worms at a time to the aquarium.

  Why do you put any gravel at all in?  The Carolina article on
>raising blackworms suggests bare tank with paper towel strips.  Doesn't
>gravel just get in the way?

I used gravel because it is an inert medium that gives the worms a place to
live and traps detritus (which the worms eat, and which would just clog the
filter if suspended in the water).  The paper towels might work, but they
might be messy and clog the filter.  Also, I'm not sure if it is a good idea
to use a commercial paper product as food for worms that will eventually be
food for your fish.

I'm sure that a lot of different setups would work as well (or better) than
mine, but my experience indicates that any setup should have a way of
aerating the water.  Otherwise, the worms will probably try to crawl out to
avoid suffocating.

[\   Andrew Dalton
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