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Re: Keeping tubifex alive

> Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 17:30:54 EST
> From: AVukich at aol_com
> Subject: Keeping tubifex alive
> Greetings to all....
>      I've recently acquired some betta coccina which definitely are not flake 
> food eaters....blackworms (which I've fed other fish for years) are too 
> large...so last Friday at the LFS I purchased both and stored both of them in 
> the fridge with a minimal amount of water covering both...
>      Here it is Tuesday and the tubifex are already dead...
>      My question is am I storing them improperly and does anyone have an 
> easy(well how about SOMEWHAT easy) way of culturing them....

Tubifex imports were outlawed in CA (cholera, etc.) a long time ago, so only
those of us keeping fish back in the 50s and 60s probably remember how it
was done. [Amazingly, store clerks here, who have never seen a tubifex worm,
still call CA blackworms tubifex! Half the time they pronounce it

Your mistake was in keeping them in stagnant water. Cool is less important
than with blackworms, so the refrigerator may not be optimum, unless you can
replace their water a several times a day, particularly for the first week.
Break up the ball and wash out any dead or dying worms.

We used to have two ways to keep them. For a few days to a week, they were
kept in slowly running water in a series of rain gutter troughs, to flush
out their gut contents. This was usually done at the wholesaler's, and
sometimes by the local store.

For small amounts, we used to keep them in a quart jar in the toilet tank.
This gave them a large volume of frequently-changed water. They could live
indefinitely like that. Modern, low-flush (flush 4 times instead of once)
mandatory toilets may make this impractical, IDK.

Once thoroughly gut purged, they will keep OK in the refrigerator, but daily
water changes and quite a large volume of water are a good idea.

Kordon was selling them in their little breather-bag sachets, and they
easily lived a month in the refrigerator in those, so it *can* be done if
they are healthy (no dying worms) and properly purged.


Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  wright at killi dot net


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