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Microworm culture

Culturing Microworms

Microworms are a valuble added food for raising baby fish, particularly when
that day's bbs hatch is faulty (not that I *ever* forget to add the salt).
;-) They are also a useful conditioning food for small grown fish with tiny
mouths, like Blue-Eyes and Lampeyes.

I have always hated the tendency for the culture to turn bad, with truly
unpleasant odors during the cleanup process. My former normal culture was
always a rich baby cereal product, dampened and sprinkled with a bit of
active baker's yeast. It was rare for the yeast to keep control of the
"soup" for more than a week or two. Then molds and other bacteria took over.
Opening that container was an invitation to a lost lunch.

I seem to have stumbled on a method that is quite productive, but also seems
to avoid the "Gerber Gulp" ("Pablum Puke?") when opening a failed culture.
(^_^) The worst that happens never seems to smell nearly as bad.

I have some 3/4G containers with snap-on tight lids. They are about a 5"
cube. One slice of normal store bread fits perfectly in the bottom. The lid
is tight enough to maintain a humid atmosphere (essential for them to crawl
up the sides, IMHO).

I insert either a heel or a stale bread slice, and dampen it a bit. A bit of
an older culture teeming with worms is dripped around on the barely damp
surface. The lid is tightly snapped closed, and in a couple of days the
bread is reduced to mush. The worms are crowding up the sides of the box,
where they can be wiped off and used. The smell is a pleasant yeasty aroma
of rising bread dough.

The primary problem seems to be regulating the moisture level. The mess in
the bottom should be semi-liquid (wet lumpy mush), but not too thin (gruel).
If it dries out too much, the worm population drops, as it does if too thin.
Ideal conditions make for such overpopulation that they crawl the walls
where they can be wiped off and dunked in fresh water for eye-dropper
feeding, without picking up any of the "soup." Add a new slice when
population drops and/or the liquid gets too thin.

My favorite store bread is Roman Meal "Honey Nut Oat Bran" so that's what I
usually use. It seems to work with any bread tho. IDK what effect different
kinds have on nutritional value.

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