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Re: Tubifex

> Date: Thu, 12 Aug 1999 12:39:05 -0700
> From: Edison Yap <integrit at mnl_sequel.net>
> Subject: Re: Live Foods Digest V2 #491
> Is there a way to make tubifex worm good food for fishes like Apistos?

They *are* good food for fish of almost all kinds. They need to be
maintained in cold running (or often changed) water to clear the sewage from
their gut and keep down bacterial bloom. Too rich for steady diet, they are
superb for conditioning breeders.

We can no longer get tubifex in most parts of the US as they are
open-sewage-ditch worms and therefore can harbor human diseases. We have no
such ditches, any more, and I think import from Mexico is totally banned.

Kordon sells (sold?) them in little sachets at a hideous price. Apparently
sterilizing them wasn't trivial. I think theirs come from Europe, somewhere.

We get black worms in most fish shops (a few ignorant clerks still call them
tubifex). In California they come from cannery settling ponds and waste
settling ponds from dairy farms. In other areas they are a byproduct of
trout farming. The rich foods they require must also be purged from their
gut to clean them up for feeding. Otherwise they are used exactly like

Blackworms seem to be more prone to die from oxygen shortage, so they are
kept refrigerated in shallow containers that allow their tails to reach the
surface. See the excellent article(s) at the Carolina Biologicals web site.

We used to be able to keep tubifex in a quart jar in the toilet tank. Every
flush gave a water change. (^_^)  They didn't seem to be bothered by the

Both kinds of worms get a reputation for carrying fish diseases. They

They are extra rich foods, and their consumption creates lots of ammonia
from the fish. The bad water then lets any pathogen get past the fishes
immune system barriers. It just *looks* like they caused the disease. The
real culprit was inadequate water changes or failure to rinse them well. Do
more changes when feeding them heavily.

*Source: Private communication from Dr. Barry Cooper, Head of Veterinary
Pathology Dept. at Cornell.
Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  huntleyone at home dot com

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