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Re: Tubifex (actually blackworms)

> Date: Sun, 15 Aug 1999 06:41:02 +0800
> From: Ronnie <fedental at cyberway_com.sg>
> Subject: Re: Tubifex
> Hi Wright,
> > From: Wright Huntley <huntley1 at home_com>
> > Subject: Re: Tubifex
> > If you *do* get flatworms or hydra, LMK and I'll give you an easy one-week
> > cure.
> And what might that 'one-week cure' be?  

Check the previous digest. It was 37% formaldehyde, 1 drop/G, every other

> With store-bought live tubifex,
> is there a good way of dis-infecting them (or at least render them
> 'bug/pest-free') before using them for culturing.

Plenty of rinsing and water changes. I do about 3 100% changes before using,
unless from a store I trust to maintain them in running water. Most use a
stagnant pan in a refrigerator, around here. IDK how often they change
water. Visually remove white fluke/leech-like critters, or feed to fish sure
to eat them. [IDK if those things are actually harmful to fish or not.
Probably not.]

> Also, is there a viable method of culturing of tubifex?  I'm attempting
> having them in a air-lifted overflow box that filled with fine
> gravel/sand that returns to a plant only 35 liter plastic tank but the
> 'harvest' is very minimal.  Am I not feeding them enough (yeast & flour)
> or WHAT should they be fed with?  Any suggestions?

Robert Nhan of San Jose (now Fremont) has done it with blackworms. Seven 10G
tanks with deep (2-3") fine (30 grit) sand and heavy aereation. Seed all
with a pound or so (total) of worms, and feed daily with cheap flake fish
food, as heavily as possible without bad bacterial bloom. Do *lots* of water
changes. On week three, start harvesting half a tank per day, and the other
halves on week 4. Week five go back to the first halves, etc.

Lots of work and tank space for modest worm harvests. No guarantee that
bacteria will be much lower than from the store, tho. Unless you hand sort
the starting worms, there's no guarantee you won't have planaria. Hydra
can't live without live food, so they probably will die, of course. [Then
they will come in on your plants, anyway. :-)]

Dan Carson, of Hawaii has done it in big trays with real Tubifex, and using
lava cinders (decorative stuff from garden shop) as the substrate. 150%
weekly water changes were needed.

All too labor intensive, for me. I could raise a *lot* of fish in 7 10G
tanks, and buy lots more worms with their sale. YMMV.


PS. If you run your RO unit all the time, ever consider using the overflow
waste water in plastic raingutters to provide slow, constant 100% water
change for worms, before putting it through your drip-irrigation system on
the patio?

Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  huntleyone at home dot com

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