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About Me

Found 19 results

  1. Recently, I was told there is a national blackworm shortage. So naturally, I saw this as a great opportunity to exploit the locals for that cash money. ...er ...I mean as my moral duty to keep my local friends' fish healthy and fed. Yeah, that one. Time to figure out blackworm culture. Wild Collection A little research on blackworm habitats revealed they can be found in shallow water near the edges of marshes, swamps, and ponds with muddy sediment where they feed in decaying vegetation. Well ...there's a shallow, still creek with a mud bottom near my work. Not really a creek. More like a very long depression that stays filled with rainwater most of the year. I was hoping to find a private spot to collect because I don't like people coming around and asking me what I'm doing. NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, OFFICER! Unfortunately, most of the creek is behind fenced private or state property except for one spot along the road where people like to dump their latest stolen car after stripping it for parts. That's what these spots are for after all. I hadn't pulled over to look before my first collection trip a couple weeks ago so I wasn't sure if there'd be much life but wow it's everywhere. Judging by the amount of invertebrates I saw swimming around freely, it's doubtful there are any fish there which makes the spot even more ideal for something like this. Now enjoy some pictures of the collection site: Shallow, mud bottom. Lots of decaying vegetarian but not enough to foul the water. Directly off the bank where the water level was higher a couple weeks ago. Grabbed a small wad of vegetation, found a blackworm first try. Separating from Debris I took a 5 gallon bucket full home and dumped it into a 5 gallon tank. To clear up the water I put in a little USB pump with a sponge over the intake. Last time a few blackworms burrowed through the sponge so I'm pumping the water into a breeder net to catch the new baby pieces. To collect the worms from the tank I made a plastic mesh cylinder filled with rocks. The first time I tried this most, if not all, of the blackworms climbed into the tower after 24 hours which made it easy to relocate them into a separate 10 gallon tank without the decaying veg that came with them. The tank sat for 3 or 4 days before this and was not aerated so they may have climbed the tower to reach the surface for oxygen or to escape the decaying plant matter. Or perhaps they were simply looking for a sweet bachelor condo where they can reproduce asexually and no one can hear them cry at night. It's hard to get the ladies when you're a worm. Culture Tank The blackworms are being kept in the same parameters of all my fish, 68-74°F, ~7.8 pH. Ramshorn snails, scuds, daphnia, cyclops, and newly hatched CPD fry (the container hanging in the front is a DIY fish egg hatchery) are being kept in the same bare bottom tank with a thin layer of detritus, an aquarium co-op coarse sponge filter, and a clamshell container filled with K1 biomedia. I made two more taller blackworm towers for the culture tank, one filled with lava rock and the other with pea gravel. The worms are showing a clear preference for the pea gravel so far which they populated a couple days after being put in the tank. I'm sure it's far less harsh on their soft, pathetic worm bodies. Soon I'll make a third with a mix of the two. I had the idea for the blackworm tower because most blackworm culture guides recommend keeping them in only a few inches of water of oxygen. Since the tank is a polyculture of multiple organisms and for water quality reasons I want the tank to be full to the top. If shallow water is necessary then these towers will give the blackworms a way to live closer to the surface. There seems to be an equal amount of worms living near the top and the bottom of the towers however. And for some reason a lot less around the middle. The towers will also provide for much more space to populate other than just the bottom of the tank, make population growth easier to monitor, and the gravel will help with fragmentation. I haven't tested this yet but I'm also hoping the towers can be removed and rinsed over a bucket for easy harvesting. (1)
  2. BLACKWORMS Setting up a dedicated tank to try and breed blackworms. Hopefully this will be a good learning experience and hopefully it works. I’ve heard a lot about culture crashes and the smell that goes along with it. Definitely will try to avoid that. I purchased 4oz of blackworms from my LFS yesterday and had to keep them in refrigerator overnight. When I got them home I did a water change with spring water with minerals added back in. Then placed in refrigerator for the night. Today I set up a 3 1/2G tank little less than 1/2 full with same spring water. It has the filter built in to side of tank, slotted openings allow water to go through an ACO coarse sponge in the collection area. Water is then pumped to top of tank and flows through a spout back into tank. Will be adding a air stone to help with surface agitation and fragmentation. I will not be heating this tank, my other no heater tank runs at 68F and this should run close to the same. (Will monitor) Placed a very thin layer of gravel. Then added a vallisneria and some PSO to help with nitrates, both placed with weights. I am hoping some worms will be sucked through the filter system to hopefully be divided during their trip. Also hoping not to many go through at a time to cause clogging. Or get built up over time, will need to keep a close eye on that. I did a small feeding in each tank I plan on feeding these too and as you can guess they absolutely loved them. This will be my first experience cultivating live food. Will also in the near future be trying vinegar eels, daphnia, and mosquito larvae. I will also try my hand at infusoria if needed, hopefully enough is naturally occurring (is that right? Maybe breeding? Cultivating?) in my 125G. Will start feeding tonight, light dusting of krill flake. Will try to alternate foods krill flake, spirulina pellets, vegetable, and fruit. Feedings will be every 2-3 days. As I keep a close eye on water parameters I will change 75%-ish water weekly. Would appreciate any advice or tips or point out anything I missed.
  3. Currently well into a blackworm colony culture with daphnia which I hope to run from September to May. That covers our winter time frame up here where overnight lows are regularly to single digits and a few times over the years have hit -20 F. Not conducive to successful shipping of living anything. The blackworm culture now in its 2nd month is in an 18x12x9 tank with non-crushed coral chunks for a base and a medium sponge filter. I siphon the bottom every time I feed them off and change 1/2 the water from the tanks above every other day. Food is a repashy block, spirulina tablets, or spirulina powder. I have yet to find the best balance of worms vs filtration and water volume. It has been a challenging and somewhat successful project so far despite that ongoing search for balance. The coral seems to break the worms up decently and effectively replaces the worms I feed off. A few weeks ago I decided to add daphnia from the outdoor pond to this culture before the daphnia freezes solid for the winter. possibly top keep the blackworm culture cleaner by filtering the water a bit more. I started feeding the tank my daphnia food: coop purchased extreme spirulina flake which I mortar and pestle down to powder. The green water is primarily from the spirulina powder. At the moment i would guess 2 lbs of blackworms from 1/2 lb I started it with and around 1000 "Russian red" daphnia from.the initial net full. I Probably will swap sponpge to a box filter to clean the water a bit more but both populations seem happy enough to be reproducing and feeding the fishroom The outdoor daphnia pond has already formed 1/4 inch of ice overnight but is still producing enough to feed the room. I did not expect it to be producing at 40-42 degree water temperature but probably no more than 5 days from it being fully frozen until late spring. Tough food to beat once established. Has anyone done multiple live foods in the same container, tank, etc? What were they and would you recommend running them together?
  4. How I take care of blackworms I order my blackworms from Craig Shaubach at Eastern Aquatics and I have always been happy with the quality of his product. I try to get the package of worms inside as soon as UPS delivers the blackworms. The longer they sit the more their quality can deteriorate I open the box at a sink and dump the entire shipment (in my case typically 1 lb.) into a very fine mesh aquarium net. I pour 1 gallon of pre-chilled water over the worms to rinse away any foul water and worm waste. I put some of the worms in a 100 sq. inch baking dish with just enough chilled water to cover them. After 36 years of marriage my relationship is strong enough so that my wife lets me store them in the refrigerator. If the refrigerator option is not available, put them in a low sided container with a lot of surface area and place them under a cold dripping faucet in a sink. Rinse the worms daily in the net with a gallon of cold water and they will live indefinitely, or at least until your fish eat all of them. I use both the sink and refrigerator methods because it is never smart to put all your worms in one basket!
  5. Wanting to get one or the other(live) for my coryadoras. Could anybody inform if one is overall better than the other? Pros and cons? Thanks
  6. Has anyone started a Blackworm Culture. Getting my first start up shipment from California and been reading up. How ever any tips some the Co-op family?
  7. Ok, so I had a large culture of black worms that I was keeping as a sustainable food substitute for my 55 long The worm colony eventually started to decline, I conducted a bunch of research and made a decision to integrate the remaining into my 55 gallon. And, while I knew they would thrive, and help out in many ways, none of my fish seem to be interested in them until I harvest from the substrate and introduce them to the water column. Sometimes my guppies are seen picking at them but not really chomping or hunting. And the worms are all located on one side of the tank opposite filtration about 5 inches in frome the sidewall so there aren't TOO many but more than I wanted to maintain and I don't want to feed them the worms regularly...just for general information purposes pH, kh, ammonia nitrates and nitrites are all in suitable conditions. The inhabitants are; 2 male guppies, 11 Rasbora mix of pork chop and harlequin with (1 being an emerald stowaway I got for free) 4 peppered cory's, 3 Julii cory's, 5 (full grown now) otocinclus, 3 black khuli's, 2 marble hatchets, and 1 whiptail pleco. Nearly all of my bottom dwelling/scavenging cats are not really going after them as I'd hoped. Are there any smaller more aggressive hunting fresh water fish out there that I could add to help with maintaining this, crop, of sorts? Keeping in mind I have 31 little occupant's already? thanks in advance!
  8. Every month or so, I make an order of live Black Worms to feed our fish. As long as they are not carrying any disease or water-fouling decay, properly prepared Black worms are incredibly good for fish and can stimulate reproduction better than almost anything else. Black worms aren’t really black, but range from a tan to brown to reddish color. Once fed to an aquarium, uneaten live worms will set up residence in the substrate, supplying a long-term food bank of sorts for fish. I saw these Wigglers in my guppy tank, and thought I’d share. I’m sure this would deeply concern many aquarists if they didn’t know what these were 😂
  9. I'm trying a live blackworm culture for the first time using a 10 gallon tank with a sponge filter. No stores near me sell the worms so if I mess this up I have to drive 2.5 hours to get to a decent fish store that sells them, which is kinda nice because it's a good store, but I can't go up there all the time. I'm using methods I got from the internet (so they've just got to be true, right? 😄) but I'm wondering if any blackworm enthusiasts have any tips or anything they can share!
  10. I want to get my discus some blackworms just to add some more variety their diet is there anything I should know?
  11. I am one of those fortunate people who have a severe allergy to Blood Worms. Frozen Blood worms if they get in my eyes will swell my eye shuts and make me sneeze my head off. I made the mistake last year of trying freeze dried blood worms as an alternative and breathing in the dust from opening the bottle landed me in the emergency room. Needless to say I will read fish food labels closely when I buy fish foods to stay as far clear of blood worms as I possibly can. That said, I would like to try live and/or freeze dried black worms. Does anyone have experience feeding any kind of black worms after realizing they have a blood worm allergy. No other food I have ever fed, frozen or free dried have ever given me problems to date. Thanks everyone.
  12. Does anyone know a way to keep a population of black worms thriving so I don’t have to keep buying them at the LFS?
  13. I shot a short video of my Leopoldi angelfish chowing down on some live blackworms and frozen bloodworms. Also making an appearance in the video are some Apistogramma baenschi, siamese algae eaters, ember and green neon tetras, red beckford pencilfish. Leopoldi angelfish enjoying worms - YouTube
  14. Rainbow Darter pair came in today. Gotta say . . . Jonah's Aquarium did an amazing job packing, shipping, and educating. After keeping hundreds of tropical fish, and a few temperate fish, this dip of the toe into small, cold-water native fish is so refreshing. They behave a bit like a goby / gudgeon . . . but are in the perch family. Really intelligent looking. We rarely name our fish . . . but these definitely got named already! They're now in this riffle tank (this clip was filmed yesterday before adding the pair) Also got 1/4 lb. of black worms for the first time. Holy moly! Our fish love them. I seriously met some of our fish as if "for the first time" when they started going to town on them. There were serious tug-of-war matches between the koi angels . . . and the corydoras were hillarious burying their heads into the sand to suck these things out. I'm pretty sure the Acaras could become tank busters on these. And the Discus . . . wow! They got really lively! The Angelfish fry here had already eaten a lot before I finally took this clip . . . but they're cleaning up!
  15. I just got a blackworm culture going. It’s been up for 2 weeks now. I’m feeding flake food and broken up algae wafers. Any tips/tricks from fellow blackworm keepers?
  16. One time I rinsed a few spare blackworms off my hands in my jar of marimo moss balls. after a while passed I noticed the the worms quite liked the moss, so I swapped one of them out for one of my Sparkling Gourami' moss balls. The fish loved it, and have begun to take interest in my... Marimo. I've begun tossing moss balls in my blackworm culture. I leave the Marimo in overnight and swap balls in my tanks daily. they pick them clean, it's great. I know it's not too far from placing filter sponge for the same purpose, but I think it's much more lively Have a great day all.
  17. I plan on a Betta, some danios a cory and nerite snails in a 20 gal. I am overwhelmed by the variety of fish foods. It appears that fish love live food. Can you feed them just live food? If so what is a good daily feeding schedule?
  18. I'm getting a shipment of leopoldi angelfish this week. Has anyone had them? How different are they from scalare and altum? Any tips or suggestions? I'm getting 6 so hopefully I will get a breeding pair.
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