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Blackworms vs Bloodworms


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Blackworms are a true aquatic species so will tend to burrow in the substrate and provide more enrichment. I've had struggles with getting a quality source locally so have relied on different live cultures. The biggest gripe I have with this is the absolute STINK. Many of these are farmed in wastewater and it smells absolutely disgusting in my experience. I have a pretty strong stomach because I work with dogs but this is just something else.

Bloodworms are typically midge fly larvae and won't live for long in the water. I have never seen anyone feeding them live. I love the Hikari frozen/freeze dried blood worms but live blood worms aren't really a thing that I'm aware of.

Personally I don't recommend either if you're newer to live food. Brine shrimp, vinegar eels, mosquito larvae, and daphnia are all easier to culture in my opinion and fish usually don't mind eating the smaller organisms.

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My experience on the smelliness of blackworms is different than @ange's. I get mine from Eastern Aquatics where they are farm raised in clean water and do not have any noticeable odor at all. I wonder if our different experiences are due to what the blackworms are fed?

If I can get live blackworms they are my number go to live food that I have to purchase (with mosquito larva and Daphnia tied for first on the free live foods). Baby brine shrimp are way, way, less expensive than blackworms and I absolutely love them (in the foods I have to purchase department).

Frozen bloodworms are one the best frozen foods for fish like my discus. If I didn't have access to quality live blackworms, I would be feeding a ton of frozen bloodworms.

The live foods that I consistently feed day after day are:

  • Live blackworms a couple times a day, especially to the larger fish
  • Baby Brine Shrimp a couple times a day, especially to the smaller fish
  • Live Daphnia, once a day, to everyone

The rest of the feedings are usually either Vibra Bites, Xtreme pellets, Tetra Color granules, etc.

I start a new cone of baby brine shrimp every 12 hours, and I order 3 lbs blackworms every 3 weeks. I used to keep my blackworms in the refrigerator, but now I keep them under a drippy faucet. I catch the Daphnia every afternoon from my summer tub.

As final note blackworms are a classic food for fattening up corys for breeding.



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6 hours ago, FrostiesFishes said:

I like frozen blood worms , I wish I could find a safe source of black worms . My LFS sells black worms but they’ll sometime have leech’s and other stuff in them. I’m always afraid of bringing something in with them.

This is terrifying to me. Back when I tried blackworms they were from my LFS and even though I thoroughly rinsed them, I didn't have any protection against pests.

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I feed live blackworms if I can get them. I get them a couple pounds at a time, and have not had any problems with the smell or anything. I keep mine in the fridge and rinse them off everyday under some cold water. I feed them to most of my fish, especially my corydoras cats and angels. There will be small leeches in with the blackworms, but I have not noticed any problems with them and my fish. If I wanted to, I could pick them out using a pair of tweezers. They do burrow down in substrate and I will see one poke itself out once in a while and a lucky fish has a nice little snack. 

I have never seen live bloodworms for sale in a LFS or anything, but I do feed frozen bloodworms frequently, along with frozen brine and daphnia.

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  • 10 months later...

Here in California I have a good local source of black worms , I treat my fish every so often with live black worms.  I use to have a local shop that during winter months would have live glass worms from Minnesota (I was told they were harvested from under the ice of the Great Lakes). I have never seen live blood worms for sale, but I used to collect them along with mosquito larvae in small temporary pools here in California (unlike mosquito larva the would gather near the bottom of the pools).

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