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I will never again use blackworms

Gillie

Member
5 Year Member
I always fed my stubborn fish blackworms lightly a couple times a week to help with conditioning until now. I have lost so many fish this last week it's unreal and what of the fish that didn't get blackworms? They are thriving and some are ready to spawn. All of the fish died of the same thing, I'm still not sure what it was but no matter how much water I changed or what I treated with I couldn't get rid of it.
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Sorry to here that, Phil. I've heard this same story from too many apistophiles too many times. Grindal worms are a hassle to keep and breed compared to blackworms, but a lot safer to use.
 

oldschool

Member
5 Year Member
Black worms are a funny thing. I once had a very bad episode with them but never did after that one bad experience. These days I just raise red worms. They are super easy to rise and my apistos go nuts over them. I am composting allot of my kitchen waste so it helps the environment as well. I pick a few worms and place them on a chopping block and with a razor cut small enough ones to feed my hungry apistos. They still squirm around and my apistos eat them with gusto.
 

Gillie

Member
5 Year Member
Sorry to here that, Phil. I've heard this same story from too many apistophiles too many times. Grindal worms are a hassle to keep and breed compared to blackworms, but a lot safer to use.
It is definitely disappointing. I was keeping keeping the worms in a 10 gallon with a sponge filter on the cellar floor where the temp was between 55 and 60 with daily water changes of 60 percent. False security I guess. I'll look into some grindle worms.
 

Bev N

Forum Donor
5 Year Member
Sorry to hear of the problems with the black worms. I feed them a lot. I got thru about 10 lbs a month. I haven't had any problems with them. I'm insane about keeping them clean though. We usually wash them out twice a day when we first get them.

I know the discus folks frown on them but, knock on wood, I haven't had a problem yet.
 

Sharpfish

Member
5 Year Member
I rinse my blackworms daily. Anything off color or floating is washed away. I keep them in a tupperware container with a pretty tight lid. The lid is obviously not air tight but tight enough to keep the buggers where they are supposed to be. I keep them in the refrigerator. Every day the wife has to make a comment about those filthy little worms in the frig ( BLAB, BLAB, BLAB). Don't worry they have never gotten free yet. Once in a while you will get a bad batch, it happens.
 

Gillie

Member
5 Year Member
I used to keep mine in the fridge until I was told that they live longer if you set them up in an unheated tank feed on algae wafers on top of large daily water changes which worked because I was buying a half pound at a time. I never had a problem before but whatever this last batch was carrying wiped out 7 species which is a large and expensive loss and I don't want to take the risk again. Most of the fish I only had about a month and that really sucks. Luckly Chris and Bev have the fish that I need to replace so I don't have to wait to get them locally.
 

Bev N

Forum Donor
5 Year Member
Oh no..one little container of worms. She has nothing to complain about...lol.

We have a small fridge in the fishroom and that is full of worms. The bottom two shelves of the fridge in the kitchen are filled with tubs of blackworms.

We are looking for a bigger used one for the fishroom so when I get milk out for my coffee in the morning I'm not hit with the smell of blackworms.

They keep a good month for us and would probably keep longer if those darn fish didn't eat so much. We have some real pigs in the bunch. Even the tiny apistos tear into them...literally. I've had people ask me if I chop them for the young ones. Seriously...yuck! I figure there is no gourmet chef in the wild chopping worms for wee fry so then tear them up themselves..lol
 

fishy

New Member
5 Year Member
earth worms

Hi ,,,,You will have to start breeding earth worms,I have heard bad reports on black worms as well, & will not use them,I have a worm farm workink & the fish get these, they thrive on them.

fishy
 

electric eel

Member
5 Year Member
grindal worms are really easy to culture but i wonder if they are'nt too high in fat(i've always been cautioned about white worms) to feed adult fish regularly(i'm talking more than 2 to 3 times a week).i know they won't hurt fry(that are big enough to take them) when fed daily.they will grow like mad.but i think the fry(maybe juvies is a better term) need more fat when growing out.i'm sure i lost some breeder rams from feeding blackworms but i still do a couple times a week.i culture redworms also(probably the easiest food i've ever cultured except vinegar eels)the smallest ones require no cutting or anything.my orange australe kili's could even take them but its a pain to harvest them at that size.i feed my grindals whole grain oat flour with a little reptavite(reptile vitamin powder) and i produce way more then i can use daily from a fairly small container(10 by 12ish) if i keep on top of them(i'm talking around a half inch or so in the bottom of a cereal bowl with water)i usually keep at least 2 cultures going all the time cause sometimes for no apparent reason they will slow way down.i feed out of the cereal bowl with an eyedropper and you have precise control over how much you are feeding.
 

oldschool

Member
5 Year Member
Grindle worms are great and very prolific but to me redworms are unmatched. They get my fish into breeding condition very quickly. I use the baby worms to feed to my smaller fish with small mouths like T.candidi and Dicrosus species. I have had some huge spawns with redworms I also use beef heart which all my apistos feast on. There are many options other then black worms so try some of them out.
 

chris1932

Forum Donor
Staff member
5 Year Member
I also had a batch of blackworms wipe out a bunch of fish. Now as soon as I get new in I put them in a five gallon bucket rinse them clean and throw two heaping tablespoons of Metronidazole in the water. After a half hour or so I rerinse them and keep them in a fishroom fridge. It was old timer advice and it has worked so far. There is a guy named Lonny and the worms he is selling have been stellar.
 

jmtrops

Member
5 Year Member
Anyone try white worms? They are easy to grow and are smaller than black worms and bigger than grindles.

Jim
 

Bilbo

Member
5 Year Member
I use alot of grindals and when I can I also use whiteworms. I have been trying to setup a normal redworm culture but it keeps crashing. Are there any tips and trick about this as the website DIY worm farms dont seem to work for me.
 

oldschool

Member
5 Year Member
Bilbo,

I have found redworms to be one of the easiest live foods to grow. here is what I do. I use a large 30 gallon size plastic bin which I fill with coir, which is available at most any petshop that carries reptiles. It is used for bedding and is made of coconut fibers. This stuff is a great medium for growing the worms( Grindle worms too!). Make sure the substrate is moist and not dry. It can be very wet but dry will kill the worms as they need moisture. I feed my worms all kinds of vegetable scraps, leftover tomatoes, lettuce, onions, oranges etc do not feed them meat as it will smell very bad. When you are short on kitchen scraps you can feed them oatmeal but I have never had that happen. I bury the food in the same spot and its a very easy matter of collecting the worms with a pair of tweezers. Once you get an established culture you will have worms of all sizes. I only use the smaller baby worms and not the full grown adults so that I do not hurt my breeders. Once you get a culture going it will not matter much anyway but to begin I like to keep my breeders breeding and I do not like to feed them off to my fish.

There are many methods for making a DIY worm bin on the internet and I plan top make one of the fancy ones but for now my two bins are supplying me with all the worms I need for all of my breeder Apistos. When I feed my worms I take a pair of tweezers and collect a handful of worms and place them a in a bowl of water to rinse them off. I then place them on a chopping block and use a sharp razor to chop them up to the sizes I need for my fish. I am even able to get little baby worms which i chop up and feed to small mouthed fish like my T.candidi. All of my Apistos go just crazy over this food and I have been getting some huge spawns. I consider red worms to be one of the very best conditioning foods we can raise to feed our breeders. With BBs, grindle worms and red worms at your disposal I do not think there is much of a need to fuss with black worms. Oh one last thing I obtained my starter culture from petsmart years ago. The worms I have also tolerate heat very well as my fishroom gets well over 80 f in the summer. There is a ton of information on the worms on the internet and you can get a large quantity of worms to get started too at a very fair price from most on-line retailers.

As far as your culture crashing you must be over feeding. When you have a new culture do not over feed watch for the food to be consumed before adding more food. Once you get a booming culture the worms will dispose of the food very quickly and you wont have to worry much. Hope that helps answer your question good luck with the red worms my Apisto's love them.
 

electric eel

Member
5 Year Member
mine just crashed but it was because i left too many big ones accumulate in there and left the medium go without changing way too long.i always feed spirulina flake food and had had this culture going for over 2 years.when the soil starts to look more like worm castings then potting soil its time to change.also you might notice an amonnia odor .i was consistently getting spawns of rams 175 plus with one around 300.the breeders were fed exclusively tiny earthworms.it is supposedly the only live food that you can feed exclusively that your fish won't develop a nutritional deficiency.i have had the best luck using hyponex potting soil.the kilifish breeder i got them from told me that the cheaper potting mixes worked best but i had to try organic.he was right and it didn't work near as well."nothing puts eggs in fishes bellies like worms" a quote from charlie grimes and oh so true!i like whitworms as well but struggled to keep my culture going and you must be careful not to overfeed them because they are very high in fat but my discus love them.
 

oldschool

Member
5 Year Member
every 3-4 months months I feed to one side of my container and i remove the media from that side with new coir. The worms go with the food so it is a very easy process. Th castings are great for plants. Electric eel I agree on the spawns huge you will see the difference right away, I did anyway.
 

grumpy55

Member
5 Year Member
I have been buying Blackworms for many years now.

I have never had any fish losses that I could attribute to feeding Blackworms.

I just recieved another order of Blackworms from Aquatic Foods, in California.

This shipment was the cleanest shipment, yet !

The first washing showed no dead worms, only clean active ones.

I will be ordering again.

Grumpy55
 

Bilbo

Member
5 Year Member
I read an article about red worm cultures.
A pure cardboard culture is one of the easiest and best apparently. The worms will eat the cardboard and the vegetable based glue.
Our local recycling centre has just started to promote the green image and is giving away tubs of worms (Eisenia foetida and Lumbricus rubellus) so I rung a document shredding company and asked if they could run a few cardboard boxes through there big shredder a few times to get small bits.
I also got a few buckets of coir from a local landscape company that had more than they needed for a job and were going to throw it out. Will try a comparison and let you know the results.
Trust me. If its free then I am there with both hands out :)
 
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