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[Done] Culturing microworms
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nonamethefish
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PostPosted: 2004.09.19(Sun)16:13    Post subject: [Done] Culturing microworms Reply with quote

Final text moved to its permanent page:

http://www.aquahobby.com/articles/e_microworms.php


    Last edited by nonamethefish on 2005.01.15(Sat)1:27; edited 9 times in total
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    Tommy
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    Location: San Jose, CA

    PostPosted: 2004.09.20(Mon)14:02    Post subject: Re: Microworms-food for fry. Reply with quote

    Noname, this is a great topic and timely for me as I have started trying to breed bettas. Microworms are the baby food of choice with a lot of experienced breeders.
    I've inserted a few possible edits as well as questions I had in red...see below. Just my opinions and don't feel like you have to act on them.
    Tommy

    Microworms-food for fry.
    While they are definetly (spelling="definitely") not a replacement for baby brine shrimp, (I would actually disagree slightly with this statement in that many fry are too small to take BBS and microworms are an excellent primary food source) microworms make good supplement food for fry, though you could use it as a complete diet if you wish. Microworms are small, freeliving netamodes. They are also good food for small adult fish, and Heterandria formosa really enjoy them. Microworms probably arent the best choice for surface feeding fry such as those of Aplocheilus because they sink slowly. However, you could keep them in suspension with enough current. Here is how I culture them.

    You will need.

    1. cups or other similarly sized containers-with lids
    (Do the lids need to have air holes punched or is it a sealed system?)

    2. oatmeal, (dry oatmeal or cooked?)cornmeal, or perhaps cheap white bread (I would be decisive here and drop the "perhaps" part...you are telling your audience HOW to make the stuff, not how to experiment...)

    3. yeast

    4. microworms

    You could obtain a starter online by buying it or from another aquarist willing to ship. Microworms reproduce very quickly, so even someone who has just received a starter could hook you up in very short order. (Maybe add a note about checking with local breeding clubs...my betta club members exchange microworm cultures with eachother constantly)

    First, clean the container. (how clean? should I use soap?)

    Then add your oatmeal or whatever. (again, drop the "whatever" line...you are teaching us, tell us what to add. Also how much oatmeal? one inch thick? two inches? full container?) I myself use oatmeal, but have been experimenting with white break topped with oatmeal...doesn't seem ot make much of a difference, (why suggest it then? is there a reduction in the amount of yeast we have to use if bread is present?) but there hasn't been any mold still.

    Add water till it is about the consistency of cooked oatmeal. (So you mean like stir water into the dry oatmeal right in the container you are using?

    Add a sprinkle of yeast (again, how much yeast? do we cover the entire surface of the oatmeal?)

    Use something to scrape microworms from the side of an older culture and then inoculate your new culture. If for some reason shipping went awry, microworms seem to be able to withstand dessication for a short time. try scraping some of the dried "stuff" on the sides and then adding that to your culture. On old cultures where the worms no longer climb the sides, a wet paper towel placed on the surface ought to do the trick.

    Add a lid.

    And wait.

    Soon(give it around a week or so) microworms will begin to crawl up the sides of the container. Even earlier than that, if you hold the culture up to light, you can observe the worms wriggling rapidly over the surface. When they start crawling on the sides, use something to scrape them off and feed them to the fish. If you have scraped them all from the sides and still need more, a damp paper towel can be placed over the culture and left for a minute or so and then lifted...it should be coated with microworms. Before long, (How long?...) the culture will start to go downhill, and soon the only way to harvest will be by the paper towel method. Pay close attention to the ages of your cultures and start new ones accordingly...you will never forget the smell of a long dead and still wet microworm culture. You can throw the culture out, or use a spoon to clean it out, wash it, and then start over. Be sure you have a spare sink to use if you decide to go by the second method-others will not be pleased with half decomposed blobs of oatmeal and yeast clinging stubbornly to the sink.

    What else do you think a beginner would want to know? This is all personal experience.
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    Last edited by Tommy on 2004.09.20(Mon)18:51; edited 3 times in total
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    haname
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    Location: Phoenix, Arizona USA

    PostPosted: 2004.09.20(Mon)18:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I was wondering about ...

    Quote:
    cups or other similarly sized containers-with lids


    What kind of cups? Do you mean 1-cup sized containers, or are you talking about yogurt cups?

    I thought the article was very useful. It sounds like this is a live food that would be fairly easily cultured, and worth trying! Smile

    How big are the microworms?
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    nonamethefish
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    PostPosted: 2004.09.23(Thu)19:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Excellent comments Tommy! However, I think encouraging experimenting is usually a good thing.
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    Tommy
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    PostPosted: 2004.09.24(Fri)10:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

    nonamethefish wrote:
    ...I think encouraging experimenting is usually a good thing.

    I couldn't agree more....Nice article Noname, very helpful.
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    nonamethefish
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    PostPosted: 2004.09.26(Sun)17:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Unless anyone has anything to add, I think this is ready.
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    haname
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    PostPosted: 2004.09.26(Sun)18:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I'm still unclear on the size of containers. Is it a one-cup size? Sorry if this is a dumb question Very Happy Would it be better to use a deeper cup like a yogurt cup, or something shallower like a margarine container?
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    nonamethefish
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    PostPosted: 2004.09.26(Sun)21:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Haname: No cup size doesn't matter-but I suspect a "monster culture" would attract mites and mold. Also, you don't want the walls really tall or else it will be harder to harvest.

    Maybe we need pics.
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    haname
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    PostPosted: 2004.09.26(Sun)23:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

    So then something like a cream-cheese container or such that holds about 8 oz but is shallow?

    I was confused because you wrote:

    Quote:
    1. cups or other similarly sized containers-with lids


    So I was just wondering... what size and shape containers do you actually use? Do you use several different sizes? Even though it may not be critical, some sort of guideline would be helpful to a completely clueless person just starting out.

    I'd really like to try culturing something, but am a bit intimidated so as a complete beginner, it would be helpful to go step-by-step with specific instructions -- like you were holding my hand. Smile

    Thanks for writing the article!
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    nonamethefish
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    PostPosted: 2004.09.27(Mon)17:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I myself use yogurt cups. I've also used margarine containers, and those deli Ziplock containers but yogurt cups are just easier to get.
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