3 Unrelated Questions - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-26-2011, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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3 Unrelated Questions

1. I'm raising my own earthworms. Question is, since they're digesting moldy, rotting variety of household foods and waste products, won't the fish that eat the worms also digest it? Won't it be harmful?

2. If I set my aquarium heater to 82, but it still turns on at around 85F sometimes, does it mean that the heater is broken? I would think if it's higher, the heater would not turn on at all? The higher temperature is due to my room becoming fairly warm during the summertime.

3. Noise pollution. Humans are effected by it, but what about the fish in terms of the noise created by the equipment used to maintain the aquaria in which they live in? An example are the noise created by air pumps pumping air into the water through airstones? How can you tell if it's too noisy for your fish (not factoring in us of course)?
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-26-2011, 06:53 PM
Hey there!

1) Yes, when you feed worms bad stuff, the fish eats the worm with the bad stuff and then it compounds it. It actually acts as a multiplier; remember how bald eagle egg shells became super thin due to DDT? Its cause they ate fish who ate food that was polluted with DDT. Essentially the higher order a organism is on the food chain, the more affected they are by the pollutant.

2) Is it a thermometer thats hung on the inside of the tank, or a sticker on the outside? I find that the stickers pick up ambient heat, and won't necessarily get the temp right for the water in the tank, so don't worry too much about it.

3) Some fish are affected by noise pollution, others not so much. To lessen the noise from your air pump, I would get some noise insulation foam, and make a box or so. But in reality, the sound shouldn't bother the fish too much.
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-27-2011, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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1. So how do I feed my worms to my fire eels? I specifically raised the worms to be used as feeders and was told that it'll be okay. What do you mean bad stuff? As in rotting materials?

2. They're the internal thermometers with the metal balls inside them at the bottom. You suction it inside the tank completely submerged.

3. ...........
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-27-2011, 05:02 AM
1) Define moldy stuff. If its rotting food or the such, I would be iffy about it. Leaves or the such *essentially decaying plant matter* would be a good way to feed the worms. You can find decaying plant matter in any garden in moist/dark areas. Bad stuff as in moldy foods or the such, as certain spores do not die and are still present in the worm, which can potentially infect the fish. I don't know the specific details on certain fungus/molds that grow on food versus outside, but I do know that certain species thrive in different conditions *damp/dark for outdoor, dry/exposed to air for food (think moldy bread)* Also, some harmful bacteria can be transmitted the same way.

2) There is a chance that your heater's internal temp monitor is faulty in that case. How long does it stay on for? My heaters occasionally click on even though the temp is higher than set, but don't stay on for long, just for a few minutes or so.

3) Basically, ambient noise is fine, but if you're really worried about it, you can use sound insulation foam or the such to reduce it. Only certain type of fish * mainly delicate ones* are sensitive to noise, but I don't remember from the top of my head which ones. Sorry for the confusing post. It made sense in my head, but then again, after studying for 4 midterms and writing a paper in a row, nothing really makes sense anymore!
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-27-2011, 06:46 AM
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As the worm digest the waste food or leaves or whatever it won't harm them. How to you think the big producers get their worms? they make compost and feed it to them.
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-27-2011, 08:09 AM
1) You might think if you eat poop, you die, but not so much fer critters. I've seen some of my fish eat poop from another fish...expecting it to spit it back out....sometimes, but not always. Redworms do consume decaying organic matter, while soil dwelling worms extract organic matter, minerals and nutrients from the soil. There is no evidence that worms are harmful to fish. Actually, to the contrary, worms are very high in protein. Their size prohibits feeding to many tropical fish w/o being chopped up. The only real issue is ensuring the worms have not been exposed to fertilizers and/or pesticides, which then would make them very bad food.

2) It sounds like the setting on your heater is a bit off from the actual temperature of the device. I'd say it's out of calibration, but if you use the set point as only a guide AND the unit can maintain a constant temperature, then it's fine. However, as you likely already know, your room temperature is also going to be a key factor in your aquariums water temperature, especially when it's hot since you don't have a chiller.
If you anticipate periods of very warm temperature, you might remove some water from a couple of bottles of water and freeze them, then float them (make shift cooler) during periods of very hot weather to keep your tank temperature in the desired range.

3) If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Of course not, but it makes one heck of a vibration!! Our ears convert vibrations into sound. The vibrations we know as sound travel through the air pretty readily and fast as the speed of sound (hehe). Not so much through water. The fish will sense some muted aspect of this vibration, but not as we would. Your blaring boom box is no different to them than a tap on your desk.

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Last edited by onefish2fish; 05-28-2011 at 06:56 AM.
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-27-2011, 08:10 AM
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+1 to DarkMaster YOda's comment and AbbysDad's comments
The worm's digestion process should take care of the issue. Just lightly rinse the worms before use. Anything bad enough to kill your fish would likely kill the worms as well. Bioaccumulation of toxins (not biomagnification as described by excal88) would be an issue ONLY if you feed contaminated substances. However, if you aren't seasoning your kitchen scraps with pesticides, and the worms are just composting kitchen scraps, it's not anything to worry about. I applaud your green fishkeeping!

If you are really paranoid, you could put the worms in some clean damp shredded paper for a day or two prior to feeding to your fish. That would give them time to "pass" any internal soil. Note - Fish in nature don't mind a little dirt filling in their worms. High fiber
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-27-2011, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Moldy stuff as in moldy food products such as bread, plant matter, possibly meat. Pretty much any organic matter that needs decomposing.

I was just worried because for example they eat the mold and right after they consumed it, I feed the worms to the fish and the mold is still fresh in their stomach. Also another thought is that the worms eat a certain material such as a meat product that the fish normally shouldn't be eating, but ends up eating due to the worms ingesting them and the fish ingesting the worms. I'm guessing in this case I'll just feed them plant matter only.

As for the heater question number 2, my heater keep the temperature spot on but as excal said in his second post, sometimes it turns on every so often even when the temperature of the water exceeds the temperature set on the heater. My thought is that if the temperature exceeds it, then why does the heater turn on at all?
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-27-2011, 01:33 PM
Not sure about the worms, but I know my heater regularly does that in the summer time when ambient temps go up. I end up having to turn the heater lower than my desired temp or unplugging it.
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-27-2011, 01:36 PM
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For composting in general, you don't ever want to put animal products into the mix, just plant material - animal stuff causes major stink and you can grow some nasty bacteria, as well as mold/fungus that you don't want to be exposed to. Mold is present in the air, in the soil, and on most surfaces around us. I wouldn't worry about it myself, it's part of nature.

One minor precaution about moldy bread and compost piles. Don't go sniffing it deeply, you can end up with a nasty respiratory infection!

RE: the vibrations. Some fish are more/less sensitive than others.

Last edited by DKRST; 05-27-2011 at 01:39 PM.
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