Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Mealworm Cultures (

fish_4_all 12-10-2006 10:52 PM

Mealworm Cultures
Mealworms: (standard Mealworms, NOT Kings or Super worms)
Start with wheat bran and Chicken Egg layer mash. Fill a plastic shoe box to about 2 inches with a 50/50 mixture of each. Place the mealworms in the container. A lid is not needed but I used the lid with the center cut out with window screen secured to the inside. They do need some ventilation in order for the culture to stay as dry as possible. They also need a water source. I started with carrots but found that romaine and leaf lettuce were more readily eaten and didn’t wet the culture. The beetles will do just fine this way and you can ignore them for up to 6 months except for adding a water source every other day at least. Add as much as they can eat in about 6 hours to prevent infestation from mites and feral flies because of moisture buildup.
To harvest the larva, place a piece of carrot on top of a piece of plastic canvas. In about 3 hours the tiny worms will migrate to the water source and you can harvest them by picking up the carrot slice and scraping them off. I found that a large carrot cut into 1 inch rounds worked best with as flat a cut as possible being optimal. You can also pick them out by hand from small amounts of the culture but this is very tedious. When you want to start a new culture, simply pick out about 50 beetles and larva and put them in a new container and they will do the rest. The culture needs to be completely refreshed when it looks like small pebbles of sand which means the food source has been completely depleted and needs to be replaced. Simply use a small holed strainer and strain the worms from the waste. (The “waste” makes good fertilizer and can be mixed in with plant soil or made into a fertilizer concoction although it will ferment and explode if you seal the container. )

If you have experience with culturing them, please post your methods here so others can try different ways and find what works best for them.

Matt 01-29-2007 11:28 AM

We Used to Breed Them But Now We just Buy Them By The Thousands.
(Gecko, lizard, Dragon Food)

Here's Our Storage rack:

Top 3 are Meal Worms;The Bottom are Super Worms.

fish_4_all 01-29-2007 11:29 PM

To me it was much less expensive and easier to simply raise them myself. I got to pick out the newly molte dones for fish food and the really small ones and it was so simple. I think it cost me $17 to raise over 25,000. I guess it just depends on how much effort you want to put into what your animals eat.

Matt 01-30-2007 12:32 PM

we go through so many a week that we have to just buy them by the thousands.

Rue 02-02-2007 08:23 AM

I have a colony going too...feed them to our finches...

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