microworms(feeding for fry)
how can i start making microworms? what do i need?
from the last post i find a site that tells me how to make them Cichlid City :: Making MicroWorm Cultures :: [ Anonymous ] :: but now i ve got another problem what is starter culture?
thx for your reply
A starter culture is a small amount(usually a couple ounces) from a established microworm culture. There are tons of them online, ebay has one of just microworms for $4 inc. shipping. You setup your media, you can find lots of links online on how to setup your media. When I had microworms I used cooked oatmeal. I've seen lots of things used though usually it just needs to be rice/wheat based and moist. Usually add a little yeast.
Its best to use a large container as the culture will last longer. I used long flat Tupperware containers 12x6". You should probably start smaller since starter cultures are not too large. You should run at least 3 different cultures, and they should be in different stages of age. That way if one crashes you don't loose all your worms. For example when you get your starter culture, add 1/3 of it too your first thing of fresh media, 3 days later and half of the remaining starter to your second container of fresh media, and 3 days later set up the last one. Fair warning they don't smell good, crashed cultures smell worst.
Keep on top of changing out old cultures and starting new ones, I got lazy and lost all my cultures. Once your newly setup cultures sit for 5-10 days depending on the size. The worms start climbing up the sides. You scrape these ones off and they can be fed directly to fish.
Microworm cultures are easy. You start by getting some kind of grain in a moist state, I use regular cooked oatmeal. Then you add in whatever you want to use to gutload the microworms, this makes them more nutritious for the fish. I use rice baby cereal. I mix half baby cereal with cooked oatmeal and make a thick paste by adding in water gradually to achieve a nice stiff mix. Place the cereal mix into a container that has a good lid and sprinkle a light dusting of dry yeast over the top. Once you have the cereal and yeast set up, place some starter culture on top and close the lid. I use plastic containers with tight sealing lids and cut a hole in the lid. I cover the hole with a piece of cloth taped in place to form a screen. Fruit flies love the microworm culture and will appear in the culture if you do not seal it well, but the worms must breathe so I give the vent through a piece of cloth. The end result looks like this after about a week.
You harvest the microworms to feed to the fry by wiping the worms off the side of the container. Your starter for the next culture is a teaspoon of microworms right off the surface of your existing culture after it has been set up for 2 to 3 weeks. After a culture is about 4 to 5 weeks old, it starts to smell bad as the culture medium itself starts to decay. Clean it out and start again using the second culture to get the new starter. You always keep two cultures going. The first is a mature productive culture and the other is offset from the first by about 2 weeks. At any given time that second culture may be brand new or very overmature.
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