Can you breed your own live food? Blood worm etc? if so how?

Discussion in 'Fish Food' started by JakesAquarium, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. JakesAquariumNew MemberMember

    I am looking to breed live food, can i? if so how
  2. maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    You can purchase starter cultures of microworms, vinegar eels and so on from fish clubs and eBay. Some people raise black worms. It's certainly doable. I hatch brine shrimp a couple of times a week to feed live. I also grow microworms, restarting my cultures every ten days or so. In small quantities, they don't smell. You use cooked oatmeal as a media and feed them yeast. I put a coffee filter cut to fit the pyrex dish they're in on top, and dunk that into the tank to feed. The fish seem to like the bits of oatmeal. (Poke holes in the dish's lid to allow air in and keep other organisms out.)

    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
  3. JakesAquariumNew MemberMember

    Cheers, I will start to research more now i know its doable!

  4. maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    You're very welcome. The internet is a wealth of information, but if you want a one stop guide to peruse options you may want to look into a book like 'Culturing Live Foods' by Michael R. Hellweg. It's pretty comprehensive and has a wealth of ideas, although quantity-wise, it's breeders he's farming for rather than enthusiasts with a few fish.

  5. JakesAquariumNew MemberMember

    Thanks, any other books that are any good?
  6. maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    I don't have any other reference books. Maybe somebody else has other suggestions.
  7. gypsy32Valued MemberMember

    maggie thecat i don't want to hijack this thread but i have a question about microworms,

    I have had a culture going for a few months now, i created 2 more containers of them recently but even though i can see millions of worms shimmering in the surface of all 4 cultures they aren't crawling up the sides like they used to, i feed them yeast once a week, a few hrs after this i might get a finger full of worms to feed my fish but no more,
    Do you know what might be wrong?

    Sent from my SM-T113 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  8. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

  9. maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    I'm no expert, but it might be the age of the microworms in your culture. It's relatively young microworms that crawl up the sides. If your cultures are several weeks old, they might be less vigorous, even if they're prolific.

    I'd suggest starting fresh jars of microworms every ten days or two weeks, and see if that makes a difference.

    Hang on, it's your NEW cultures that aren't climbing? Hmm. You might try coaxing them onto a damp coffee filter - cut a piece to fit, rinse in conditioned water, lay on top of culture for a couple of hours/overnight and use the filter paper to feed the worms.
  10. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Has to do with temps!
  11. maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    How so? Microworms are generally kept at room temperature ie 68- 77 ish . They will climb towards light, or so I've read. Maybe it's culture dependent, but my microworms have never been great climbers. Which is okay. There's plenty of them to feed, and that's my primary interest.
  12. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    The man who sold the microworms to me adviced for harvesting to place them on the aquariumlid. Cause of the heat they'll leave the substrate. When too hot they'll dissappear again. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1438541297.127834.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  13. gypsy32Valued MemberMember

    I have mine on top of the glass lid of my aquarium, only for convenience though, i will try starting another culture using the old one & see how it goes, i will try the filter paper thing, i was wondering how to get the worms of the surface without picking up all the oats, as i can see millions of them wiggling in there they just wont crawl up the sides,

    What do you use in the bottom of your containers?

    Sent from my SM-T113 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  14. maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    Plain rolled oatmeal, cooked to package directions, minus the salt. I put roughly an inch's worth in a one cup pyrex baking cup and then add a couple of tablespoons of water to make it very, very moist. Then I put a sprinkle of bread yeast and a heaping teaspoon of old culture on top.

    I then take a 4 cup coffee filter and fold it into quarters, round the edges and then cut it so I have four pieces. I dampen them with water (I'm on a well, no chlorine, everyone else should use conditioned water) then put two pieces on each cup. (I restart two cultures every two weeks or so and retain one of the old two until the new ones have a few days to get rolling.)

    Then I pop the tops on (that I've punctured a dozen or so times with a knitting needle) and leave them on the counter with my other non perishable fish food.

    That's it. When I feed I peel off one of the filters, and dunk. If they stick together, just peel them apart. The fish get plenty of microworms, and my fingers stay mostly clean.
  15. gypsy32Valued MemberMember

    I use oatmeal as well, i will move mine off the tank & se how that goes
    How often do you feed them the yeast? i was feeding mine daily until recently just to get them to climb up the side, but now i know about the coffee filter trick & i don't have to stick my finger in there to collect the worms

    Thanks so much for the info, i have little bumblebee gobies that love the microworms

    Sent from my SM-T113 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  16. maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    I just feed the yeast when I start a new culture. I might feed a second time to boost the old culture a boost, just because the spoon is in my hand and there is more yeast than I need. (I am terribly imprecise that way. But the instructions that came with my culture said all they need is a tiny pinch to get things going. Too much would just overferment the starch in the oatmeal, so there's that to keep in mind.
  17. WendigoblueWell Known MemberMember

    Blood worms are the larvae of a species of flying insect (can't remember what type). They do culture them in closets as I've read. I would love to culture my own blood worms, but because they can fly in their later days I'm not allowed to... I do culture vinegar eels and micro worms though! The vinegar eels I forgot about for like a month and came to check on them and the colony exploded in size! Of course after that amount of time I would expect to see a very large colony. The micro worms I have to feed to my fish every other day to keep them down in size. I also culture seed shrimp (they popped up in one of my plant jars). I just started to colonize them in my different planted jars, feeding them flakes after they eat all the algae and the debris. Good luck!

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