Cycling With Raw Tubifex Worms

drake7

Member
So I decided to cycle with raw tubifex worms (that's what it's called on the box) instead of fish food as fish food only released .50ppm ammonia for the past week which I figured wasn't enough to get the cycling properly running right? I tested a day after I placed the tubifex worms in a ziplock bag in my tank and it came up to 2.0ppm ammonia.

How long do I leave the raw tubifex worms in my tank?
When can I expect to see nitrites then nitrates?
 

S05468

Member
I can not answer your question about the tubifex worms, sorry.

Maybe use this instead?
 

Thunder_o_b

Member
drake7 said:
So I decided to cycle with raw tubifex worms (that's what it's called on the box) instead of fish food as fish food only released .50ppm ammonia for the past week which I figured wasn't enough to get the cycling properly running right? I tested a day after I placed the tubifex worms in a ziplock bag in my tank and it came up to 2.0ppm ammonia.

How long do I leave the raw tubifex worms in my tank?
When can I expect to see nitrites then nitrates?

Why not just use clear ammonia, and starter bacteria to cycle the tank?
 
  • Thread Starter

drake7

Member
Does drsfostersmith do international deliveries to countries in South-east Asia? I can't seem to find their international deliveries section.

I can't seem to find any clear ammonia in my area. I read a thread about doing fishless cycle and thought instead of using raw shrimp, I could use raw tubifex worms instead?
 

Teleil

Member
drake7 said:
Does drsfostersmith do international deliveries to countries in South-east Asia? I can't seem to find their international deliveries section.

I can't seem to find any clear ammonia in my area. I read a thread about doing fishless cycle and thought instead of using raw shrimp, I could use raw tubifex worms instead?

You can do that without problem it will take some time (4-6 weeks) and you need to be testing ammonia every day or every other day, and supplement back to 2ppm for the bacteria to be able to feed and grow.
While using bottled bacteria and pure ammonia its little easier and go faster.

Best wishes Martin
 

Thunder_o_b

Member
drake7 said:
I can't seem to find any clear ammonia in my area. I read a thread about doing fishless cycle and thought instead of using raw shrimp, I could use raw tubifex worms instead?
I wish I could be of more help to you. I have only done fish-less cycling with clear ammonia.
Best wishes.
 

Berylla

Member
Tubifex worms are grown in animal waste and are notorious for the aquatic diseases they carry. Stay away!!!!
 

Teleil

Member
Berylla said:
Tubifex worms are grown in animal waste and are notorious for the aquatic diseases they carry. Stay away!!!!
You rock Berylla
 

Berylla

Member
  • Thread Starter

drake7

Member
Berylla said:
Tubifex worms are grown in animal waste and are notorious for the aquatic diseases they carry. Stay away!!!!
So does that mean I CAN'T use tubifex worms?
 

Berylla

Member
drake7 said:
So does that mean I CAN'T use tubifex worms?
No, you cannot! They are dirty and carry lots of bad bacteria. Ammonia is good way to cycle a tank. If you are lazy like me, fill a medium size ceramic pot with gardening soil, plant a water plant, like an amazon sword, cap it with sand so the soil doesn't blow away in your tank. Get a good plant light. Start running your new filters and wait a month. You're tank will be cycled and all you had to do was change water once a week.
 

Drakkenfyre

Member
drake7 said:
So does that mean I CAN'T use tubifex worms?
Can't? No. But it might introduce some disease into the tank that would affect the fish.
 

thefishnoob

Member
Couldn't you use any old source of protein?
 

Berylla

Member
thefishnoob said:
Couldn't you use any old source of protein?
I've known of some who put a piece of raw shrimp in the tank and let it fester. It just seems…yucky.
 

Drakkenfyre

Member
Berylla said:
I've known of some who put a piece of raw shrimp in the tank and let it fester. It just seems…yucky.
Question, what do you think the raw Tubifex worms would do?

Or do you mean live worms?
 
  • Thread Starter

drake7

Member
Okay The tubifex worms have already been in the tank for 3 days now. Is it still safe to use something else to continue the cycling process or do I have to dump all the water and start cycling my tank all over again?
 

Berylla

Member
drake7 said:
Okay The tubifex worms have already been in the tank for 3 days now. Is it still safe to use something else to continue the cycling process or do I have to dump all the water and start cycling my tank all over again?
I see. You've already started down the path. If they are raw and dead tubifex worms, I would break down the tank and start again, using lots of bleach at 5:1 ratio. Soak your filters in this strong bleach solution for 10 minutes, then rinse, and then use 3x prime decholor until there is no chlorine smell.

Or you could let them rot in your tank to complete your cycle and then buy a sensitive starter fish and see if he survives. This may be the way to go, since if this fish dies, you will need to break down the tank anyways.
 
  • Thread Starter

drake7

Member
Berylla said:
I see. You've already started down the path. If they are raw and dead tubifex worms, I would break down the tank and start again, using lots of bleach at 5:1 ratio. Soak your filters in this strong bleach solution for 10 minutes, then rinse, and then use 3x prime decholor until there is no chlorine smell.

Or you could let them rot in your tank to complete your cycle and then buy a sensitive starter fish and see if he survives. This may be the way to go, since if this fish dies, you will need to break down the tank anyways.
Okay. Thanks! I'll break down the tank by today. What kind of bleach can I use though? Any examples or suggestions? It has to be aquarium safe right?
 

Berylla

Member
drake7 said:
Okay. Thanks! I'll break down the tank by today. What kind of bleach can I use though? Any examples or suggestions? It has to be aquarium safe right?
Drake, I think you should proceed without breaking down the tank (my 2nd suggestion). Your worms may not have the diseases they we all fear. Continue with the cycle and then once it's complete, buy a inexpensive, sensitive fish like a tetra. If he survives with no issues, then you are home free. If he comes down with disease, then you can decide to break down the tank.

Bleaching Instructions

Bleach is bleach, probably everywhere in the world. I mix 1 part bleach to 5 parts water to make a really strong solution, put in a spray bottle, then spray down a drained tank. Wait 10 minutes, then rinse well with water. I keep a pump attached to a garden hose or some vinyl tubing to drain the water while I rinse the tank with another garden hose.

Then let the tank dry.

Filters - throw out all media and start with new ones.

Spray filter with a solution of 1:5 bleach for 10 minutes. Rinse by immersing the filter in a bucket and let the water run. The let it dry.

Keep us posted with how your cycling is proceeding.
 
  • Thread Starter

drake7

Member
Berylla said:
Drake, I think you should proceed without breaking down the tank (my 2nd suggestion). Your worms may not have the diseases they we all fear. Continue with the cycle and then once it's complete, buy a inexpensive, sensitive fish like a tetra. If he survives with no issues, then you are home free. If he comes down with disease, then you can decide to break down the tank.
But to deal with the frustration of finishing the cycle then to find out I have to break down the tank and do it again? I don't know And I'm a bit skeptical on risking the life of a fish, the reason why I decided to do fishless cycle instead.

Thank you so much though! Your info and advice has really helped. I'll definitely keep everyone posted.
 

Berylla

Member
Best of luck to whatever choice you make. We look forward to seeing your final tank full of healthy fish!!
 

gilpi

Member
There's another way you can cycle your tank, buy one or two fish that you like, put them in the tank and do frequent water changes, eventually your filter will cycle.
 
  • Thread Starter

drake7

Member
gilpi said:
There's another way you can cycle your tank, buy one or two fish that you like, put them in the tank and do frequent water changes, eventually your filter will cycle.
How does that start the cycle? Hmm.. Their waste will produce ammonia?
 

gilpi

Member
drake7 said:
How does that start the cycle? Hmm.. Their waste will produce ammonia?
Yes, I should have explained. The fish will start the cycle by producing the ammonia but you'll need frequent water changes to keep ammonia low enough for the fish to survive.
 
  • Thread Starter

drake7

Member
gilpi said:
Yes, I should have explained. The fish will start the cycle by producing the ammonia but you'll need frequent water changes to keep ammonia low enough for the fish to survive.
Sounds like I'd be risking the fish. I don't want them dying on me

What types of fish would you recommend?
 

gilpi

Member
I can't tell what fish to get. If you're afraid of something happening to the fish, then maybe you should go fishless.

Cycling with fish you will be more committed to water changes. I've done it with no problems and many experienced fishkeepers have done it with the most sensitive fish but they change water so often on a regular basis that the filter becomes secondary, since water quality (water changes) were priority to them.

I have a tank that I'm using to grow angels without a filter (I don't recommend it) but I focus on water quality by doing daily or every other day 50% - 75% water change. The fish are growing at a nice rate and water quality is always good.

Point is, with a fish in cycle you'll have to find a balance that will give you a low ammonia and nitrite readings for the health of the fish.

Ultimately you should pick a method you will be comfortable with. Good luck!
 

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