Microworms are an easy to culture and maintain live food for your small/micro fish and especially for small fry. Size wise they fall somewhere between vinegar eels and baby brine shrimp (BBS) so is a good transition food prior to BBS. Microworms sink fairly fast so be aware of this, but they should survive under water for up to 24 hours approximately.
Microworms can be cultured in a various mediums such as oats, bread, potato peelings, etc. At AquaPixel we prefer using white bread (but any bread type works fine) with the crusts cut off. The reason for this method is because there is a much less foul smell as the culture matures, and even less of a foul smell when the culture crashes. It gives of a sour smell when it goes bad but otherwise smells yeasty similar to bread dough. Bread crusts should not be used because they are usually coated in oil or similar to give the golden colour which causes a bit of a messy culture with oil on top.
What is needed?
- Some form of a container, taller containers work best. We use round take away containers, poke with some holes in the lid or use a fine mesh to cover culture to prevent insects/bugs getting in.
- Bakers yeast
- Bread with crusts cut off
- Starter culture of microworms
- Something to mix the media up with (clean spoon works fine)
How to Culture
- Cut (or tear) 1-2 slices of bread into small chunks, to help it break down faster, and place into container
- Place 1 teaspoon of bakers yeast into the container
- Pour approximately 30ml of milk into the container
- Mix/Mash the ingredients into a thick paste, you may need to add more milk as necessary.
- Flatten the media slightly. We find this results in a cleaner culture when harvesting worms later
- Add starter culture of micro worms (or worms from established culture) to the media
- Allow your culture to mature for up to a week. But worms will begin to be visible and climbing the walls of the container within about 48 hours.
Collecting micro worms is very simple as they will naturally climb the walls of the container (and even on to the lid itself!). To collect the worms you can simply use your finger, a pipette or anything similar and swipe the object (or your finger) over the side of the culture collecting the worms. Be sure to avoid collecting the media at the base of the conatiner (the bread/yeast/milk media) as this will quickly foul in a tank. It is best to shake the worms of the object into a small container of water and use a pipette to distribute the microworms into tanks without over feeding, the worms are very small and easily over fed.
Approximate Nutritional Values
Orgainic Acids: 1%
Nucleic Acids: 1%