BLACKWORMS: How to store and collect blackworms for feeding bettas.

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Weird worm photo!

I've observed that after sitting the the frig for a couple of days, my blackworms usually form themselves into a "X." In this case it looks like a running man with no head.

Here's what I've observed so far about blackworms: (I'm talking about blackworms, not brownworms, bloodworms or tubifex worms, which have been accused of causing problems in bettas.) (Please note, updates are on the bottom of this page.)

1. My bettas have never had worms before and weren't sure what to do with them. After a few testing nips, they quickly got the idea that they were food and started gobbling them down. All of the fish, even a betta with the deformed mouth who is very picky about what he eats, ate them with gusto.

2. There are a few small rocks in the bottom of the display jars and once the worms fell to the bottom, they were able to hide from the fish in them.

3. When I cleaned the jars five days later, I discovered several uneaten worms that were still healthy and active. This indicates that they can live for long periods of time in a tank.

4. The main problem with keeping blackworms is that it's difficult to rinse and strain them every day to keep them clean. They clog wire mesh screens and slip through anything much larger. I intend to purchase a plastic kit called a "worm keeper." It's a shallow container with a build-in, lift-out tray with a mesh bottom. Hopefully, it will make cleaning easier.


NEW!!! I purchased a plastic worm keeper from Aquatic Foods and have been delighted at how easy it makes taking care of blackworms.

It consists of two trays that are six inches on a side. The one on the left has a screen in the bottom that's fine enough to prevent the worms from wriggling through. It fits inside the one on the right which is filled with enough water to cover the worms. All you have to do is change the water every other day and the worms seem to keep indefinitely. I've been feeding the same batch to my worms for six weeks and the worms are showing no sign of disease, stress, or shriveling up from hunger. This simple device came with 1/4 pound of worms for $20.00. I consider it a bargain.


NEW!!! Easier collection tool! One of the problems with black worms is that they are so slippery and wriggly that it's almost impossible to keep them on a fork or whatever is used to collect them. Invariably, they fall off just before you get them over the tank, with the result that they land on the tank's side, it's shelf, or worse, the carpet. After trying several tools, I found the best was a cotton swab. The fibers prevent the worms from sliding off as they do with a smooth surface like a fork.


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