DIY Bloodworm Farm - Get your live bloodworms here!

Discussion in 'D.I.Y.' started by TankMaster, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. TankMaster
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    TankMaster Noob

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    So I've been holding this formula to myself for some time. After speaking to a few people about bloodworms, most are too afraid to actually feed them to fish because they may carry diseases and come from water which might contain various pathogens. This fear can be overcome if you breed your own. This way, you know what water it's in and what it's been eating.

    Before you even attempt this DIY/TIP, you will need to know about bloodworms and what they are.

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    Bloodworms (BW) are not really worms at all. They the water-dwelling larvae of the Midge Fly. Midge flies lay eggs, similar to mosquitos, which later hatch out into BW. I'm not going to get into detail about the life cycle of midge flies etc. Information about Midge flies is readily available on the internet.

    So, lets get to it then!

    STEP 1: LOCATE AN ENCLOSURE

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    What you're basically looking for here is any container with a large surface area. This has to be at least 60cm across the longest side. I found that tote bins work best and are inexpensive. Grab a few of these if you plan on getting a good yield (+/- 500 worms a week) or else ONE is fine(usual yield ~100 worms a week)


    STEP 2: WATER, ADDITIVES & IDEAL LOCATION
    Water is an important factor in this whole formula. If you use old tank water, there is a risk of spreading disease to your BW. Fill the container with TAP water and treat it with anti-chlorine. Below are some of the things you will need to add to your water. What we are aiming to achieve here is a tub full of algae + greenwater with the mentioned additives

    * Water temperature - 26-33 degrees.
    * pH buffer to pH 7 - I like to keep things neutral. Sodium Phosphate will work well to help start an algae bloom. (Algae is BW food)
    * Add trace elements (Fe) - Helps increase water nutrients which enrich the BW through the water column. The main element we want here is iron which promotes hemoglobin synthesis and gives the BW a higher protein content than usual. (Thanks @Altum for bio lesson)
    * Add 1/2 to 1 cup of soil substrate to 60L of water. You can use potting soil or a dirt substrate like Tetra Complete. What we want her is just a bit substrate for the BW to burrow in. This makes harvesting easier. You want to prevent algae growing on the bottom of the tub. Once the BW burrow into algae, they begin pupating. This is what you want to avoid! The faster they pupate the lower your yield!
    *Add 1/2 cup pre-soaked spirulina flake. - This is a vital enriching supplement since they will rarely eat algae off the sides of the container. The BW will burrow into the flake and eat it as well. This further increases the nutritional value of each BW.
    *Add floating plants - Perch for female Midge flies to lay eggs and gives the BW some shade (they hate light).

    STEP 3: DISEASE RISK AND HARVESTING

    So you might be wondering, if your tub is disease-free, wont the female Midge Flies bring disease to the water? - Well, the truth is, once the BW becomes a Midge Fly, they lose any biting mouth parts. All nutrients are taken in while they are still in the larval stage. So in actual fact, they cannot contract any disease through their digestive system. This is only in the larval stage - while they are still able to eat. Since WE KNOW the quality of the water and WE KNOW the food it's eating, the risk of your BW carrying a disease is slim. Although the risk is not eliminated totally, it is very unlikely that your fish will die after eating your enriched BW.

    Harvesting BW is pretty simple. Just put your net in and swirl the net in a figure-8, making sure to drag your net on the bottom of the container. Use a tweezer and place the harvested BW in cup of TAP water. You want to let them sit in there for at least 30min. This will kill off any microscopic pathogens that may have hitch hiked on the bodies of the BW. Once that's done... Your enriched BW is safe to feed to your most prized fish!

    TM
     
  2. Razer2007
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    Razer2007 Valued Contributor

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    +++++ Thank you very much! Awesome. I accidentally managed to breed them in a similar manner but that's a different story.

    How often you have to feed flakes?

    So you don't put the lid on?
     
  3. TankMaster
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