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How to culture micro-worms?

Lionel Tan - One secret to share guys. If anyone here wanna make your microworm cultures bloom faster, just add half a teaspoon of icing sugar to the mixture of yeast and oatmeal, they'll bloom in just a few days time. ( A secret discovered a long long time ago......) - Jan 18, 2001
beta5 - I've had the same microworm culture going for three months now. Every 2-3 weeks I add about a tablespoon of cornmeal but other than that it keeps steadily producing. Once in awhile it starts to get a bit brown or moldy. I just do the same thing I did to start it. Add some more cornmeal and moisten it with water containing grapefruit seed extract. It is a natural bacterial and fungal inhibitor. I have the culture growing in a beanie baby case that if filled would hold about a half gallon of water. Anyway, I just add cornmeal occasionally and a pinch of yeast and a bit of gse if it starts to get a little nasty and so far I have not started another culture is 3-4 months. I really should have a back up but this one just keeps going. I do not like the oatmeal method because I find it smells gross and breaks down quickly. I just use fine yellow cornmeal. My two cents:) - Dec 24, 2000
thewormfarmer - Culturing is very easy i just put them in a plastic shoe box punch alot of holes in the lids place your culture on the bottom wet a piece of bread and sprinkle yeast on top. place a new piece of bread down when that one gets mushy that by far is the easiest way to culture for other cutlure instructions - Jun 3, 2001
- The temperature should be from 65 degrees to 90 degrees f. The ideal temperature is around 75 degrees f. Any plastic container can be used to culture the microworms. The container should be covered to keep moisture in, but small holes should be punched in the top for air exchange. Also, flies may try to invade the culture this helps to protect it. You can use many different cereal based media for microworm cultures, including cooked breakfast cereals, oatmeal, moistened plain (not self rising) yellow corn meal, wheat germ, and instant cereal products (i.e. gerber baby oatmeal cereal). To prepare a high yeild formula, place oatmeal or baby cereal in a container to a depth of about 1/2 inch. Mix active dry yeast (one to two teaspoons) in slightly warm water until the solution is quite milky. This water-yeast solution should then be added to the cereal and mixed to a thick paste. Active yeast is very important in order to maintain a high yield of worms. Add the starter culture (a spoon full of the other culture). Stir well. Stir it every two days. Add a small amount of water to the culture if the surface of the medium is starting to dry out. In four to seven days (usually over night for the high yield) the worms will have covered the surface of the medium and will start climbing up the sides and onto the top of the container. At this stage they are easily collected with a razor blade, a brush, or even your clean finger. You have to sub-culture regularly (every two weeks) or once you notice that the top of the medium has changed colors from the bottom. If you fail to do so, you will end up with a foul smelling mess and a dead culture. I suggest that you sub culture your large culture within 5 days. - Nov 16, 2000
Donna - Well, to add to the confusion, I prefer rice to cornmeal (I've tried many things, including Metamucil, ha!). I started with just plain old boiled white rice, using extra water and cooking it to almost a mush. Since then I've used the baby rice cereal to mix with it, and this seems to have the mildest smell so far of any mediums I've used. Also, I've had good luck with white bread (I cut off the crusts and poured a little milk over the slice of bread in the bottom of a Ziploc "tall square" container) as well as instant mashed potatoes. I've heard of using plain yogurt but haven't tried that (I'd rather eat the yogurt myself). Don't try the Metamucil ... although the microworms multiplied, the stuff would stiffen into a gel day after day no matter how much liquid I kept adding. :) - Dec 26, 2000
bettasvancouver - Tried everything I am back to brown bread. Wet it well, sprinkle with yeast add your worms 4 days you have millions. 2 weeks start a new one. - Dec 26, 2000
- See link - Jan 16, 2001 link
- Microworms are tiny little worms that are excellent food for fry after 3 days old. It is preferred because they live in the fresh water aquarium for hours after feeding. They wiggle and squirm on the bottom to draw the fry's attention. Also they do not cause the swim bladder problem as do baby brine shrimp. BBS can also outswim very young fry causing a feeding problem. Micro's are easily kept and cultured, plus they are simple to feed. - Nov 16, 2000
Donna - I always keep a backup container of microworms in the refrigerator. The worms go into stasis and don't reproduce, but don't die, either. Every few months I rotate it with an active container. When the "cold" culture returns to room temperature, I just add a bit of fresh medium and a pinch of yeast and it's soon producing again. - Dec 23, 2000
Jennifer Ricketts - I suggest to use simple cornmeal. Our "betta cave" is quite cold (66*F on a good day!) and the micros weem to do quite well.. I use a 4-5 inch round and high plastic container, I make sure it is washed out well and has a lid which I poke several small holes into. Then I put about a half inch of yellow cornmeal in the bottom. In a seperate container I mix about (I just kinda mentally measure it usually) and 1/8 tsp and a 1/4 cup of warm water together. Once the yeast has completely disolved I'll add a little bit at a time to the cornmeal until it is a thick soupy mixture. When it is good and mushy (hehehe) I add the microworms to it, it take's a few days before they start climbing the walls and about a week before you have a nice, large culture growing. I always have at least 2 cultures going at the same time in the case that one does crash. Depending on how the cultures are doing I usually start a new one every one to two weeks. To harvest the micros (and when you need to add some to a new culture) just swipe you finger along the side they are climbing the highest. Try not to get more then the fry can eat and try not to get any cornmeal as this will just foul the water. Don't worry.. It took me, what seemed like, forever before I became good at culturing microworms. Don't give up yet! :-) I find that is I feed microworms to the babies in their first two weeks I have a larger spawn of fry. - Dec 25, 2000

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