Fish, Tanks and Ponds


Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

How to Culture Micro Worms

Introduction

Micro worms are very useful for breeders of fish for a number of reasons. Firstly they are extremely easy to culture and the cultures last a relatively long time. Each culture can produce far more micro worms than you are likely to need. The micro worms themselves are one of the very few live foods which are actually smaller than brine shrimps. Finally they are widely accepted as a fry food. And it is practically for free.

Micro worm culture first stage

Photo 1,
This is simplicity itself. All you need is an old margarine tub and some oat based cereal. Add enough hot water to this to make a stiff paste and then let it cool down for a while.

Micro worm culture stage two

Photo 2,
Don't make the paste to wet because it will gradually become more wet as the culture matures.

Seeding the microworm culture

Photo 3,
Once the mix has cooled down you will need an old culture to inoculate the new culture. An old culture contains millions of micro worms and it only needs a few drops from the old culture to get the new one going.

Newly seeded micro worm culture

Photo 4,
Once the the culture has been inoculated it will take two or three days before there are sufficient micro worms to be able to begin feeding them to baby fish. The new Culture should be kept at room temp and kept covered after the inoculation The area circled is where the a few drops from an old culture were placed, this area will gradually expand until all the oats paste is covered with micro worms.

Millions of new micro worms

Photo 5,
The micro worms themselves are to small to be seen individually but they can easily be seen once the culture has matured. The white area to the right of the photo is actually millions of micro worms.

At this stage they can be harvested for feeding to the fish using a small artist paintbrush or feather. Be careful not to add any of the oats to the tank or they will quickly foul the water. I find that making a space to one side of the culture as in is very helpful and makes collecting the worms much easier.

Don't forget that micro worms are living things and need a good supply of air to grow so make some air holes in the lid.
The culture will last for about one week to 10 days before the whole process needs to be repeated

If they are kept fresh like this then they will always be ready for use when needed and there will be no odour.
To feed the micro worms to the fish I use a feather, you can pick up quite a good number this way without picking up the cereal base. Almost all fry and a good number of adult fish really relish micro worms

Be warned

WARNING - If a culture is forgotten about and left for longer than it should have been it will STINK and I really do mean stink. If you detect any odour from the culture it is time to renew it.
 

New cultures are very easy to start and they are ready to use within a day or two. Small fish fry love them and they every bit as good as brine shrimps.