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Blackworm reproduction by fragmentation?

This is a discussion on Blackworm reproduction by fragmentation? within the Tubifex, Blackworms, other aquatic worms forums, part of the Food: Live, Frozen, Freeze-Dried, Pellets, etc category; I recently purchased a little over a pound of black worms to start keeping a larger quantity on hand for ...

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Old 29th December 2015   #1 (permalink)
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Default Blackworm reproduction by fragmentation?

I recently purchased a little over a pound of black worms to start keeping a larger quantity on hand for rearing larvae. After getting over the initial hump of die off and fouling as I tried a few different setups, I now have a good quantity doing well in an aerated bucket with no sign of dead worms on any given day. I seem to have found a feeding and water change schedule that is working well.

Since they hit their stride, I've noticed a huge quantity of worm fragments in the bucket, which appear healthy and I presume are the normal means of reproduction. Does anyone else have input on what an actively reproducing blackworm culture looks like? I just want to confirm that this is normal and not an indication of stress or some other variable out of whack. I've kept smaller quantities of black worms before in different setups but never noticed this rate of fragmentation. I've never quite matched this combination of water quality/temp/feeding/oxygenation before.

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Old 30th December 2015   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Blackworm reproduction by fragmentation?

Yes. They also breed through eggs like regular worms but seem to do fragmentation more in unnatural environments.

Blackworms are Easy - The Reef Tank

I found that forum thread extremely helpful last year when I had blackworms. They went well for months until my babies all grew up and I got slack about water changes.



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Old 30th December 2015   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Blackworm reproduction by fragmentation?

Blackworms reproduce either sexually or asexually but in captivity they almost always reproduce asexually - by breaking off a section of their own.

I heard sexual reproduction is very difficult and impractical in a captive setup, and there seems to be no huge benefit or disadvantage for either methods as live feeders.



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Old 31st December 2015   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Blackworm reproduction by fragmentation?

The blackworms come in different at different times. My last batch also had lots of live fragments or small ones. The water seems to foul a little faster with this batch too. I mostly just rinse and use them. I've had mixed results trying to feed something to the worms.



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Old 31st December 2015   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Blackworm reproduction by fragmentation?

I've had good luck feeding them Hikari algae wafers for many years, but never really quantified how their population changed as a result. The fragments were not in the worms when I received them, but like you say it may be a seasonal result not directly attributable to this maintenance regime.



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