A BIT OF A BAD DAY

E

edward

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I had to ask as this is what you get if buy bloodworms (Glycera dibranchiata) at a bait store here in the USA (see http://www.seaworms.com/facts.html
and http://www.lander.edu/rsfox/310glyceraLab.html )
I didn't see any good pictures on a quick search.

One of the possible problems is that chiromonad larva can contain significant levels of heavy metals depending on where they were collected. This does not usually contribut to a quick death but is a possibility.

What kind of symptoms occured in the animals after they were fed and how quickly did they commence after feeding?

Ed
 

mike

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I know that bloodworms are fed the most unsavoury waste products after collection, let alone what they may have dined on beforehand, which could have possibly harboured, or produced a bacterium/toxin which killed my animals.
Unfortunately I can't answer your question Ed. I thoroughly rinsed the bloodworm, fed the newts, and left the room soon afterwards. They fed avidly, and were behaving perfectly normally for half an hour before lights out. They were all dead next morning.
 
E

edward

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Hi Mike,
Given the rapidity of death, I would be more inclined to suspect pesticide or herbicide contamination that a bacterial/viral infection as these would require a longer incubation period.

Sorry for the loss.

Ed
 
J

joseph

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Wow. So sorry to hear about your losses. Maybe in the future it would be a good idea to keep a few test dummies(fish?) around to test new bloodworms.

I remember MikeG mentioning how an insectory cultured bloodworms, but we didn't quite delve too deeply into the subject. I remember it involved 20 gallon long tanks with screens to keep the midges in. I wonder whether or not this would be worth the while or if there would be any way to adapt it to smaller tanks...unless I can somehow find a large tub to fit with a screen.
 
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juraj

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Incredible heartbreaking catastrophic !
According to the fatal range of damages it would be very very useful to detect the causality . Have you fixed any samples for bacterial and toxicity analysis ?
 
J

jeffrey

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Hi Mike

Have you received my email reply to yours?
Wondering if it went astray.

Jeff
 

mike

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Alan...I do culture daphnia, whiteworm, fruitflies, crickets, and soon firebrats (Thermobia domesticus).
But when feeding/rearing large numbers of animals, it's all too tempting to supplement with shop bought food.
John told me of an incident where a new heater was installed in a tank, complete with rubber suction cups and whatever residue there was on it killed the occupants overnight.

Ed....I'm inclined to agree with you.

Joseph....I like your suggestion, I now have two Dwarf Loaches (Botia sidthimunki dummicus).
 

mike

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Juraj....I wasn't thinking very rationally, the bloodworm packaging was taken by the dustmen that same morning, along with the dead newts.
 
A

alan

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The tester suggestion is good (a bit like a Roman Emperor's food taster!), but how practical is it? How long are you going to wait before deciding the food is safe? Will fish have the same susceptibility profile as amphibians?

Like Ed, from the speed of this incident, I strongly suspect chemical poisoning such as pesticides. I very much doubt that most laboratories would be able to detect the likely cause in this case.
 

mike

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As bloodworm keep well in the fridge, I intend to feed the Botia for 3 days in succession, followed by 3 days abstinence, (as preached by the Prophet Mikeeasticus).

As to susceptibility profiles, I have no idea, but it will make me feel better anyway.
wink.gif
 

pollywog

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Firebrats? Arn't they like Silverfish? Thats an interesting choice, I have fed Silverfish a couple of times are they simple to culture?
 

mike

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Yes Andrew,
http://www.uaf.edu/museum/ento/Insect_Omnibus/Thermobia/domestica.html

This is the culture method described to me:
"Temperature preference for these is above 30 ° C. I keep mine on top of the
furnace-burner downcellar in transparent containers. There has to be a lid
with some holes and the sides should be very smooth so the animals cannot
climb them. Put a glass of water in it, covered with a piece of pantyhose
secured with rubber bands, just like for Drosophilas. The direct contact
with water is very negative for the animals. However, they will drink from
the moisture rising from the glass. Make sure that no water condenses on
the sides or the lid (drill some more holes into the lid if it does). The
rest of the container is filled with cardboard tubes, egg carton and cotton
balls. The animals will deposit their eggs in the cotton balls and take
cover between the egg cartons and cardboard. During times that you dont feed
them they will also thrive just on these materials. I usually feed
fishflakes, pellets for ornamental fish, trout pellets or even milk powder
on a flat cardboard surface. I harvest by removing pieces of "furniture" and
shaking them vigorously over a bucket. They are not supposed to survive at
low temperatures, however make sure none of the animals escape and massacre
your books".
 
A

alan

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I've had dire warnings about firebrats in terms of the damage they can do to your house - don't culture them indoors!
They are *not* like our nice innocuous British silverfish, which i have tried to get going a couple of times, but failed.
 

mike

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Point taken Alan.
I have no intention of culturing them in the house.
 

justin

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sorry to here about your loss mike i will help to if you need it im very worried as i no that alot of the bloodworm from the Netherlands are all over the uk be careful everyone i have just feed my newts bloodworm but all ok do you wash them when you get them cheers justin
 

justin

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also have the fishing shop put anything on them or kept them near something toxic cheers justin
 

mike

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Hi Justin,
I do rinse the bloodworm thoroughly, but this is obviously not enough to stop contaminants affecting the newts. The packaging was clean and untouched when sold to me, straight out of the shop fridge.
 
R

ralf

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Mike,
I am still working on the consistency of this. Different water contents also need different amounts of gelatiniser so every batch comes out differently. Freezing might further alter the consistency. One might have to experiment a bit with the available materials.

However, this stuff doesn't move so you have to feed it with tweezers which is quite time consuming (if it does move, throw it away quickly
biggrin.gif
).
Some animals like Pleurodeles waltl and Tylototriton verrucosus will pick it up from the ground after getting used to the smell of it.
One might feed a mixture of live earthworms and strips of the "newt sausage" to trick the newts into accepting this dead matter. Hasn't worked too well for my Cynops though.

There still is the danger of contamination.

The fat content might vary quite a bit, depending on the ingredients and especially the fish (species, part, size).

Some traditionalistic Newt purists tend to be offended by this type of "artficial feed" and it has been pointed out to me that this is rather carrion and not a balanced newt food.
 
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