Are blackworms available in the UK ?

oceanblue

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In the paper on the ecology of the Wye they were present not only in the very superficial layers but deep. It seems they are versatile!
 

Mark

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Mine are also in 3ft of water with 1ft of stinky anaerobic sludge. I suspect the sludge is key to their success. Tubifex also inhabit the bin but are outnumbered 100 to 1 by the "black worms".
 

oceanblue

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Mine are also in 3ft of water with 1ft of stinky anaerobic sludge. I suspect the sludge is key to their success. Tubifex also inhabit the bin but are outnumbered 100 to 1 by the "black worms".
Substrate undoubtedly has a lot to do with it. You need one they like and one you can separate them from. Paper is one they like but becomes a mess.

Assessment of Alternative Substrates for Culturing Lumbriculus variegatus
2007, Lasier, P.J.
28th Annual Meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry North America, Midwest Express Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA), 11-15 Nov.
Abstract:
The freshwater oligochaete, Lumbriculus variegatus, is tank-cultured to provide organisms for aquatic-habitat assessments, regeneration research and as a clean source of live food for aquarium fishes. Shredded paper is the typical substrate in cultures used to rear L. variegatus for these purposes. However, the effort needed to separate large numbers from decomposing paper can be prohibitive. Burlap and nylon mesh material were compared to paper as potential alternatives that could reduce this effort. Oligochaete production and the amount of time needed to separate animals from substrate were compared for eight weeks among experimental cultures containing burlap, nylon mesh and paper. Cultures with paper substrate increased in number and weight two to three times faster than those with burlap or nylon mesh substrates. The time needed to separate animals from substrate was initially two to three times longer with paper substrate than with burlap or nylon mesh substrates, but this difference increased to between 10 and 40 times longer after six weeks as the paper substrate decomposed. Feeding rates varied by treatment and were based on average wet weight at the time of water replacement. Elevated ammonia and nitrite concentrations resulting from excess food may have reduced production in nylon mesh treatments and was lethal in paper treatments during the final phases of the study. The type of substrate recommended may depend on the desired production rate of oligochaetes, space available for cultures and the amount of effort available for substrate renewal and separating the animals from the cultures.


I feel a substrate experiment coming on but first catch some worms and think about setups.
 

oceanblue

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Snake in another thread on this forum manages to say the same but much more briefly and succinctly:
Black worms are easy to raise, a little burlap or brown paper sack some old tank water and there you go. Brown cardboard is good but hard to retrieve your worms from. Make sure you do water changes because it stinks.
 

oceanblue

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A quick survey of the lake turned up remarkably little and no blackworms. I've still got a bucket of mud to try filtering which I dug up from the silt at the upstream end, but it is not promising. I'll hunt wider when I've a bit more free time.
 

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Hi all, while researching possible worm inhabitants for a micro terrarium I am building I came across this man in Iowa, USA. here is a link to his studies Culturing Lumbriculus

Hope this gives some more insight to your efforts.
 
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