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Blackworm care

michael

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What is the best way to take care of blackworms. I don't use them often but plan to. I normally keep them in a tall delicup in the refrigerator. I rinse daily. I keep lots of water in the cup. Is their a better way? Do they need much water?
 
E

edward

Guest
Hi Mike,
At work we use the blackworm keepers that Calif. Blackworms sells.
If I split it between 2 or 3 keepers I can keep a 1/4 lb of worms for a month or more and I usually only rinse them every other day.
This has worked very well for me.

Ed
 
D

david

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Hi Mike,
You don't want deep water, they like to be able to stick they're heads above water. I go through a pound and a half every couple of weeks. The blackworm keepers work well, but they would fill up my fridge, so I use a 14 inch long by 7 inch wide, by 4 inch deep plastic tray with just a little more water then enough to cover them and rinse them every other day. They're great food for larvae in particular. I use chopped blackworms to ween my larvae off of daphnia.
 

michael

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How do I get the juvenile triturus to eat them? In shallow water or on land? Crickets are a pain.
 
J

jennifer

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Some triturus juveniles will happily go into a shallow dish to eat blackworms. Some of the smaller more "hydrophobic" triturus might not (I'm not sure). Another food to consider is fly maggots, or maybe a dish of chopped earthworms.

You might do better with a shallow container instead of the deli cup. I wrote this up for an article I'm working on:

Here are the things I've learned about blackworms over the years:

1. Keep cold (fridge). (I have left them out overnight, though, and they were OK.)
2. Don't drown them (water should just barely cover them AND they should not be too deep in the container).
3. Rinse daily with cold (fridged) dechlor water.
4. Once some of them start to die, it's an exponential process (hopeless).
5. Find out what day of the week they arrive fresh to the petstore, and only buy fresh ones. Pet stores do not rinse/store them properly. They will often try to sell you their older ones, unless you specifically request the freshest ones. Also, in hot weather, their fresh ones may arrive in poor condition sometimes.

I keep them alive and healthy in the fridge for a month, maybe longer. They have no smell. I was able to do the same with the ones I used to buy at a pet shop, but only if I got good fresh ones. Hope this helps!
 
J

jennifer

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One other suggestion: put some small pebbles in the water dish, and the blackworms won't crawl out as quickly. If they do crawl out, watch out for fouling of the substrate as they die.
 

joe

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Let me add a few other postscripts to Jen's comments (all of which I completely agree with--they absolutely match my experience keeping blackworms).

1. I throw in an old oak leave and a piece of unbleached paper towel. I've heard it helps nourish them--don't know if that's true but it certainly hasn't seemed to have hurt my colonies.

2. The very first blackworm colony I had I used cold tap water (ie: it wasn't dechlorinated!). And they still did fine. Now I use declorinated (b/c it makes life easier getting them to the larvae and morphs for feeding).

3. I've had very small amounts of blackworms actually last for several weeks in water outside the fridge (for instance, some got out of their dish when it spilled, got into some rocks, I took the morphs out of the tank to change it and let it sit for a week before I had a chance to get all the rocks out, move plants, etc.--and discovered a thriving colony of blackworms!). But that experience aside, the cold helps slow up their metabolism, waste production and therefore they live longer when cold.
 
K

keegan

Guest
I used to rinse them by pouring water out of the container as best I could, then swirling in new stuff, swirling it out, loosing a couple worms down the sink, etc.... now I dump the whole colony into a fine net and rinse them with a stream of water from my tap (unchlorinated wellwater). Way easier. Maybe I'm the last person in the world to realize this.. but just in case...

Keegan
 
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