Well, I overloaded my culture and everyone died due to foul water...but I would like to show you guys the site I got the idea of culturing them from. It appears that the main factors are clean moving water and food.
S1ren, that's the best set of instructions I've seen yet for culturing blackworms. But note that even this person admits that the culture doesn't produce a lot of worms. Unfortunately, this is the big drawback to culturing them. If you need any significant quantity, it may work better to just buy them.
One thing I've noticed in tanks that have blackworms living in them: the worms never "go after" flake food or pellets. But if there is a leftover chunk of earthworm, they will invade it - I assume they are eating it. If I were trying to culture them again, I'd feed them an occasional chunk of worm rather than fish food.
Culturing black worms:
Use those big rubber maid "sweater boxes" with the largest bottom surface area. they will need to be around 6 inches deep. Bottom area and water volume/quality are the main limiting factors. Use a sponge filter so the water moves without disturbing the substrate. I've used regular playground sand that has been thoroughly rinsed (about 1.5" deep). The best food I've used so far is 2 year old algae wafers for plecos and other algae eaters(left overs from when I had a tropical tank). I imagine turtle pellets may work as well?
To harvest: just swirl the water around and scoop up witha net or use one of those irrigation syringes or turkey basters and suck em up.
The key to getting this working is not using whole pound of worms in one container, Its just like cycling a aquarium.
I was out of town for a month and half for work, and I didn't want the fish sitter to deal with worms ( i dont think he wanted to either). I didn't have time to clean out the culture container, I just unplugged it and harvested as many as I could. When I came back I was suprised that I had enough to feed my tanks for 3 days.
Well anyway, I think this is my first post. I'm more of a fish guy (NA natives), I had a tiger salamander once. But I was too young and probably underfunded too, but I'm gonna try it again. I've got 3 of N. viridescens on the way next week. I'm going to house them in a 75g planted via the walstad method. This week I've been capturing various invertabrates to see If I can get them established in the tank before the predators arive. I'll keep ya posted
Thanks for the post Frank. That is invaluable info. I long since gave it up. I think the main problem is getting the worms actively feeding/fragmenting rather than surviving.
I introduced some worms into my C. e. popei tank and over time little worms appeared. However, the population soon dwindled to nothing. I suspect a combination of the worms slowly starving(and thus getting smaller/skinnier as time went on), and the newts eating the bigger worms.
i highly recommend “buyanaxolotl.com”- ive purchased from them and received a beautiful animal for relatively cheap, in great condition, and excellent shipping precautions. the breeders are a couple living in georgia (i believe, don’t quite remember) and they’re fantastic. sometimes their website contact page doesn’t work, so i’d probably try just emailing them. good luck and happy hunting!