How to keep nightcrawlers alive????

AsiaNicole

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L am a relatively new owner of a tiger salamander named Azi :) (got him a little over a month ago). I feed him mainly nightcrawlers but I've also given him red worms in the past and he enjoys them both. I just can't seem to figure out how to keep the worms alive :confused: . I'll buy them from the store and then within a week most/all of them are dead =/.
I tried putting oats in their lil' container but they just got moldy and the worms died. And then yesterday I put coffee grounds in a container with some worms because I saw some people recommended that, but they all were dead when I went to feed Azi today (I still fed him one though). So what am I doing wrong? And what should I do in the future? I'm tired of buying worms just to have them all die before I can use them.

Also, after I fed him the worm that had been with the coffee grounds (about a half hour ago), Azi started moving around the tank waaaayyy more than usual and he still is. He doesn't seem distressed or anything but it's weird for him to be this active for so long. Do you think this may have something to do with the coffee? I'd appreciate any and all advice. Thanks!
 

AsiaNicole

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That's what I did in the beginning but they all died. Which is why I tried feeding them and that didn't work either. So idk what the problem is.
 

Chinadog

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I just add NOTHING and put them in the fridge, and they last for months.

Me too, I keep them (Lumbricus terrestris) in the bottom of the fridge in a plastic container with a scattering of moist (not wet) dirt from the garden and they last for months. If they spend any length of time at room temp they tend to die pretty quickly though.
 

Niels D

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I've kept worms in a plastic container (60x30x30cm) with a good fitting lid in forrest dirt while feeding soaked rabit pellets. The container stood outside as long as it wasn't freezing. Now I've got a large compost heap. That way you don't have to buy worms anymore. Don't put any citrus peeling or too much onions and leek in it though.
 

Dell

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I would try the fridge again, maybe you just got a bad patch the first time. Most ppl just stick them in the fridge and forget about them.
 

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Fridge works just fine here, but I've got D.veneta. I switched to a compost heap as well, which is basically a never ending supply of worms.
 

ntny

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hi folks
i have same problems i just got a box of earthworms, i keep them in a plastic box with damp soil and feed fish pallets. but all died within 2 weeks.
i am going to buy another box so do i keep them in a fridge with or without soil? how "cold" lowest temperature can they survive in a fridge?
thanks
 

seandelevan

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Got a basement? I just keep mine in a tote and leave it on the basement floor. As for food I do as mother nature does. Why try to fix something that ain't broke? I throw in leaf litter and rotting wood chips(from the woods not mulch!). Once in awhile I might sprinkle them with fish food.

Years ago I discovered that the less tinkering...the better. These animals we all keep, wether it be worms, bugs, newts, salamanders, frogs, fish etc....have been around WAYYYYYYYYY longer than us and have got on fine without us and will get on fine when we are gone from this earth.
 

ntny

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hi folks
i keep them in fridge at 10C degree last night. this morning i checked all is dead???
luckily i split them into 50-50 and keep some at room temp. those at room temp are still alive.
puzzles me
thanks
 

Californiense

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hi folks
i keep them in fridge at 10C degree last night. this morning i checked all is dead???
luckily i split them into 50-50 and keep some at room temp. those at room temp are still alive.
puzzles me
thanks
Couple things
- Don't keep them at 10C again, keep them at room temp
- Ask whoever sells them to you how they keep them, because they may have it figured out
- keep them in a larger container, in soil / cheap substrate (leaves or something)
- don't give them too many fish flakes
- ask your supplier where he gets them and how long they've been kept already
 

CaptainK1088

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You live somewhat close to me, I assume. What I notice is when you buy nightcrawlers from pet stores, bait shops, or Wal Mart this time of year, they're often not as healthy as when you buy them in the warmer seasons. Why? Because they freeze in the trucks during the shipping process in these winter months. This might be the cause of your problem. I noticed this time of year I'm often scrambling around, store to store, trying to find healthy nightcrawlers, and I rarely get lucky. I resort to other foods when I have to: crickets (I cut off their heads), frozen bloodworms (they make a mess though), small fish (it is suggested to quarantine them so you don't get your axy sick.) It's all an extra pain... :sick:
Don't know if this helps, or if I'm just sharing personal experiences, xD.
When I do have healthy nightcrawlers, though, the fridge is just fine for me, without having to add anything for them.
Good luck and cheers!
 

ntny

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hi folks
thanks for kind advice
now i keep them at room temp 28-30C
i spray cold water 10C everyday to cool them down
i try not to feed them anymore. i notice a lot of flies when i feed them fish flakes
and maybe that is the reason they die so fast within weeks
i will monitor again
thanks

Couple things
- Don't keep them at 10C again, keep them at room temp
- Ask whoever sells them to you how they keep them, because they may have it figured out
- keep them in a larger container, in soil / cheap substrate (leaves or something)
- don't give them too many fish flakes
- ask your supplier where he gets them and how long they've been kept already
 

Biev

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Is Canadian night crawls fine for tell for a bait store? I hear it was but I need to be 100%. Thanks :)


Canadian nightcrawlers are the same worms that are sold as fishing bait everywhere in Canada, if that's what you're asking. They tend to just be labeled as "large earthworms" here.


To answer the original question, I keep mine alive for months by simply keeping them in the fridge in a plastic container with small holes poked in the lid. You don't need to feed them anything, they eat soil. Anything else you add is likely to rot in there and cause the nightcrawlers to die.


If you open your container and all the worms are at the surface, it means the soil has lost its nutritional value for them and it's time to change it. Just use moistened organic potting soil and you won't run into any problems.
 

RoreyRoreyRorey

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I have kept a container of them alive for a few months now because my salamanders refuse to eat them. I’ve kept them in that little styrofoam container they came in and once a week I drop a few fish flakes and some moist toilet paper in there and they eat that up. I just have left the container on the table next to the salamander tanks.
 

mudpuppy momma

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I have my crawlers in a styrofoam worm keeper with some yard dirt, veggies scraps cut up small, and some shredded newspaper. I keep them in my basement on the floor. They are over 3 weeks alive and I have had some tiny worms popping up too. I just make sure the dirt stays moist, not wet.
 

winecooler5

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You can shift to compost heap from which you can get never-ending worms.
 
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