Massive Quantities of White Worms Easily Produced

Finchop1

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Steve
White worms (Enchytraeus sp.) are cultured as a live food source by hobbyists the world over. There are many ways to culture them and those methods do work to varying degrees of success. When I raised exotic finches, I was taught to soak white bread in milk and place in whiteworm container. Worms would gather underneath the bread and a scoopful of soil with WW's mixed in. Finches love picking through the soil/ww mixture and quickly came into breeding condition.
This worked for me as I just kept replacing the soil taken out to feed. Looking back I realize that it was an inefficient method for WW production.

A few years ago I attended an American Livebearer Association convention in Michigan. A gentleman in his 80's shared his method using dark rye bread, plain yogurt and brewers yeast to easily produce mass quantities of whiteworms.


1. Fill plastic shoebox with sterile topsoil (no additives of any kind)
2. Add white worm culture and lightly mix into top 1/2" of soil.
3. Slather plain greek yogurt on toasted dark rye bread to 1/4" thickness.
4. Lightly sprinkle dry brewers yeast over yogurt.
5. Invert bread onto culture and cover culture with cheesecloth to prevent mites incursion.

Worms will accumulate underneath and around the sides of the bread. To harvest, use a spoon or knife to pick up worms and place in cup of water.
Rinse any soil from worms by pouring from cup to cup, changing water each time. Easy process that takes about 1 minute. Viola! Lots of clean delicious whiteworms!

Dark rye bread is used as it has natural anti-mold characteristics that lighter breads do not. White bread molds within a day. Dark rye takes 4-5 days to mold.
Dark rye bread must be toasted very dry, basically you want to spread the yogurt on a dry crisp rye cracker.
The white worms are mostly eating the yogurt which when combined with brewers yeast turbocharges their production. I usually replace bread every 3-5 days depending on how it looks. If the colony is too wet the worms will cover the surface of the soil and climb all over the sides of the box. If this happens just allow box to dry out for a day or two. The pic with the spoon shows just one of the 3 teaspoonfuls of pure whiteworms harvested that day.

The following series of pictures illustrates the process:
 

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    @DarthNyQuil, what's your ph? Ammonia is non-toxic at lower ph so might not need to panic, however if you have hard water (think calcium deposits in a tea kettle), you likely have a high pH and thus should be maintaining 0. Either way, use seachem prime to dechlorinate your water and get the added benefit of making ammonia and nitrite non-toxic for 24 hours, the peace of mind is worth it.
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    @lvlyvoa, good to hear, np. They love nightcrawlers and worms if you have access to them, they're the healthiest thing they can eat since they're a complete prey
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  • AkemiYousei:
    @Jaeger I would try to double up on Prime to combat the slime coat shed when doing the 100% water changes. Also, if it's bad, might want to consider a tea bath as a preventive measure.
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    I just wrote this on the post ^
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    Haha, great minds, right?
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    They sure do 😄!
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    @AkemiYousei thanks so much. Will do. I have also given them a tea bath before, seems to work their gills are looking so much healthier, my golden albino is swimming around frantically trying to jump out, should i be worried? my wild type is fine
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    Might be the stress, or the shedding bothering it
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    Make sure s/he can't jump out, and maybe keep her in a undisturbed, darkened place for a bit. See if that calms the goldie.
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    I woke up to my golden axolotl covered complete white. what do i do
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    Just found out, hes dead. :(
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    :'(
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    @Jaeger, Oh no! Sorry to hear. :(
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    my axolotl has white balls on its gills and the feathers have shrunk
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    AxelTheAxolotl123: my axolotl has white balls on its gills and the feathers have shrunk +1
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