Need some advice on worms...

katbeck99

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Ok, so yesterday I was feeding my lovely little lotls nightcrawlers for the first time in a while (as I have been feeding them red wigglers for a couple weeks) and one of the worms expelled a ton of black cloudy stuff from its body while my axolotl was eating it. I understand this is a defense mechanism, but it made my nitrates skyrocket from 20ppm to 80ppm.
Is it fine if I just continue to feed my axies red wigglers, because they've never "exploded" on me and messed up my tank parameters. If so, how many red wigglers should I feed each axolotl daily? They seem significantly smaller than nightcrawlers, so would 2 a day be fine?
Thanks!
 

LippyNix

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You can place the nightcrawlers in damp paper towels to "clean them out". The black stuff is the dirt they're digesting. I can't remember how long you do it, but it's recommended when using wild caught worms to remove any potential parasites. (This was back in the days before worms were widely bred and available everywhere.) I'm sure you can google it.
 

Biev

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Personally I give my worms a rinse before feeding them to my critters. I'm not worried about them eating dirt so much, but Falkor doesn't like if his worms are dirty, and will spit them out a few times until they're clean - I just save him that step.

I wouldn't be too worried about nitrates either. They aren't nearly as toxic as ammonia or nitrites, and axolotls aren't especially sensitive to them. Worst case scenario, they'll get your water cloudy.
 
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