Caudata.org: Newts and Salamanders Portal

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!
Did you know that registered users see fewer ads? Register today!

Ragworms: Good or bad?

timg

New member
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Location
Holyhead, North Wales, U.K.
I have recently acquired a pair of axies and wondered if ragworms would be any good for them. I can get these at my local fishing supplies outlet at a reasonable price and would use them as a suppliment to earthworms to help bring them on. The axies are quite small as yet, but have apparently already sporned. The only other live foods that are available to me at present are BBS and daphnia, which would be fine for the larvae, but are too small for these now.

They don't seem to like strips of meat or pellets dropped into the tank and tend to turn away when they are offered, so it is looking very much like they will only accept live foods, and I don't want them to get bored of the same food all the time! Comments please!
 

John

Founder
Staff member
Joined
Feb 6, 2001
Messages
8,168
Reaction score
399
Location
USA
Ragworms have very nasty jaws on them - I wouldn`t risk it. There is no better natural axolotl food than earthworms. The only thing better is soft-type salmon feed pellets (you need to get the right type).
 

Jennewt

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
12,445
Reaction score
129
Location
USA
I agree. If you have a bait shop that sells ragworms, they probably also sell earthworms, and those would be better. And I hear that in many places in the UK, you can buy live bloodworms, which would also be good.
 

timg

New member
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Location
Holyhead, North Wales, U.K.
Thanks for the info. I went to the bait shop today and they only have ragworms in the way of live bait, and don't stock lugs at all. So I am gonna set up a wormery for them instead. That should produce enough worms to keep them happy!

BTW, would it make any difference if the rags are cut up first? As they are large rags, they can be cut into about ten 25mm pieces before going into the tank, but would still wriggle enough to interest them, I would think. It would be possible to not feed the head as well like this.

There is another reason for thinking of ragworms though. I live two minutes from the irish sea, where there is a plentiful supply of ragworms, just a couple of spades away, and what is concerning me is that my garden isn't large enough to supply enough worms for very long, especially if I can get another pair this week, which I am hoping to do. (When I got this pair, there were also 4 albinos in the same tank, and they are still there, looking very thin and sorry for themselves)

The wormery will solve the problem but will take a month or two before I will be able to get a good enough harvest to keep them going. If I try harvesting the worms too soon, they won't have chance to start reproducing in sufficient numbers to keep it going. Unless I can find an alternative supplier for live foods, we are going to be seriously challenged keeping up with their appetites!

Are there any other alternatives for live foods large enough to keep them fed and easily available, such as slugs or snails, (shelled, of course), which are quite simple to get hold of this time of year that might keep them going while the wormery populates and give them a change of diet from time to time? Nutritional value isn't so important, as I am able to find enough worms to provide a basic diet, I just need something to suppliment it with short-term, and nothing dead seems to attract them at all.
 

Jennewt

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
12,445
Reaction score
129
Location
USA
I would imagine that chunks of cut-up ragworm would probably be OK. I've never heard of using them, but I doubt that they are toxic or anything, since they are used as bait.

The wormery is a good idea, but you're right, it will take some months until you have enough to harvest. What kind of worms will you put into it to start? Compost worms are the only ones that really reproduce quickly in confined conditions.

Slugs are a wonderful food for salamanders. If you have a lot of them, your axies are lucky (but your garden unlucky!) Snails should be good, too, though you may have to remove the shell (I've never tried to use them).
 

timg

New member
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Location
Holyhead, North Wales, U.K.
Compost worms are the ones i have in mind for the wormery, and I can buy them online and have them delivered without any problem. It's very easy to feed the wormery, I have reams of paper to shred!

Thats brilliant about the slugs... we are overrun with them this time of year, while the birds are absent, all I have to do is pick them up at night, when they are most active. Snails are quite easy to find for the same reason, so between these we should have enough to see these creatures through!
 

timg

New member
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Location
Holyhead, North Wales, U.K.
Thanks to all for the help, I have now ordered a supply of worms to keep the axies going while the wormery gets going, and found a plentiful supply of worms at the local park, where they have a compost heap for all the grass cuttings!

I bagged over 2 dozen worms this morning within a minute! Much easier than digging the garden, lol. I do have another question for you though:

When I fed them this morning, I selected about 8 average sized worms, about 3" long and they took 4 of them each without any hesitation. However, when I looked back in on them half an hour later, several of the worms were running around on the bottom of the tank! Is it normal for them to accept more than they want and then re-gurgitate it later?

I removed the wrigglers straight away, and have been giving them one at a time during the day, which seems to work better.
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
    Lotl: Hi everyone +1
    Top