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Reviving Microworm Cultures

Sherolyn-Basement Bettas

Funky Microworms

I have had my various micro worm [ micro, banana, walter ] cultures for three years. They have come through neglect and a move to Texas during the summer. Many times I thought they were too far gone to recover yet they came back roductive as ever. Even if they get funky and seem gone, they often can be brought back to producing high numbers of edible worms for your fry in a day or two. An excellent first food, keeping at least one of these cultures on hand will get your fry off to a good start. So here is what I do to maintain and revive a bad culture.

Removing media

Even if I do not have fry to feed I try to scrape out [harvest] the worms crawling up the sides at least every other day or so. I am not sure how long they live, but as quickly as they multiply I assume their life cycle is not long. By removing the crawling worms you are removing worms that may die off and foul the batch.. at least that is my thinking. And, when I do that the culture seems to stay good longer. On average I get a week before the culture needs to be refreshed. I have stretched it to ten days, on occasion two weeks and still have been able to keep the cultures going strong.

Once a week I scrape the top with all the worms off to the side. All the rest is removed and disposed of. I put it into an old Wal-Mart bag and tie it off when I put it in the trash.. not for the smell but because I don’t like the goop. If the stuff is particularly dark and funky, I just find a good area and scrape it to the side and discard the rest.

New media

Once the old stuff is removed I add some oatmeal I have run through a coffee grinder. I try to add enough to make the bedding about ½” deep. You will get a feel for it over time. If you get too much they will be fine, and not enough you can just add more. To the powdered oatmeal I add some water and stir to make a fairly firm yet slightly runny mix. I mix this off to the side away from the worms I scraped off earlier. One I get everything mixed to the right consistency I stir in the worms and shake some yeast on the top. I also take some time to rinse the lid and will take a paper towel and wipe off the rim and sides of the container. I then put the worms aside to grow.

Feeding culture

 have found my worms do real well on top of the strip lights I use on my 30 gal tanks. They do not seem to mind and actually like the warmth generated by the light. Within a few hours of redoing the cultures you should see lots of worms starting to climb the sides. By the next day they should once again cover the sides of your container. If you culture has been really neglected it may take a bit longer to come back, but should still produce some harvestable worms with in 24 hours.

This is what has been working for me for three years now. I have heard of using other than oatmeal for the growing medium and you are free to experiment and choose what works best for you.  As long as a few worms remain alive, these cultures can be continuously brought back to producing high numbers of edible food for your 

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