Worms as food

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Paul B, 18 Apr 2013.

  1. Paul B

    Paul B

    Joined:
    7 Mar 2011
    Posts:
    878
    Likes Received:
    102
    Location:
    Long Island New York USA
    Now I live in the US and I don't know what is available to you guys on the other side of the world, but I posted it anyway.

    Worms, I love worms and if it were not for worms I would not have this hobby, thats how much I rely on worms(although I never tasted them myself)
    I use two types of worms for food, California Blackworms and lately, white worms. Blackworms are fresh water worms and white worms live in wet soil. Blackworms only live for about 15 seconds in saltwater but my fish eat them very fast so they never make it to the bottom. Whiteworms are smaller and live for a few hours in saltwater.
    Through experience I have realized that fish that are in excellent health do two things, they spawn and they don't get sick. So if a fish is not spawning or exhibiting spawning tendancies, it is not that healthy and is suseptable to a vast assortment of maladies including ich. ( just see how many ich threads there are) A fishes immune system is much different than ours and fish make antibodies in a few different places in their body, one place is in their slime secreting glands. We sweat, fish exude slime. The slimier fish such as mandarins and eels are more disease resistant than less slimier fish such as tangs. More slime equals more antibodies.
    Anyway, to get a fish into spawning condition is not simply to have them spawn so we can raise the fry. My fish spawn frequently and I have not raised any babies in many years but the fact that the fish are spawning is an indicator that the fish are in the best shape they will even be in.
    I don't want this to be a discussion on ich or diseases, as that has been done to death and if you don't believe that spawning fish don't hardly get sick, start a new thread titled "Paul B thinks that if your fish are spawning, you have to step on them to kill them" or something like that.
    Back to worms. Worms for some reason greatly aid the fish into getting into breeding condition. Why? I have no idea, but when I used to raise freshwater fish fifty years ago, blackworms are what I used to get the fish into condition. When I got my first saltwater fish in 1971 I also used live worms and I had blue devils spawning every few weeks for seven years, and that was before most people even knew salt water fish could be kept at home. Some fish will live for many years on flakes and pellets and some, such as clownfish and some other damsels will even spawn but for most fish a more nutritious diet is needed.
    I realize that flakes today are better than many years ago but flakes are baked to dry them. Anything dry can not have the nutrition of moist food because many vitamins do not take to drying and the oils that I feel are the most important are lost during the drying process. There is also a reason that flake food, or any dry food lasts for months, there is not much to go bad in them. White flour can be kept forever for the same reason which is the reason it is always fortified with vitamins and minerals, if it were not fortified, it can not be called food because it is just paste. Think about that.
    A fish is a cold blooded animal and like all cold blooded animals can go for long periods of time with no food. They don't waste calories as we do just trying to keep our body temperatures warm. Fish don't have to because the ocean where they live is already at the perfect temperature for them. We move around a lot in different temperature locations so our body has to regulate our internal temperature for us and that takes up most of the calories we eat. A large fish such as a shark can go almost a year without food.
    Live worms (or live fish) supply the freshest assortment of nutrients that our fish need to not only live, but to spawn. Live saltwater fish are the best food but are not available to us as a fish food but the next best thing is live worms. When a fish produces eggs (as "all" healthy female fish do) the fish needs much more calories than it does when it is just living. If you have ever filleted a pregnant fish, you will see that the eggs can be half the weight or more of the fish. To produce these eggs the fish needs more nutrition, much more and in the correct proportions of fats and proteins. Fish egggs are mostly oil and it takes a lot of calories and fat to produce all that oil. This is a huge burden on a fish but in the sea they have plenty of fresh food and they eat it all day, not just in the morning or whenever we decide to feed them.
    Also live foods provide nutrients that they can't put in dry foods because much of those nutrients are constantly produced by a living body and used up by that body.
    I use live blackworms every day along with clams and mysis to feed my fish. Virtually all of my fish are spawning except my copperband butterfly, one watchman gobi that doesn't have a mate, a cardinal without a mate as I have five of them and the pairs are spawning and my Shrimp gobies as one of them is very young.
    The rest of my 20 or so fish are spawning and disease free. Along with my mandarins even my 19 year old fireclowns are spawning. These fish have never had any diseases including ich and I add fish from the sea along with bacteria in the form of mud, seaweed, amphipods, copepods and anything I consider interesting.
    I am not talking about being disease free for a year or two, I am talking over 30 years.
    Recently I have added whiteworms to the menu as a test. I bought a starter culture a few weeks ago on line and now I have millions of the little suckers. I keep them in a plastic shoebox in potting soil and feed them matzo's. I am not Jewish and am not sure if my worms are but I find Matzo's great at raising worms, but they will eat just about anything including crackers, cheerios, bread, Alpo SPAM, linguini and clams, hamburger helper etc. I use Matzo's because I can lay it flat on the soil and I like to add a few drops of fish oil to them. (I try to get fish oil into anything I feed) In 2 days the worms will eat a 2"X2" piece of Matzo (or cracker) with fish oil on it.
    When the cracker is almost completely finished there are so many worms on it that you can't see any cracker. I remove those small pieces and put them in a little fresh water and stir it up. The worms do a little Macarana dance and seperate from the cracker and I can remove the piece of cracker and just have worms.
    Those worms are tiny, less than 1/4" and very skinny. My copperband and most of my fish can't even see them which is what I want because the copperband and other larger fish are busy eating the larger live blackworms so the white worms fall to the substrait where they do that macarana dance again attracting my smaller fish such as mandarins. My mandarins are normally fed live baby brine shrimp and they are spawning so they don't really need the extra nutrition but I just love to see the smile on their faces when they see tiny live worms.
    My mandarins are so happy that when they think I am not looking even they start doing that Macarana dance. :yeahdude:
    A little video eating worms
    [​IMG]
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. EFJ

    EFJ MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    13 Sep 2011
    Posts:
    1,536
    Likes Received:
    276
    Location:
    Dwaalboom 60km's from Thabazimbi
    Thanks @Paul B interesting read.:thumbup: Just one question, would earthworms work (these that they use for natural fertilizer)?
     
  4. Paul B

    Paul B Thread Starter

    Joined:
    7 Mar 2011
    Posts:
    878
    Likes Received:
    102
    Location:
    Long Island New York USA
    Earthworms are very healthy but a little large. You can freeze the larger ones and break them into small pieces but I know my wife would never let me put worms in my freezer. If you can get any type of small worms, they would also work. Basically any creature that is not an insect should work, insects don't have the right oils or other nutrients.
     
    EFJ likes this.
  5. EFJ

    EFJ MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    13 Sep 2011
    Posts:
    1,536
    Likes Received:
    276
    Location:
    Dwaalboom 60km's from Thabazimbi
  6. Dorry

    Dorry dorry

    Joined:
    18 Jul 2012
    Posts:
    1,699
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Mntunzini Kwazulu Natal
    Thanks Paul B for this very interesting info.
     
  7. brendanpre

    brendanpre

    Joined:
    11 Mar 2010
    Posts:
    149
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    kzn
    Just a thought for us in South Africa, would mosquito larvae work?
     
  8. Nemeziz_za

    Nemeziz_za

    Joined:
    25 Sep 2012
    Posts:
    1,584
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Durbanville, (Cpt)
    If you have access to them try it, drop a few in and let us know :)

    I'm pretty sure they would be snapped up
     
  9. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

    Joined:
    20 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    7,756
    Likes Received:
    94
    Location:
    Somewhere in Cape Town
    I use to culture micro & vinegar worms when I use to breed killifish could they also be used? @Paul_B
     
    Last edited: 19 Apr 2013
  10. eric.f

    eric.f

    Joined:
    9 Sep 2010
    Posts:
    199
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Bluff Durban
    My marines & bathwater fish have always loved frozen bloodworms , they are also relatively cheap.
    Tx for the info!
     
  11. Paul B

    Paul B Thread Starter

    Joined:
    7 Mar 2011
    Posts:
    878
    Likes Received:
    102
    Location:
    Long Island New York USA
    Generally insects like mosquito larval and bloodworms which are not worms but beatly larvae are not good food sources for saltwater fish. Worms would be better. You guys live on a big continent, don't somebody sell worms?
     
  12. brentv

    brentv

    Joined:
    4 Jun 2009
    Posts:
    2,212
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Cape Town
    I have a pond that I used to grab piles of mosquito larvea..
    Fed them to my fish, they went crazy especially the anthias..
    Live for a few mins in saltwater, tested in a jar!
    .. finally something the little things are good for:lol:
     
  13. brendanpre

    brendanpre

    Joined:
    11 Mar 2010
    Posts:
    149
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    kzn
    That's the beauty of living at the coast, any standing water ends up with mosquito larvae in it. I have been wondering for a while if the fish would eat them, but I wasn't sure if it was a good idea or not, and after reading Paul's article I thought that maybe they would be a free "Super Food" in terms of nutrition. Lol.

    I think I may still give it a try, surely they can't be harmful to the tank?
     
  14. Dorry

    Dorry dorry

    Joined:
    18 Jul 2012
    Posts:
    1,699
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Mntunzini Kwazulu Natal
    Mosquito larve is not harmful, but it is a insect. Worms ful of oil and nutriens. Earth worms.
     
  15. Paul B

    Paul B Thread Starter

    Joined:
    7 Mar 2011
    Posts:
    878
    Likes Received:
    102
    Location:
    Long Island New York USA
    I have a back yard pond and I put fish in there to eat the mosquito larvae, they love them, but for salt water fish I would feed worms. Mosquetoe's are not bad and if I had a lot I would feed them to my fish, only because I hate mosquetoes.
     
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - Worms food Forum Date
Tiny White Worms on Rear Overflow General Discussions and Advice 7 Apr 2016
[wtd] Cocoworms Wanted 19 Mar 2016
Feather Worms Beginner Discussions 20 Oct 2015
is there such a thing as too many bristle worms? General Discussions and Advice 30 Jul 2015
Flatworms ID Needed 20 Feb 2015
Bristle stars/worms strike again General Discussions and Advice 16 Jan 2015
see through "worms" on live rock ID Needed 31 Dec 2014