CULTURING WHITE WORM
By Jim E. Quarles
If you are prepared to do a little extra work and have a little space
in a cool location, culturing white worms is a snap.
I am sure others who are doing this or have done it would be able to
state a dozen different methods they use. I can only tell you what has
worked for me and some of my friends.
First, white worms require temperatures of between 55 and 68 degrees F
to do well. If they get too hot they will stop reproducing or even die.
And unless you have had a white worm culture go bad, you just don't know
what stink is!
The way I have set up the culture box can't get much simpler. I use
Styrofoam fish shipping boxes that are 24 x 24 x 10 inch. I generally have
up to three working at any given time.
I fill the boxes to within 1 to 1 ½ inches from the top with potting
soil. I then cut a sheet of window glass that fits snugly in the top of
the box on top of the potting soil. For food I remove the glass and
sprinkle Gerber powdered baby food into for or five areas equally spaced
on top of the soil. I dampen the potting soil just enough that it stays
very damp but not soggy. To much water the worms will die, to little water
they will not reproduce in good numbers.
Once the soil is in the box and the food is in place I release a small
starter culture of white worms into the box, and replace the glass lid so
that it rests on top of the soil. After about 10 days you should be able
to collect your first white worms.
Just lift up the glass and they will be sticking to it in clumps. Don't
forget to feed the culture a small amount of food every time you harvest
Keep it in a cool dry place, with subdued light. I just toss a towel
over the glass to reduce the light.
Every so often you will have to prepare an new box and restart the
culture if you want to keep a good supply of worms growing all the time.
But remember do not over feed your discus on white worms, the have a
very high fat content and if over done are not healthy for the fish.
You can culture small red worms the same way, using the same method but
I always use bigger containers for this and outside. I feed left over
scrapes from the dinner table to the red wigglers.
This food is cheap and easy to have on hand and the fish love either
the white worms or the red wigglers.