Select Aquatics

                                 Keeping these White Worms
                                                                           October 2016

       These are not the standard white worms maintained in the aquarium hobby, and though care is
       similar, there are differences. These are fed in large quantities at Select Aquatics as an
       additional live food, supplemented by balanced vegetable and carnivorous based flake and pellet

       How to keep these in standard plastic 3-5 qt.“shoebox” type containers:

       Fill container with moist Canadian peat – widely available at any home store, it is finer and
       consistent in texture. The peat needs to be just short of wet, a little more moist than you would
       normally use for compost worms. Drill holes in lid to allow some air exchange. If possible, let
       moist peat sit for day before adding worms, then check moisture level and add more water if

       Fill container slightly above half full. Too little and the peat will dry out too quickly.
       These worms react to moisture. If it gets too dry, they will go down into the soil, when
       comfortable they will gather at the surface where the food is. I check the moisture every other
       day by sticking my finger into the soil, if cool alone from moisture, but not actually slightly
       wet, I will add a little water.

       Set the container up in a place that is room temperature, not excessively hot or cold. These white
       worms do not need to be refrigerated.

       Add the new culture to your container by setting it on the surface of your peat, then sprinkling a
       little food over it. Be sure the container stays covered when worms are not being fed or harvested.

       The worms will retreat down into the soil at first, but lightly sprinkle food over the area where
       the culture was first placed each day. It will take 1-2 weeks, but with keeping the soil moist you
       will soon see a grayish-white layer of worms on the surface of your peat.

       Some days the worms may have seemed to all disappear. They have retreated down into the soil. Add a
       little water and they will again be back at the surface within a couple hours.



       Here we feed powdered chicken feed to them because they came into this fishroom as a contaminant in
       that feed, so they respond well to it. But I have been told they will do well on raw oatmeal,
       instant potatoes and the other types of foods that white worms are normally fed. They are fed daily.

       Harvesting –

       This species of white worm has not been here long, and how best to harvest them is
       still being worked out. I have been able to harvest large numbers easily from the sides of the larger
       tubs. They will crawl up the sides, and the walls of the containers and the inside of the lid would
       be covered by morning.

       In the shoebox containers, we are currently laying a sheet of glass or plastic over the surface of
       the peat, and they will accumulate on the glass. They also crawl up the sides and gather on the
       inside of the lids as well.

       If you develop a better method, please contact me at!

       This white worm is also very prolific, and thick accumulations of them will form on the surface that
       can be scooped up, though when doing that it is best to rinse them well of any soil before feeding
       them to the fish.

       After a couple months, depending on how often and how much they are fed, a new container will need to
       be set up. A new colony is then started from the first, as the soil quality deteriorates and it will
       need to be changed.

       Greg Sage




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