Keeping these White Worms
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.
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.