Microworms are nematodes of the species Panagrellus redivivus and are called microworms because to most people, that is a perfect summary – very small worms. Microworms are described as free-living (i.e. non-parasitic) nematodes which are ovoviviparous and have a very fast reproduction rate. The generation time of a microworm culture is as low as 5 to 6 days and each egg sac contains as many as 80+ larva1.
They measure approximately 0.05mm wide by 1.5mm long which is one of the reasons they are so popular with fish keepers around the world. Their extremely small size means they are readily eaten by the babies of a wide variety of fish. Also, the nutrient composition and amino acid profile of microworms is very similar to that of freshly hatched baby brine shrimp. Continue reading
Microworms are a must have for people who keep any kind of small fish. Babies of fish such as guppies, platies, danios, mollies, and bettas just devour microworms. A varied diet that includes a good amount of microworms will greatly increase the growth rate of your baby fish. Once I started loading some guppy fry’s diet with microworms they began growing at almost twice the rate of the previous batches of fry. Feeding the baby fish microworms really seemed to make all the difference in the growth rate. For example, one strain of guppy used to only start developing color at 6 to 8 weeks of age, but when microwroms were added to the diet of these baby fish, they began coloring up at even 4 weeks of age! Continue reading
Many of your aquatic pets will be able to eat microworms. To put it one way, basically any fish or amphian that reproduces by eggs or by giving birth to babies that are less than 1/2 inch will benefit from the use of microworms. Introducing live foods to such fish as goodeids, corydoras, betta splendens (siamese fighting fish), gouramis, guppies, mollies, platties, danios will increase the growth of their baby fish. Continue reading
Microworm cultures are very easy to keep in your house. There are many methods of culturing them once you have purchased a microworm starter culture. You usually will not have to buy any special equipment in advance. The method I recommend using at first requires only rolled oats (instant oatmeal), a pinch of yeast, and some water. I’m willing to bet you already have these items in your house. If you don’t then you might want to consider having them ready in advance for when your microworms arrive. The only other item you should need is a clear plastic container. Many dollar stores have cheap plastic food-storage containers for two for a dollar. These will work perfectly for starting your first microworm culture.
If you are interested in trying some advanced microworm culturing techniques, then you can try using baby food, mashed potato powder, or bread to grow your microworms in. Once you have the rolled oats method mastered (explained in detail with every purchase), feel free to play with any other recipes mentioned above. Just make sure the culture is not too moist and your microworms should grow strongly. Basically any complex carbohydrate source is all you need for ideal microworm growth.
Some people find it difficult to keep microworms alive. I have had conversation with some people who, for whatever reasons, find it difficult to maintain their microworm cultures. Only once in the past, have I had enough bad luck to have all my cultures go bad at the same time. There are very few road blocks present when you decide to start culturing microworms successfully. This page is dedicated to describing those rare difficulties and how to overcome them. Many of the tips may be scattered throughout the rest of this site, but you will find a good summary of most of them here.
One key factor for keeping your microworms alive is providing oxygen. There are a few options you have to ensuring an adequate supply of air to your live fish foods. I interchange between using a nail to poke several holes in the culture’s lid and just simply not closing the lid fully. Continue reading