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Tubifex worms

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#1 Guest_Dutchie_*

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 06:10 AM

Hello folks !

I am a new member from Holland and I just started recently keeping darters in my fishtanks.
Is it O.K. to feed darters Tubifex worms ?


#2 Guest_EricaWieser_*

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:55 AM

Yes. But my orange throat darters never liked the tubifex as much as they did californian blackworms (a type of truly aquatic worm) and bloodworms (midge larvae). If you're looking for something easy to culture I'd imagine grindal worms (a warm temperature strain of white worm) would be less work. And smell better. Tubifex are the nastiest of the worms, in my opinion. Okay, vinegar eels smell bad too. ew, though.

Edited by EricaWieser, 18 October 2012 - 07:55 AM.

#3 Guest_Usil_*

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 10:13 PM

I have had some orange throated darters for about 8 months. They have taken up residence in a group of rounded river rocks with an average size of 3 to 4 inches in the center of the tank. Initially, soon after I caught them, they became confused at feeding time as they saw the other fish consume the various foods I would feed them. Some attempted to come to the top and others midway, resting on plants or wood. But it was obvious that any type of feed or feeding regime that did not include getting the food to the bottom of the tank would eventually lead to health and wellness problems.

So, I would impale a cube of tubifex worms on the end of a long sharp stick and place it in water at the beginning of the feeding time so that it would hydrate. After a few minutes when the feeding frenzy at the top and middle of the tank lessened I would put the cube of tubifex worms at the end of the stick on the bottom of the tank near their territory. They were immediately drawn to the activity and as the tubifex worms were now hydrated and stringing off small worms they attacked the cube and ate their fill. After about the third feeding they knew this was the feeding plan for them and they would start attacking the cube and stick as it was being lowered into the tank.

I have done this for at least 7 months and they are all active, healthy with good full muscle development and explore other areas of the tank after eating their fill. I am sure that Erica's suggestion would work equally well. The key is that darters can not successfully compete with the fish that eat at the top and middle of the tank. If they are made to do so they will never get a sustaining supply of nutrition and eventually muscle mass will wither and they will waste away.

I hope this is helpful.


Edited by Usil, 18 October 2012 - 10:16 PM.

#4 Guest_gerald_*

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:22 AM

Agree with Usil. The other problem is that many kinds of darters just cant eat much at one time, so they need 2 or 3 feedings per day to keep from losing weight, if you're keeping them together with sunfish or minnows that quickly eat all the food. (The orangethroat and rainbow group can gorge more than most other darters). If you can only feed once a day, its better to keep darters alone, or with other slow-feeding all-day grazers like suckers.

Tubifex are a good food, but being extremely pollution-tolerant they can carry heavier loads of toxic metals and organics than most other fish-food animals. If you can find a source that raises Tubifex specifically for fish food, then great, but most of the freeze-dried ones are harvested from agricultural wastewater ponds where they could potentially accumulate high levels of toxins. I use blackworms grown specifically as fish-food in fish-free culture ponds.

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