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Grindal Worms


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#61 Guest_gerald_*

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 10:49 AM

Somebody on another forum described tiny white spheres all over the surface of his Grindal worm culture, and asked if they are worm eggs/cocoons. I'm guessing it's fungus/mold hyphae he is seeing. I've seen productive grindal worm cultures (that presumably must have lots of eggs) and do not have conspicuous white spheres all over the surface, so I'm guessing the eggs/cocoons are probably laid down deeper in the media. What do you guys think?

#62 Guest_Guba_*

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:30 AM

I raise grindal worms on scotchbrite pads, and harvesting couldn't be easier! An added benefit is that the scotchbrite pads get cleaned at the same time. Just fill a large glass/plastic jar with aquarium water and place the scotchbrite pads inside and swish them around a bit for a minute or so. A lot of worms will fall off to the bottom. Drip dry the scotchbrite pads and put them back into the culture. If the water is dirty brown, just pour off the brown water (after the worms settle out) and replace with more aquarium water. Then just pour the worms into a brine shrimp net and use as needed.

Only do this to half of the scotchbrite pads at a time! Then give the culture some time to recover the population. I have used this method for white worms as well with water at 75 degree's, and the short term exposure to the higher temperatures doesn't seem to affect the remaining worms.

I also feed mine cat food pellets soaked with water. It's cheep, high in protein and they can be removed easily if they aren't eaten after a few days.

#63 Guest_EricaWieser_*

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:35 AM

Somebody on another forum described tiny white spheres all over the surface of his Grindal worm culture, and asked if they are worm eggs/cocoons. I'm guessing it's fungus/mold hyphae he is seeing. I've seen productive grindal worm cultures (that presumably must have lots of eggs) and do not have conspicuous white spheres all over the surface, so I'm guessing the eggs/cocoons are probably laid down deeper in the media. What do you guys think?

I took a video of my culture for your friend to look at. Without seeing the white spheres for myself, the best I can do to identify them is to show him what a healthy grindal worm culture looks like. I agree that there are some things that are tiny, white-ish, and round that might be eggs but I don't know if those are what he is seeing, too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZxukgrFo6g&feature=youtu.be

Personally, the scotch brite hard green scrubby pads are the least productive of all the sponge types in my cultures. The soft sponges produce more worms in my cultures.
I use 10 inch aquarium planting tweezers to collect the worms from the surface of the sponges. It's less involved than picking up the sponge and washing it off and pouring off the water. The tweezers don't work as well on the green scotchbrite sponges.

Edited by EricaWieser, 07 May 2013 - 11:47 AM.


#64 Guest_Kanus_*

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 03:50 PM

They could also be mites. I have battled with mites in my cultures for a long time and it is often very difficult to tell if they are alive/moving unless you stare at them for a good long while.

#65 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 10:14 AM

Some flies got into my cultures and although I put coffee filters over them (which kept the flies out mostly) I didn't keep them up in very good condition. It just takes one hole in a coffee filter for the flies to get in and out. It got kind of gross with the maggots and there was a fly in the bedroom one time, so I discarded all the old sponges and culture material and all the worms. I ran the plastic shoe boxes under near boiling water for a few minutes and cleaned them out thoroughly. I'm leaving it fallow for a few weeks and will then order a grindal worm culture from someone else online and restart.

I probably could have just refreshed the coffee filters and paid more attention to the cultures, but ever since I watched a few videos on myiasis, flies really freak me out now. It's also a transitionary time where I've gotten rid of the white dresser drawers that used to house the cultures boxes. They're now under my 55 gallon tank in the stand which, whoever designed this thing, is absolutely horrid to get in and out of. There's not enough space to have the cultures all sit down without being on top of one another, which suffocates the worms. So until I figure out how to house them in their new situation, it just makes sense for me to not have grindal worms for like a month or so. I'm going to build shelves inside this stand or something so everything doesn't have to sit on top of one another. Ugh. I'll make a new thread when I restart the worms and document the whole thing.

#66 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 02:36 PM

Hi everybody. I'm going to document the process as I start all new grindal worm cultures.

What happened to my old cultures? I got rid of the dresser I'd been storing the grindals in previously and moved all the grindal cultures inside the stand for my 55 gallon tank. This was more difficult to access, and infrequent maintenance lead to flies and maggots getting the upper hand. If I'd just kept the coffee filters on the culture boxes fresh the flies wouldn't have spread, but like I said, improper maintenance. So. It was gross, I threw them out, I'm restarting. There are now no more flies and fish flakes are starting to be consumed at an alarmingly expensive rate due to lack of near-free supplemental live food, so it's time to restart.

Step 1: I have placed an order with the vendor Mosesfive on aquabid.com for a 25 oz container of grindal worms for $16.00.

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Aquabid auction: http://www.aquabid.c...foodl1395349627

I will update this topic once they arrive and will share photos of how I set them up.

#67 Guest_Irate Mormon_*

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 11:17 PM

There is plenty of information in Innes on how to culture Grindal worms. Funny how we keep coming back to our roots.

#68 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 11:22 PM

It is rare to find other people who use the sponge culture method that I plan to demonstrate here. As pictured above, all of the culture accounts that I have seen have been soil type. I intend to document the timeline for the sponge method setup here, because when I was experimenting with creating this method a few years ago and finally attained something worth sharing, I didn't document the setup timeline as well as I could have. It was only after my cultures had been stable for around a year that I realized it might be a method worth really sharing.

This is what the finished sponge cultures looked like last time. They were stable for years with daily feeding and harvesting and around biweekly maintenance.

youtu.be/2ZxukgrFo6g

With this post, I will record which day I start the culture, what it looks like as it grows, when it becomes large enough to start harvesting, actual maintenance dates, etc.

Grindal worms are really useful for feeding my pygmy sunfish.

#69 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 10:46 AM

The online tracking number says the grindal worms are out for delivery today! Yay, I'll document how I set them up when I get home.

Gotta say, I'm not a fan of these multiple topics being conjoined and shifted around. It's startling to find something different than when you left it. I'll continue to document here but once I'm done I'll compile it all into a word document and make a youtube video, so I know it'll all stay organized as I put it.

#70 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 07:11 PM

The culture arrived yesterday and the worms seemed a little distressed (or I seemed a little lazy), so I let them sit and settle for a day before doing anything to them. Here is a day 2 photo progression.

The culture arrives:
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Worms have settled after one day to the bottom in the soil:
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Plastic shoe box with air holes drilled in lid is ready for them:
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This plastic shoe box will be a sponge culture:
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Soap free dollar store sponges from another angle:
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At first I attempted to manually remove worms from the soil, but that was slow, laborious, and I got as much dirt as I did worm. Then I thought of the sidewalk after it rains. This is a sponge sitting on wet water:
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Lift the sponge and the worms that have tried to escape the water lift up too:
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Then place sponge in plastic shoe box. Worms come with.
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http://youtu.be/mnp0uudSpKk

After I'd done that to all the sponges, I let the least worm filled sponge sit on the water for around 20 minutes. Quite a lot of worms swam onto it, so I transferred it to the sponge culture. Then I decanted the now mostly clear water onto the sponge culture and poured the now merely damp soil back into the blue lidded tupperware container. They were only underwater for at most an hour, so I don't think I killed them. The soil culture should still be alive, just with some of its worms transferred to the sponge culture.

#71 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 04:44 PM

I taped coffee filter on the outside of the lids over all the air holes. There's still gas exchange but now flies can't get in. This is very, very important. If you want to know why and aren't squeamish, look up the very gross fly parasite disease 'myiasis'. Coffee filters are very, very important because they prevent flies from getting into the cultures and breeding.

One day after setting up the sponge culture, the status was that 1 dog kibble was surrounded with a light ring of worm bodies.
Two days after setting up the sponge culture, the status is that 3 dog kibbles are surrounded with a light ring of worm bodies. The soil culture still has many living worms and I have placed a few kibbles down for them. My plan is to transfer whatever worms make a ring around the kibble (and are therefore easily collected with 10 inch tweezers) to the sponge culture, and then on Friday April 4th at the local club meeting to enter the culture into the club auction. I know I won't be able to keep a soil culture alive long term, so it's best to give it a new home now before I drown/dry it to death.

The photo below approximately shows what the tweezers I use to pick up worms look like. I bought my ten inch aquarium plant tweezers on ebay.com for $5 shipped to my door.
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#72 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 08:34 PM

Current picture
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#73 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 11:48 PM

The worms have now surrounded nine kibbles. I consider it at this point to be verging on splittable and harvestable.
To split: A few hours after putting the kibble down when it has begun to be surrounded by worms, transfer the kibble to a new sponge culture. Continue transferring a few kibbles this way every day until the new culture is close to harvestable.
To harvest: remove 1/3 to 1/2 the worms from around a kibble, drop in fish tank.

That was pretty fast. It took around three weeks. Give it another week or two and it'll be a full fledged every-day-harvestable culture.

#74 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 11:13 AM

Oh, and, I have just now learnt that if you notice tiny little pin sized holes in the coffee filter, they did not get there by accident. Something is attacking it. Replace the coffee filter or tape over the holes immediately before they can be enlarged.
I found this out the hard way. This new culture already has fruit flies. *sighs* I put a piece of tape over the holes and now apparently have to check on it daily. I'll remove maggots as I see them. So gross. Stupid flies. We are not friends.

#75 Guest_gerald_*

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 01:24 PM

Try using a tight-weave synthetic cloth or fine nylon mesh instead of paper coffee filters But still it's hard to keep tiny flies and mites out, since you have to open the cultures frequently to feed and harvest. The flies that infest our worm cultures are unrelated to those that burrow into live animal flesh. You will not get myiasis from fruit flies or fungus gnats that grow in your worm cultures.

#76 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 01:44 PM

The flies that infest our worm cultures are unrelated to those that burrow into live animal flesh. You will not get myiasis from fruit flies or fungus gnats that grow in your worm cultures.

Yeah. But they're still gross. And it's weird how they zoomed in on the culture and chewed their way to it.

Idea! I will switch from storing the grindal worm culture in the stand under the tank (which is not air sealed, and flies can get in) to instead storing it inside my tub side table. It's a Sterilite® box with closable and sealable lid that we use as an end table next to the couch instead of an actual end table. That way the flies won't get in, and there will still be enough air in there for exchange with the culture box :D

This actually solves multiple problems, as there wasn't enough space in the stand for each culture to sit with nothing on its lid.

#77 Guest_Kanus_*

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 10:37 PM

I have also seen people that kept their culture containers in zippered pillowcases.Tons of airflow but the holes were too tiny to let anything in.

#78 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 10:37 PM

I have also seen people that kept their culture containers in zippered pillowcases.Tons of airflow but the holes were too tiny to let anything in.

+1! That's really smart!
Then I wouldn't have to constantly tape and retape the coffee filters. :D

#79 Guest_Irate Mormon_*

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 08:26 PM

Erica, do you have photos of the UPS guy delivering the culture? Mortality during transit? Discussion of appropriate methods for shipping grindal worm cultures and best carrier?? What is the optimal food for the worms (cost vs. growth at standardized temp). We need COMPLETE documentation; otherwise all this discussion is for naught.

#80 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 10:01 PM

Erica, do you have photos of the UPS guy delivering the culture? Mortality during transit? Discussion of appropriate methods for shipping grindal worm cultures and best carrier?? What is the optimal food for the worms (cost vs. growth at standardized temp). We need COMPLETE documentation; otherwise all this discussion is for naught.

lol
0% mortality from transport. I saw zero dead worms upon arrival or the next day.

You'd be surprised how detailed the methods section has to be for a person to be able to replicate it.

Speaking of grindal worms, I'm going to go harvest some to feed my elassoma okefenokee. They're so cute and adorable. They look just like the adults now, only they're smaller. I'm starting to be able to see their brown mottling color, which may perhaps denote the females. Not sure yet.




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