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carolina blackworms...


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#41 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 08:37 PM

That is what I figured and what I was hoping for.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#42 gerald

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 04:38 PM

To survive shipping it's best if they are COLD (35-45 f) and drain off as much water as possible.  When they're spread out in a wide shallow container they do fine at high temp, but when piled up in a bag they suffocate quickly if too warm.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#43 Auban

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 08:21 PM

i plan on shipping them with an ice pack.  though they may not need it...  they seem incredibly resilient.  but yeah, ill cool them off as much as possible.  


"The ecologist is continually having to look at the aspects of nature with which he is unfamiliar and perforce must be an amateur for much of his working time.... professionals may carp at omissions, misconstructions, or even downright errors in these pages. perhaps ultimately they may forgive them for the sake of the overall vision that only the amateur, or the ecologist, blithely sets out to experience."G. Evelyn Hutchinson

#44 Auban

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Posted 02 May 2015 - 11:05 PM

so, the army decided to send me on a surprise trip.  when i got back, my pond was completely covered in duckweed.  so thick that the wind cannot open up a clear spot.  

 

well, as much as i was disheartened to see it at first, it has actually turned out to be a blessing.  the worms seem to have left the substrate and have migrated to the duckweed, im assuming because of lower oxygen levels in the deeper parts of the pond.  this makes it very very easy to harvest the worms, since the duckweed floats.  all i have to do is gather a bunch of duckweed and toss it in a bare five gallon tank, then shock it with 9 volts at 200 miliamps.  the worms scatter, fall to the bottom, and the duckweed remains on top.  then, if i want, i can skim the depleted duckweed from the tank and add more.  

 

its pretty darn fast...  as in, collect half a pound in ten minutes fast.  ill have to make a video of it.  seeing the worms erupt out of the duckweed is quite a sight.  i probably wont have time to do it until after my next deployment, but i would like to set up something with multiple electrodes so that i can shock the entire surface at once.  that would make things even faster.  im pretty sure i could collect duckweed all day long and not even put a dent in the amount of duckweed in the pond, so i dont think production would suffer much.  

 

i also found out that the mud at the waters edge is LOADED with worms.  ill have to make a video of that too...  at the edges, i found a larger worm that looks kinda like an earthworm.  well, its well suited for fish food.  some of them survived in a bucked of water while i was away on business.  several weeks under water.  

 

ah...  i just need to get out and start doing what i love...  

 

i need to start a business selling live fish food!


"The ecologist is continually having to look at the aspects of nature with which he is unfamiliar and perforce must be an amateur for much of his working time.... professionals may carp at omissions, misconstructions, or even downright errors in these pages. perhaps ultimately they may forgive them for the sake of the overall vision that only the amateur, or the ecologist, blithely sets out to experience."G. Evelyn Hutchinson

#45 mattknepley

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Posted 03 May 2015 - 07:10 AM

I'd be interested in trying to seed some in my outdoor "ponds". One is 100 gallons with plenty of hornwort, Java moss, plenty of snails and a pretty low fish load. The other is ~78 gal, very shallow, dirty and hot- pretty much the perfect Gambusia pond. From this thread it seems like they'd be fine in either. PM me.
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#46 Auban

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 06:19 PM

I'd be interested in trying to seed some in my outdoor "ponds". One is 100 gallons with plenty of hornwort, Java moss, plenty of snails and a pretty low fish load. The other is ~78 gal, very shallow, dirty and hot- pretty much the perfect Gambusia pond. From this thread it seems like they'd be fine in either. PM me.

sorry i havent responded sooner, i have been pretty busy.  

i cant ship anything right now as i am currently on the other side of the planet, but when i get back next spring, ill let you know and send some out to you.  


"The ecologist is continually having to look at the aspects of nature with which he is unfamiliar and perforce must be an amateur for much of his working time.... professionals may carp at omissions, misconstructions, or even downright errors in these pages. perhaps ultimately they may forgive them for the sake of the overall vision that only the amateur, or the ecologist, blithely sets out to experience."G. Evelyn Hutchinson

#47 Auban

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 06:05 AM

harvesting my worms.

 


"The ecologist is continually having to look at the aspects of nature with which he is unfamiliar and perforce must be an amateur for much of his working time.... professionals may carp at omissions, misconstructions, or even downright errors in these pages. perhaps ultimately they may forgive them for the sake of the overall vision that only the amateur, or the ecologist, blithely sets out to experience."G. Evelyn Hutchinson

#48 gerald

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 10:26 AM

Brilliant!  I'm guessing if you need to separate worms from non-floating material (leaf litter, etc), you could suspend the worm/detritus mix in a net and do the same thing?  So any 9v power supply transformer should do the trick?  I presume you have to be careful not to let the wires touch or it'll short out, right?


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#49 mattknepley

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 02:50 PM

sorry i havent responded sooner, i have been pretty busy.  
i cant ship anything right now as i am currently on the other side of the planet, but when i get back next spring, ill let you know and send some out to you.

Sounds good. Be safe.

Neat show by the way, kindof a wormy tickertape and confetti explosion thing goin on there!
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#50 Auban

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 08:58 AM

Brilliant!  I'm guessing if you need to separate worms from non-floating material (leaf litter, etc), you could suspend the worm/detritus mix in a net and do the same thing?  So any 9v power supply transformer should do the trick?  I presume you have to be careful not to let the wires touch or it'll short out, right?

 

i have actually touched the wires together quite a few times...  they arc, will start to warm up, but its pretty slow.  i imagine any nine volt source would work so long as the amps arent too high.  of course, so far as amperage goes, i dont know how high is too high.  i would think low amp, high voltage would be best.

 

so far as separating them from the detritus, pretty much what you said.  

 

if i collect duckweed from a little farther into the water, i get very little mud and very little detritus, but the worms are all a lot smaller and at lower density.  the upside to it is that i can just swirl the duckweed around in the tank and all the worms drop out while the duckweed floats back up to the top. makes for very clean harvesting and i dont even need to shock them so long as its only duckweed.  clumps of algae have to be shocked since they dont disintegrate when agitated.


"The ecologist is continually having to look at the aspects of nature with which he is unfamiliar and perforce must be an amateur for much of his working time.... professionals may carp at omissions, misconstructions, or even downright errors in these pages. perhaps ultimately they may forgive them for the sake of the overall vision that only the amateur, or the ecologist, blithely sets out to experience."G. Evelyn Hutchinson

#51 Auban

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 02:15 AM

I just got back from deployment. I was in east africa this time. The last time I disappeared I was in afghanistan.

Anyway, this deployment messed with my head a bit. When I got back, I spent a whole day drunk, down at my pond. Listening to music and just thinking. And dipping my hands into everything in sight.

I found worms in the mud surrounding my pond that look like sexually mature black worms. Hundreds of thousands of them. I have read that sexually mature adults are rare, which lines up with my own observations of worms I collect from the pond. I'm wondering if the worms I found in the mud are in fact sexually mature black worms. They only live in mud that is fully saturated. I cut some drain channels into the mud in one area and within a week the worms left the area and moved to wetter mud. I am currently setting up a tank to house the worms I collect from the mud, above the water line. They are larger than normal blackworms. And they act different. They don't swim when disturbed, but otherwise, they act like blackworms.

Two deployments back to back have left me burnt out. In the last three years, I have been home for about 9 months. As far as I know, I won't deploy again for about a year. I need the break.

One thing I already want to do is figure out if those worms are the same species as the worms I have in my pond. I suspect that they may be. If they are, I may be able to use them to produce worms in a more controlled setting. From what I have seen in my pond, it would make sense if they migrate to the waters edge to breed. If they turn out to be the same species, then it might make breeding them easier.

Of course, I could just be imagining things. I'm just glad that after three wars, I am still filled with wonder by looking at a simple worm.

I would be lost without my hobbies.
"The ecologist is continually having to look at the aspects of nature with which he is unfamiliar and perforce must be an amateur for much of his working time.... professionals may carp at omissions, misconstructions, or even downright errors in these pages. perhaps ultimately they may forgive them for the sake of the overall vision that only the amateur, or the ecologist, blithely sets out to experience."G. Evelyn Hutchinson

#52 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 05:34 AM

Welcome home and welcome back to the forum. Glad you are OK and still posting here about your invert observations.

Thank you for your service.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#53 MtFallsTodd

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 06:35 AM

Welcome home brother. I know where your coming from about long deployments getting in your head. If you need an ear drop me a pm and I'll give you my #. Thanks for your service.
Deep in the hills of Great North Mountain

#54 truecrimson

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 11:29 AM

Welcome back.

 

I'm glad you made it back in one piece and are still fascinated by nature.



#55 keepnatives

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 04:51 PM

Glad you're back gotta appreciate a guy who gets refreshed playing in the mud with fish food. Hope you find a great way to culture those worms.


Mike Lucas
Mohawk-Hudson Watershed
Schenectady NY

#56 mattknepley

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 07:44 PM

Grateful to have you back stateside, Auban. 


Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#57 gerald

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 08:43 AM

I'd bet nature is one of the best therapies ever for de-stressing after deployment.  Maybe the VA needs to look into blackworm therapy for vets.  I know just the guy to run that project.  Regarding worm ID there's a whole lotta other stream and pond dwelling Lumbriculidae (several genera and dozens of species) in the Carolinas beside the blackworm, Lumbriculus variegatus.  You probably have a mix of species in that pond. 

 

 

Welcome back.

 

I'm glad you made it back in one piece and are still fascinated by nature.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#58 WheelsOC

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 06:19 AM

Glad to see you around here again! I didn't post much before your deployments but yours is definitely a familiar handle.

I know you've got a lot on your mind after being on deployment for so long, but I was curious if a 9v battery would have the same worm-scattering effect as the DC power supplies. It might be considerably safer and simpler to make two pieces of copper wire into an electro-worming probe that can be connected to the terminals of a 9V than to mess with AC power.



#59 Kanus

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 06:45 PM

Hey Auban, great to see you around again! I've been away from the forum for quite a while also (though certainly not nearly as far away!) 

 

I was just talking about this thread the other day because I've just recently started working at Conservation Fisheries raising native fish, and we go through A LOT of blackworms. However, the drought in California has pretty much shut down production of Blackworms from out that way, and we've had to switch to someone that raises them here in the east, but have not exactly been thrilled by the quality of service. If you find a way to produce these things, I can pretty much promise you there'd be a market for you. And once I get settled here, if I can manage to find a place where I can toy with ponds sometime, I'd love to seed mine with some worms and see how they do. There's a mystery here and someone needs to crack these things so they can be accessible from more than two sources in the entire country :)


Derek Wheaton

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#60 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 07:11 PM

Thank you for your service. I had that said to me recently as well. Not many notice the small mark on my drivers license that says "Armed Forces". It made my day. I hope you feel proud of what you do even during the tough times. Glad you are home safe and hope you enjoy yourself.

The member formerly known as Skipjack





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