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Microworm culture

Martin steele

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31 Aug 2019
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Hi i have had some success with the goldfish breeding project. They are hungry creatures i have been starting them of on spirulina algae and then moving them onto microworm. The only problem i am having with the Worms is when the culture kiks in it's great you can scrape the Worms of the side of the container and feed them to the hungry fry.However after a day or two the culture begins to stink of vinager and you know it's time to cook up some more oatmeal.Q is there a way to prolong these essential cultures ,i thought adding some crushed egg shells to the oatmeal might help to alliviate the problem by tacking away some of the acid they seem to pickle them selves in.Any suggestions would be most welcome.
Regards martinsteele1959@gmail.com
 

tam

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I've been using mashed potato and the culture lasted about 6 weeks.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
and you know it's time to cook up some more oatmeal.
You don't need to cook the oat meal. I think this will make the cultures last a lot longer.

I use Coleslaw type pots, I just punch a couple of holes in the lid.

I put a dollop of the old culture into the new pot, and then put a fairly shallow layer of rolled oats in (cheapest source is usually Lidl or Aldi), wet it and give it a stir. I leave about a third of the original culture in the pot and just add more oats to it.

I leave it over night, and the next morning adjust the wetness by adding more water, or more oats.

When the culture is running normally it gets wetter and I just add more oats, I keep on doing this until the culture starts to go drier and more yellow, and then I re-culture. Usually that happens when the pot is about 1/3 full.

You get a bit of a worm boom before this happens and they end up all over the lid etc. which is a good indication of when to re-culture. I don't think that oat based cultures tend to smell very much, mine just have a slight yeasty smell, if they smell alchoholic I sub-culture.

When the pots/cultures get really scuzzy I start again.

cheers Darrel
 

Martin steele

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Hi Darryl thank you for the advice. Do you use milk in the oatmeal or yeast or spirulina. Mine stinks very strogly of vinager in fact it smells just like aquarium sealant.
Regards Martin steele
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Do you use milk in the oatmeal or yeast or spirulina.
No, I just use Oats, when you sub-culture the worms bring the yeast with them. The oats are just a substrate for the yeast, the nematodes eat the yeast.

If you add yeast you get a burst of microworm production, but then the cultures crashes (possibly because of the alcohol production?)

I've used the <"same method for at least the last ten years">, and I've never lost my culture since I first bought it.

Have a look at <"Live food cultures"> as well, I keep quite a few different invertebrates as live food/tank janitors.

cheers Darrel
 
Last edited:

sparkyweasel

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I do much the same as Darrell, except I use boiling water to wet the oats, - no more cooking than that gives. I was told it kills any micro-organisms that might compete with the yeast in the culture.
I use the cheapest oats, they are not over-processed and have nothing added.
I seed a new culture when the old one is two months old, the old one usually last another month or so before it goes manky.
 

tam

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Hi Tam and thank you is that just straight mash potatoes no milk or fat added.I will give it a go .

Powdered mash you get in packets, just mixed with tank water. I add a tiny pinch of yeast on top and then 1-2 a week. I've only been running them about 3 months though so not saying that's the best option - there is a smell but only if you stick your nose in and sniff it's not over powering.
 

sparkyweasel

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You asked if people are adding milk, - are you using it?
Can you describe your method?
 

Martin steele

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Yes i cook up some porridge with milk and let it go cold then i i add a little sugar and yeast and some spirulina then i add a dolop of culture from an old culture set it down for a few days and it's away for a week or ten days then it crashes stinking of acitic acid.
 

tam

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I think you might be making too fancy porridge - milk and sugar sounds like a good recipe for stinky!
 

sparkyweasel

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Milk goes bad pretty quickly. Sugar probably accelerates the growth of the yeast and brings the culture to an end quicker. There's also sugar in milk.
Sugar plus yeast makes alcohol, alcohol exposed to air turns to vinegar, hence the smell.
Try it with just oats and water, you should get on a lot better.
 

Costa

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@sparkyweasel

I have a culture of White Worms Enchytraeus albidus that i want to grow without needing to add food every day per David Ramsey's YouTube advice

So you cook the oat with water, let it cool, sprinkle some yeast and then place in your cultures? How much do you put in and do you use bread or some other base?

Thank you so much
 

sparkyweasel

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No bread, just oats, the oats are the base. But that is for microworms, Panagrellus redivivus.
For whiteworms you can use potting compost for them to live in, and make a couple of depressions to put the food in. You can feed them bread or oatmeal. You don't need to feed every day, maybe every two or three days. The food will go mouldy if you leave it too long.
 

sparkyweasel

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For the microworms, mix enough boiling water with the oats to make a thick paste. Let it cool, then put it in the container. I put it about 3cm deep, the container is deeper, about 5cm, so the microworms can crawl up the sides above the oats. Then you can harvest them my wiping them off the container wall. You can use plastic food tubs, make some small holes in the lid for air to flow in and out. They don't need to be big containers, maybe 15cm, you can get a lot of microworms from that size.
Then you add a small amount ( 10ml ) from the old culture (or a starter culture from some-one else if it's your first time). After two weeks, start another culture, then you have a back-up if you have any problems.
 

Costa

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No bread, just oats, the oats are the base. But that is for microworms, Panagrellus redivivus.
For whiteworms you can use potting compost for them to live in, and make a couple of depressions to put the food in. You can feed them bread or oatmeal. You don't need to feed every day, maybe every two or three days. The food will go mouldy if you leave it too long.

Thank you,I use bread, yogurt and yeast powder but it goes mouldy on the next day, maybe a sign of too much moisture in the soil? I've been told to use cooked rice but at the moment I am following Ramsey's instructions
 

sparkyweasel

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I haven't tried rice, but it sounds like a good idea. It might last longer before it goes mouldy.
Are you getting lots of worms? If it's too wet or too dry, they don't breed as fast. If you want to experiment, you could set up another culture, keep it a little less moist and see if it still produces a good supply of worms. That way you won't lose your original culture if the experiment is not a success. :)
 
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