Culturing White Worms

Culturing White Worms

Enchytraeus albidus (also known as White Worms) is a popular type of live food cultured as fish food by aquarists. They are used to condition tropical fish prior to spawning, as well as young fast-growing fish.

White Worms require soils with a high organic matter content and a pH of 6.8 to 7.2 for optimal conditions. If the culture is properly maintained, the worms will congregate on the soil’s surface in large numbers. Worms will frequently congregate on the glass cover, which can be scraped off and fed to fish.

Shallow wooden boxes have proven to be the most effective. Worm boxes are typically 1/2 to 2/3 inch long, 6 to 12 inch wide, and 2 1/2 to 4 inch deep. In any case, it is preferable to use several small cultures rather than one large one.

White Worms reproduce normally at and above 8°C – 10°C, with 15°C – 21°C being the optimal temperature for growth and reproduction. Their production rate will decrease as the temperature begins to rise or fall below this range.

To keep predators out and light out, the culture must be covered. Ants, beetles, and other insects will eat the worms or the food. Such pests can be avoided by using a secure lid and carefully positioning the culture box. To keep the soil surface from drying out, an inner soil cover is recommended.

White Worms will consume almost any organic food. Apiarists feed their worms plant material, oatmeal, milk-soaked bread, wheat flour, cereal, mashed potato, and a variety of other similar foods. They will even eat flake and pelleted fish foods, as well as dry dog and cat food if pre-soaked.

Two or three times per week, inspect the culture for food levels. If the food is depleted, increase the amount given. If any food remains, remove it and reduce the amount provided.

White Worms should not be overfed at first because excess food attracts mites, fungal growth, and bacterial contamination. During the first month, you will need to limit the amount of food offered until the culture settles.

Spray water on the soil’s surface to maintain a damp, but not soggy, appearance and feel. This can be accomplished with a plant sprayer or mister. Moisture regulation can be aided by removing the cover for as long as necessary to allow for evaporation.