Caring for Your White Worm Ranch

The inside scoop from Aqualand on Enchytraeus species

 

Amphibians
Axolotls
Caecilian Worm
Chaco Toad
Mud Puppies

Newts General
Newts Eastern
Newts Golden

Newts Mandarin
Salamanders
Suriname Toad
Tadpoles
Terrarium I
Terrarium II
USA Toads
Water Dogs
Misc. Toads

Frogs
Bull
Clawed
Dumpy
Dwarf
Fire-Belly
Floating
Green Tree
Leopard
Pac Man
Pipa pipa
Pyxie
Red-Eyed Tree
Tomato
Misc Frogs 
Misc Frogs II
Misc Frogs III
Misc Frogs IV

Animals
Bunnies
Bunnies II 
Chinchillas
Degus
Ferrets
Gerbils
Guinea Pig
Hamsters I
Hamsters II
Hamsters III
Hamsters IV
Hamsters V
Hedgehogs
Kittens
Kids & Kittens
Mice
Mice Pets II
Parasites
Rats I
Rats II
Rats, Hairless
S-T Opossums
Sugar Gliders
Water Bottles

Bugs
Crabby 500
Crab 04 Results
Centipedes
Cray/Lobsters
Crayfish II
Crayfish III
Cray, Yucatan
Fiddler Crabs
Shrimp, Algae
Shrimp, Aqua
Shrimp, Red
Shrimp, Flower

Shrimp, Ghost
Shrimp, Rudolph
Hermit Crabs
Hermit Crabs II
Madagas Roach
Mantids
Mini-Clams
Mini-Crabs
Giant Millipedes
Red Claw Crabs
Reiman Butterfly
Snail, Apple
Snail, Colombian
Snail, Land
Snail, Malaysian

Snail, Mystery
Snail, Trapdoor 
Scorpions
Tarantulas
Tarantula Night 2006
TarantulaWeen VII
Misc. Bugs
Misc Bugs II  

Birds
Breeding Tips

Canaries

Cockatiels
Dove, Diamond
Dove, Ringneck
Finches
Love Birds
Parakeets
Pelleted Foods
Quaker Parrots

Parrot Pictures
Parrot Pix II

Dave's Parrots


Lizards
Alligators
Anoles
Bearded Dragon

Calotes
Chamel, Jackson
Chamel, Panther
Chamel, Veiled
Crested Geckos
Gecko, Golden

Gecko, House
Gecko, Leopard
Gecko, Tokay
Horned "Toads"
Iguana New
Iguana Dragons
Iguana Q&A I
Iguana Q&A II
Iguana Training
Iguana Update
Knight Anoles
Monitors, Nile

Monitors, Savana
Monitors, Water

Salmonella
Skinks
Skinks Blue-Tongue
Tegus
Uromastyx maliensis
Water Dragon
Misc Lizards
Misc Lizards 2
Misc Lizards 3
Misc Lizards 4
Misc Lizards 5


Snakes
Anacondas
Boa, Rosy

Boa, Red-Tail
Corn Snake
Garter Snake
Green Snake
Kids/Corn Snakes
Kids/Red-Tail Boas

Kids at Pet Expo 1

Kids at Pet Expo 2

Kids at Pet Expo 3

Kids at Pet Expo 4

Kids at Pet Expo 5
King & Milk
Python, Ball
Python, Burmese
Snakesgiving
Snakesgiving II

Misc. Snake Pix

Turtles
Box, Asian
Box, USA
Races
Snapping

Sulcata
Water


Live Foods
Blackworms
Blood Worms
Br Shrimp I
Br
Shrimp II
Crayfish 1
Crayfish 2
Crayfish 3 
Crickets
Daphnia
Earthworms
Feeder Goldfish
Fruit Flies
Ghost Shrimp

Glass Worms

Grindal Worms
Infusoria
Mealworms
Microworms
Rosy Reds

Super Worms

Wax Worms
White Clouds

 

Decorating
Bubbles
Driftwood
Gravel
Plastic Plants
Rocks
Slow Growing Plants

Miscellaneous
How to Start
How to Add New Fish
How to Keep Healthy
Which Fish Get Along?
10 Questions to Ask
What is Ich?
Under Gravel Filters

Cloudy Water

Cool Water Tanks
Gravel Vacuums
Preventing Disease
Feeding to the Max
Frozen Foods
Green Water
Nasty Chemicals
Overfeeding
Power Filters
Rift Lake Salts
Quarantine Tank
Mini-Tank
2nd Av Bait

Aquatic Plants
Amazon Swords
More Swords
Sword Plants III

Anubias
Aponogetons
A. boivinianus
A. fenestralis
A. ulvaceous
Aquarium/Bog
Banana Plant
Bolbitis
Bunch
Bunch Plants II
Cryptocorynes
Crystalwort
Dwarf Lily
Grassy
Grassy II
Hornwort
Hygrophila
Lace
Java Lance Fern
Java Moss
Moss Balls
Onion
Vermiculite

Watersprite

White Worm Factoids

Origin

Moist soils

Size

Little over an inch

Temperature

55 o to 60 o best.  Up to 70o

Water

Keep soil damp but not moist

Threats

Ants, maggots, and mice

Foods

White bread soaked in milk

Supplements

Sodium bicarbonate

Lighting

Keep in dark

Medium

Soil mixed with peat moss

Containers

Covered plastic shoe boxes

Maintenance

Weekly feedings

Harvesting

Remove clumps and rinse

Sorting

Swirl water to sort out sizes

LA
One-inch dwarf cichlid versus one-inch white worm.

Origins:  White worms grow wild in soils that stay damp.  You can find them growing wild in compost bins.  Unfortunately, you have to sort them out from the other stuff.

LA
White worms in mass quantities make a great fish food.

Appeal:  Fish love the taste of white worms – even the pickiest eaters.  Caution:  Bettas gorge themselves and can rupture their bellies.  (Stupid bettas.)

 

Size:  Adult white worms grow to slightly over an inch.  They breed before that size.  Their size makes them ideal for two to five-inch fish.  You can sort out smaller worms by swirling them in a gallon jar of water.  The large ones fall to the bottom first.  Just pour off the still swirling smaller worms and feed them to smaller fishes or return them to your culture.  Watch smaller fishes fight over one of these.  Neither one wants to give up, and the worm is stronger than both.

Sexes:  Like earthworms and other annelids, white worms are hermaphroditic.  Each worm contains male and female breeding equipment.  They swap sperm with each other like nightcrawlers.

Eggs:  White worms strew their eggs throughout their media.  Save all “used” dirt because it contains numerous eggs.  The clear eggs are hard to see.  You'll also get little springtails that look like eggs -- jumpy eggs.

Negative Phototropic:  White worms avoid the light.  They start burrowing into the dirt as soon as the light comes on.  This makes them difficult to harvest.

Noise:  White worms have no ears but easily detect vibrations.  If their box or shelves get bumped, they will retreat further into the soil.  They cannot be kept where a lot of activity takes place.

Foods:  White worms will accept dozens of foods.  The best production results from white bread soaked in milk.  Any variation from this reduces production or causes problems.  For instance, wheat bread grows mold in two days.  White breads contain mold preventing chemicals.  They rarely mold.

Feeding Schedule:  Feed small amounts at first (without crusts).  Increase the amounts until the culture eats a slice of bread per week.  The worms are now ready to harvest on a weekly basis or divide in half to make new cultures.

 

Supplements:  Mix some sodium bicarbonate into the soil to reduce the acidity that comes from the peat moss and digested food.

Moisture:  Add sufficient water to thoroughly soak the peat moss.  You may have to boil it.  Mix it with soil and squeeze a handful.  If it turns into mud, that’s too wet.  If it falls apart, that’s too dry.  If it forms a loose ball, that’s just right.  It may take a week to achieve the correct moisture level.  Usually, the culture stays plenty moist.  If it doesn’t, sprinkle it regularly and cover it better.

Pests:  If ants appear, sprinkle Sevin on the floor.  If mice appear, put down mouse baits.  If fruit flies or microworms appear, ignore them.  If mites appear, rinse them off frequently.  A cloth cover will keep out flies and gnats.  Nothing will keep out nematodes.  They come with the dirt.  Commercial potting soils don't work as well as homegrown dirt.

Starting Out:  Prepare the media.  Put ¼ slice bread on surface.  Put the new worms directly on top of the bread.  Cover them with dirt. A sheet of glass on top helps a lot.   We can't overestimate the value of that sheet of glass on top.  Darken the container and leave the worms alone.  Check on amount of food eaten in three or four days.  Add more food if necessary.

LA

Harvesting.  White worms swarm around the bread in clumps.  Quickly remove these clumps of worms by hand or with a fork.  The clumps of worms will clump even tighter squeezing out much of the dirt.  Put any extra dirt back into your culture.

NOTE:  Best pictures (and article) I’ve seen on these wiggly varmints was written by Rod Pick.  Find his name on the web or look under White Worms.  LA.

© 1998, © 2003, © 2004  LA Productions

3600 Sixth Avenue

Corner of Sixth & Euclid Avenues

Des Moines, IA 50313

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Betta Breed 1
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Betta Info
Betta  Housing
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Kiss. Gourami
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Misc. Catfish
Misc. Catfish II
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Cichlids
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Amer. Small
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Misc Cichlids V
Misc Cichlids VI

Livebearer  
Guppies
Half-Beak
Mollies
Moons/Platys
Swordtails

Minnows/Tetra 
Barbs
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Barbs, Tiger
Barbs, Tinfoil

Danios

Distochodus
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Killies, Econ.
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Misc Mini-Fish
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Rainbowfish
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Channel Cat
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Plecostomus
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American Eel
Archer Fish

Arowana
Bichirs
Borneo Suckers
Brackish I
Brackish II
Brackish III
Brackish IV
Brackish V
Michael Troung's Pix
Butterfly/Wasp
Chameleon Fish
Chromides

Chin Alg Eater
Crazy Fish
Crocodile Fish

Datnioides

Dojo
Electric Cat
Electric Eels

Elephant Nose
Exodon paradoxus
Flounder
Gars
 
Glassfish
Goby Bumble
Goby Butterfly
Goby Dragon
Goby Misc.
Half-Beak
Knife African
Knife Clown
Knife Ghost
Loach Botias
Loach Clown
Loach Kuhli
Loach Weather
Moray Eel  
Peacock Gudgeons
Polypterids
Puffers

Ropefish
Scats
Siam Algae Eater
 
Spiny Eels 
Snakehead
Stingray
Stonefish
Wasp Fish
Wolffish
Wrest Half-Beak
Misc. Mini-Fishes
Misc. Odd
Misc. Odd II
Misc. Odd III
Misc. Odd  IV

Sharks  
Bala
Black
Bull
Chinese Hi-Fin Banded
Iridescent
Red-Tail
Siam Algae Eater

Pond Info 
Blank Park Zoo
Bob Humphrey's Ponds
Cattails
Maffett Reservoir
DMACC's Pond
D.M. Botanical Center
D.M. Water Works
Dr. Ervanian's Garden
Duckweed

Dwarf Lily
Ewing Park "Pond"
Jan & Chris's Water Garden
John McDonald's Pond
Hall's Four Acres
Klines' Water Garden
Landscaper Effects
Mini-Pond Pics
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Pond on 38th Street 
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Pond Plants
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Pond Plants III
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Riverview Island
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Tom's Used Cars Pond
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Wild Ponds