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Sunday, February 12, 2012

California Blackworms

I have been breeding and raising guppies almost continuously since I was twelve years old.  Along the way I have developed an array of equipment and supplies that are both economical and highly functional.  In this string I will share some of the things I use in my fish room that have served me well over the years.
For the past couple of years I have been feeding live California Blackworms.   Years ago these were raised in the effluent from duck farms and worse and carried a plethora of diseases.  Now they are raised independently in a clean farm environment and fed a high protein diet.  I feed about one pound per week and have not had any problems associated with the worms.
Black worm facts:  140,000 lbs are sold in the US each year.  Who is buying all  those worms? 
Albuquerque Aquarium
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo
Cincinnati Zoo
Cleveland Metro parks Zoo
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Fort Wayne Zoological Society
Fort Worth Zoo
Georgia Aquarium
Jacksonville Zoological Society, Inc.
Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
Monterey Bay Aquarium
NC Aquarium Roanoke Island
Oklahoma City Zoo
Philadelphia Zoo
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG AQ.
Riverbank Zoo & Garden
Saint Louis Zoo
San Antonio Zoo
Sedgwick County Zoo
Tennessee Aquarium
Virginia Marine Science Museum

US Army Corps of Engineers
USFW Willow Beach
USFW Greers Ferry NFH
USFW Mammoth Spring
USFW National Conservation Training Center
USFW San Marcos
USFW Warm Springs Hatchery
Uvalde Fish Hatchery
Alabama Aquatic Bio diversity
California Dept. of Fish and Game
Chattahoochee NFH
Colorado Division of Wildlife
Conservation Fisheries Inc
David White/USGS
Dexter National Fish Hatchery
Edenton National Fish Hatchery
Hancock Biological Station
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife
Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery
Virginia Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries

Arizona State University
Belmont University,Biology Dept
Bowling Green State University
California State Univ. Fullerton
Cape Breton University
Carnegie Institute of Washington
Carolina Biological
Clark University
Columbia Environmental Research Center
Creighton University
Eastern Illinois University
Harvard Medical School,Dept of Genetics
Georgia Institute of Technology
Humboldt State University
Indiana University
Kennedy Krieger Institute
Johns Hopkins University
McGill University
McMaster University, Dept of Biology
Muhlenberg College
Minot State University
Mississippi State University
Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries
Missouri State University
New Mexico State University/Dept. of Biol
Ottawa Hospital
Penn State University (Biology Dept.)
Southern Illinois University
St. Lawrence university
Stanford University,CEE Dept.
Texas A & M University
Texas State University at San Marcos
UCLA Dept. of Ecology & Evol Biology 
Univ of Maryland, Baltimore
Univ. of Miami, RSMAS
Univ of Texas at El Paso
Univ. of Florida, The Whitney Laboratory
Univ. of South Carolina
Univ. of Utah/Cardiology Div.
University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff
University of Ca. @ Berkeley
University of California Riverside
University of Colorado at Colorado Spring
University of Dayton Biology Dept.
University of Delaware
University of Florida, Tropical Aquacult
University of Florida/Dept. of Zoology
University of Guelph
University of Mary Washington
University of Maryland/College park
University of Memphis
University of Michigan Biological Station
University of Minnesota Duluth
University Of Nebraska
University of New Mexico
University of Oklahoma
University of Ottawa
University of Saskatchewan
University of Texas A & M
University of Texas at Austin
Section of Neurobiology
University of Texas
University of Utah
University of Virginia
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
University of Wisconsin/River Falls
Vanderbilt University Med Center
Washington University
West Virginia University

California Blackworms sells these handy trays that separate the worms from the water.  The worms are immersed in about 1/2 inch of water in the top compartment and most of the water is in the lower compartment.  Care consists of rinsing the upper compartment and emptying and refilling the lower compartment each day.  By doing this religiously, the worms will last over three weeks if properly refrigerated.

Young fish show remarkable growth when fed blackworms. The high protein content promotes body size growth.  Many say they are too large for young guppies, but they delight in battling to ingest them.  My young fish will begin to eat them as early as three weeks.  They promote egg production and fertility in females as well.