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Old 08-18-2013, 06:48 PM   #1
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Bloodworms

Add one more thing to the list of things in my tank that I did not put in there...

I was cleaning my filter cartridge and noticed a bright red little worm. The bag was getting kind of gnarly and wasn't rinsing out particularly well so I decided to shift the media (seachem matrix) to a fresh bag. As I was transferring the media to the new bag, I noticed more worms...ultimately I found about 15 that were alive and squirming, and a few that were dead. I'm assuming these are bloodworms, but where did they come from?? I have fed my fish bloodworms before, but they're freeze dried, so I can't imagine these would resurrect into living bloodworms! Any ideas?

And is it safe to feed these guys to my fish?

Does their presence indicate any kind of problem? Or are they a good thing?
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:57 PM   #2
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Oops, I meant to include a pic, just in case these aren't bloodworms...
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:32 PM   #3
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Hmm. Don't think I have ever seen those. Not bloodworms as you think of them, which are fly larvae, not worms. Frozen ones can't reproduce, nor can freeze dried ones, and if they did, you'd have flies.

I've seen Dero worms, which are very skinny, long, but they are pinkish, not this intense red. They swim in a series of S curves in the water. Super skinny, but first class fish food. Possibly some type of detritus worm, since they were in a dirty filter ?

I'm thinking if fish will eat them, feed them to fish. Most things that live in fresh water that will fit in a fish mouth are fish food.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:45 PM   #4
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Hmm. Don't think I have ever seen those. Not bloodworms as you think of them, which are fly larvae, not worms. Frozen ones can't reproduce, nor can freeze dried ones, and if they did, you'd have flies.

I've seen Dero worms, which are very skinny, long, but they are pinkish, not this intense red. They swim in a series of S curves in the water. Super skinny, but first class fish food. Possibly some type of detritus worm, since they were in a dirty filter ?

I'm thinking if fish will eat them, feed them to fish. Most things that live in fresh water that will fit in a fish mouth are fish food.
Hmm. These are about 1cm long at max. They sort of whip back and forth to swim. My only thought with the freeze dried ones is that some less complex organisms can be re-enervated after being frozen for an extended period of time.

The only other thing that I could think they might be would be mosquito larvae but in my experience, they aren't this red. I say that because I saw a mosquito inside my tank the other day...but at the same time, they also tend to prefer stagnant water to breed in...which my aquarium definitely is not.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:47 PM   #5
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They appear to be segmented and if they indeed are you have bloodworms which really aren't worms at all. They are larvae of Midges if memory services me right.

You introduced them on something, plants, moss, ??? Put one in the tank in front of the fish and see if they eat them. If so add them one or two at a time and let them feast.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:09 PM   #6
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They appear to be segmented and if they indeed are you have bloodworms which really aren't worms at all. They are larvae of Midges if memory services me right.

You introduced them on something, plants, moss, ??? Put one in the tank in front of the fish and see if they eat them. If so add them one or two at a time and let them feast.
I added some cabomba several weeks ago and java moss about 2 weeks ago now. Wednesday I added a batch of nerites, but I didn't add the water they came in since they were all adhered to the bag and I had to slide them off to get them in the tank! My best guess for the culprit is the java moss. It was an eBay purchase...
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:59 PM   #7
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There is another possible explanation... you said you found mosquito larvae in your tank, it is possible that a midge fly did the same and they hatched in the tank. If you continue to find them that is what's happening.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:05 AM   #8
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There is another possible explanation... you said you found mosquito larvae in your tank, it is possible that a midge fly did the same and they hatched in the tank. If you continue to find them that is what's happening.
I saw an adult mosquito flying around in my tank between the surface and the hood, not larvae. I've seen mosquito larvae before though, in buckets, etc. that didn't get emptied after a rain. I live in New Orleans so mosquitos are quite plentiful!

As for a midge fly, I suppose its possible but I don't know that I've ever seen one around here. I wouldn't really know what to look for honestly. Fruit flies, formosan termites, gigantic cockroaches...I'm all too familiar with those!
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:16 AM   #9
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Midge flies look very similar to mosquito's.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:16 AM   #10
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For someone who cultures as many things as I do, I really do not care for bugs much. But the fish enjoy them so much.

Rivercats, you see segments ? I must need new specs.. did not see that. Segments could certainly indicate insect larvae.

I tried zooming in on the pic, there do appear to be segments, even something that might be mouth parts or something of that sort. Likely insect larvae of some kind.

Once I got, I think, possibly dragon fly larvae, with some plants. Have huge eyes, at first I though I was seeing mystery fish fry, 'til I netted them out and got a better look. They eat fish fry, miserable things. I have pics of them somewhere.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:19 AM   #11
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For someone who cultures as many things as I do, I really do not care for bugs much. But the fish enjoy them so much.

Rivercats, you see segments ? I must need new specs.. did not see that. Segments could certainly indicate insect larvae.
They're definitely segmented. I took the pic with my iPhone so it's not the highest quality.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:24 AM   #12
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So feed 'em to the fish before they pupate !
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:37 AM   #13
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You don't want them to hatch as Midges can bite!
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:41 AM   #14
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So feed 'em to the fish before they pupate !
I'll try feeding them tomorrow. Lights have been out for almost 2 hours now so everyone has "gone to bed" for the night. I've got them in a sealed Tupperware container.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:36 PM   #15
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I'll try feeding them tomorrow. Lights have been out for almost 2 hours now so everyone has "gone to bed" for the night. I've got them in a sealed Tupperware container.
My platy LOVED the bloodworms. I think he ate all but two. Little pig.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:35 PM   #16
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Yippee. I am firmly of the opinion that fish do far better if given live food whenever possible. Frozen, if live just can't be had. Sure makes a difference to them. I have way more cultured critters, for feeding, than fish. Sure didn't expect that when I first got back into fish.

But I feed my cats home made raw food, and they are thriving on it. I soon began to wonder about fish food too. It was not long 'til I began culturing green water, originally to feed shrimp larvae and many other things followed. Fish and shrimp and froggies sure seem to appreciate it.
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:16 PM   #17
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Yippee. I am firmly of the opinion that fish do far better if given live food whenever possible. Frozen, if live just can't be had. Sure makes a difference to them. I have way more cultured critters, for feeding, than fish. Sure didn't expect that when I first got back into fish.

But I feed my cats home made raw food, and they are thriving on it. I soon began to wonder about fish food too. It was not long 'til I began culturing green water, originally to feed shrimp larvae and many other things followed. Fish and shrimp and froggies sure seem to appreciate it.
When I was in college I had a 30g that I used to feed brine shrimp to at least once a week, sometimes more. I worked for a research lab that several thousand fish for research purposes, and we cultured brine shrimp for them. I took home the leftovers when I was on feeding duty and my guys got a special treat.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:49 PM   #18
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Fortunate fish. It's one thing I have yet to feed, oddly enough. Too big a pain hatching them I guess.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:07 PM   #19
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Fortunate fish. It's one thing I have yet to feed, oddly enough. Too big a pain hatching them I guess.
If I had the room for it I'd absolutely set up a hatchery. It's really not all that complicated. We had 4 batches running at all times...they'd grow out for 48 hours before morning and evening feelings every day. It's a little messy though.

I've thought about getting one of those in-tank hatcheries, but I haven't felt like shelling out the money.
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:04 AM   #20
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You don't want them to hatch as Midges can bite!
Apparently I missed a few because when I took the hood off my tank this afternoon to do a PWC and acclimate a couple new cories I found several midge flies flying around. I killed at least 3.
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