Welcome to SKF Aquatics (Shrimp Keepers Forum)

Welcome to SKF Aquatics (Shrimp Keepers Forum), like most online communities you must register to view or post in our community, but don't worry this is a simple free process that requires minimal information for you to signup. Be apart of SKF Aquatics (Shrimp Keepers Forum) by signing in or creating an account.

  • Start new topics and reply to others
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get email updates
  • Get your own profile page and make new friends
  • Send personal messages to other members.

NoGi

New Library Article - Live Fish Food Options and Culturing

Recommended Posts

NoGi    1,343
NoGi

From the various topics, here on SKF Aquatics, you can see that there is a wealth of food options available for your fish. From flakes to pellets, wafers to granules, you won’t be short of variety and options. While these processed foods may be inexpensive and convenient, if you want to ensure your fish live the healthiest and longest life possible, you are going to want to limit the amount of processed foods and instead, feed them a diet that is supplemented with live foods.

Live fish food offers the highest amount of vital nutrients for your fish, and as such, will allow them to thrive. However, if you have never fed your fish live food before, you may not know what to look for or where to begin. Here’s a look at the different types of live fish food options and their culturing.

Brine Shrimp

Brine ShrimpBrine shrimp that have just hatched are highly nutritious for fry and small fish. The majority of aquarium fish will also feed on adult brine shrimp.

The best way to attain live brine shrimp is to grow and hatch them yourself. You can purchase eggs online or at your local pet supply store. To hatch the eggs, place them in a plastic bottle filled with clean water and attach an air pump to it. Once the eggs have hatched, siphon the shrimp out and place them in your tank.

 

 

 

Live Black Worms

Bloodworms

Scientifically known as Lumbriculus variegatus, live black worms can be found in various pet stores or in their natural habitat around the country.

You can find them in ponds and marshes. They are one of the best food to feed you fish. Not only are they rich in protein and other nutrients, but they can also survive for long periods of time in a freshwater tank.

If you want to culture your black worms, you can keep them in worm boxes, and they reproduce at room temperature, roughly doubling in volume every four weeks. However, if you do not plan to breed your black worms, you can keep them in a container in the refrigerator. The water in the jar should just cover the worms. Feed your fish every other day.

Bloodworms

Bloodworms are actually the larvae of flies, and they are highly nutritious for aquarium fish. To procure blood worms, visit ponds, lakes or any stagnant water where flies can be found and you should be able to find bloodworm larvae attached to plants. Flies mate in the air and drop their eggs into water. Collect the bloodworm larvae in a tank or plastic containers filled with organic matter, such as soil and dry leaves and some water. Once the bloodworms grow, collect them after dark, as this is when they are the most active, and feed them to your fish.

Daphnia

DaphniaDaphnia are commonly called water fleas. These small crustaceans are also a great source of food for fry. They seem to be a little hard to source in Australia but some aquatic hobbyists opt to catch and breed them themselves. You can culture them by placing algae scrapings from your aquarium into their water, or by adding plankton or even powdered milk to the water.

 

Some pet stores sell live fish food but it is usually easier, less expensive and more satisfying to raise live food yourself. Additionally, by raising the food yourself, you will have a constant supply on hand for feeding. By feeding your fish live food, you can ensure that they are receiving the vital nutrients that they need to thrive. Providing your fish with live food can be very rewarding for both you and your fish. If you are interested in learning more about culturing live fish food, there is plenty of literature available that will provide you with detailed information. Check out this topic for example:

If you are passionate about your aquarium and want your fish to thrive, you should seriously consider culturing your own live fish food.

References

34796412716_14dce2ee45_z.jpg Photo Credit: Merv Hall (@Madmerv) via Flickr with permission

4979224897_53a76bcc46.jpg Photo Credit: 阿鶴 Flickr via cc

5612935010_3a2a3ea16f.jpg Photo Credit: dullhunk Flickr via cc


View full article

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zebra    137
Zebra

Nice write up, love the pic of the blood worms- very cool.

I wouldn't say daphnia are hard to source here- maybe in packets- but check any pond, drain or water way :), I culture my own though they grow by millions in a pond behind my house. They love dry yeast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bostave    11
Bostave

The photo labelled as of bloodworms seems to be tubifex worms. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jayc    1,403
jayc

@NoGi,

Bostave is right.

Bloodworms look like this...

bloodworms.jpg.9350b55151fea122ba8758c523fb52f5.jpg

Edited by jayc
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NoGi    1,343
NoGi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Madmerv    130
Madmerv

The Very popular LFS in Perth sold them to me as Live Blood Worms. I'm not going to dispute @jayc.  They dont look like the ones in his photo and they never hatch into anything.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NoGi    1,343
NoGi

Ok so 2 things then

1. Who wants to write a little paragraph on tubifex worms for inclusion and

2. Who has a bloodworm image we can use with permission?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jayc    1,403
jayc

The next time I catch some bloodworms, I can take a photo of it for you to use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Madmerv    130
Madmerv
14 hours ago, Madmerv said:

The Very popular LFS in Perth sold them to me as Live Blood Worms. I'm not going to dispute @jayc.  They dont look like the ones in his photo and they never hatch into anything.

Sorry @NoGi my bad. I dropped into the LFS during work today and it is clearly labeled Live Black Worms.The colour of the worms and my dodgy memory combined/conspired against me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NoGi    1,343
NoGi
Just now, Madmerv said:

Sorry @NoGi my bad. I dropped into the LFS during work today and it is clearly labeled Live Black Worms.The colour of the worms and my dodgy memory combined/conspired against me.

That's fine, it's just another food we need to write about 😀 I've fixed the article by moving it down.

Any volunteers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bostave    11
Bostave

Blackworms and tubifex worms are different organisms though have similar body. The former is black while the latter is red. The shop in Perth sells black worms.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Similar Content

    • NoGi
      By NoGi
      From the various topics, here on SKF Aquatics, you can see that there is a wealth of food options available for your fish. From flakes to pellets, wafers to granules, you won’t be short of variety and options. While these processed foods may be inexpensive and convenient, if you want to ensure your fish live the healthiest and longest life possible, you are going to want to limit the amount of processed foods and instead, feed them a diet that is supplemented with live foods.
      Live fish food offers the highest amount of vital nutrients for your fish, and as such, will allow them to thrive. However, if you have never fed your fish live food before, you may not know what to look for or where to begin. Here’s a look at the different types of live fish food options and their culturing.
      Brine Shrimp
      Brine shrimp that have just hatched are highly nutritious for fry and small fish. The majority of aquarium fish will also feed on adult brine shrimp.
      The best way to attain live brine shrimp is to grow and hatch them yourself. You can purchase eggs online or at your local pet supply store. To hatch the eggs, place them in a plastic bottle filled with clean water and attach an air pump to it. Once the eggs have hatched, siphon the shrimp out and place them in your tank.
       
       
       
      Live Black Worms

      Scientifically known as Lumbriculus variegatus, live black worms can be found in various pet stores or in their natural habitat around the country.
      You can find them in ponds and marshes. They are one of the best food to feed you fish. Not only are they rich in protein and other nutrients, but they can also survive for long periods of time in a freshwater tank.
      If you want to culture your black worms, you can keep them in worm boxes, and they reproduce at room temperature, roughly doubling in volume every four weeks. However, if you do not plan to breed your black worms, you can keep them in a container in the refrigerator. The water in the jar should just cover the worms. Feed your fish every other day.
      Bloodworms
      Bloodworms are actually the larvae of flies, and they are highly nutritious for aquarium fish. To procure blood worms, visit ponds, lakes or any stagnant water where flies can be found and you should be able to find bloodworm larvae attached to plants. Flies mate in the air and drop their eggs into water. Collect the bloodworm larvae in a tank or plastic containers filled with organic matter, such as soil and dry leaves and some water. Once the bloodworms grow, collect them after dark, as this is when they are the most active, and feed them to your fish.
      Daphnia
      Daphnia are commonly called water fleas. These small crustaceans are also a great source of food for fry. They seem to be a little hard to source in Australia but some aquatic hobbyists opt to catch and breed them themselves. You can culture them by placing algae scrapings from your aquarium into their water, or by adding plankton or even powdered milk to the water.
       
      Some pet stores sell live fish food but it is usually easier, less expensive and more satisfying to raise live food yourself. Additionally, by raising the food yourself, you will have a constant supply on hand for feeding. By feeding your fish live food, you can ensure that they are receiving the vital nutrients that they need to thrive. Providing your fish with live food can be very rewarding for both you and your fish. If you are interested in learning more about culturing live fish food, there is plenty of literature available that will provide you with detailed information. Check out this topic for example:
      If you are passionate about your aquarium and want your fish to thrive, you should seriously consider culturing your own live fish food.
      References
       Photo Credit: Merv Hall (@Madmerv) via Flickr with permission
      Photo Credit: 阿鶴 Flickr via cc
      Photo Credit: dullhunk Flickr via cc
    • s1l3nt
      By s1l3nt
      Ever wondered what that sweet bread dough smell is coming from your neighbours fish room? Read on to find out the secret to that beautiful (to each their own right?) smell!
      Microworms are an easy to culture and maintain live food for your small/micro fish and especially for small fry. Size wise they fall somewhere between vinegar eels and baby brine shrimp (BBS) so is a good transition food prior to BBS. Nutrition wise they are a solid food source, but the fatty content may be a little on the higher side I believe so should not be a staple food permanently. Feeding a range of foods is best for the health of your fish and other aquatic friends.

      NOTE: Microworms sink fairly fast so be aware of this. They will also live a fairly long time in a fish tank, personally I have seen mine alive as long as 48 hours. But I would err on the side of caution and estimate a 24 hour “alive” time in a tank.
      Microworms can be cultured in a various mediums such as oats, bread, potato peelings, etc. Personally I use and prefer using white bread with the crusts cut off. The reason I prefer this method is because there is a much less foul smell as the culture matures, and even less of a foul smell when the culture crashes. It gives of a sour smell when it goes bad but otherwise smells yeasty similar to bread dough. Cultures can crash fairly easily in my experience and no one likes a horrible smell in their house/room/shed/etc…  I haven’t used bread crusts because they are usually coated in oil or similar to give the golden colour which causes a bit of a messy culture.
      Now onto the fun part, finding out how it is done!
      What you will need:
      - Some form of container. I use take away containers.
      - Bakers yeast. I use the Tandaco branded dry yeast which comes in small satchels will last quite a while… Real reason is that my wife uses it…. :)
      - Bread with crusts cut off. I use any brand that is on hand, doesn’t matter.
      - A starter culture of micro worms. I have these available for anyone interested :)
      - Water. Tap water is fine, and is what I use. Though it is possible to use tank water or milk (but milk smells worse in my experience).
      NOTE: You should always work with at least 2 cultures in the event one decides to crash that day when your fry are ready to feed!
      Steps to starting your culture:
      - Grab your bread with the crusts off and wet it with tap water. (You don’t want it soaking wet but rather similar to battering fish. Wet on both sides but not dripping or drenched throughout.)
      - Line your container with at least 1 layer of bread. (I find I have the most success with one layer personally but have used multiple in the past.)

      - Grab your starter culture and spread it over the bread.
      - Sprinkle some bakers yeast over the bread and the starter culture worms.

      - Put your lid on with some holes in it to allow oxygen exchange. (You can use filter wool loosely in the holes to prevent bugs/flies/etc from getting into your culture.
      - Wait a couple of days (if you have a good sized starter culture, they are ready within 24 hours) for the worms to do their magic.
      - Worms will climb the walls of the container, all you need to do then is use something like a pipette or your finger or similar to collect as many worms as needed. (I use the side of a pipette and put the worms into a small feeding container and then use the pipette to feed the fry/fish with a controlled amount of worms).

      - Reap rewards, benefits, remind everyone of this awesome information and spread those culture because you will lose them at some point! We all do… :) 
      Maintaining your culture:
      - You can prepare a slice of bread the same way as when you started a culture and drop this with a little bit of yeast ontop of your culture that is doing well. This will feed your worms further as they will eventually eat all the food you gave them in the beginning. (I find I can do this 1-2 times per culture before I have to start a fresh culture and use these worms as a large starter culture (don’t use the entire culture…)).
      NOTE: You can let your culture go dry and eventually wet it with tank water and drop some bread with yeast ontop and they will start a culture all over again. I believe this is because the worms lay eggs.
      Approximate Nutritional Values:
      Protein: 48%
      Fat: 21%
      Glycogen: 7%
      Orgainic Acids: 1%
      Nucleic Acids: 1%
      Please note - If you would like to share this article or use it outside of SKF please contact me for permission first. Thank you!

      NOTE: I am currently working on an aquatic hobby based website which will contain lots of information on things such as breeding fish, shrimp, live foods, nutritional values of foods, fish profiles, etc. Keep an eye out for this post but the website will be live as soon as I can possibly do so. The website is www.aquapixel.com.au
    • s1l3nt
      By s1l3nt
      Ever wondered what that sweet bread dough smell is coming from your neighbours fish room? Read on to find out the secret to that beautiful (?) smell!
      Ever wondered what that sweet bread dough smell is coming from your neighbours fish room? Read on to find out the secret to that beautiful (to each their own right?) smell!
      Microworms are an easy to culture and maintain live food for your small/micro fish and especially for small fry. Size wise they fall somewhere between vinegar eels and baby brine shrimp (BBS) so is a good transition food prior to BBS. Nutrition wise they are a solid food source, but the fatty content may be a little on the higher side I believe so should not be a staple food permanently. Feeding a range of foods is best for the health of your fish and other aquatic friends.

      NOTE: Microworms sink fairly fast so be aware of this. They will also live a fairly long time in a fish tank, personally I have seen mine alive as long as 48 hours. But I would err on the side of caution and estimate a 24 hour “alive” time in a tank.
      Microworms can be cultured in a various mediums such as oats, bread, potato peelings, etc. Personally I use and prefer using white bread with the crusts cut off. The reason I prefer this method is because there is a much less foul smell as the culture matures, and even less of a foul smell when the culture crashes. It gives of a sour smell when it goes bad but otherwise smells yeasty similar to bread dough. Cultures can crash fairly easily in my experience and no one likes a horrible smell in their house/room/shed/etc…  I haven’t used bread crusts because they are usually coated in oil or similar to give the golden colour which causes a bit of a messy culture.
      Now onto the fun part, finding out how it is done!
      What you will need:
      - Some form of container. I use take away containers.
      - Bakers yeast. I use the Tandaco branded dry yeast which comes in small satchels will last quite a while… Real reason is that my wife uses it…. :)
      - Bread with crusts cut off. I use any brand that is on hand, doesn’t matter.
      - A starter culture of micro worms. I have these available for anyone interested :)
      - Water. Tap water is fine, and is what I use. Though it is possible to use tank water or milk (but milk smells worse in my experience).
      NOTE: You should always work with at least 2 cultures in the event one decides to crash that day when your fry are ready to feed!
      Steps to starting your culture:
      - Grab your bread with the crusts off and wet it with tap water. (You don’t want it soaking wet but rather similar to battering fish. Wet on both sides but not dripping or drenched throughout.)
      - Line your container with at least 1 layer of bread. (I find I have the most success with one layer personally but have used multiple in the past.)

      - Grab your starter culture and spread it over the bread.
      - Sprinkle some bakers yeast over the bread and the starter culture worms.

      - Put your lid on with some holes in it to allow oxygen exchange. (You can use filter wool loosely in the holes to prevent bugs/flies/etc from getting into your culture.
      - Wait a couple of days (if you have a good sized starter culture, they are ready within 24 hours) for the worms to do their magic.
      - Worms will climb the walls of the container, all you need to do then is use something like a pipette or your finger or similar to collect as many worms as needed. (I use the side of a pipette and put the worms into a small feeding container and then use the pipette to feed the fry/fish with a controlled amount of worms).

      - Reap rewards, benefits, remind everyone of this awesome information and spread those culture because you will lose them at some point! We all do… :) 
      Maintaining your culture:
      - You can prepare a slice of bread the same way as when you started a culture and drop this with a little bit of yeast ontop of your culture that is doing well. This will feed your worms further as they will eventually eat all the food you gave them in the beginning. (I find I can do this 1-2 times per culture before I have to start a fresh culture and use these worms as a large starter culture (don’t use the entire culture…)).
      NOTE: You can let your culture go dry and eventually wet it with tank water and drop some bread with yeast ontop and they will start a culture all over again. I believe this is because the worms lay eggs.
      Approximate Nutritional Values:
      Protein: 48%
      Fat: 21%
      Glycogen: 7%
      Orgainic Acids: 1%
      Nucleic Acids: 1%
      Please note - If you would like to share this article or use it outside of SKF please contact me for permission first. Thank you!

      NOTE: I am currently working on an aquatic hobby based website which will contain lots of information on things such as breeding fish, shrimp, live foods, nutritional values of foods, fish profiles, etc. Keep an eye out for this post but the website will be live as soon as I can possibly do so. The website is www.aquapixel.com.au

      View full article


  • Topics

  • Posts

    • revolutionhope
      Good solid advice@jayc :-)


      will

    • jayc
      The shrimp seem to not mind it at all, in fact they seem to be thinking ... "Ooo, look! New foraging areas" whenever I disturb the substrate. But of course, I match the new water parameters to the old as much as I can except for TDS (generally the new water is lower in TDS). Every other parameter, like pH, GH, and temperature will be a very close match. So the shrimp don't notice it much. I catch as many as visibly possible into a bucket temporarily while I clean the tank. And they are returned to the tank after acclimating them slowly. I filter the water I drain into a net first to catch any baby shrimplets.  If you want to add substrate without removing the old substrate, it can be done easily ... one scoop at a time. Use those plastic takeaway containers. The shrimp will scatter.  Don't be too worried, they are faster than you think when the need arises. I aim to never loose any 😉 🤘  
    • jayc
      Where is @Foxpuppet and @lodo when you need them?
    • Baccus
      I think to a degree volume of water and stocking levels relevant to that volume assists in shrimp size. A couple of years ago I chucked a heap of cull cherry shrimp into my 1000L pond and months later when doing some maintenance on the tank found freakishly large cherry shrimp. This pond didn't get lots of special foods like the tanks did, instead might have only had commercial fish food put in once a week. However did/ does have a large lily plant, other weeds, leaves and fruit (mostly icecream bean fruit and leaves) falling into the pond and plenty of bloodworms naturally colonised, along with dragonfly nymphs which predate on the shrimp. I have never seen such large cherry shrimp again and certainly have never produced any of that size in any of my tanks even the 4ft tanks. So even though shrimp maybe able to do quite well in nano and small tanks I often wonder if we do them a disservice by having them in small tanks, in effect stunting them to some degree. revolutionhope I had also heard about dark substrate bringing out the best colour, however I once had some of the darkest glossy red cherry shrimp on pure white sand, with live plants natural timber and fish. Other shrimp have been just as well coloured on natural coloured creek gravel. Less well coloured or have taken longer to show good colour potential have been on a gravel blend of natural and fluro coloured gravels like what most kids will buy for their first tank because they like the pretty colours. In my black cherry tank I am actually getting to the point of trying to decide in which direction do I want to go with the black breeding program. Since I am now getting blue black shrimp. Some of the shrimp are still a nice solid glossy black but have a distinct dark blue undertone. I wish I could get a photo to show the variation between these blue blacks and true blacks. In this same tank I am still having to remove the odd chocolate, very occasional faint yellow and green, recently pale blue and thankfully even less often now wild type. Oh and if possible with your divided breeding programs try to keep the separate tanks a good distance apart since shrimp are good climbers and sneaky escape artists. Where I have my tanks ( all open topped) one of the tanks has higher sides than its neighbouring tank which is lower. So even though the there is a gap between the tanks I am almost certain that shrimp from the higher tank have managed to flip over the side and by more good luck than planning end up in the lower tank. Some have not been so lucky and then I find crispy dried shrimp on the bench. So if tanks where the same height and butted up side  by side or even one tank divided there is the potential for shrimp to make escape bids and climb into neighbouring tanks. I have even seen photos of shrimp climbing against the flow of a HOB filter return to get into the yummy gunk inside the filter.
    • EBC
      How do your shrimp fare when you do a big tear down like that? Do you generally expect to lose a couple? Or do you put them in another tank while you do it? I am currently renting one bedroom apartments so I only have the one small tank. With such a small tank I would be worried I would crush some shrimp in the process. 
  • Featured Products

  • Recent Articles