what about this?
By Wayne Barker
Bloodworms whats that?
Bloodworm's are larvae of the non-biting midge Chironomus they resemble mosquitoes but are in fact flies.
They are called 'bloodworm's' because of their bright red colour. The young midge larvae live in freshwater ponds, lakes and rivers. They can tolerate very low oxygen levels and are often found in very large numbers in the sludge at the bottom of stagnant ponds and inside mechanical filters like sand filters and settlement chambers. When these filters are opened the mature midge tries to escape and you may find yourself suddenly in the middel of a swarm of these flying insects as they try to escape the enclosed container. The adults are often found flying in dense swarms near the water's edge.
It is important to note that although the larvae can tolerate very low oxygen levels while the adults prefer to lay their jelly string eggs close to moving water if possible. The egg / larvea appears as a white dust on the surface of the pond. In the wild carp will dive into the deep parts of a lake, dam where the oxygen is very low, risking its live for this tasty treat.
But why would I want to grow my own?
The easiest way to grow your koi in a short period is by feeding them high protein food. Bloodworm's are full of high protein and koi do go nuts about it. It is possible to buy freeze dried packs of blood worms but this is usually a very expensive diet to put you koi on. It is also much better to try and feed your fish live food as these food types will contain more of the nutrients that your fish actually require. Growing your own bloodworm requires nothing except a bit of electricity.
Freez dried Bloodworms
The real thing.
This food is rich in protein.
Thanks to the concentration of proteins and haemoglobins, worms play an important role in breeding.
Feeding young tosai bloodworm's will speedup their growth rate.
It is common to hear people say aquarist are allergic to bloodworm's they can make you itch and give you red spots. This is true, some people can have allergic reactions to bloodworm's so always wear protective hand clothing when handling them.
Bloodworm's can usually be found in slow moving / stagnant water bodies with dirty bottoms, that means that the worms live in the same neighborhood as the nasty parasite that we try to keep out of our ponds.
Before we start
Before we start i want to ask that you please put this worm farm as far away from you house as it could possibly generate a terrible smell, this is dependent of the plant material added. I also found that it works best if the water is in the sun during some part of the day.
How to grow your own bloodworms.
You need the following.
1 x Container measuring 60cm X 40cm x 40cm.
1 x very small water pump 5 watts
some leaves and soil
Add some water into the container.
Place the water pump into the container and stick into onto the side of the container by using the suckers of the pump.
The pump should look something like this:
Note that i drilled some additional holes into the pump guard as the pump will otherwise easily get clogged up. Remove the guard from the pump before attempting to drill holes.
Switch the pump on, the pump should circulate the water gently without creating a powerful current.
Add the dead plant material like leaves and soil inside the container. The contents will float on the top of the water and settle down after a few hours. Try and use dry old leaves. You can pre soak the plant material in hot boiling water to get rid of any parasites.
Important do not add green or dry grass to this container.
I found that grass creates a white foam on top of the water that generates a terrible smell. And by the looks of it the flies love it.
Now forget about this project for about 2 weeks.
Check below to see what you should have after about two weeks. This is only the beginning in weeks to follow you will have a steady supply of blood worms. From what i understand, It takes the bloodworm's roughly 2 weeks from larvae to adulthood.
Click on the images above to enlarge.
Remember not to harvest them all at once otherwise the process will have to start from scratch again. If your worm farm does not have any bloodworm's after 2 weeks then you will need to jump start this process by acquiring some larvae.
The larvae appear as small little white/gray eggs floating on the top of the water. Some people associate this with mosquitoes but mosquitoes do not lay their eggs in moving water.
It is sometimes difficult to convince the adult flies to lay their eggs in the container when they grow up, for some reason the prefer that actual pond where the larvae usually end up growing up in your filters. In the beginning i scooped the larvae up out of my main pond and added them to my container. Since then I have been using a mosquito net over my container and found that it works best. Keep in mind that the two adult flies need to mate in the air so try and give them enough space to do their thing.
Here are some of the growth rates that i have achieved since the 1 Aug 2006 till 27 Oct 2006 in a 10 000 liter pond with a total of 9 koi in it using a combination of home grown bloodworm's and commercial freeze dried bloodworm's. The average growth rate seems to be 3cm.