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Author Topic: How to culture your own meal worms  (Read 4604 times)
moonbunny
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« on: February 25, 2014, 12:01:58 AM »

Hi all goldfish

In reading a wildlife rescue bk--Care of the Wild Feathered and Furred--I came across easy directions for culturing your own meal worms.  The book's as old as I am--40!--and where the instructions call for a potato chip can, I'm thinking a 5 gallon bucket would be a great substitute:

"Use a metal can at least a foot in diameter and a foot high.  A large potato chip can, or a small garbage can is excellent.  No lid is needed, since the worms cannot climb all the way up the sides of a can.  An old washtub or lard can will also work.

"Mix together two gallons of bran, the type used to feed farm animals, and about 2 pounds of cornmeal.  Put the mixture in the can.  Split open two or three medium potatoes or apples.  Either or both may be used.  Lay these on top of the meal and bran mixture with the cut side facing down.  A piece of worm bath towel, double thickness, is then placed on top of the mixture.  A piece of burlap may be used instead of a towel for cover.  Almost any pet store can supply you with a few dozen meal worms.  Put the worms on top of the bran, cover them, and put them in a moderately cool area of the house and leave them alone.  As the worms grow they will crawl up between the two pieces of towel or burlap and may readily be picked up from there.  Do not put water on the towel for moisture, as it may mildew.  Replenish the supply of apples and/or potatoes every week or so. 

"The worms develop in three stages: from eggs into worms (they are very tiny at first, but grow to an inch in length); worms into pupas, at which stage they are immobile; and then pupas into black beetles, which in turn lay eggs, starting the cycle again."

It looks like the project could be done for between $25 with everything new or about $15 if you already have a bucket, towel and apples/potatoes on hand (even less if somebody will give/sell you just a handful of meal worms):

(Prices are estimates)

Bucket--$4
Towel--(new) $5
           (2nd hand)$1-2
           (from home) Free
Bran--$10 (at a tack shop)
2 apples or potatoes--$1
Meal worms--$5 (for 500--the smallest amt I could find.)
 
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russ
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I know where rasaqua's stuff is.....


« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2014, 05:58:14 PM »

Can you recommend feeding and what fishes during various stages of growth (both fish and meal worms)?
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moonbunny
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2014, 05:53:52 PM »

I'll dig a little and post what I can find goldfish
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moonbunny
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2014, 11:45:20 PM »

In hindsight, I think I'd redact the idea of mealworms.  Even though some people feed them to their larger cichlids, arowanas and larger cats, they seem to be more trouble than they may be worth (only larger fish seem to be able to digest the chitinous bodies of adults and it's really advisable to kill them before feeding to avoid chances of the worms digging in internally.)

Now my interest is piqued in seeing which easy-to-culture foods are out there (and the fish most recommended for them & at which stages--both for the protein sources and the fish.)  A good weekend research project goldfish

(((Thanks, Russ)))
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Belinda
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2014, 08:33:31 PM »

Thanks for the info you did find Bunny..
Some foods can be cultured easy .. but finding out whether it is worth it nutritionally is sometimes the hardest part to find out.
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It took 7 days for God to create this world...
So how long will it take for me to create the perfect tank???
moonbunny
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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2014, 05:41:07 PM »

You two are wonderful!

I hadn't given much thought to culturing until the mess with the mealworm post Wink , but I'm curious now and reading up on fish nutrition/food culturing even though I'm presently fish-less!
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Sheralyn
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2016, 05:12:56 PM »

I have been raising mealworms for several years. They are incredibly easy and cheap to raise. My biggest problem is I get too many and have to feed them to the chickens. Unlike the worm stage, pupae are soft like maggots and cannot bite. I don't know the nutritional values but my goldfish LOVE the pupae. And you can also feed them to the birds and use them as fishing bait.
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Namyen
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2017, 09:02:40 AM »

I have been handling meal worms for years. I have never heard of them biting. I don't think it's possible, otherwise a lot of fisherman would be getting bitten.

As easy way to do this is just to use dry oatmeal and cut an apple in half to lay on top of it. If the sides are more than 10 centimeters high the worms and beetles won't escape. It is easy to end with a lot of these things pretty quickly. Sometimes when you have a lot, you can actually hear them eating the apple which is a bit disturbing.  lazyboy
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