Here's the post:
In light of my own predicament with my betta Train, I feel compelled to warn my fellow betta owners about live black worms.
Last week, I bought what I was told were live bloodworms and fed them to Train. That same night, I noticed he had a very large blockage that was literally making his belly pointed. A week in 3 tsps of epsom salt per gallon and IAL has done nothing to move this mass out of his system. He will most likely need to be euthanized.
Further research on google led me to discover that the worms I was sold were not bloodworms but were in fact black worms. And that's where everything went wrong for poor Train.
Here is what The Betta Handbook by Robert J Goldstein has to say:
"Bettas may engorge on black worms, resulting in gastric distress and sometimes death. Many aquarists cut them into pieces with a razor blade before feeding them to bettas. Black worms that survive partial ingestion can tear the stomachs of small fish, killing them." (pg 93, Goldstein)
If you purchase live worms, do double-check to make sure they are bloodworms. If you intend to feed black worms to your bettas, feed only one or two at the very most and probably do as the book suggests, cutting them into pieces.
I don't want anyone else to have to go through what Train and I are going through. Be very careful when purchasing and feeding live worms.
Yeah and I have had juveniles fed so heavily on blackworms that some of them look like blimps and they have never had any issues at all with either digesting or passing them.
I've also read plenty of stories about frozen bloodworms ripping open the stomachs of fish fed on them, and how often are they recommended as a food source here?
As long as you are keeping and storing your blackworms properly and not feeding suspect looking ones to your bettas, you shouldn't run into any problems.
Only way I can see that you could possibly make your betta sick is for the culture to crash (you can tell when it does because it stinks) and for you to be feeding your fish dead/dying worms that may have been exposed to bacteria in the polluted water.
I have never seen live Bloodworms for sale in this country,wish I could find some!
I get my Blackworms from another member of the GPASI,he is a big time breeder of all kinds of Tropicals,so I know they are good quality.
I rinse twice a day,and pick out any dead ones(that I can see),keep them in my spare fridge.
In 3 years I have had no problems,I never fed them to my Kilies(did not know where to get them then).
I guess it is a personal perspective.
This thread makes me really wary of black worms. Heard horror stories about how dirty they are but this thread takes it to a whole new level! I have only ever used frozen bloodworms, never tried live foods before (outside of microworms of course).
Blackworms aren't dirty. Here they are produced by what I believe is one supplier that has a massive set-up where freshwater is pumped almost continuously through. So it's not like they are grown in feces filled ditches.
If you get them from a reputable place (some fish stores do not store them correctly) your fish should be pretty safe.
Tubifex worms I believe are the really dirty ones that a lot of people don't feed.
Honestly, I have been feeding them to all my fish from fry to adult for 2-3 years and nothing adverse has happened.
Yes,I am in Pa.
I have seen live Bloodworms on Aquabid,but they are in England.
Wish he could ship them here!!!
My fish get live Blackworms,Whiteworms,Grindals,along with Frozen food.
I like to mix it up,they also get Golden Pearls a couple times a week,just a few.
It seems like when you start giving them live food,they get snobbish about the other stuff!!!!
If you rinse your Blackworms at least twice when you first get them in,then once or twice every day,the little bit of water you keep them in will be crystal clear.
You should keep them in just enough water to cover them,to much and they will drown.
Rinsing is a very critical part to keeping them in good health.
Once a week I feed mine some powdered food,then wait an hour and rinse them 3X.
I get mine a pound at a time.
I split that up between 3 plastic shoe boxes and keep them in my fridge,I also keep 2 gallons of treated water in the fridge to rinse them with.
Cold is the key word for keeping Blackworms.
My fridge is kept at 38 degrees.