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Exciting developments: California Blackworm culture

Simon Cole

Member
Joined
25 Dec 2018
Messages
499
Location
Buckingham
Sorry I have been away for a while.
Complete chaos over the whole pandemic thing. I ended up in a very cold house in north Wales, and today it looks like Siberia. I cannot even make a cup of tea because it is even too cold to make one. I promise to get back to my messages and you, my friends, eventually.
The good news is that I thought that I might just try another culture of these worms, in ultra low temperatures and a high flow rate. 100% rain water.
I put some hazel leaves in the bottom and added the usual broccoli. That was a several months ago.
I have just seen what appears to be a very clear cluster of white oval eggs on the leaf litter. I am astounded.
There is still a chance that they could be a mold or fungi, but I suspect we might just have done it.
I am going to take the eggs down to Dr Alison Cameron at Bangor University for confirmation if I get a hatch.
So cross every finger and every bone. This might just be the biggest discovery of my life, and one that could put UKAPS on the map (although we all love it).
I do not have a high resolution camera, and the other option would be to freeze a sample, or possibly formaldehyde.
I do not mean to raise everyone's hopes, but the clustering looks like classic egg deposits and is orientated towards the light.
 
Last edited:

Simon Cole

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Thread starter
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25 Dec 2018
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499
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Buckingham
They replicate through division in captivity, by breaking apart and growing a new head or anus (regeneration).
In the wild eggs have been found, but nobody can seem to do the same thing in captivity.
If it were possible to get them laying eggs in captivity, then in theory, they could breed 400 times faster!

@thatblokeoverthere
 

MattC

New Member
Joined
27 Jan 2021
Messages
8
Location
Portsmouth
I was thinking of deliberately sticking them in a refugium section of my sump and using it as a food source for the fish above. Thoughts?
 

ScareCrow

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Joined
28 Jan 2019
Messages
173
Location
South west
@MattC I have put them in the back section of my tank (aqua one aqua nano 40) and so far they appear to be doing fine. When I was contemplating this setup, I didn't find much info of similar setups, other than this post. Because mine are in the back section of the tank it's not that easy to get to them to split them, so it will be great if Simon has worked out how to breed them. In a sump I imagine it will be much easier to culture them though.
 

Tim Harrison

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MattC

New Member
Joined
27 Jan 2021
Messages
8
Location
Portsmouth
I’ve today received some Californian blackworm to start a culture. The Mrs ate our broccoli yesterday so I’ve had to resort to cauliflower leaves. They’re currently sat in a cool garage in a tub of tank water. Simon, what else do you do to your culture? Do you filter / pump their container at all or just leave them sat there. I’m assuming they must be pretty resilient critters as mine have spent a week in the post and appear none the worse for wear.
 

Another Phil

Member
Joined
1 Jan 2015
Messages
123
I’ve today received some Californian blackworm to start a culture. The Mrs ate our broccoli yesterday so I’ve had to resort to cauliflower leaves. They’re currently sat in a cool garage in a tub of tank water. Simon, what else do you do to your culture? Do you filter / pump their container at all or just leave them sat there. I’m assuming they must be pretty resilient critters as mine have spent a week in the post and appear none the worse for wear.
Decent article here https://aquariumtidings.com/how-to-culture-blackworms-black-worms/ and if there is a server problem try here How to Culture Blackworms (Black worms) - Aquarium Tidings
with a lot of Q&As in the comments.

My summer project is to see if they are local to us https://species.nbnatlas.org/species/NHMSYS0020703591#overview
 
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