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Distaff

meal worms for goldfish?

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Ordered a live mealworm colony to grow out as a protein source for the chickens.  Most sites say you can feed them to fish too.  I haven't seen any cautions about the worm biting after ingestion, nor the relatively hard exoskeleton on this grub.  

 

Any one with better info or some experience? 

 

Thanks.

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I wouldn't do it. Mealworms have a very hard exoskeleton. It's hard for the fish to digest them.

Given that I take the little membranes off soybeans (Edamame) for them, and many people do this for peas as well, this just doesn't sound right.

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My fish Omen tried to eat a centipede that fell into the pond and it got stuck! Now centipedes have legs etc which made it get even more stuck, but I've got to say that anything overly "crunchy" isn't usually the best for goldfish. MAYBE if it's small enough and absorbs water okay, crunchy stuff is fine - but crunchy bugs? Nah, there have got to be better options.

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Well, I take the skins off peas for the small fish so that they don't have to crush a large round ball.  Then I throw the skins in for the fish to eat.  Indigestible plant material = fiber.  Fish use fiber the same way you do, to keep material moving through the digestive tract.  If you use peas hoping to clear the gut, the skin will do it best.

 

Small arthropods provide protein for goldfish in nature, particularly in the winter when plant foods don't exist.  Goldfish have teeth for a reason.

 

Small meal worms would appear to suitable goldfish food.  If the fish have trouble chewing them, they will refuse to eat them.

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Thanks!

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Ok, now that I actually have time to post:

 

Mosquito larvae seem too small, I tried and failed to raise blood worms (will work on it again next summer), and the compost worms are messy to try to clean and serve.  The fish really like the compost worms, however, and I offer them about once a week.  I also raise maggots in buckets.  They feed on the mice I trap (we usually to get at LEAST one mouse a day), and those larvae are a big hit with the chickens.  The fish like them too, although I worry about the safety for a fancy goldfish of a grub that was gut loaded on a decaying mouse.

 

I finally found a GOOD set of plans for an affordable black soldier fly larvae bin, and I know they get in my buckets with the house flies, but that project will have to wait until Spring.  Phoenix worms are the trade name for this larvae, but they are expensive to buy. 

 

The mealworms are very easy to harvest, they eat clean food, and they work very well indoors, so aren't seasonal.  I tried a few smaller ones with the fish - wouldn't say the mealworms were met instant enthusiasm, but maybe they are an acquired taste.

Edited by Distaff

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I think I'm gonna throw up! :ignore

You sure are brave with all your larva over there :)

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I always find them more fascinating than gross.  Kind of like watching a surgical procedure.

 

Used to raise silkworms.  The colony died one spring, and every year, I vow I'll send away for some more eggs, and take it up again (next year, for sure).  Really made me sad.  They were a lot of work, but so much fun, and were VERY prolific!  The year before the colony died, I was forced to feed most of them to the chickens just to get the numbers down to what I could actually care for.  I was going thru arm loads of mulberry leaves daily. 

 

Miss the beloved silkies.  Wasn't expecting the plain brown mealworms to remind me of them, but they do.  Like the silk worms, if you put your ear close, you can just barely hear the whole colony munching.   Sounds a little like rain.

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Your affection for silk worms is heart warming :hug

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I just toss the compost worms in the pond.  The fish slurp them like spaghetti.  Some people harvest the worms and put them in a container with damp paper for a day to clean them inside and out.  While compost looks dirty, it won't hurt fish, -- or you, for that matter -- to eat a bit of  it.  

 

Cutting up worms to feed them to fish totally grosses me out,  and leaks worm innards into the water.  A compost container will have plenty of little worms for little fish.

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I just toss the compost worms in the pond.  The fish slurp them like spaghetti.  Some people harvest the worms and put them in a container with damp paper for a day to clean them inside and out.  While compost looks dirty, it won't hurt fish, -- or you, for that matter -- to eat a bit of  it.  

 

Cutting up worms to feed them to fish totally grosses me out,  and leaks worm innards into the water.  A compost container will have plenty of little worms for little fish.

 

I can't see the point of cutting them when there are always smaller worms to be found (seems kinda sadistic).   I usually just rinse them in a cup of the fish water to get the outer gunk off. 

 

The compost in the main worm bin is pretty clean.  Simply coffee grounds, and kitchen scraps.  I use a hand garden fork to keep it aerated.  This is just a smaller Sterilite bin, so it is easy to handle and manage.  This bin has a fitted piece of Matalla filter set in the bottom.  It keeps the contents off the bottom so they won't stay soggy if the bin has a little too much water.  Also, any worms that end up in the bottom, can easily crawl up again rather than drowning.   Drilled holes hear the base allow air to enter from the bottom.  A fitted piece poly non woven fabric keeps the compost from filtering into the filter. 

 

There are also three shallow heavy plastic concrete mixing tubs that are working well for worms in manure compost.  I use the sweepings from the goat, chicken and rabbit pens.  This stuff has a tendency to heat up too much, so I like the shallow open tubs for dissipating any heat.  I can also keep them fluffy, and loose, and at just the right moisture level.  At some point, I'll build a rack to hold them, so they can slide in and out like drawers.   I have never had good results with managing worms in a large deep bin. 

Edited by Distaff

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Miss the beloved silkies.  Wasn't expecting the plain brown mealworms to remind me of them, but they do.  Like the silk worms, if you put your ear close, you can just barely hear the whole colony munching.   Sounds a little like rain.

Funny you should mention that. Earlier this year we had a big tree branch come down. Anyway, one night before I'd gotten rid of the thing, I was sitting in the front room and could hear what sounded like rain. I looked out a window, but couldn't see any. As it kept getting louder, I decided to investigate. Lo and behold, literally millions of little caterpillar had come out of the woodwork and were devouring the left over leaves on this branch. The next morning all the leaves were gone. A few days later there were so many moths about, you would have thought Moses had released plague upon us. :rofl

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