Superworms are some of the best sources of nutrients for your fish and you can breed them inside your home easily. Compared to mealworm, superworm (also known as King worm) is softer and could be easily digested by your fish. Breeding superworms are not costly and it could be done with the simple process, with a little patience you could have your own fish feed continuously and save you lots of money.
Superworms have typically four (4) life stages, namely: egg, larva, pupae and beetle. The only ones that reproduce are the beetles, they will continue the breeding process. Breeding your own feeders is the best way to save you money on your fish food cost and at the same time, you enjoy all its benefits. This tutorial is about, “How to breed superworms” it is your gateway to start a worm colony that could lead you to an unlimited supply of fish feed.
How To Breed Superworms
You only need to buy a good number of superworm larvae that is ready to pupate in a matter of days. At this stage, the worms are much easier to raise and bring into metamorphose state. The pupation of the worms is an important phase of the life cycle and the only means to acquire the needed beetles for breeding.
These are the things that you will need to start your own superworm colony at the convenience of your home:
- 100 pieces 35mm film containers or baby food jars (or similar containers).
- 2 Plastic trays with mesh cover and dimensions of 14 X 10 X 3.5 inches (such as Rubbermaid or Sterilite brands).
- A colony of worms (about 100 individuals, such as the Worm Man’s Worm Farm brand).
- Substrate (you can use oat bran, wheat germ or rolled oats).
- Egg crates.
- Worm food ( like carrots, potato or apples).
Step By Step Instructions
Housing The Larvae
Live superworms could be ordered online and delivered to you in about 3 days. Once your package arrives, put each worm in clean 35mm film containers or baby food jars (whichever is available). Punch a hole on the covers for the worms to breath. They need to be separated individually in order for them to pupate, which could take about 2 weeks. Ambient temperature should be kept between 70F and 80F and put them in the darker part of the house.
Keeping them together is a no-no, as you cannot obtain the needed beetles for another cycle. Keep the containers covered during this time and do not give them food or water to avoid prolonging its morphing process.
Monitoring The Worms
Check on the worms every now and then. Better to take a peek at the containers as often as you could and check the ambient temperature. If the room is becoming colder, adjust your heater. On the other hand, if the room is becoming hotter, just open some windows slightly so that cold air will circulate freely inside the room.
Larva To Pupae
After several days, the worms will hibernate and will become dormant. During the first week of the morphing process, you could find curled up worms ( in a letter “C” or “E” position). This is a good sign as the worms have proof of life which indicate that they are beginning to morph. Keep on checking as long as you have the time, including the ambient temperature which should be kept still between 70F to 80F. The stage from larva to pupate lasts from 1 to 2 weeks.
Separate Or Dispose The Dead
There's also a possibility that you could find worms in a straight position, sometimes they appeared black in color and hard. These are dead worms and you have to separate and dispose them properly.
Pupae To Beetle
At the end of the second week of morphing, you will find their legs getting darker, this is a sign that beetles are emerging. The pupated worms will appear white or cream in color during this time. The stage from pupae to beetle also takes 1 to 2 weeks.
Transfering The Beetles In A Larger Container
Before the second week of morphing ends, the worms are now transformed into beetles. It is now time to put them together in a larger container. This will now become the beetles’ breeding ground. Before transferring, put substrate at the bottom of the larger container (Rubbermaid or Sterilite) at least 1-inch thick that will serve as bedding. The beetles will eat the substrate and consequently lay their eggs in the surface.
Add the egg tray in one corner of the container to serve as the beetles’ gathering place. This will keep the beetles from digging into the substrate and eat the eggs laid in there. Add the worm food (sliced carrots, potato or apple ) or water crystals that will serve as the beetles’ water source for drinking and moisture. It is advisable that they are given enough water source because too much water will get into the substrate and this may ferment the bedding, creating unwanted bacteria that could kill the beetles. Consequently, the lack of water or moisture inside the container will dehydrate the beetles, there is a big possibility that they will devour each other. So, better not to forget these important tips.
When the beetles are already laying eggs, transfer the beetles on a fresh and clean container every 2 to 4 weeks, with also new bedding and worm feeds, to start again another cycle of egg laying. The eggs left behind will be hatched within 3 weeks after they are laid. Before they are hatched, add again slices of apples, potatoes or carrots for the worms to feed.
These pupae are now the superworms that you can feed to your fish. The beetles you have separated in another container will continue the cycle of laying eggs. Adult beetles have a lifespan of about 5 months. A female beetle lays about 500 eggs during its lifetime.
Did you enjoy this tutorial? Now that you found out that how to breed super worms is an easy task, combined with patience and perseverance, you can have an unlimited supply of fish feed on demand. You just continue and repeat the breeding process once you produced the beetles and eggs. What a clever idea, really!
What do you think of this tutorial? Did you like it? Please share what you have in mind about this useful article with your comments.
With more than 15 years of experience in aquarium sector, i’m totally passionate about creating Aquarist Guide blogspot. I enjoy sharing all of my knowledge to help you guys effectively build your own tank. I believe that when you find the easiest way to raise your lovely fish successfully throughout my blog, you will definitely fall in love with fish keeping more than a popular hobby.