Monday, 21 November 2011

Live food for tropical fish to get them in good condition for breeding


Culex mosquito larva

When I was a boy I used to love to keep tropical fish and quickly learned that if I wanted to keep them healthy and to breed them then live foods were essential. Bloodworms, tubifex, mosquito larvae and daphnia were all excellent foods but my favourite was the humble earthworm and the fish liked them a lot too! I used to spend a lot of time finding food for my pets.

Water butts were a great source of mosquito larvae and blood-worms. Tubifex I collected in the black stinking mud of the River Taff and daphnia could be netted in local ponds as well as being quite easy to breed in containers of stagnant water.  Earthworms, of course, came out of the ground.

There were techniques you had to learn or come up with in order to get enough of the live foods your fish needed. I remember leaving large dollops of mud containing tubifex worms to dry out. The worms would form into large masses underneath in an effort to conserve moisture and were easy to pick out and then to swill under clean water before feeding to my fish.

Mosquito larvae present a challenge because they will quickly swim down into the depths of any water they are in if they are disturbed. The trick is not to disturb them and to quickly skim or net the wrigglers from the surface.  Bloodworms can be harvested like Tubifex or can be carefully picked out of the tubes of mud and muck they make.  Daphnia can be netted using a fine gauze mesh in the net you are using.

Newly-hatched brine shrimp nauplii were the best food for tropical fish fry. 

Live food for tropical fish to get them in good condition for breeding

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