Culturing Microworms Made Easy

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While referred to as worms, so called microworms are actually a type of nematode. Just a fine point I wanted to clear up but baby bettas don’t really care what you call them as long as you keep them coming.

They are the perfect bite sized food for newly hatched fry with smallish mouths and huge appetites. Who by instinct will try to eat anything they come in contact with that is smaller than they are. Microworms fill the bill perfectly. Wriggling on the bottom of your bare breeder tank in various sizes they are easily and eagerly snatched up by the betta fry. Fact is the babies require a constantly available food source due to the their tiny stomachs which need to be refilled often throughout the day. Microworms are one food to help meet that challenge.

So…What you’ll see on this video is a step by step guide for culturing these worms. And don’t worry. It goes into plenty of detail so even a neophyte worm grower can become a pro in next to no time.

But enough talk already. Let’s get to the video which is followed by the takeaways.

You need

  • A worm haven: Any disposable plastic container with a lid that fits tightly will do. These are readily available at your grocery store or can be found at Walmart. Poke a few holes in the lid.
  • Growing media: Things like oatmeal, baby cereal, or instant potatoes. Of the options, the spuds tend not to smell as bad when the culture ultimately goes bad as it will do. Which might be good to know if things like that matters to you.
  • You also need active brewers yeast, water, and a starter culture.

Note: If you need a starter culture go to and look under live foods. It’s likely you’ll see basementbettas offering something suitable. This is a once and done purchase provided you take care to start up new cultures as older ones flame out.

Now the way this works is the potatoes are eaten by the yeast which in turn is eaten by the microworms. Ultimately the microworms are then eaten by your fish. How’s that for a micro food chain?

Amounts to use are a little bit on the sketchy side. Which suggests precise measurements don’t matter. The amount of potatoes added is measured in inches as in dumping about a quarter of an inch of potatoes into your plastic container. To that add enough water to have a slightly runny consistency. (Keep in mind that the worms will make their living on the top of the soupy mix so the depth of the potatoes isn’t a critical point here. In fact too much is just wasted spuds.) But you don’t want it too runny either. Just right is what you are shooting for.

You may have to add more water if the initial amount is absorbed and the mixture is still too dry. Judging this will come more easily with experience.

To this mixture you sprinkle a little of the brewers yeast. Don’t go overboard. A sprinkling is all you need. Too much yeast will turn this into a bubbly mess as the yeast goes to town on the potatoes.

Next skim the top off an existing culture and add those skimmings to your new one.

That’s it!

In the next 5-7 days you’ll have microworms crawling up and along the sides of their plastic home. At this point they can be harvested and fed to your fish. Nothing to it really.

Oh and just so you know what to look for when your culture has run its course a container that’s just past its prime is presented. Those can be dumped, rinsed and cleaned up and used again. If you wait too long, however, the best approach is to pitch the entire thing. The smell will be enough to gag a maggot – literally.

You want to run this as a grandfather, father, son process. Meaning have three cultures in play all the time. One that is almost done and just about ready to go bad. One in its prime and producing heavily. And one just started. That way there will be plenty of grub for all those tiny mouths you have to feed.

Finally if this doesn’t cover the topic of microworm thoroughly enough, here a good resource you might think of as Everything You Wanted To Know About Micro Worms But Were Afraid To Ask.

Here’s another video that shows the end result – fry eating worms.

Since newly hatched fry tend to ignore anything that doesn’t move wriggling microworms are just about the perfect fry grub. Which is why having a plentiful supply of microscopic worms like these insures the spawn not only won’t starve to death but will grow strong and healthy that much faster.

About Lucas
Putting a name with a face I'm Lucas Smatana. Like you I'm passionate about betta fish and hope to share my enthusiasm. The idea here is to make sure you get helpful info and useful ideas on betta fish care that really work. To insure your betta keeping experience is a good one both for you and your fish. So that you and your pet enjoy a long, happy and healthy relationship.

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