Q: I read that you feed your fry Microworms throughout their fry stage. But I always thought that Microworms were low in nutrition. So I feed microworms only for the 1st week. Ok, my question: Is it really really ok to feed microworms to fry for their entire fry stage of their life??

Question submitted by Danson, Asia - Singapore

A: Yes I do feed microworms to my fry from day 3 all the way until they are large enough to eat blackworms and other foods. However, what you omitted to mention is that I also alternate with Baby Brine Shrimp (also knows as BBS). I believe it is healthiest to alternate foods as each foods has its plus and minuses, and brings to the table different percentages of protein, fiber, etc... 

Friday a reader asked if he could raised fry successfully on a diet of BBS alone, and I said yes, then proceeded to warn him about the possible problems he might run into if he doesn't do it right. Today I am asked if one can raise successfully fry on a diet of microworms alone and the answer is once again YES. 

The good news is you will have less to worry about when feeding only microworms, then if you fed only BBS. Microworms are softer food and less prone to cause swimbladder disorder than BBS. They are nutricious enough to bring fry to large sizes, although perhaps not quite as fast as BBS would. If given the choice between feeding only BBS or feeding only microworms, I would instantly pick microworms.

One last advantage of microworms is that, once placed in the fry tank, they will live up to 3 days! Compare that with the short lived BBS (a few hours) and you can see why it is easier and safer to feed microworms. Your BBS will be dead and decaying long before the microworms will. Hence if you feed microworms the fry can snack for up to 3 days on them, at their leisure. Don't have that luxury with the BBS. After a few hours, whatever was not consumed will die and rot and pollute the water. You will have to go in and vacuum your tank bottom if you feed too much BBS. Every time you vacuum, you take the chances on killing a few fry (hard to see them when they are so little). These fry could have been your best of spawn. So you see, this could be a problem. Granted one has to make water changes, but why do it more often they we REALLY have to? Small fry are very sensitive and die real quick, so the less one fusses with them, the better.

Now that we have weighed the advantages and disadvantages of each food, let us close by once again saying this: IT IS ALWAYS BEST TO ALTERNATE FOODS AND OFFER A VARIETY TO THE FRY.

I start my fry with microworms alone for the first week, then I introduce (gradually) BBS. Soon I feed one feeding of each daily. 

So if you are serious about your hobby, always keep a microworm culture, a vinegar eel culture (in case all else fails) and BBS at hand.

Hugh, Wise Swims With Bettas has spoken. ;)

 

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