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Microworms vs Walterworms

Walterworms are a variety of microworms that have a reputation for being a little better than standard microworms.  At our January 2006 SLAKA meeting at Charles' Harrison's fishroom, we did an experiment to look at the difference.  They are both about the same size, and both float for a while then sink when added to a tank.  The experiment was to add some rinsed microworms to these two graduated cylinders of water, mix by inverting the cylinders three times, then watch as the worms sank.

After 15 minutes, most worms were at the bottom of both cylinders,  but there were many more walterworms visible in the column at the 40 mL line than their were in the microworms cylinder at the same point.  After 35-40 minutes, there were still some walterworms visible just above the bottom, but no microworms above the bottom.

micro vs walter

The verdict?

Walterworms stay in suspension in tank water a little longer than microworms, and those extra few minutes may mean that a few more of them end up in the bellies of your fry and a few less on the bottom of the tank, where they'll eventually rot and foul the water.  It is not a huge difference--most of both groups of worms sank fairly quickly--but a difference nonetheless in favor of the walterworms.  Mike Hellweg claimed bragging rights for having correctly predicted the difference. 

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