Earthworms under water

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Earthworms under water

Postby hamza » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:29 am

Hi,

I am curious to know how long an earthworm can survive under water?

When I started my tank emersed(DSM) I introduces a few earthworms to aerate the substrate and to breakdown any decomposing matter. When I submerged the tank, most earthworms surfaced and I scooped them out from the tank and placed them back into plant pots(where I took them from).

But yesterday, its been more than a month since I submerged the tank, I found a couple of earthworms while siphoning the gravel :O How on earth can that be possible?! These worms survived a month under water! I heard they wont last more than a couple of hours underwater. And when I left those worms they went back into the substrate. Totally unbelievable for me, will try to do a video shoot next time I siphon the tank.
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Re: Earthworms under water

Postby idonteatfish » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:26 am

If they have any method of surfacing/contact with air, they can survive. earthworms drown if you submerge them. i had done an experiment to see if i can culture some indoors with water only about 2 inches. they drowned in about 72 hrs max.
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Re: Earthworms under water

Postby aquarajan » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:28 am

I might be wrong here but I think they feed on the bacteria in the tank that the plants too feed on and they survive. I had troubles in the past collecting the live bloodworms that we feed the fishes with in still water vessels for long as they used to die and rot, I had to keep them under dripping water under the tap for water circulation. One day what I did was I collected tank water in the vessel and put them in and kept them in stagnant water and to my astonishment they survived. I think its the same way earthworms survived in your tank. Correct me if I am wrong though!
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Re: Earthworms under water

Postby kumar » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:05 am

:)

dont we always get mixed response on this? Its just that we dont have those zoologist kind of guys who can confirm- "Yes They Can". But I have always seen them alive, thriving when ever I redo my tank substrate I spot them.
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Re: Earthworms under water

Postby hamza » Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:16 am

kumar wrote::)

dont we always get mixed response on this? Its just that we dont have those zoologist kind of guys who can confirm- "Yes They Can". But I have always seen them alive, thriving when ever I redo my tank substrate I spot them.


You are nearly that 'zoologist' kind of guy you are mentioning about :)
Thanks for your account as well. I was nearly certain as substrate is quite sterlile and couldnt have harboured any aquatic worms as far as I think and I introduced earthworms on purpose.
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Re: Earthworms under water

Postby hamza » Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:44 pm

According to this FAQ sheet, they can survive under water for several weeks if its well oxyenated.

http://www.learner.org/jnorth/search/WormNotes3.html
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Re: Earthworms under water

Postby idonteatfish » Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:58 pm

i want mine to survive :\ ... maybe i should oxygenate them.... anyone cultures them ?
i always tried mine in just a little tray and no oxygen maybe thats y all died :\
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Re: Earthworms under water

Postby aquarajan » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:23 pm

Hi IDEF, keep the tray under a tap with water dripping from the tap slowly over the tray and they will survive. It worked for me... Just don't let the flow be high so that they get washed away but just dripping water. It keeps the water oxygenated and as I said try out the tank water test and see if it works for you...
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Re: Earthworms under water

Postby idonteatfish » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:26 pm

aquarajan wrote:Hi IDEF, keep the tray under a tap with water dripping from the tap slowly over the tray and they will survive. It worked for me... Just don't let the flow be high so that they get washed away but just dripping water. It keeps the water oxygenated and as I said try out the tank water test and see if it works for you...


thanks aquarajan i will definitely try this...this works for blackworms i have seen but having a stable population of them is huge headache...i want a source of live food since lfs feed brings in a lot of parasites and such...
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