How to create a microworm culture

Written by christina sloane
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How to create a microworm culture
Microworms enrich garden soil and help control pests. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Microworms, a type of white nematode, benefit soil by breaking down organic matter, increasing bacteria and boring into underground insect pests. The microscopic worms can also provide nutritious, protein-rich food for fry and adult fish such as bettas, catfish and cichlids. Growing your own microworm culture and adding it to plant or aquarium water can benefit your garden and save money on fry food such as brine shrimp.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Microworm starter culture
  • Plain, unsalted oatmeal
  • Empty margarine tub with lid
  • Yeast
  • Eyedropper

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Purchase a microworm starter culture from a garden centre or aquarium supply store.

  2. 2

    Prepare a single serving of plain oatmeal according to the directions on the oatmeal's container or packaging. Add slightly more oatmeal than called for, to make the mixture thicker.

  3. 3

    Fill a margarine tub ½ inch deep with the oatmeal and allow it to cool.

  4. 4

    Smear microworms from the starter culture on the surface of the oatmeal. (Microworms can only breathe on the oatmeal's surface.)

  5. 5

    Sprinkle a pinch of yeast over the microworms.

  6. 6

    Cover the margarine tub with a lid that has 10 holes poked in it for ventilation. Store the culture in a well-lit room at a temperature between 20 and 29.4 degrees Celsius.

  7. 7

    Harvest your microworms after a week: scrape the worms off the side of the margarine tub and add them to water. Water your plants with the mixture, or use an eyedropper to feed the worms to fish singly.

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