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Nutritional Value Of Blood Worms

Squidward

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It is often mentioned that blood worm are of low nutritional value and are mainly composed of roughage and water.
 
But I have often read that people use blood worm for conditioning prior to breeding.
How is this so if b w is of low nutritional quality?
 
Also, when I kept Discus, I feed them on black worm, also an insect larva, and my fish did really well on them.
 
Does anyone know of any scientific studies  etc of the protein, fat and roughage content of blood worm.
 

Akasha72

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I've always heard it said that bloodworms are very fatty and we tend not to recommend them being fed more than once a week. If you are conditioning for breeding I've always recommended Artemia as that is still protein rich but less 'fatty'
 
I think if you have fish that need a lot of protein in their diet (such as SA cichlids) it's best to mix it up. I keep in Artemia, Bloodworms, Mysis, Tropical sextet (this has 6 different foods in - blackworms, whiteworms, daphnia, artemia - I forget the other two) and Tropical mix which has some veggies mixed in. I feed my lot something from these 3 times a week to keep my angels and dwarf cichlid happy. 
 
I'm sure Byron will be along at some point with the scientific explainations that you've asked for :)
 

Chad

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I contacted a company that sells black worms and they sent me the below information.
These are for Lumbriculus Variegatus which are Blackworms but have a similar value to blood worms.
Now with this information it can be compared to other food sources we feed our fish.
------------------------------------------------
These results are from Analytico, a commercial lab based in the Netherlands.
Compound
Amount
Unit
Material
Lipid

7.22​

%​
worms
Ashes

5.91​

%​
worms
Protein

59.3​

%​
worms
Moisture

7.34​

%​
worms
Carbohydrates (calculated)

20.2​

%​
worms
EPA

4.53​

% of total fatty acids​
worms
DHA

1.79​

% of total fatty acids​
worms
monounsaturated fatty acids

20.9​

% of total fatty acids​
worms
polyunsaturated fatty acids

28​

% of total fatty acids​
worms
omega 3 fatty acids

8.13​

% of total fatty acids​
worms
omega 6 fatty acids

18.3​

% of total fatty acids​
worms
energetic value

1630​

kJ/100 g​
worms
energetic value

387​

kcal/100 g​
worms
The following results were done at "Riverina Laboratories" Albury, NSW, Australia
Crude Protein % as received..........................................................................54.52
Crude Fat % as received.................................................................................11.40
Crude Fibre% as received................................................................................0.20
Moisture % as received...................................................................................17.83
Solids % as received.........................................................................................82.17
Crude Protein % dry weight basis....................................................................66.35
Crude Fat % dry weight basis...........................................................................13.87
Crude Fibre % dry weight basis........................................................................0.24

Ocean Nutrition gives the following for their frozen blood worms.

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein (min) 8.3%
Crude Fat (min) 1.2%
Crude Fiber (max) 3.9%
Moisture (max) 81.7%
(Protein as a percentage of dry matter - 45.3%)
 

Akasha72

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I barely understand all that but it's good that someone can answer this query. I didn't realise how calorific these things were. Wow, I'm glad my lot only get them once a week! 
 

Chad

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It's true, people sometimes think that worms, or even brine shrimp are devoid of nutrients, but really they are pretty good stuff. I don't recommend blood worms for marine fish, but for FW, especially temperate fish, they are great. 
 

Akasha72

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A lot of people say I feed too much of the frozen stuff but the way I see it is they would be eating stuff like that everyday in the wild. Gotta say it - my lot love their Artemia the best. They hate Daphnia though and I've no idea why
 

Chad

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Daphnia can just depend on the fish. I use it frequently for my marine fish since the planktivores really love it. Fish like anthias go nuts for it. But it's too small for many of my other fish. 
 
My personal (and my fishes') favorite is mysis shrimp. I feed my FW fish frozen a couple of times a week and the reef tank gets it just about everyday along with the Formula II flake. 
 

Akasha72

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funny isn't it how we know what their favourite foods are! Just goes to show they're more intelligent than we think
 

Chad

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Yup. My mama clown fish stole the whole cube out my hand yesterday and swam away with it. She knew what she was doing. 
 
OP
S

Squidward

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Tcamos,

Thanks for the comprehensive answer.

With my fish, I have been feeding less and less processed food (flake, pellets etc) and more and more frozen and freeze dried worms etc.
 

Akasha72

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I don't think you'll do them any harm Squidward. They'd be eating worms and such-like in the wild. It's not like someone comes along and sprinkles flake food across their natural enviroment lol
 

eaglesaquarium

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True, they would be eating 'live' food much more in the wild, but they are also having to work harder to feed, spending countless hours searching and searching for food - and getting more exercise as they have to avoid predators, etc.
 
 
Life in the wild is far different from life in an aquarium.
 
My brother-in-law is a contractor, consumes 3500 calories a day and is 6'4" and 185 lbs.  I consume about 3,000 calories a day, with a far more sedentary lifestyle and am 6'4" and 250 lbs. 
 

Chad

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That's why I recommend a mix of foods and make it depend on the species. My marine fish are very active and a reef tank is an environment where they are able to express many of their natural behaviors. My yellow coris wrasse hunts all day long and the tangs constantly pick on the glass and rocks for algae. Then there are fish like my pajama cardinal which tends to eat very little flake when I feed it so he has to have the frozen to keep healthy. Mama clown is huge and will eat anything to stay that way. It's all about what fish you have and what tank you have them in. 
 
I looked up the values because some people say frozen food isn't very nutritional and I wanted to get the facts on that. 
 

Akasha72

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it's difficult sometimes in a community tank though. My angels and curvicep cichlid need lots of protein but the cories, tetra's and harleys don't need as much. I hope I'm striking the right balance by feeding something meaty 3 times a week. They seem to be okay on that, but until they learn to speak I can only guess
 
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