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food for worms

Sabine Cochrane Sabine.Cochrane at akvaplan.niva.no
Wed Jun 30 05:55:27 EST 1999

Dear Annelida,

Re. mails from Floyd Sandford  and Jim Culter:

Maybe a trivial comment, but I'd just like to mention that I have had very 
good results feeding finely ground Nestles baby food to polychaetes in 
captivity - incidentally, the plain rice variety has the best settling 
properties in seawater :-) I prefer this to goldfish-food because the latter 
doesn't seem to settle so readily. Another advantage is that it's white, so it 
is easier to see the particles disappearing into tubes or moving along 
feeding appendages, which is great fun to watch.  

Where the contents of whole grab samples are kept in tanks, the amount 
of bioturbation is sufficient to process the settled material. For small 
tanks, it's best to inject it as a food/seawater suspension, as the dry 
powder tends to clump. For our big tank, I just sprinkle the food on the 
surface and the animals do the rest. However, when Pectinaria is kept as 
the sole species in the tank, mixing the food in the sand sounds like a 
good idea.  

On a side note, lack of running sea-water isn't necessarily a disaster. I 
kept a collection of small soft-bottom invertebrates in buckets in the fridge 
for about a year and a half. They were quite happy with a daily swirl of 
the water, an airstone and an occasional change of water (which I kept 
frozen from their habitat of 500m depth). It started as a joke and ended 
up providing valuable information.  

Good luck,

<Sabine.Cochrane at akvaplan.niva.no>

Sabine Cochrane
Akvaplan-niva AS
Polar Environmental Centre

9296 Tromsø, 
Tel +47 777 50327, Switchboard:+47 777 50300, 
Fax +47 777 50301
Home Tel +47 776 98446

Visiting address: Hjalmar Johansen gt. 14


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