Blood worms are a good, high-protein food for people with koi ponds. Koi are very fond of these nutritious food. Yet buying frozen blood worms to use as a primary diet for koi can get very expensive. One solution is to farm your own blood worms. Farming your own blood worms will not only give you less expensive, more nutritious koi food, but will give you better nutrition for your fish than frozen blood worms. Blood worms are actually the larval form of the insect chironomid midges.
Benefits of Blood Worms
Blood worms are rich in protein and hemoglobins that can speed the growth of some kinds of koi. Bloodworms will speed the growth of young tosnai, among other varieties of koi. Bloodworms also have a positive effect on koi breeding.
Farming your own worms isn't hard. You will need an aproximately 60cm x 40cm x 40cm aquarium or container. You will also need a very small pump, (around 5 watts), and some dried leaves to place in the bottom of the container for food for the growing worms. The leaves should be dead. Don't put live grass or leaves into your blood worm farm. You will eventually need a supply of bloodworm larvae or eggs.
Building Your Farm
To build your farm, fill the tank or container with water and add the pump. Place the pump in a way that will discourage it becoming clogged by the leaves. Add a screen if you are worried about pump damage. Place the equivalent of a couple of inches of dead leaves in the aquarium and let it sit for two weeks. At first, the leaves will float. They will eventually settle down on the bottom of the tank. Add the blood worm eggs or larvae. They should mature in two weeks.
Blood Worm Harvesting
Harvest the blood worms after about two weeks. Be sure to leave some in the tank, or you will have to re-stock the tank with new eggs or larvae.
Possible Negative Effects of Blood Worms
Some people are allergic to blood worms. If you are allergic to blood worms, they can cause itchy red spots. If you are allergic to the worms, use gloves when harvesting or handling the worms.