Aquatic Foods California just announced the availability of its highly nutritious, parasite-free California Blackworms® in a new frozen form. The news means more hobbyists now have easy access to the benefits of blackworms, conditioning fish into breeding shape, without having to keep live worms or make frequent trips to one of the handful of stores that carry live California blackworms.
One of those companies not on the radar of most marine aquarists, Aquatic Foods California (AFC), is a great source for live farmed California blackworms — Lumbriculus variegatus. Not to be confused with Tubifex worms (typically found in sewage), AFC’s freshwater blackworms worms are raised in controlled conditions without fish and are free of parasitic roundworms, tapeworms, flukes, ich, Hexamita and other fish diseases blackworms from other sources might carry.
While a mainstay in the freshwater hobby, live blackworms are often overlooked despite being a tempting food for marine fish. Live California Blackworms are known to garner a highly positive feeding response — another useful tool for tackling the most finicky marine fish. Just watch the following video of the Banded Butterflyfish (Chaetodon striatus) to see how responsive a fish can be with these worms – this species often dies in captivity because of its finicky feeding nature.
Often it’s difficult to find live California blackworms at your local store but hobbyists were able to order them by the pound and shipped directly overnight by AFC. Fish breeders also see positive results in bringing broodstock into spawning condition quickly for many people. For the aquarist who wants to have this feed on hand but doesn’t want a container of live worms in the refrigerator or only wants to feed blackworms occasionally, this new frozen California blackworms may be the best marriage-saving compromise out there.
AFC detailed the freezing and packaging process for us. The live blackworms are placed in a 4 1/2 x 6 in. cube tray and then run through a conveyer-style flash freezer after being run through a dose of irradiation for good measure. Flash freezing takes less than 10 minutes and then three of the 6 oz., 35 count flat frozen trays are placed in a resealable poly bag for shipment.
AFC is shipping frozen blackworms to retailers and hobbyists starting this week with fully labeled packaging expected soon.