jumbo bloodworm

HI Because I seem to spoil my fish the tend to reduce the choice of what they will eat to frozen foods of all of the types that are generally available...including bloodworms
AS the big one have grown ,I switched over to Hikari jumbo blood worms in the big flat pack. I tend to feed all of the fish ,except the tetras,with whatever I have currently thawed. so my young German Altums got jumbo blood worms as well as quite big canadian mysis shrimp ( maybe it's seasonal but the last big flat pack had biggest ones I have ever gotten ( they are not jumbo mysis though they are availablr also).gg
I suddenly had a young german Altum with a case of "bloat" and I did euthanize him for fear of losing the whole group..who stayed fine.

I did some looking around the internet and found a semi scientific article warning against jumbo blood worms very severely as they cause intestinal blockage which looks like bloat..due to their large amoint of exoskeleton plus their spines etc which make they physically block up in the intestine. Coincidently,I had noticed that California Worm CO freeze dried blood worms (just for example) are not bigger than medium.,
Any body noticed or know this. It was the first time that I had bought jumbos. It is easy to purchase smaller food for the smaller fish.

PS. On a related note, I have pretty well proved that on a diet fed to the big altums of bloodworms/canadian mysis/live black worms/brine shrimp and spirulina brine shrimp, large triangular tetras like Columbians get too much protein and die off (even as they breed) with bloat. ( liver damage). When I took the whole population out and put them on a light duty mostly flake diet 6 months ago, all deaths and symptoms( belly a bit swollen/black irregualr blotches on the side of ones that will die) disapeared. THe altums appear ok on the diet but it is richer than a diet with dry food in it.BTW the swim through pellets or flakes no matter what attractant I use.

Re: jumbo bloodworm

Hi Al,

Just a few comments:

Jumbo Bloodworm are a different species of bloodworm to the smaller ones that have always been available in the trade. They are sold in Germany as Super Euro Mosquito larvae, although I have been informed by suppliers that they are actually from Russia. They do not come from the polluted sources where bloodworm often come from and for this reason they are safer to use that normal bloodworms. However, I would advise against feeding of bloodworms unless it can be verified that they are not from polluted sources. From what you are explaining, you are feeding a good diet, just be careful that the bloodworms do not form a too large percentage of that diet. Bloodworms are always guzzled down by all fishes because they are very tasty for fishes, but that is not necessarily an indication of nutritional value. They are almost like candy for kids!

Then I have my very sincere doubts about the intestinal blockage that they may cause. They have traditionally been fed to discus in Germany and I have also fed them to discus and never had a problem with bloat. I find that if you feed jumbo bloodworms, the fishes have excellent poop on the next day, which is better than if you feed food rich in proteins and containing less roughage. Unfortunately the internet is great at spreading semi-scientific articles, which are often basically someone's opinions on a topic, but have not been properly scientifically investigated. In order to conduct such an experiment scientifically, you should actually place different groups of altums each on different diets with increasing amounts of jumbo bloodoworms for a period of six months say and then assess how many pick up problems with bloat. Well who has the money and aquariums to keep five groups of altums of say 20 each? Who is going to take the risk on their altums? Nobody, right! So in my opinion, I would be very wary of such articles and not take them too seriously, moderation is what is important here.

Tetras are known to fatten up very rapidly and if you feed your altums properly, in other words feed them well, and you also have tetras in the aquarium, you will invariably overfeed them and this then leads to bloat. In my opinion this has less to do with the quality of the diet, but rather that the tetras are overfeeding, because they are simply faster at getting the food. I think that combination is one that simply does not work well and it is better not to keep the large tetras with the altums.

So it sounds as though your altums are being fed well and I hope they are growing well, but be careful not to overdo the jumbo bloodworms for the above reasons. Normal bloodworms, I would steer well clear of in an altum diet in any case.

Kind regards,

Somerset West, South Africa

Re: jumbo bloodworm

Thanks for all the info
I do want to clarfy something....I have two groups of altums. One is a wild group that i have had from quarter sized to adult size. I have had them nearly 2.5 years and they vary from nice big fish to really ughly. None are a big as altums can get and their finnage has suffered from the travails of travel from Bogata and then life with me as I learned ,once again,how to keep them. I had kept other altums years ago and they seemed to be much easier to keep then. These ,still, are huge for angels in general, with slightly under CD sized bodies with less finnage than I wish they had.

Because I did not have enough "good lookers" I augmented this group just weeks ago with altums, theoretically from Simon Forkel and of the Seigriest line, out of Germany. It was in this group of fish that I experienced the bloat problem with one.He was a major glutton and suddenly appeared "blocked up" without other symptoms..he also did not get better. AS these fish had only 2 inch total length bodies at that time I felt that the big bloodworms might have got him....as well as the one size down from "gigantic " fresh water mysis.

BTW when you order a big 40 once flat pack of Piscine resources mysis you get a big block of more or less standard sized mysis. When you order a 16 oz flat pack of Hikari mysis it is called a jumbo pack and the mysis themselves are jumbo also. I have 2 lbs of it that I purchased in error..the altums will not eat it ( though even the big ones are still growing)..not will they eat it if I cut it up. They eat the smaller version of Hikari mysis but it does not seem to come in the biggest flat pack

Regards Al


Re: jumbo bloodworm

Hi Al,

The mysis that I use is again from the trade in Germany, it is not one of the worldwide brands such as Hikari, which BTW is also sold here in South Africa. The size of the mysis that I am supplied with from Germany is about 1.5 cm, some are a little smaller, but size wise they are easily consumed by my altums. That size always remains the same regardless of pack size. The new larger size of, let us call them crustaceans, are small krill. These are about 2-2.5 cm in size and are just still managed by large altums. Finally, large krill are about 3 - 4 cm in size, and are too large for them to eat. The large size is often used to make mixtures which are put through the meat shredder, which then make them manageable in terms of size.

So, I am pretty sure your altums will not manage the larger size. I also find that the fishes are less keen on taking the larger sizes, somehow they are not so tasty. What you could do is to put them through a meat shredder with some tastier granulates or flakes, refreeze them as a flat bar and then try to feed it like that. Alternatively, you may have to give them to someone that keeps some monster cichlids :D !

Why your youngster may have gone down to bloat is because even after a few weeks after transport, they are still quite susceptible to problems, and it may have been that this guzzler had a low level internal infection which then became acute once he had an overfull belly. Once the belly is so full, it does mean that the food stays in the gut for longer until it is digested, and it is in this phase that things can go wrong.

At any rate, we all know that keeping altums is a steep learning curve, but it sounds as though you are doing the right thing, so I hope that this young batch will grow into nice fishes.

Kind regards,

Somerset West, South Africa