DIY Cultures

Gills and Fins – how to culture microworms, grindal worms, and vinegar eels with pictures and videos DIY Cultures

Microworms Culture

Microworms Supplies needed
Everything needed to culture Microworms


Microworms are extremely easy DIY Cultures to Keep and make an excellent first food for fry. They work extremely well to feed those baby fish and unlike Vinegar Eels they will sink to the bottom. This makes them especially good for feeding bottom dwellers like Cory fry.  We use microworms for our Angelfish, Corydoras Catfish, Central American Cichlid and African Cichlid fry. They are high in protein and will plump up those fry fast.  When the fry are starting to out grow microworms we start to introduce Grindal Worms.  A young grindal worm can easily be eaten by fry. Some of our young Corydoras fry will grab an adult Grindal worm and shake it.  It’s quite entertaining to watch.

Below is a video showing what you need to start your Microworm Culture and how to set it up.

Vinegar Eels Culture

Vinegar Eels Supplies
Everything needed to Culture Vinegar Eels


Vinegar Eels are a great alternative to Microworms and a better choice for those mid and upper swimming fry.  Being about 2mm long they are very easy for newly hatched fry that are ready to start eating live foods.  One thing I personally like about Vinegar Eels is they swim in the water column, whereas Microworms will drop to the bottom and if you don’t have a bare bottom tank they will be lost. We start feeding Vinegar Eels to our Angelfish fry along with microworms once they are free swimming.


Grindal Worm Culture

Everything needed to Culture Grindal worms


Grindal worms are probably the most used DIY Cultures in our fish room for juveniles and adults. We feed them to all of our large fry,  juvenile and adult fish. They are extremely easy to keep and they don’t require anything special. Just damp soil, or scrubber pads and food.  They are kept at room temp, so unlike white worms, you don’t need to keep them 50-60° F.  Our fish room stays around 75° year round and the Grindal worms seem to love that temp.

When you receive your Starter Culture from us the most important part is the soil in the Starter Culture. It’s full of valuable eggs and that’s what will start your culture, so make sure you add all of the soil in the package to your media. They will smell very bad when you get them, so beware. We do make a small hole in the lid and fill it with polyfill to allow the worms to breathe.  It can take a week or two before you start to see growth then it will take off from there, as long as you feed it and keep it damp. If you have any further questions or need more info send us an email and we will be glad to help.

Below is a video showing what you need to start your Grindal Worm Culture and how to set it up.


How to set up Grindal Worms using soil.

How to setup Grindal worms using Scrubber pads