20+ Red Bloodworms - Chironomus plumosus

Russian Red Bloodworm culture - Chironomus plumosus
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Russian Red Bloodworms
    You are bidding on twenty (20+) Bloodworms - Chironomus plumosus?), also known as buzzer midges, chizzywinks, muggleheads, and non-biting midges. They are a species of Chironomidae (informally known as chironomids or non-biting midges the family of nematoceran flies with a global distribution). Many species superficially resemble mosquitoes but they lack the wing scales and elongate mouthparts of the Culicidae -- they do not bite and the females do not need to feed to lay their eggs. One of the most common species is Chironomus plumosus. Its colours vary tremendously according to the nature of its habitat, and you will find green, ginger, brown and almost black sub-species. We call them 'Russian Red' because the reason these guys and our daphnia and red-wrigglers are deep red is due to an extremely well developed hemoglobin system that allows them to exist in water very low in oxygen. The use of the word 'blood' in their name has no relation to blood other than to describe their color. They lay eggs at the surface which sink to the bottom and, chironomid larvae, called bloodworms, develop. They live in tube-like burrows made from detritus on the bottom or sides of the container. In our daphnia cultures they show up in the detrius at the bottom where they make the black stuff look just like pancakes of black swiss cheese. The larger worms will be seen sticking out of the tubes and waving around while the pupae will rise to the surface and stay just at the water line until the adult midge fly emerges.
    These produce the same bright red bloodworms sold in frozen packages in your local fish store. They do not appear to be difficult to culture. Mine have shown up several times over the years and are now currently in several of my daphnia cultures. When I first saw them I was alarmed as they look just like mosquitoes -- which we would not care to have around. What I first saw were the shells of the emerged insects -- and the insects themselves -- I thought I was looking at mosquitoes. But a closer examination shows that the pupae and other identifying stages of mosquitoes are not present. There were none of the wriggling and flipping larvae with the unique snorkel and fuzzy appendages of a mosquito. And the comma shaped final stages are not seen -- if you do see those snorkel and comma guys -- they did not come from us. Look them up online -- they are sometimes called chizzywinks, muggleheads, and buzzer midges. They do not feed as adults and they are definitely not related to mosquitoes -- they are non-biting. They are in the same clear totes we culture the daphnia in and appear to live together in peaceful co-existence -- the cold war is over. We feed crushed flake food to the daphnia and occasional water changes with the replacement water green-water -- the blood worms apparently eat the flake food when it reaches the bottom. We have in each tote: one airline with a large screw holding it down with a notch above the screw for the air to come out. We use no heaters and the only suggested difference is to have a tight-fitting glass top or screen to keep the adults in the air-space above the culture and not escaping. They will not bite but to continue the culture the eggs of the females must be laid in the culture tank or else they will lay them in your other tanks and the eggs and larvae will be eaten. The biggest problem I have with them is that a few always escape when I feed them each day -- let me know if you have an idea to avoid this problem. I suggest having a small hole in the middle of the container top that you cover when not feeding. For collection use the same hole to insert a siphon tube and siphon out the bloodworms into a bucket. Use a green quicknet to get the live adults you need for your fish and put the rest back into the culture through the hole (using a funnel?). It is easy to see if your culture is thriving -- there will be a bunch of floating shells looking like mosquitoes at the surface and sticking to the walls above the water line. If you let the water go clear or carefully lower the water, you can see the swiss cheese black pancakes that they live in -- and they will be waving at you. If I stir the water up the holey pancakes are reformed fairly quickly but the adult worms will be then floating around where you can catch them with a green quick-net for feeding to your fish.
    See http://www.first-nature.com/insects/diptera/chironomus_plumosus.php for some info and pictures.

Russian Red Bloodworms
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Shipping Info
    We usually ship out on Monday and Tuesday. Shipping cost is $7.00, priority mail for one small culture (small flat-rate box). Combine them with our cultures of or russian red daphnia and/or russian red wrigglers in the medium flat-rate box for $13.00 shipping plus whatever price you can negotiate with Rhonda (email Rhonda -- rlmoormann@gmail.com). Live arrival is guaranteed only with Express mail, FedX next day or air cargo (Southwest). For non-alive-arrival claims a picture of the fish in the unopened bag within 72 hours is required (remember that the guarantee is for Express mail, FedX next day or air cargo only). None of the shipping companies has meaningful insurance -- only the shipping cost will be reimbursed on a successful claim -- if you try to push the issue the likely result will be that they will flag your destination area to not receive shipped animals.
    Most people want Priority Mail which is not guaranteed for live arrival or for a delivery time but is usually successful without heat packs for fish when your local temperatures remain between 60F and 90F for 72 hours after the date we agree to mail them -- so pay attention to your local weather.
    We have heat packs for an additional $1.00 each but only ask for them when the high temperature remains below 75F to avoid fish stew.
    Note that for daphnia, red-wrigglers, scuds, and bloodworms they only need to avoid freezing temperatures.
    We pack all non-labyrinth breathing fish with 100% oxygen above the clean/aged water. For any questions, to negotiate shipping, and other quantities or combinations, email Rhonda at rlmoormann@gmail.com
Russian Red bloodworms
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More Information
    Be sure to look at the movie(s) below. The Russian Reds are usually red in color and my previous investigations into Brine Shrimp indicates that color is indicative of an increased amount of hemoglobin in whatever species of animal -- the adaption to live in oxygen-depleted water is an aid to culturing them.
    You can see the bloodworms in action on YouTube at link(s)
    bloodworms in tote
    bloodworms in bottom of tote
    All fish and live food are sold as is.
    See our web site at marinefreshtropical.com for more information including a large text file on daphnia propagation.
    On the Species page of the site is a Excel 2000 spreadsheet with more species of available fish.
    Air cargo is typically $70 for the first 100# -- about 3 large boxes -- fish and shipping must be pre-paid.
    We also have a jobber list of our fish at even lower prices but in larger quantities.
    We are mostly a hatchery and grow-out operation but we have access to a 30+ page list of fish we can order -- we recently had 200 bettas dropshipped to NY for a fund-raiser for example. Larger fish and larger quantities are available. We can ship airport to airport.