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Hi there i was considering tanking some ragworm in a 10-30liter tank with an airstone and possibly a cheap protein skimmer as used in marine fishkeeping to keep the water as clean as possible. I was wondering how doable this is and would they survive in the tank at room temp or not? Any help would be gratefully received

Alex
 

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Hi Alex, Trying to keep a marine environment is not easy, and it need time to mature . In a 10- 30 litre marine tank you can't keep that many marine fish, because of the toxins, pollution, food waste etc . So how many rag worm in pristine condition are you thinking or likely to keep in your tank?, if you think you can keep say a maximum of 20 worms, then for how long, you might get away with it, take them out and replace with some more in very good condition. Any more or damage, dead worms and the system toxin levels will go in overdrive and fail . Personally it would be better to keep them in shallow trays in a bait fridge, and check them every day.
 

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Hi Alex, Trying to keep a marine environment is not easy, and it need time to mature . In a 10- 30 litre marine tank you can't keep that many marine fish, because of the toxins, pollution, food waste etc . So how many rag worm in pristine condition are you thinking or likely to keep in your tank?, if you think you can keep say a maximum of 20 worms, then for how long, you might get away with it, take them out and replace with some more in very good condition. Any more or damage, dead worms and the system toxin levels will go in overdrive and fail . Personally it would be better to keep them in shallow trays in a bait fridge, and check them every day.
Aye aye ill keep that in mind, ive never ever attempted to try to keep them for any length of time so i have absaloutly no idea...ive dabbled with fishkeeping before and was just thinking along those lines. How long can you keep them in shallow trays in the fridge?
 

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Aye aye ill keep that in mind, ive never ever attempted to try to keep them for any length of time so i have absaloutly no idea...ive dabbled with fishkeeping before and was just thinking along those lines. How long can you keep them in shallow trays in the fridge?
Hi Alex, You can keep them up to a couple of weeks, plenty long enough for the next session. What you need to do is take back with you some fresh sea water in a plastic bottle 1- 2 litres, some shallow trays and just cover the rag worms with fresh sea water about 1/4 inch deep, sort out the good one, the live ones, no broken tails put them in a tray or several trays and don't over crowd them, the broken ones keep separate in another tray if they survive use these first, discard any dead ones. Keep the water in the fridge and change the water regular and check your worms out just good management will save you some money or digging for fresh worms.
 

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I had a small ragworm live for over a year in a tank with just a filter aerator.
Not intentionally it was put in the tank at about 4cm as prawn food but grew to about 15cm before dying a couple of weeks ago.
It suprised me that it survived warm (not hot) weather last year at room temp !
 

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So nearly 70 litres of water and a 20 litres water change.
Hmm so thats not much different to your 30% water change in freshwater fishkeeping only difference is its salt... I would imagine I would need a hydrometer to keep in control of salinity owning to evaporation. I'll try in the trays to start with but . these links are very very interesting :)
 

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Was thinking about tanking before but it generally isn't worth the effort unless your selling whatever it is your keeping. Can keep rag fine for weeks in just trays with a few water changes. So even when tides are rubbish and unable to dig rag, you just need to keep some rag in trays if you intend to fish on these tides. The only benefit I can see in tanking is just with peeler crabs if you can get enough of them in your area.
 

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I've kept rag and lug tanks for 40 years, only keep locally dug King rag now as lug beds are gone. Most important things, absolutely no cut or damaged worm, but you can keep half worm as where tail has detached it will heal, cuts or gashes or crushed worms parts will fester and spoil water, water temperature is another problem, in the winter the water will stay cold (my tanks are in unheated back room in house) the summer is the problem, heat promotes bacteria also heat decreases oxygen in the water even though you have pumps. I bought myself a cheap fridge with no freezer compartment, put the fridge on its back and put a tank in it so I control temperature. This is the most important thing though if the water smells bad you have to change all of it, it's the bacteria of the worms waist that causes it, it's no good just changing half of water as your leaving bacteria in there. Check the worm whenever you can and take out any floaters the water must be kept clean. I keep hundreds of worms sometimes in around 70 litres of water ,, I also change all the water without fail every 3 days, there are things in the water the worm eat but i also feed them. With a little practice all this is very easy and you can keep worm as long as you like and in perfect beautiful condition.
 

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Have a read of the attached .... I knocked it up some while back to get a young lad started as a pro digger. I was a commercial digger for a number of years and used to run 2 fridges for rag and for a while a walk in fish store to keep them.

The big issue with heat is not bacteria but that if the water is too warm it makes the worms active and they start to eat one another and knot in a very tight ball. The worms also excrete an acid based mucus (which would normally line their burrows) and if the tank density is high you need to change the water just to prevent the acidity in the tank going too high and killing off the worms - that is much more serious in a clean tank than bacteria.

If you are going to keep Ragworm it is relatively easy, but you need to maintain strict hygiene .... the first part of that is a clean water supply and regular changes ... if you want to kill off your tanks the easiest way to do it is to add water contaminated with diesel or petrol (and if you do you will lose the lot). The other major fail is daylight ... keeping them in the light just makes them more active and you need to reduce their activity to a minimum.

Just as an add ... I once kept 2 massive Rag in a aquarium for about 2 years ... they lived on a diet of lugworm and smaller rag quiet happily in my coldstore until I moved their location and the tank went bad suddenly overnight ... so it is doable if you want to put in the effort.
 

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Have to disagree with you it is bacteria , and I will say this in 40 years of me keeping rag i have never seen a ragworm chewing on another ragworm, if i put 50 whole Kings, heads to the 2 hairs on there arse with not a single digging mark on any of the worms in the tank and keep the water good I could check the worms a month later and there would be 50 perfect worms in the tank, and i know this cos I've done it thousands of times. I've done hundreds of experiments in 40 years and one was keeping badly cut and gashed worms in a separate tank and for sure the cuts and gashes become infected and the area begins to rot which spoils water and kills the worm, well i started treating the water with a aquatic anti biotic for bacteria problems in fish and Guess what the worms would heal. And in the summer when the water is warmer the bacteria gets hold much quicker that's why a tank built inside a fridge works perfectly, forgot to say door is still on the fridge so it's dark inside. Clean water is the most important thing but be careful when your collecting it because there's a killer you can't see or smell! Fresh water. If it's been raining check the beach for run off or get the water where there is no run off.
 

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Simple, clean uncontaminated sea water,
No cuts or damaged worm,
Keep them cool and dark and remove there waist,
Feed them if you have to keep longer than expected,
A good pump or 2.
O and clean water..
If possible live 100yards from sea.
Sorted . Catch fish. :thumbsup:
 

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I have kept Tropical Marine Fish, i you are serious in keeping a live tank then i would seriously look at your Filtration systems and the Sea Water which you can make up, so that you don't run the risk of pollutants in the tank. Go to a tropical fish keeping shop or a good pet shop for the salt and the water is reverse osmosis (RO/DI) deionized water (you can make your own with a kit ) and it is water for fish only (not for topping up batteries), and don't use fresh tap water as it has the risk of copper, chlorine and fluoride pollutants, to make the salt water, and some shop will sell the salt water ready made, you need a Hydrometer to check that is at the right PH between 7.6- 8.4. As you are keeping the temperature low, you don't have the same water evaporation problems, as tropical marine, temp and lights, but you still need to do regular water changes normally about 25% if you have a good filtration system and a skimmer that removes the bacteria and food waste you should have a good heathy tank.
 

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Have to disagree with you it is bacteria , and I will say this in 40 years of me keeping rag i have never seen a ragworm chewing on another ragworm, if i put 50 whole Kings, heads to the 2 hairs on there arse with not a single digging mark on any of the worms in the tank and keep the water good I could check the worms a month later and there would be 50 perfect worms in the tank, and i know this cos I've done it thousands of times..
50 worms in a tank is sod all that is dabbling. I was a professional digger for about 15 years and have been tanking them in big quantities since the mid 70s. When I was full timer I used to have 40 to 80lb of rag in the tanks every week in rotation. Balling and cannibalism is common as any pro will tell you ... once they get active and hungry there is no stopping them.

We used to pull them out eating one another when putting the bait orders together. You'll only get an issue with bacteria if you are leaving the water in them for days on end (which is a no-no) if you keep them for bait. In a permanent tank you are really doing something wrong with the balance or setup of the tank if you get bacteria issues.
 

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50 worms in a tank is sod all that is dabbling. I was a professional digger for about 15 years and have been tanking them in big quantities since the mid 70s. When I was full timer I used to have 40 to 80lb of rag in the tanks every week in rotation. Balling and cannibalism is common as any pro will tell you ... once they get active and hungry there is no stopping them.

We used to pull them out eating one another when putting the bait orders together. You'll only get an issue with bacteria if you are leaving the water in them for days on end (which is a no-no) if you keep them for bait. In a permanent tank you are really doing something wrong with the balance or setup of the tank if you get bacteria issues.
Think he was using 50 as an example. I never have problems with rag. Keep them for months before I use them. I just lower the water temperature which keeps them less active.
 

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Think he was using 50 as an example. I never have problems with rag. Keep them for months before I use them. I just lower the water temperature which keeps them less active.
Well aware of the temperature thing but that is one part of the formula and not so easy when you deal with larger quantities. Even if you have them at the ideal temperature if you then have the water over-oxygenated they start to become active, plus you also have to watch the temp with oxygen pumps because they pull in warm air from outside and will heat the tanks up. My fish store was a real boon in the summer because I had the pumps in the there drawing in cooled air so had no problem with warming up the tanks.

If you can be bothered you can use sand in the tanks to help stop them balling .... works well in low densities but not so hot when a tank is packed as it makes cleaning more involved. Most pros I've known don't bother, they prefer to concentrate on temp, water changes and regular inspection to keep things healthy. As a hobby its annoying to lose a tank ... for me it was my living and the potential for a lot of very miffed customers if the tanks bombed so I put a lot of time and effort in to getting it right.

At the other end of the spectrum a few are easy to keep in a 18 x 12 x 12 aquarium set up more naturally with an under-gravel filter. A mate of mine has a small aquarium set up like that with a small cooler he knocked up himself . Interesting to do but the rag do have a habit of getting under the filter and screwing things up occasionally.
 

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I was using the 50 worms as an example. I also dug worms for a living for many years and myself and 2 other partners dug the worm, one of the tanks was an old cast bath tub along with 5 other tanks with many live baits . And as for bacteria i was simply explaining to any novices that cut and damaged worm promote infection and death, luckily enough we lived a 100 yards from local slipway so water was changed most days. To stop worms balling you simply use many sunken gallon ice cream containers with holes in and split the worms up, it's not rocket science! , and to stop them eating each other (which i never seen) change water every day cos the water is full of microorganisms that worms eat or simply add a feed . Job done. Got the flucking t-shirt! :tongue2:
 

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Hi there i was considering tanking some ragworm in a 10-30liter tank with an airstone and possibly a cheap protein skimmer as used in marine fishkeeping to keep the water as clean as possible. I was wondering how doable this is and would they survive in the tank at room temp or not? Any help would be gratefully received

Alex
we used to keep them for up to 3 months in cool boxes full of water inside fridges with an airstone. change the water every day until it stays clear then every week will do. the worms ball up around the airstone and crap out all the muck then turn red. take them out on the day of use and out in newspaper. the worms are olive with bright red fronds, very attractive on lead heads for pollacks
 

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I was using the 50 worms as an example. I also dug worms for a living for many years and myself and 2 other partners dug the worm, one of the tanks was an old cast bath tub along with 5 other tanks with many live baits . And as for bacteria i was simply explaining to any novices that cut and damaged worm promote infection and death, luckily enough we lived a 100 yards from local slipway so water was changed most days. To stop worms balling you simply use many sunken gallon ice cream containers with holes in and split the worms up, it's not rocket science! , and to stop them eating each other (which i never seen) change water every day cos the water is full of microorganisms that worms eat or simply add a feed . Job done. Got the flucking t-shirt! :tongue2:
I really do wonder when you say you have never seen Ragworm eating each other. Ragworm can filter feed but they would need an awful lot of water passing them to get enough out of that feeding method, you would have to go some with the water changes in an iron bath (not sure I would like to use one of those with salt water ... any corrosion would surely taint the bait).

As well as filter feeding they scavenge but they are also a predatory worm. Anybody that has some in tanks can test that simply by dropping a lugworm in a tank of Ragworm and seeing what happens. They will get the lug head end first usually. Get a bunch of them hungry in the tank and the larger ones will start to prey on the smaller ones.

How did you keep the temperature of the water down in the bath in the summer then?
 
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