Growing Phoenix Worms: A Step-by-Step Guide

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VerriKerri

Hatchling Member
I'm worried this will make them grow faster into flies if I try this? Have you had any problems with that yet? If this will keep them as worms longer I'd like to try it. Is the heating pad necessary? Dixon is only about 10 1/2 inches long, will these get too big for him?
 

Adriana

Member
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None of the worms will turn into flies if you use this method. The dark worms, which are nearing the end of their life cycle, need a dry place to develop into pupae and turn into flies. They will not pupate in the moist container filled with food. They will, however, try to crawl away to find a dry place when they are reaching the end of their life cycle. To prevent this, just feed off the dark worms first.

The heating pad is absolutely necessary. The worms' ability to eat and grow is directly proportional to their temperature, with best results at exactly 95 degrees. At lower temperatures, they become sluggish and are unable to feed effectively. At higher temperatures, they become stressed and start to die off. The Fluker's heating pad is perfect because it maintains a consistent 100 degree temperature, which translates to about 95 degrees at the bottom of the Critter Keeper, plus there is no adhesive surface like some of the other brands.

Don't worry about the worms getting too big for your Dixon. They are soft-bodied worms and pose no risk of impaction for a dragon his size.
 

VerriKerri

Hatchling Member
Sooo I went out and bought all the stuff but I didn't know what kind of baby food to get? I got some squash and some apple but will any kind be okay?
 

littlegoron

Hatchling Member
verrikerri, that should be fine. they arent fussy eaters, they just require soft food!

i cant wait until Darunia is big enough to try this. The medium worms are too big for him right now, but i have been planning to buy some to give to him when hes older, and to my leopard gecko as well, so this was a great find, thanks so much for writing this!
 

Bailey91990

Hatchling Member
I really like this. I just got 500 pheonix worms and there sooo small my dragons will not get full with these. So Im gonna get the multi grain bread and some babyfood and spread the babyfood like butter on both sides of the bread and Im gonna either use a large Kritter Keeper or I have a Square glass vase that Ill put tin foil ontop and poke holes in it.
Will that be okay if I do that?
And they dont drown in the water?
And they dont die burrying themselves into the babyfood and bread?
 

Adriana

Member
Original Poster
VerriKerri, with regard to the baby food, you can feed about 50% fruit and 50% vegetables, not necessarily at the same time. Organic baby food is best.

I have been experimenting with feeding protein to my last batch of phoenix worms, in the form of mixed baby food (chicken or turkey mixed with vegetables) and have had some amazing results. The worms are growing larger than ever before! I will post an update with pictures when they reach full size. Proteins should always be mixed at least half and half with fruit or vegetables.

Bailey, either container should be fine, as long as the bread and baby food cover the entire bottom of the container to a depth of about 1/2 inch. Don't worry about the worms drowning in the water; they will be fine; just fish them out as quickly as you can. You can use a small, medium-mesh sieve to rescue them from the water.

When preparing the bread with baby food, add enough baby food to get it nice and moist, kind of like a wet sponge. I promise the worms will not die when they burrow into it! Their burrowing creates little air pockets, which you can see on the underside of the container as they wiggle about. They need to burrow into their food to be happy and feel safe. After transferring the worms onto their food, you may notice a few get lost and climb up the sides of the container instead of burrowing underneath. This is normal. Just round up the strays and tuck them back in!
 

Bailey91990

Hatchling Member
Awesome I did it all right. I have 500 of them and I have one of those bigggg Kritter Keepers. I put like 150-200 of them in there. Should I add the other 300? Will it be okay to?
 

Adriana

Member
Original Poster
If you put them all in together, they will all reach full size at the about the same time. I would recommend that you start growing the first 150 to 200 now, and save the rest. One week after starting your first batch, start growing the next 150. One week after that, start the last 150. By then, your first batch should be getting close to full size, and you can start feeding them over the course of the week, while your next generations grow. The Mini Kritter Keeper is very handy for batches of this size.
 

Bailey91990

Hatchling Member
I added a total of 250 in there and kept 2 other 1oo cups. so I can dip into those when needed for I dont need to disturb the other ones. I have other things I can feed the dragons in the meantime I just rather not feed them 50 in one feeding cuz there so small. & on one my tanks I have the lamp holder thing for u can adjust where you want the basking light and I have a screen over the tank, so I put the Kritter Keeper close to that but not to close that my dragon wont get the heat, and its working good says inside the Keeper is 91 atm & I turned it on 10minutes ago. I no its best to use a heat source from the bottom but this will have to do for now
 

Bailey91990

Hatchling Member
Sorry I forgot to add in my above post but how often should I change there food?. With bread and babyfood on it with heat seems like it dries up quick or gets moldy. I thought I read somewhere Pheoniworms arent affected by mold that bad but I think I might be wrong? And should I add a few drops of water into the Kritter Keeper a day to keep everything moist?
 

Adriana

Member
Original Poster
You should change their food every 2 to 3 days. The bread does dry out a bit, so it should be moistened once a day with fresh baby food, or a sprinkling of water. Phoenix worms prefer a moist environment. If you change the food regularly, you should never have a problem with mold.
 

Bailey91990

Hatchling Member
So I kept the food in there for like 4 5days, and sprinkled water on it only once within those days. & then the last day I went to flip the piece of bread to see how there doing & there GREAT! There about 3 4times the size then I got them. There about the same size of a Waxworm that your get at PETCO or PETSMART, which still isnt big but its bigger & thats what counts! I most likely will never buy them again because there just to small, and my dragons wont each enough of them, but if I do buy them again I will get them to be used as a supplement. So instead of Dusting there food, Ill feed them PhoenixWorms the hole day and there get great nutrions!
But thank you soo much for this guide & the help, it was perfect & easy to understand.

Adam Bailey
 
hi! can I use 'homemade' babyfood? I just took some over-ripe blueberries, mixed in a little cantelope, a little hot water and put it in the food processor. if my petsmart only has zoo-med and not flukers, is that a solid 95 degrees as well, I wonder?
 

Adriana

Member
Original Poster
Yes, your homemade baby food sounds perfect! The worms will love it. And your beardie will love your yummy worms.

Unfortunately, the Zoo Med heating pad is not a good choice for heating the worms. It does not maintain a consistent temperature like the Flukers, so would have to be used with a thermostat. Worse yet, it has an adhesive backing that has to be stuck to the container before using. If you stick it on your worm container, it will be impossible to clean. But not to worry, you can order the Flukers heating pad online at http://www.LLLReptile.com.
 
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