From The Aquarium Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
A drawing of tubifex worms

About Tubifex[edit]

Tubifex (Tubifex tubifex), also called the sludge worm or sewage worm, is a species of tubificid segmented worm that inhabits the sediments of lakes and rivers on several continents. Tubifex probably includes several species, but distinguishing between them is difficult because reproductive organs, commonly used in species identification, are reabsorbed after mating, and because external characteristics of the worm vary with changes in salinity.

These worms are relatively easy to culture, but it takes a month or more to get a culture going to the point that it is ready to harvest.

  • Limnodrilus udekemianus is the species most often used in the aquarium trade[1]
  • Tubifex can cause an allergic reaction in some people. So wash your hands after handing this food.

Tubifex as a food[edit]

A well-used two-piece floating device for feeding live Tubifex worms to your pets.

Tubifex is usually available as live, frozen or freeze-dried foods.

It is most economically important to humans as a host of Myxobolus cerebralis, which causes disease in fish stocks. No other worms are known to harbour this parasite. So care should be taken when feeding live Tubifex to aquarium fish.

Commercially processed Tubifex should be safe. But be wary of low cost or old stock.

  • This food was extremely popular in the past but since the discovery of this parasite in live worms, aquarists are wary to use it and live worms is now not commonly sold in shops.
  • Most fish take this food eagerly. DAFs love it too.
  • This is a small high protein food which makes it very suitable for small fish and fry. But be wary of feeding it constantly as no one food can supply all the nutritional requirements of an animal.

Freeze dried Tubifex[edit]

This food is usually sold as small dry cubes which feels like dry sawdust. The product is a light grey.


Protein: 50-60% min, Fat: 10% min, Fibre: 2% max, Moisture: 4% max, Phosphorus 0.1% max, Ash 0.1% max.


Tubifex worms, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12

  • Please note the vitamins are artificially added.
  • Be careful with how old the product is. If the item has no date stamp on it. You can't know how long it's been sitting on a shelf for.

Tip: A new container should be sealed against the air as oxygen rapidly destroys the nutritional content. Check this seal when you buy. Once opened the contents of dried tubifex should be used within a few days as it will absorb moisture from the air and fungus will grow on it. If kept in an air tight container away from light, moisture, and heat, it should last for 3 months.

How to use the cubes[edit]

This food floats for a long time and gradually breaks up into individual worms. For small fish, simply break off a piece from the cube and press onto the glass underwater. For large fish press a whole cube against the glass underwater.