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Ornamental Fish Food

Ornamental aquarium fish like the clownfish Nemo and his pal the royal blue tang Dory one day may be dining on high-quality yet inexpensive white worms grown in New England. New research from at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) has found that live white worms are well-suited for the ornamental aquaculture industry and could be an emerging commercial industry for the region.

UNH researchers conducted experiments to evaluate how low- or no-cost byproducts affected white worm production and nutrition, and if adding enrichments changed the fatty acid profile of the worms, making them a more nutritious feed. They evaluated if live white worms harbored diseases, which would put aquaculture facilities at risk. They distributed almost 250,000 white worms to facilities in the United States in exchange for feedback on their experiences using the worms.

Specifically, the researchers found white worms are an easily and cheaply cultivated, pathogen-free feed, high in protein and fat, which are readily consumed by many fishes, especially ornamentals.

NIFA supports this project with Hatch Act and the Northeastern Regional Aquaculture Funds.

Read the article at the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture.

Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.

Farm Bill Priority Areas
Agriculture systems and technology;
Animal health and production and animal products
U.S. States and Territories
District of Columbia,
New Hampshire,
New Jersey,
New York,
Rhode Island,
West Virginia
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