Tubifex Worm

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Tubifex tubifex - (Mueller, 1774)
Tubifex Worm

Live Tubifex worms in a shot glass. Image courtesy: rhfishtank.blogspot.com


Tubifex worms are threadlike black or red, bottom-dwelling segmented worms found in the sediments of rivers, swamps, streams, and lakes. They are able to survive in heavily polluted waters and have been blamed for many cases of introducing disease into aquaria. Among other maladies, they are linked to "Whirling Disease" in salmon and trout, an affliction sometimes seen in aquarium fish.

A traditional food for aquarium fishes, fed live, frozen, or freeze dried.

Family: Tubificidae

Other common name(s):

  • Sludge Worms
  • Sewage Worm
  • San Juan Worm
  • Lime Snake

Native range:

Water: Freshwater -

Special Care

Feeding dying or decayed Tubifex worms can cause gastric disorders in fish. Be sure live worms have been cleansed and are alive and healthy.

They may be kept alive in fresh water in a refrigerated glass container, with daily water changes over a period of days to lessen the risk of disease.


See: "The San Juan Worm," by Daniel Gustafson, Ph.D. [1]