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Our town recently switched from weekly trash pickup to bi-weekly pickup. This has led to a bit of a problem with maggots in our trash "closet" (we live in a townhouse so we keep our trash in a small outdoor closet). This morning I went out and found maggots crawling all around the ground. Feeling ingenious, I collected a few of them and tossed them into my aquarium. My neons and rainbows immediately set to work and munched them down.

Is there anything I should worry about in doing this? It seemed like a nice, live snack for the fish. Is there anything to keep in mind when collecting live and local food for the aquarium?
 

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Anything they have eaten has become part of their flesh, thank you CSI. If you throw away chemicals or cleaners they might pick some up. If you really wanted to feed your fish maggots, I'd farm them organically for safety.
 

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As they have also eaten mammalian fat they will pass this onto the fish who are unable to utilise this and it becomes fatty liver deposits. Basically not a great idea.
 

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I agree. there are better live foods. you may think about an organic soil/worm bin. You have a bin (plastic shoebox+ size) that has soil and red wigglers. toss in your organic trash such as banana peels, egg shells, etc and reap the rewards! we plan to do this inside, but it sounds to me that your set up would be better, LOL.
 

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There is a product out that has maggots in a can. I had a freind buy them and his fish just loved them.
 

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The fisher folk that use maggots to catch their fish will keep them in a container of breadcrumbs for a week, to purge them of any of those nasty chemicals or germs. This may work in your situation....
 

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If you find the maggots crawling away from the garbage can, they have already emptied their guts and are looking for a place to pupate. They will become pupae in another day or two and so the bread crumb storage idea won't work. I am not convinced that maggots will have bad chemicals or dangerous bacteria. They will be eating table scraps, and that is food that you didn't eat but could have. That can't be really bad, can it?
 

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If you find the maggots crawling away from the garbage can, they have already emptied their guts and are looking for a place to pupate. They will become pupae in another day or two and so the bread crumb storage idea won't work. I am not convinced that maggots will have bad chemicals or dangerous bacteria. They will be eating table scraps, and that is food that you didn't eat but could have. That can't be really bad, can it?
The problem is not really any bacteria or chemicals they contain but the fact that they eat a diet that contains mammalian, saturated fat and fish struggle to metabolise this and it gets deposited as fatty liver deposits. Even worse in colder water this fat will become solid and cause even more problems. The natural diets of the fish we keep contain very little mammalian fat.
 

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How about the various bugs and worms in/on a compost pile? No animal fats there, just yard waste and fruit/veggie scraps. I've thought about it before when I open the top of the compost container and see it teeming with life but haven't tried it yet. Are there any compost pile regulars that would be a bad idea as fish food? I'm thinking the pill bugs wouldn't be good because of their size and hardness but the worms would probably be good.
 

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I've used finely shopped worms from the compost heap before and the fish loved them. Pretty gruesome mincing them up though...

Not used anything else from the compost heap though. Have fed Bloodworms from my old pond filter before but they new one's too clean so I don't get any!
 
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