Two Week update with Red Wigglers and European Nightcrawlers
Well, it’s been two weeks since we started the experiment with Red Wigglers and European Nightcrawlers. Since we started with juvenile worms we were not really expecting much change this soon. And, with only 10 worms in each small bin, they had not consumed much of their food or bedding yet. No Cocoons were found, but a few of the worms had developed a clitellum.
We did add a big hole in the center of the lid to increase air flow. As a result, it did seem like the bedding was a little bit dryer than we want so some water was added to each. The worms all found near the food source in each of the six small containers. Both, the Red Wigglers and European Nightcrawlers were looking good.
Please let us know if you have any questions or comments about the experiment. We would love to hear from you. All who are following, please leave us a comment, even if it is a brief one just to let us know you are following along.
This experiment will be done with Red Wigglers and European Nightcrawlers. There will be six containers each containing 10 worms. Three containers will contain 10 RW’s each and three containers will contain 10 ENC’s each.
There will be three different types of food source used. One pair of containers ( 10 ENC’s and 10 RW’s) will be fed fresh horse manure. One pair of containers will be fed a food mix containing 40% UCG (used coffee grounds), 40% soaked rabbit manure (soaked for 24 hrs) and 20% soaked leaves. And the final pair of containers will be fed a mix containing 25% UCG and 75% household food scraps. Each container will start out with approximately 1.5 inches of shredded and soaked cardboard bedding.
We will make any adjustments needed to all containers equally unless inappropriate. All containers will be fed the same amount of food by weight. Fresh bedding will be added equivalent to approximately 10% of the amount of food fed by volume at each feeding. This experiment will last 6 months with updates of progress every two weeks.
The Goal of the Red Wigglers and European Nightcrawlers Experiment.
The goal of this experiment is to see how fast RW’s and ENC’s compare to each other in reproduction and total mass gain. Also, to find out which of the three food sources will produce the best results in reproduction and increase in mass. Additionally, I would also like to find out how well both Red Wigglers and European Nightcrawlers reproduce and gain mass with a fairly large percentage of uncomposted coffee grounds in their food mix.
Some of the Details of Preparation
I spray painted the containers since they are clear with black spray paint on the outside to darken them up some for the worms. For some air flow, I drilled 31-7/16th-inch holes in the lid. I am planning on removing the lids from the containers to maximize airflow once all the worms are settled in. If possible I will keep them in a controlled environment at approximately 70 degrees F. I will start with all small, juvenile worms that do not have a visible clitellum to keep things as even as possible.
We will be using 6 XL Family Size Glad Lock containers 104 ounces (3.07 Litters). When those containers get too small we will upgrade all the containers at the same time. Anyone who wants to do the experiment with us please sign up for the Midwest Worms Newsletter. If you advise us that you are going to perform the experiment with us we will publish your results also. I will be starting the experiment on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
If you would like to get started today composting with worms feel free to contact us or go to our Composting Worms page and get some Red Wigglers or European Nightcrawlers today. Even better get a gallon of our Compost Worm Mix, the least expensive, easiest and most effective way to start.