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A Lot of Worm Questions

Eixa

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I don't know how many of these questions have already been answered, but I need to know a few things about keeping worms:
Is 3 animals too few to keep the worm population under control?
Do I need to get stuff for measuring soil pH and moisture or can I just "eyeball it"?
I heard African nightcrawlers are prone to escaping, what precautions do I need to make to prevent that? Thanks for putting up with my newbish questions.
 

Boomsloth

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I don't know how many of these questions have already been answered, but I need to know a few things about keeping worms:
Is 3 animals too few to keep the worm population under control?
Do I need to get stuff for measuring soil pH and moisture or can I just "eyeball it"?
I heard African nightcrawlers are prone to escaping, what precautions do I need to make to prevent that? Thanks for putting up with my newbish questions.

I think 3 breeding worms might be a little low (anyone with more experience correct me) On earth worms that swollen band around the head is where they keep their eggs so if you are going to only keep 3 I would recommend they have that. As for pH I've only used organic potting or top soil, making sure to move it around every other day. Moisture is what you want but you don't want saturated soil. Basically keep the top layer from getting too dry while making sure the bottom doesn't get soaked. Nightcrawlers do try to escape sometimes but a tight fitting lid will prevent that. just make sure to include small air holes on the top. I've been using Canadian nightcrawlers and found them to be a pain to breed. I'm going to switch to "red wigglers" because they are more prolific breeders.
 

DocZelop

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Hi there,

I've been breeding red wigglers (Eisenia foetida) for four years now, and I can tell you they're indeed much more prolific than canadian nightcrawlers. Also, they tend to be quite smaller which I find convenient for feeding smaller animals. The only drawback is that some amphibians don't like them because apparently they exsude some kind of stinking mucus (they're called foetida for a reason after all), but in my experience most captive amphibians will gladly feed on them.

Breeding them couldn't be simpler. Just drill a few holes in a plastic box (for ventilation), fill it up with plant soil, and put the wigglers inside. For a starter colony, I used two packs of wigglers (bought a the local fishing shop), which is about 80 individuals. After that, well, not much to worry about. I feed them once a week with uncooked semolina or ground rice, the quantity depending on how much your colony can eat in one week. Just be sure to store the plastic box in a cool dark place (worms do hate warmth and light) and you're set.

Hope this helps, best,

DocZ
 

Boomsloth

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I think they meant three animals that eat worms.


Oh woops! you're right haha In that case I think it all depends on how much the animals eat vs how large of a colony.
The cool thing about red wigglers is they are pretty native to most regions so if you have exras you can set them free or give them away to other pet keepers.
 

auntiejude

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Nightcrawlers (lumbricus) don't breed in captivity - the prefer very cool and deep soil which a tub can't provide. Eisenia/dendrobaena (red wrigglers, tiger worms) are the easiest to keep and breed.

A plastic box with airholes, soil, some veg scraps and the worms will be happy.
 

kenya_1977

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If you are having problems with your worms escaping a light may help for a couple days. When worms get set up in a new environment they tend to have a few days where they are in roaming mode. If you put a light above them that deters them from leaving the soil. About a week like this and you won't see the worms try to leave any more.
 
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