Worm farming - almost everything you need to know.

tinyali

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Well I removed the dead worms (worst job ever) and the top layer of soil. It was quite moist, so I suppose that must have been the issue.
How do I know if I've got worm eggs? How long would I have to wait before I could expect to see some worm life? I don't really want to spend too much time feeding an empty bucket with vegatable scraps, that would make me feel a bit silly....
 

keiko

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Check if you have worm cocoons. They're small light colored sacks. The worms hatch after about a month or later. In the cocoon they can survive pretty wide range of temperatures and moisture and will then hatch once the living conditions are good for them.
 

auntiejude

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You're looking for little yellow or cream balls about 2mm across.
Baby worms don't eat much - I would add some dry compost to counter the sogginess, sprinkle some oats on the surface and give it a few weeks. In the meantime get a new culture started.
 

Boomsloth

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This is a vermipod that the worms produce after mating. Each vermipod can contain 3-4 worms.


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kcoscia

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Great thread!
Questions regarding drainage and pests:

1. Is drainage required? If you dont have drainage, is the "liquid waste" taken care of by adding new soil and removing some old?

2. What are the best ways to prevent pests? Honestly the threat of pests is the only thing keeping me on the fence about farming. I HATE earwigs and centipede/millipedes so much.
 

auntiejude

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Good question!
Your farm will get soggy, so yes removing some wet compost and replacing with dry is important. You can also add shredded newpaper or cardboard. The removed compost is absolutely magic for the garden!
I have a beehive-style wormery composter, the only invaders I get are flies and slugs. A closed bucket is much less likely to get unwanted bugs, but more likely to get soggy.
 

willowcat

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Auntie,
We need to some how make this a permanent 'Sticky Thread' or have you do a write up, a tutorial, with no replies to speak of, and have it linked to the culturing live food section. This is one of your fortes and I notice that you are always having to reply to the same question, just to different members, me included.
 
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kcoscia

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My plan is to use a 10g storage bin with some air holes, covered and in my basement! I'll make sure I keep up with the compost removing.

As the newspaper/cardboard absorbs fluid, won't it have to be removed? I can see a hassle with getting it out since it would be placed under the compost, or do I have that wrong?

Thanks :)
 

auntiejude

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The paper rots and is converted to compost, so it doesn't need removing.
 

mshine1217

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I just found this thread. There are so many ways to raise worms, I thought that I'd throw my 2 cents in....

I currently use a 15 gallon tub filled about 2/3 full of damp peat moss. I spread my worms (I use red worms) on top and wait for them to burrow into the substrate and then add a thin layer of kitchen scraps (NO DAIRY or MEAT products) for food. I put a wet sheet of newspaper on top, put the lid on and let them eat. I check them daily and add more scraps and sprinkle some vitamin/calcium powder over that.

I do not feed them paper. To me that's the same as feeding my Lotl's paper. It's a cycle, what I feed the food that I feed to my critters goes down the line.

I also do not purchase worms that are strictly raised for bait. The return that I get from my red worm's besides a great food source for the Lotl's and my other amphibians is compost for my garden.

If you want more info, check out this website: Redworm Basics
 

auntiejude

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Thanks for your input Karen.

I do not feed them paper. To me that's the same as feeding my Lotl's paper.
I can see your point, but what 'browns' do you use instead?
Paper is just wood mush, so it's all good organic stuff. The only difference it would make is if you're gutloading.
 

MThompson299

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Me and my partner have taken quite a liking to our axolotls after we introduced them to our koi pond. Just yesterday we purchased a 55 gallon tank and moved them in to their own area so we could enjoy them more as well as increase our axolotl family (we have 3 right now with a beautiful gfp female on the way from Ashlee and hopefully 1 or 2 more various ones if we find any we like). Me and my partner have been discussing and trying to figure out a more substantial and live option for feeding as we feed them by hand every day with frozen bloodworms. We love feeding them by hand, but figured they might enjoy hunting their food as we are looking in to culturing daphnia as well or a live food option. So this post is amazing and much appreciated. So tonight we hunt in our garden!:D
 

auntiejude

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Me and my partner have taken quite a liking to our axolotls after we introduced them to our koi pond.
Do you mean that you have axolotls and koi in the same pond? Not a good idea I'm afraid, the koi will attack the axie's gills.

And daphnia are not a good choice for adult or even 4"+ juvies - they are just too small for axies over a certain size to be interested in.

Worms are best.
 

MThompson299

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Do you mean that you have axolotls and koi in the same pond? Not a good idea I'm afraid, the koi will attack the axie's gills.

And daphnia are not a good choice for adult or even 4"+ juvies - they are just too small for axies over a certain size to be interested in.

Worms are best.
Yes we had our axolotls in with our koi and actually had no issues. the koi never bothered the axolotls and the axolotls would even come out and swim freely among the koi. Just to be on the safe side we would pull them out and exam them from head to tail as well as closely examined their gills. And thank you for the info on the daphnia. Luckily we have not invested in the daphnia yet. We are picking up the stuff to start our worm farm today though!
 

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If your worms are too big for your axies, or if your axies are still very small you can cut the worms up. Use a pair of scissors rather than a knife, it's much easier.
Just out of curiosity, why? I have always chopped my worms on a board, with a knife. That way you can just cut them on the board. With scissors wouldn't you have to pick up the worm and cut it? I was just curios why you suggest using scissors?
 

auntiejude

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Just out of curiosity, why? I have always chopped my worms on a board, with a knife. That way you can just cut them on the board. With scissors wouldn't you have to pick up the worm and cut it? I was just curios why you suggest using scissors?
You can use a knife but most people use scissors. Cutting a worm on a chopping board with a knife is actually quite difficult, they are tougher than you think and you need a good sharp knife, and most people don't like the idea of using a chopping board used for food to chop up worms!

I have tried both and find scissors easier personally.
 

tcbemis

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We feed our sals on the lid of a take home deli container, and just it as a cutting board as well. We use a razor blade for the actual cutting. We've actually found that the small size red wigglers don't need to be cut. (of course, we have no idea if they're getting eaten or are running loose in the soil, but...)

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auntiejude

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Haha! Our tigers ignore the worms and go for our fingers! They obviously look bigger and jucier...
 

sde

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Cutting a worm on a chopping board with a knife is actually quite difficult, they are tougher than you think and you need a good sharp knife, and most people don't like the idea of using a chopping board used for food to chop up worms!
Maybe it is because my worms are WC, but the ones I cut aren't difficult to cut. Haha, yeah I don't like the idea of cutting worms on a chopping board used for food either, I use a regular board, like a scrap wood board.
 

Hthecvt

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I just started worm farm today for my axolotls. I used topsoil, shredded newspaper, leaf litter from outside, and added some raw potatoes.

Do the potatoes have to be cooked? Can I add things like green beans, broccoli, carrots, etc?

I just want this to be successful!

*H, CVT*
 
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    Help! I got my first axolotl two days ago and they have stopped eating. They ate a few frozen blood worms the first day and haven’t eaten or been interested in food since. I feed them frozen blood worms and the tank is around 64 degrees. I do have a filter that moves sometimes and I noticed them swimming up to it, I have a new filter and a fan coming today or tomorrow. I leave the worms in the tank or a little bit before taking them out so I don’t know if they ate when I wasn’t looking. I know it takes a while for them to digest. Does anyone have any tips or knowledge they can share? The pet store I bought them from didn’t have gravel or sand in the tank so I’m not sure if theres an issue or if I’m just impatient. Thank you!
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    @MuggleMiChu I would say try live black/blood worms untell they are full or just turn there head away ( that's what mine do) if that does not work try to get some live brine shrimp and see if they eat that. baby axolotl prefer live food over frozen food as the frozen food is too cold for them or they can't eat it in one go( that's if you do the blocks) mine eat chopped up frozen thawed shrimp. as for them not eating from what I have experienced with my second axolotl, I got her when she was about an inch long and she ate every day, when they start getting 3-4 inches long they will gradually slow down there eating. and if you really want to do substrate I would do sand because if they do ingest a little bit it won't hurt them.
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