Euros in Stacking Bins – Revisted

The last time I tried to test out the use of European Nightcrawlers in a stacking worm bin I had to pull the plug on the experiment fairly early (due to lack-of-space issues in my basement, and an annoying outbreak of Scuttle Flies). Ever since then I’ve been hoping to start up a similar experiment.

The good news is that I was able to get a new system up and running yesterday. I happened to have a couple of bags of “Euro-Red Mix” – a new worm culture mix I am selling up here in Canada – and everything else I needed to get the ball rolling, so I took advantage of the opportunity.


As always, I started up the system by laying multiple layers of newsprint over the bottom of the first tray. The idea here is to keep the worms semi-contained initially so as to avoid having lots of them crawl down into the reservoir.


I then added a big bag of mixed food waste


Since I added so much waste all at once, and since I was determined to get the system completely set up with worms on the same day, I decided to “cheat” a little bit by mixing the waste materials with some beautiful, well-aged horse manure. When adding worms the same day as you set up, I always recommend using some sort of “living material” like this (if you are inexperienced with manures, it is probably better to choose something else just to be on the safe side).


I next mixed in some rock dust and watered everything down before…

…adding the worms


By this point the first tray was almost overflowing (lol), but I still managed to top everything off with some strips of newsprint.

I then left the bin to sit under a bright light for a little while (to encourage the worms to head down), before putting on the lid.


I will now likely just leave the system to sit for a week or so before adding any more food (the worms certainly have plenty to eat for the time being). Unlike last time, my plan here is to add the second tray almost right away (1-2 weeks from now) since I really want to see if the Euros will move up in the system.

Having Red Worms in there as well should provide us with an interesting comparison!

Stay tuned.

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European Nightcrawlers – In More Detail

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Cardboard Roll Rings as Bedding?

Comments

  1. Wonder what the euros will do this time! Do you know the weight of the worms? Or the number? Or is it just another one of your throw a little bit of this and then see what happens? 😛

    • John W
    • May 19, 2013

    I might join you on this experiment. I am having a nightmare of a time with my Euros and their Rubbermaid. Been over a month i think, and I still can’t keep them in my container. If I don’t leave the lid off they crawl out as soon as there is enough condensation on the side. Found one 30 feet from the bin the other morning.

    • Bentley
    • May 19, 2013

    DERMY – Should be interesting. I don’t know the weight of the worms (or number) – BUT this is not just “another one of [my] throw a little bit of this and then see what happens” trials. lol
    As mentioned, I added two of my “Euro-Red Mix” bags (I typically recommend 2-3 bags of my “mix” bags for a typical home system) so I will be really interested to see how things go.
    ———-
    JOHN – I am really surprised you are having so much trouble with them. I have an enclosed bin (as well as numerous open systems) and haven’t had any come out of it. That’s really interesting about leaving the lid off though – are you saying they stay put with the lid off?
    I have been working on a new blog post all about Euros (including the new things I’ve been learning about them). They’ve definitely intrigued me in a variety of ways these past few months!

    • John w
    • May 19, 2013

    Yes. I have it in my office closet and I have to leave the kid off. I have over a foot of shredded dry paper as a top layer and the other day I tried leaving the lid on over night hoping the paper would slow them down. When I checked in the morning there were a few dead on my carpet. One made it to the tile and was knocking on death’s door. An when I opened the kid there must have been 20-30 of them near the edge of the kid trying to get out.
    There is nothing in the bin that would be releasing gas. So I don’t know what they are running from

    • Scott
    • May 27, 2013

    I’ve had my Euro WF360 going since February. In that amount of time, I’ve gone from just over 1/2 lb of worms to graduating to three trays and probably 2 1/2 lbs. They do not seem to consume very much food waste, eating mostly bedding. I’ve used them for fishing three times for large groups of children, so that could have affected it a bit. The bedding appears to be much wetter and doesn’t mix quite as well. They do seem to migrate up just as well as the reds did, though.

    • John W
    • May 27, 2013

    well it’s official. I am committed to this experiment with you. I tossed out my old setup and moved what worms I could find into my WF360. The old setup had officially gone sour. That is the first time I have had a been go bad. Glad to be done with it. I hope the Euros work out this time and quit causing me so much grief. If they keep it up I will be forced to pour salt on them and laugh like the Wicked Witch of the West. I’m not bitter though! 🙂

    • Bentley
    • May 28, 2013

    JOHN – Sorry you’ve been having so much trouble with them! One other thing I might recommend is keeping them some place with at least a little bit of light. They really don’t seem to like it – and when it’s completely pitch black, seem far more inclined to roam.
    Glad you are tossing your hat in the ring for the WF-360 trials. Great to have someone else testing this out.
    ———-
    SCOTT – thanks a lot for sharing your experience. Very interesting! Euros DO seem to be great at processing bedding materials – perhaps this is another way they can act as a good partner for Reds. Please keep us posted on your progress.

    • Scott
    • May 28, 2013

    After reading your Euro post, perhaps I was putting too much acidic food in there. I’ll try to increase the egg shells and decrease the mango, citrus, and pineapple.

    • Samantha
    • July 6, 2013

    I may be asking this in the wrong section, but I’m getting fruit flies from the fruit I’m feeding my worms. Any suggestions on getting rid of them? I’m very new to this!

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