Euros vs Reds-8-22-12

It’s been a little while (a.k.a. THREE MONTHS! lol) since my last “Euros vs Reds Head-to-Head Challenge” post, and it might have ended up being even longer had the bins not caught my eye the other day. Initially, I was really just curious to see how things looked inside. Keep in mind, these bins have basically sat untouched since my last update! Once I opened the bins, though, I knew I had to at least post a quick update for all of you.

The image below says it all! The difference in the degree of processing between these two bins is unbelievable.

I won’t bother to keep you in suspense here…the really well-processed system is the one with the Euros in it. Judging by my last juvenile/cocoon counts (posted in my most recent update), I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, but the incredible ability of Euros to process bedding materials is something I’ve see in other systems as well. They really seem to enjoy utilizing shredded cardboard (and similar materials) as an actual food source.

This has me thinking I should set up a smaller experiment to see how these two worms compare when I have an equal weight (biomass) of them in each bin!

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to count any worms today, but I will aim to do so at some point – I’m certainly curious to know how many worms are now in these bins (and NO, I definitely WILL NOT be trying to count all the cocoons this time around!! lol).

Previous Posts in Series
Euros vs Reds-5-17-12
Euros vs Reds-3-8-12
Euros vs Reds-2-21-12
Euros vs Reds-2-09-12
Euros Vs Reds – Take Two…and…ACTION!
The Euros vs Reds Head to Head Challenge

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Comments

    • John
    • August 22, 2012

    I am curious. I have way more paper/cardboard waste than food waste. Should I consider switching to a euro worm instead of reds…or mix them together? I use the worm inn and i think i read you said you did not think Euros would work great in that system?
    Thanks for your posts!

    • Bentley
    • August 22, 2012

    Great question, John. Previously, I probably would have said it might not make much difference, but now I’m inclined to think that Euros are indeed much better suited (than Reds) for processing mostly cardboard. I would recommend use of a Rubbermaid tub (or something similar). Euros seem to love these moist, low maintenance systems.

    • Bentley
    • August 22, 2012

    Oh – and for smaller systems like this, my recommendation would be to avoid mixing them together. I think the Euros will do better on their own.

    • Brian
    • August 22, 2012

    Wow – I have always heard that the red worms were much superior! Could I mix in Euros with the red worms in my WormFactory? I have a pretty good mix of paper and food and a thriving red worm population. I want to start an outdoor bin next spring.

    • Jeanne O'Neal
    • August 22, 2012

    I have bought the Vermbin plans and was wondering – when I get around to building it – would Euros be a better choice than Reds? I have been fairly sucessful with my Reds this years, so I have plenty to start with. I might built two – one for cardboard and one for food waste – thoughts? I am in Texas and usually we have a lot of trouble with the heat, would Euros hold up to the heat?

    • Bentley
    • August 22, 2012

    Hi Jeanne,
    I actually just added another question to the “Q&A” post about this earlier today after receiving a similar question from someone else. In all honesty, if you are really keep to take advantage of the “flow-through” aspect of the VermBins, Euros likely aren’t your best choice. In my experience, they love hanging out down low in their beds, so I think it would be very hard to keep them well separated from their castings. With a really thick “false bottom”, I’m sure they would thrive in the bin – especially with the insulation panels since they would help to retain moisture – but again, once it comes time to harvest through the floor you may end up with a lot more worms in your mix than would be the case with Reds.

    This has me curious though! Perhaps once I finally get around to setting up my own VermBin, I’ll give Euros a shot to see how they do!

    • Bentley
    • August 22, 2012

    Brian – stacking bins are another example of a less-than-ideal situation for Euros unfortunately – especially with Red Worms in the mix. I’m sure the Euros would
    be fine, but you won’t likely see them thriving the way they would in their own bed (ideally a non-flow-through system).

  1. Euros foreva! Euros are always my favorites! They’re the heavy weights. They get it done.

    • Bentley
    • August 22, 2012

    Haha – great to see you Damon!
    I am definitely starting to come around on the Euro front. Who knows – maybe this site will be called EuroComposting.com within a few months!
    😉

    • Michael
    • August 22, 2012

    That is interesting. Perhaps the Euros like cardboard better than newspaper because from what I have seen my redwigglers process the newspaper alot faster than the Euros.

  2. Hi All:
    It’s been a while since I posted anything here. I switched over to Euros about 18 months ago. They more thoroughly process the food stuffs including cardboard and paper. They love wet bins and tend to be near the bottom of the bins. They are not well suited for flow thru systems. Bentley is exactly right about that.

  3. Michael – Now you’ve got me feeling REALLY curious about this. I’ll have to include some newspaper-fed bins when I test this out as well!
    ———-
    Mike W. – Wow! I need to write about Euros more often. Great to see old friends stopping by. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! One other cool thing about Euros is the appearance of their castings – definitely LOOK more impressive than those of Red Worms since you can clearly see the individual casts.

    • Michael
    • August 23, 2012

    Hi Bentley,
    Just a thought here but perhaps a more even playing field is in order because I believe pound for pound Reds will outdo the Euros. Same number of worms on both sides leaves the Reds at a disadvantage versus the Euros. Sort of like trying to compare how much a Chihuahua versus a beagle(both dogs) can eat. Euros are bigger and longer than the Reds, even baby Euros are much bigger than baby Reds. Perhaps 20-25 Reds to 10 Euros would be a closer match for composting.

    • Bentley
    • August 24, 2012

    Absolutely, Michael! That’s why I suggested (in the post) a new experiment using an equal biomass of worms. I have little doubt that the results won’t be nearly as dramatic, but I still suspect there will be a difference.
    Should be fun!
    8)

    • Michael
    • August 24, 2012

    Sorry I overlooked it, my mistake. Look forward to the experiment, if the Euros still outdo the Reds then I will have to try using more cardboard.

    • Richard
    • October 3, 2012

    Interesting comparison. Would love to see the results.

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