Tiny Tub Challenge – 3-02-15

I just got finished checking on my “Tiny Tub Two Worm Challenge” (TTTWC) bins. Things seem to be coming along.

Here are my cocoon counts:

Bin #1 – 7 cocoons
Bin #2 – 0 cocoons (remember, my worms disappeared early on and I decided to keep it as a comparison bin)
Bin #3 – 6 cocoons

Temperatures down in the basement have been hovering around 17 or 18 C (~63/64 F) – so still on the cool side.

The Red Worms in the two worm bins are big and healthy looking now.


This past weekend I actually set up another TTTWC bin – this time with my 7 year old daughter. She will be keeping this one up in her room, which is definitely warmer than the basement. It will be very interesting to see if there is any difference in reproductive rate.

I would love to hear how things are coming along for other participants!

Please add your comments below. Be sure to include 1) start date, 2) temperature (if you’ve been able to measure or at least estimate it) 3) # cocoons, 4) # of hatchlings (if any yet) – and any other details you want to share (eg foods you’ve been adding etc).
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Comments

    • Joe Gardener
    • March 2, 2015

    Started my tub Jan 6 – using three juvenile worms.

    Update

    2/23/15 – Three healthy adults, 12 cocoons. I put the cocoons on a piece of plastic so they don’t get mixed with the rest of the bedding. I placed the plastic between two pieces of moist cardboard on top of the bedding. Also found two springtails. Two of the cocoons look like they are shriveled a little with some stuff coming out of the end of the cocoon. Don’t know if that means they ruptured or if the babies hatched. (I think it takes about 3 weeks to hatch.) There is plenty of pumpkin left for this week. More castings each week making it harder to sort the bedding to find the cocoons. Lots of moisture in the bottom of the tub but it isn’t pooling yet.

    3/1/15 – TTTWC – weekly check. Three very healthy, lively worms. 15 cocoons (probably missing some because the bedding is very moist and getting full of castings). Added a handful of dry shredded paper to the bottom of the container to dry it out a little. Didn’t add any food because part of pumpkin cube from last feeding is still visible. Temperature around 60 deg f. Everything looks good, no baby worms yet. My guess is next week a few of the cocoons will hatch. It will be three weeks since I found the first of the cocoons. We’ll be looking for babies next week!

  1. Hey I have a problem. All was well from the start 1/15/15. I made 2 ttwc and set them in my larger worm container. After awhile they moved in together now there’s 4. On 3/4/15 I gave them parsley and spinach. 3/6/15 2 worm were dead the other were hardly moving. The only thing I could think of is that the parsley had some spraye on it from the store. I hadn’t washed it before giving it to the worms. Temp has been in the 70s. I removed the food put new bedding. Does anyone have any ideas. I’ve never had worms die 🙁 before. The other worms are still hanging on but theyre not very feisty. Ideas?

    • Judy Rhodes
    • March 9, 2015

    Re: feeding
    I am still trying to read everything on your great website,but need some help now on feeding.
    Is it ok to put a lot of food items in a food processor & freeze in tennis ball size. If so,How long should I leave it at room temp before feeding? How long before more is added? I have close to a pound of worms in my 10 gallon bin.
    Thanks for all of your information
    Judy

  2. Hi Judy
    For the past 5 years I have food process 90% of all the food and frozen it. I usually let it thaw Completely. It doesn’t matter if it thaws too long worms like slop. I’ve read that they just don’t like cold food. I started with 4,000 worms in a 5’x2’x2′ plastic storage bin. I now also have a “can-o-worms” set up of 4 layers and the ttwc. 😉 All the worms seem very happy with this process. I wait to add food when most of the food is gone in the plastic container cuz a few years ago I had problems with flies, maggots,and horse fly larvae etc. I also put a large thick wet cardboard box flattened over the worms before I add the lid. It’s an extra treat for the worms to eat and keeps everything else away. I’ve found my worms love avacados. I put half an avacado skin in the bin and they crawl into it and clean it out. Hope this was helpful

    • BDon
    • March 26, 2015

    Hi, New to worms but it is my latest obsession. This site is super helpful but a quick question.

    I am based in the south of England, I only started with about 150 worms but have found another 300 or so in my compost bins and keep adding more.

    My question is really one of progress, it has been a month now and I have no liquid and have only just started to add food. As we are in England and I started in Feb and the farm is in the garage the temp has been low, usually anywhere from 0C to 8C. Can I assume that as the temperature warms up the activity of the worms will increase?

    I am using multi level storage bins (about a foot and a bit by a foot) but have only the first layer in action at the moment.

    • Bentley
    • March 26, 2015

    Hi BDon,
    Yes temperature plays a VERY important role in the speed of vermicomposting (and 0-8 C is definitely on the cold side). The number of worms (hopefully they are composting worms) you are working with is also on the low side – although it depends on how much waste you are trying to process.

    • BDon
    • March 27, 2015

    Thank you for the swift feedback. I will continue to collect worms from the compost bin (definitely compost worms) and the improved weather should help them multiply.
    So far I have only added a very small amount of waste and the worms are in a mix of well rotted manure and bedding material.

    I have plans for a significantly enlarged system and also have secured access to a manure pile so will check if there are any volunteer worms there!

    • Judy Rhodes
    • March 27, 2015

    So far so good, happy worms!!
    I don’t know if I have cocoons or not. Can someone describe them for me?
    In the blogs I read it takes about three weeks for them to hatch??
    I definitely have some smaller worms, so I must have cocoons
    Thanks for the help

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