I decided to check up on my Tiny Tub Challenge bins today. This actually the second time I’ve checked up on them. Last week I had a quick look and added some frozen (once rotten) mushrooms to each bin for food.
Everything seems to be coming along nicely in the bins. I am seeing a bit more of an ecosystem developing. Today I saw a few springtails, LOADS of nematodes, some fungal growth, and even some fungus gnats (in one of the bins).
In case you are wondering what nematodes look like to the naked eye – usually they just appear as tiny little waving hairs – often sticking out of the edges of bedding materials. Sometimes they seem to clump together into a formation that looks almost like a bigger grub etc.
I found some real masses of them in the remains of mushroom pieces in one of the bins (second image below), so I’m guessing they are performing a similar function as the worms.
Speaking of the worms…
I’m glad I checked today. The worms are starting to get pretty close to maturity, and I ended up finding two more cocoons (one each in two of three tubs). As you may recall, I foolishly added “living material” from existing vermicomposting systems – so it’s not too much of a surprise that a few cocoons came along with it. Of course these were removed so as not to mess up the results.
Something I forgot to mention in my set-up post is that the temperature in my basement (where tubs located) is on the cool side – hovering around 18/19 C (64.4 F/66.2 F). It will be interesting to see what sort of impact this has on worm growth and reproduction.
As touched on in the post about Scott’s bin warming stand, the “ideal” temperature for Red Worms is around 25 C (77 F).
Great to see more and more people getting involved in the challenge. If you have started, but have not yet emailed me your preliminary info, please be sure to do so. I have created a special project folder with sub-folders for each participant, containing a text file for your observations, photos (if you submit any) etc.