My recent mention of the “drip bottle contraption” I am using with my Worm Inn (see “Worm Inn Journal-11-08-10“) seems to have created quite the little hubbub. I can’t say I’m too surprised, since it is a pretty nifty little system.
As someone recently pointed out (on the original “Worm Bin IV” post), the actual name for this is the Medela SNS (“Super Ninja Slow-Drip”) System. Little known fact, though – the actual FULL name is the “Medela Super Ninja Slow-Drip Annelidic Hydration and Feeding System (or MSNSAHFS for short).
Ted’s recent suggestion re: using some sort of nutritious “juice” instead of water, reminded me that my original idea for using the MSNSAHFS had actually involved using baker’s yeast pellets mixed with water. What I discovered with this particular solution was that the little tubes ended up getting plugged up – so I gave up on the idea.
The most commonly recommended “food” for the MSNSAHFS is baby formula – makes sense when you think about it since it contains lots of protein and nutrients to help those worms grow (wink wink). I may see if I can rustle up an old can of powdered formula to test this out.
Something else actually occurred to me last night as I was staring into my daughter’s fish tank. Why not use THAT water as my drip liquid rather than plain ol’ aged tap water? The nitrogen (and other nutrients) in the solution would help bedding materials to break down more quickly, and would certainly help with microbial- and worm-growth – but unlike with some other “food” solutions, there would be little chance of clogging up the hoses. I think this could actually be a neat way to keep the fish tank cleaner as well, since I can simply replace any fish water removed with an equivalent amount of aged tap water.
I am also going to try letting some alpaca poop pellets soak in the fish water (once removed from the tank, of course! haha) before pouring it into the bottle. This should provide some additional nutrition and make the soaked bedding even MORE appealing to the worms!
Anyway – just wanted to provide this update to let everyone know where I am headed with all this! Stay tuned!
I wonder if you would get algae issues with the tank water. Depends on whether you keep the dripper in the dark?
Interesting question, Steve!
That would actually be pretty cool since the worms would undoubtedly enjoy munching on them as well (assuming they didn’t end up consumed by some other microbes once they ended up in the bedding material).
Are you going to wind up with a fish tank beside it,with a shoestring dangling over the worm inn? Then call it a multi stage ninja intra drip doo lolly thinga majig? Was medulla in there somewhere? 🙂
I will use my pond water when i get it started up again.And even use it to moisten my manure beds.Don’t know why i didn’t think of this? Glad i was listening during class!I have a rain gutter that flows into my pond! Koi pond that is! Glad you reminded me to use this water!
Isn’t buying food for your composting worms defeating the purpose?
I compost to recycle waste food, so buying food specifically for the worms doesn’t make sense. My worms are extremely healthy without supplements.
You must be aiming to sell them or use them for fish bait.
I don’t see any mention of buying food. If you are referring to the baby formula, aside from mostly being a joke, I meant that I would see if I could find an old can of the stuff (that would just get thrown out anyway) to try out. As for fish tank water, that is certainly a waste-laden liquid.
Also – I think it’s important to point out that waste reduction isn’t always necessarily the goal with vermicomposting. Some people want to raise worms (whether as a business or otherwise), and others are mainly focused on producing rich compost. In both these cases people will sometimes purchase certain materials to help optimize the process and the results – nothing wrong with that.
As for me – my main goal is to experiment and have fun, while hopefully educating (and occasionally inspiring) others about the wonderful world of worm composting.
Paul,I don’t throw any waste from my food in the garbage that is not meat.But even one experiment i am doing on making larger healthier worms,involves beets.I don’t just have those laying around,because we don’t actually like beets.But one test with them made massive worms.And i compost my garbage,and have fun doing it! I also bought worm chow,as an additive.
But there are actually people who have a specific formula,that gives them an exact vermicompost for specific plants.They use worms for plant nutrients only.Even vegetarians benefit from a specific blend to grow specific vegetables.Most people i know composts with worms for more than one reason!I have about 100 reasons!
If you really want to get things MOOOVING, put some prune juice in that drip.:-o
I bought a bag of alfalfa a few days ago. I wanted to mix it in with the Fall leaves, shredded egg carton, and news print for the bedding over the winter. Why did I buy it, you ask? just to give them something different. WOW, now I know I’m a worm head.
To all the Veterans out there. Thank you.
True dat,Ted! We love the Veterans!
And i didn’t think about feeding them prunes.You are a genius! I may be pruning this fall? HA HA!!!
I meant feeding the worms prunes,silly!!!
Wow Bentley!!! After reading your post I immediately went to my aquarium and had a long hard look at my filtering system – lots of microbes and solids. This could expand my cocoon and Bti experiment – a food source for hatching EF to be compared with the prepared feed mix.
Water levels in my aquarium system are fed by an IV line from a reservoir tank, activated by a float switch and water pump. If you continuously inoculate a similar reservoir with lots of filter aggregate and use this to hydrate your bin …. ????
Yeah – lots of possibilities, Kator.
My new idea is to start brewing an actual microbe tea using fish water, alpaca pellets and a simple sugar, and drip this down into the Inn.
Hmmm .. a little monosaccharide additive eh .. how about a light molasses ???
Why not grind up viamin & mineral pill that could benifit the worms, then put them in the water? They could be writen off since its used for business. And I know a company that you could make money with them So they in turn will end up costing nothing.