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Hi folks, I recently added 500 red composting worms to my beds. I was wondering if there is any maintenance I should be aware of with them? Do I need to feed them anything? Should I be adding anything to the beds that might help them out? My grow media is hydroton. I have a flood and drain setup. Only about 7 fish in my small 100 g setup, but my levels are all great. I was just curious about my new friends. Thanks for any input!

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Awesome, now we have link in the composting worms discussion to help us go look up our worms should we decide it's time for the kids to try to identify the worms for us!

As to discussing worms at a social gathering, well I'm sure some people who know me would take the worm discussion before some of the other things I'm known to to talk about!  That is the ones who are already board with aquaponics of course and definitely don't want to hear about any other poo use.

I'm too busy at the moment.

Hi Converse,

 These are the guys I found living in the compost pile turned garbage potato patch (though I've since added some cucumbers). The tip of the worm is definitely is a different color than the body, and the best I could tell ,the clitellum starts at segment 24 or 25...which along with the striping would seem to point to E.foetida after all? (according to the links you posted...btw, the kansas state link doesn't appear to be functional anymore)  At any rate, whatever they are, I am glad that they are there. Looks like some of those cocoons probably survived  

And then there's this guy!!!

I happened to run across this buck next to the door of my workshop (that's my wife's hand in the foto. That is one big worm...I added him to the compost pile as well, even though he seems like a strong burrowing worm (as I've recently learned are called Anecic worms).

    Vlad,

   Thanks for pointing out in the other thread that the kansas State link was not working here.  I'm trying to post it again below.

Let's try that uncooperative link again:

http://www.k-state.edu/earthworm/resources/Kansas%20earthworm%20key...

 This link has more detail....and you'd need your hand lense again. It is a well written/composted key, and has great anatomical explanations on pages 3, 4and 5, but most likely does not cover the species you are concerned with.

 Based on what you are telling me, you are right about the E. fetida (or foetida -older spelling, and still correct).

Wow, the worm by your wife's hand is a healthy looking one.  Wouldn't want to step on that one barefooted.

 

Now you have some great conversation fodder!

 

  - Converse 

Yes, a great conservational piece indeed! Especially the part about how when I picked the big guy up, he immediately started to exude a strange watery slightly viscous yellowish liquid from his skin (all over my hand)...I imagine some sort of stress/defense reaction? Maybe he was just (taking a) pissed..?

Thanks for the new/working link Converse. This one seems like quite a doozey...

We call that rope in Montana. I've never seen a worm that big ever. Is that normal by any stretch of the imagination or is that some freak of nature? Great idea to have your wife's hand in there for size perspective.

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Hi Converse,

 These are the guys I found living in the compost pile turned garbage potato patch (though I've since added some cucumbers). The tip of the worm is definitely is a different color than the body, and the best I could tell ,the clitellum starts at segment 24 or 25...which along with the striping would seem to point to E.foetida after all? (according to the links you posted...btw, the kansas state link doesn't appear to be functional anymore)  At any rate, whatever they are, I am glad that they are there. Looks like some of those cocoons probably survived  

And then there's this guy!!!

I happened to run across this buck next to the door of my workshop (that's my wife's hand in the foto. That is one big worm...I added him to the compost pile as well, even though he seems like a strong burrowing worm (as I've recently learned are called Anecic worms).

Howdy.

Adding food for worms changes your water quality so that would go against you.

I would grow the worms separate, harvest them and feed them to the fish.

Worms are easy to grow and they eat almost all of your food garbage.  Done right the worms would offset your fish food costs.

 

Some site about raising worms

http://www.redwormcomposting.com/raising-earth-worms/

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/publications/wo...

 

jim

Sorry about that worms. 

Hi Jim. I'm pretty sure the fat content of an all worm diet would not work out well for fish...Maybe as a snack, or part of a better balanced formulated whole, home-made fish feed...

The only thing I plan on feeding the worms in my AP system is fish poop. The composting pile, or the worm trench on the other hand...

It's A snake worm!!!! lol



Vlad Jovanovic said:

Hi Converse,

 These are the guys I found living in the compost pile turned garbage potato patch (though I've since added some cucumbers). The tip of the worm is definitely is a different color than the body, and the best I could tell ,the clitellum starts at segment 24 or 25...which along with the striping would seem to point to E.foetida after all? (according to the links you posted...btw, the kansas state link doesn't appear to be functional anymore)  At any rate, whatever they are, I am glad that they are there. Looks like some of those cocoons probably survived  

And then there's this guy!!!

I happened to run across this buck next to the door of my workshop (that's my wife's hand in the foto. That is one big worm...I added him to the compost pile as well, even though he seems like a strong burrowing worm (as I've recently learned are called Anecic worms).

Well, I've been renovating this house and property and have done a lot of digging and planting here this last year, and this isn't the fist time I've seen one this size (or close to it at least)...I imagine that it's normal (or a result of one of the missiles filled with depleted uranium that are lying around here in these parts...one missed it's target and landed across the creek a couple metres from the the edge of one of my parcels of forest...but that's over a mile away from where I've been digging). It's probably just a healthy, somewhat older worm of a type that tends to get big in size. The couple of times I've seen similar ones they tended to be down sort of deep-ish in the soil. I've mostly come across them while planting trees, but this guy came out all by himself after many days of straight rain...


Jeremy Wheaton said:

We call that rope in Montana. I've never seen a worm that big ever. Is that normal by any stretch of the imagination or is that some freak of nature? Great idea to have your wife's hand in there for size perspective.

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Hi Converse,

 These are the guys I found living in the compost pile turned garbage potato patch (though I've since added some cucumbers). The tip of the worm is definitely is a different color than the body, and the best I could tell ,the clitellum starts at segment 24 or 25...which along with the striping would seem to point to E.foetida after all? (according to the links you posted...btw, the kansas state link doesn't appear to be functional anymore)  At any rate, whatever they are, I am glad that they are there. Looks like some of those cocoons probably survived  

And then there's this guy!!!

I happened to run across this buck next to the door of my workshop (that's my wife's hand in the foto. That is one big worm...I added him to the compost pile as well, even though he seems like a strong burrowing worm (as I've recently learned are called Anecic worms).

I wasn't suggesting an all worm diet.

jim

 

 



Vlad Jovanovic said:

Hi Jim. I'm pretty sure the fat content of an all worm diet would not work out well for fish...Maybe as a snack, or part of a better balanced formulated whole, home-made fish feed...

The only thing I plan on feeding the worms in my AP system is fish poop. The composting pile, or the worm trench on the other hand...

So red worms can live in hydroton? Do I need to make sure the water level doesn't reach the top of the media? Or can I waterlog those suckers in a flood and drain?

You need to make sure the water level doesn't reach the top of the hydroton...not because of the worms, but because of the algea growth that would ensue (and because of the plants...water logged stems can usually be bad, pythium loves that kind of stuff). Worms will do just fine under water as long as there's some dissolved oxygen in their.

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