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 so i have to switch out the media in my gb's and i was wanting suggestions for a media that my worms will be happy in.

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Christopher, you are going to want to look for about 3/4" gravel this time around...pea gravel is a bit on the small side.  

Please forgive my ignorance, but what are "EHs"?

You might want to double check that Christopher. Hydraton is very light and porous (and a bit pricey in comparison). Expanded shale is a more economical, comparable option in the US.

Christopher Brickey said:

 well i heard that perlite tears them up. so i stopped using it in my potting soil mixes. i found out though that hydraton is HEAVY. so i was hoping to find a lighter media that can be used.

My veggie grow beds are 1/2 - IBC totes for 24 cubic feet of biofilter or '' Bacteria Contractor'' as I was corrected the other day, for each fish tank of 275 gallons.  I use lava rock as media.  1/3 of the media is 1'' lava rock and the top 2/3s is 3/8ths minus lava gravel.

Question - Will worms work in these grow beds with lava rock?

Christopher, you're right, some materials might hurt them, and perlite is a glass-like substance. As for weight, Chris is right, hydroton is one of the lightest materials around, but can be expensive.

Phil, I read posts by people using wigglers with lava rock. The worms are heartier than you might think.

Thanks.  I may give them a try.  Worse thing that happens is that they become fish food.  BTW what is it they do in a media - eat the particles of poop and uneaten food?

Yep, and rotting roots and decaying leaves. Anything nasty. It exits them as good fertilizer, too.

Can worms replace a clarifier? 

Media beds do a great job filtering solids from from tank water. The worms are simply there to put all of the "stuff" in the media beds to good use as Sheri pointed out. The worm poo is usable by the plants / partly water soluble.

EH refers to the European nightcrawler Eisenia hortensis---sometimes noted as ENC. The red wigglers are EFs---Eisenia fetida.

For a new system, would adding worm castings aid in providing missing nutrients to the plants?

Thanks for that, Rebecca!  

Phil, it isn't recommended just to add worm castings to an aquaponics as you could actually get out of balance with too much nutrient.  The worms serve a wonderful function, as has been discussed here, and the vermicompost is just a really great side benefit.

. . . and aid in starting bacteria growth sooner?

Phil Slaton said:

For a new system, would adding worm castings aid in providing missing nutrients to the plants?


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