More types of worms

suzanna89March 24, 2010

I'm looking to start a worm bin, and I'm doing all my research first, because I want this to work on my first try (I would feel bad if I killed all my worms). My question is if you can mix the types of worms in the bin by introducing two species of worm in the same bin.

To be more specific, I'm looking to buy worms from two different places, and I'm not sure if they'll get along.

Thanks for any feedback!

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Don't do it. Mixing worms has been tried often and doesn't work. One type will eventually kill off the other. Stick with red wigglers(Eisenia Fetida) and it is hard to go wrong.
Of course, that is just my opinion.

Dave Nelson

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 9:36PM
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I run 7 tiers on two worm farm setups. I use both the euro night crawler and the red wigglers combined for over two yrs now. I do not see any issues with that combination yet. Enjoy

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 4:38AM
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I have at least 4 different species of "red worms" living in my worm box. Plus Black Soldier Fly Larvae and a ton of Mites. These composting critters do a great job. I only bought red wigglers (eisenia fetida).
Apparently, each worm has a specific "job" in nature. When we put them into totes and boxes or barrels, we (vermifolks) attempt to control those natural processes or "jobs". Each tote or barrel will balance- that is- reach a harmony of occupants. This may require a decrease in one species of resident and an increase in another. Worms are designed by nature to survive so they are prolific breeders. Eisenia fetida are perhaps the most prolific of them all and the first choice of many vermifolks.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 6:13AM
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Steamy: How are you keeping BSF larvae in your bin this time of year. I have not seen a single one outside this year yet. Last year I kept a bin of them to see how they would do and they started to turn black and get active. I was told that at that stage they pretty much quit eating and were looking for a place to pupate.

I was looking for a way to retard the pupation by keeping them together but it did not seem to work.

Suzanna: In answer to the question you posed, I have a bin of E hortensis (european night crawlers) that has apparently been 'contaminated with some red wigglers. They get along fine but I'm thinking of trying to separate as I'm a little of a purist and would like a bin of 'fishing' worms.

I do not see any competition of the 2 species but that is because all my worms are raised in the same environment (inside the house). I think where you see one species do better is at the outside of their respective temperature ranges.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 10:01AM
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" I'm thinking of trying to separate as I'm a little of a purist and would like a bin of 'fishing' worms. "
Good luck!! Once worms mix it's very hard to unmix unless you start new bins by hand-picking adults out of the old bin. But the chances of removing all the red from a E. Hortensis bin is virtually nil. You'll never get all the cocoons and babies even if you did manage to get all the adults.
Why not just hand-pick the biggest worms each time you want to fish- these will almost inevitably be E hortensis- and when you get back from fishing- put any left over into a new bin. In no time you'll have a new fishing worms bin- just make sure you keep it well apart from the reds- they'll crawl anywhere for a good meal!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 1:16PM
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Well, for one thing I am not "keeping" them in my worm box. They are there because I have not been able to kill them all. I do kill all I see because I am a worm guy and not a maggot guy. These maggots (I donÂt call them bio-grubs or phoenix worms or any other lie) eat ALL the food, leaving none for the worms. They are not good neighbors and I would love to evict these maggots from hell, but alas, I am unable. These maggots are dormant now (too cool yet), but when temps are up (70 days and 50 nights) these suckers will get active. And so will I. Ha Ha Ha Ha HaÂ

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 5:15PM
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