'excess moisture displaces the oxygen'

equinoxequinoxJune 13, 2010

Stolen from the Soil Forum:

"Ammonia ooutgassing

Posted by kimmsr on Fri, Jun 4, 10 at 7:42

Your mixture has too much Nitrogen in an unstable form, so you need to add more carbon. If too much moisture were present the odor would be putrid, not ammonia, since excess moisture displaces the oxygen needed for aerobic digestion and the pile goes anaerobic, in the absence of air."

Does this happen in our worm bins? Is the advantage of flowthru that the gasses can drift away? Does excess moisture displace oxygen? If so how does one explain growing happy worms underwater?

Carbon for us would be bedding

Nitrogen for us would be food stuff.

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I do have a FT and I still can't understand how air can go through all that compacted VC. That is why I inserted several mailing tubes in there (w. a slot cut into it rather than holes, easier to do) and I sort of fluffed the VC every now and then.

I also have a stackable RM and in this system, the lowest worm bin is the wettest, to a point where I sometimes get leachate. This bin is finishing now, with worms still going through stuff and they are not getting new food. The bottom is wet and anaerobic but it doesn't seem to bother the worms because there are lots down there and some of the biggest ones too. If they don't like it, they could go up instead of staying in the muck.

"If so how does one explain growing happy worms underwater?" I don't think worms are happy underwater for a longer period of time. Why would they drown and die? But they do breath through their skin by extracting the Oxygen from water.

Maybe some of the inventors here can suggest a way to blow air throughout the VC. We blow air into a fish tank to add more oxygen and keep the fish happy. Same here.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 2:49AM
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"I still can't understand how air can go through all that compacted VC" I can't understand either. I too have a tube in mine.

I fed my fish worms and the worms not ate lived in the gravel forever.

Maybe instead of the cloth of the worm in we should be vermicomposting in screen material?

I posted a biochar post in the soil forum but it did not seem to take. I will try again soon.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 3:55AM
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I do not think we realy have to worry too much about oxygen seepeing thru our worm bins under normal to sorta wet conditions. In a big thermophillic composting bin that is very wet, you might get some anerobic conditions to exist from the excess water because the available oxygen is being consumed faster than it can diffuse through the system.

I do not worry about O2 in my little FT nor my tub bin. I am more suprised that C02 buildup is not more of a problem in the tubs without holes in the bottom but apparently it is not. C02 is heavier than air and we have limited ventilation. Even so it seems to disperse without adverse effects.

Worms are NOT going to stay in an environment that is not to their liking unless forced. They will move to better areas if they can.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 9:18AM
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