worms dying - could coconut fiber be the reason?

cameraJune 18, 2010

My worms seem to be dying by the hundreds (or theyÂre hiding really well). I'm using a Worm-A-Way bin. The bedding is moist and does not smell. However, for bedding, in addition to shredded newspaper, I used organic coconut fibers (the kind used to line hanging planters, not the compressed coconut coir sold in blocks, which I couldnÂt find at my local garden store). Might that be the problem?

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randomz

I can't see why that would be a problem.

Apart from the bedding, what are you feeding them?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 8:00PM
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11otis

My worms seem to be dying by the hundreds (or theyÂre hiding really well).If they are dying BY THE HUNDREDS, I am sure your bin must be smelling really bad by now. So, they must be hiding at the bottom. Is it possible for you to check? A good and nice tool to check the bottom of a bin with is one of those paint stir sticks you can just pick up at the hardware store. I de-burred the edges (just use a knife), to make sure I don't cut or injure any of the worms. I know, they are just worms, but to me, everyone of them counts.

How long have you had this set up. Is it the smaller or larger of the Worm-A-Way and did you get the worms from the same place you bought the bin? 1 lb?

coconut fibers: you do not HAVE to use coconut fiber or coir. I cannot see how c. fiber could cause a problem. Are they really rough? I hope you didn't add them to the bin in the dry state.

Same ??? as randomz, what did you feed them and how much?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 12:02AM
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steamyb(7)

'I used organic coconut fibers -the kind used to line hanging planters' This material may have been treated with a preservative or chemical to kill insects to maintain for shipment. This material was not marketed as 'food' so its toxicity was never a factor in marketing. Since this material is suspect, I would pull it and use bedding that has been accepted in the past.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 7:45AM
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camera

thanks for the messages. I have been feeding them veggie and fruit scraps and coffee grinds. I'm using the smaller Worm-A-Way and purchased the worms from the same company (that actually manufactures the worm bin). It doesn't stink in there, but I can't seem to find many worms.

Steamyb - thanks for the advice. I will pull the fibers and substitute more newspaper bedding.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 9:37AM
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napapen(ca 15)

I don't like the coconut bricks - they never seem to break down. I am harvesting a large composter with 2 years of worm compost in it. It is amazing how many worms are just living in their own poop. So yours might be all at the bottom

Penny

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 7:44PM
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ttac

I had a hard time finding coconut coir and the only place I could find it was at Home Hardware Its called Beyond Peat made by natura

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 9:24AM
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randomz

"I'm using a Worm-A-Way bin."

Maybe it's just living up to it's name? Heheheh..

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 2:26PM
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mark217

Hard to say, some coir is chemically processed as mentioned but not sure if it would harm the worms, they are pretty tough, I've used it on and off for the past 2 years, a few brands claim no chemicals.. Your situation sounds familiar to what I experienced last summer and I was using coir, peat, and newspaper at the time. What temperature do you keep your worms at? Mine are in a garage that gets extremely hot in the summer, 95-100 easily on a 90 degree day.. lost quite a few to the heat last year, finally got smart and been using 60 oz frozen bottles put inside the bins on top twice a day, worms couldnt be happier and they are doing well these days.. They are munching a whole sunday paper every week (which they usually do during the winter when it is much cooler).. check your temperature..

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 9:47PM
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