Questions & ideas

CDG_1972(8)July 13, 2014

I am fairly new in the vermicomposting business, but I got interested in the topic and bought a WF360 about 3 months ago, thinking that this would be a piece of cake. Since I understand the chemistry of the bin, everything has been pretty straightforward. Unfortunately for me, I am not a worm psychologist and most of my red buddies are not doing what I was expecting!

So, aiming to improve their quality of life (and the composting rate), I had a couple of questions/ideas.
1- Some worms were falling onto the draining pan. Although this seems to be a common (minor) problem, I added a mosquito screen at the bottom of the first tray (no other screens should be added). One the bottom tray is ready, I move the screen to the next one. Although I have not seen much accumulation of liquid, is anyone here able to think of a potential downside of this? It seems to be a simple solution, but I have not been able to find any information.

2- I got some sawdust from a friend of mine and I added it to the top bin. Since my addition created an exodus of worms, I did some research and found that a large portion of that was from pine. Although now (after a week) the worms seem to be coming back, should I through it away and start fresh or just let it be?

3- Last but not least.... I live in south TX and it's getting pretty challenging to keep my friends within their comfortable temperature range. To solve this problem, I added a computer fan but I'm not particularly happy with the feeling of using electricity 24/7 to keep them cool (bringing the bins inside is out of the picture because my wife does not tolerate the fruit-flies). I'm thinking in assembling an automatic thermostat that would only run when needed... I'm also thinking in the possibility to add a simple pH-sensor to alert users about acidic conditions in their bin. If such device was made commercially available, how much would be a reasonable price?

Thanks to all of you for any feedback.

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1) Sure, Why not. If it works, then it works.

2) If the worms are coming back, then leave everything alone. The pine dust probably just needed to break down a bit before the worms were happy with it.

3) If you are the type who likes to tinker, then go with the thermostat. Most of us don't like putting the money or effort into our bins. Just be aware that increased airflow means increased bacterial bloom, which can mean increased heat. As for the pH sensor, IMNSHO, the whole acidic issue is far too overrated in worm composting. I don't think it would sell. The people who worry the most about the bin going acidic are those who have almost no experience raising worms.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:29AM
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Worms can wiggle through mosquito screen. I used weed cloth when I had my WF.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:15AM
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My worm psychologist said I needed to think like a worm in order to understand their feelings and emotions. Disreguarding that I went straight to the mushrooms who told me Texas is hot and South TX is massively hot. Massive shade should be in the picture. Like zero sun not even reflected. Not even sun rise or sun set sun. Consider a bin that touches the ground. Consider ice but like a plant in a pot, be unable to water for one day or half a day and it dies.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:06AM
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How about running the computer fan on solar? I think computer fans draw about 3 amp. You could get one of those solar patio light things, clip the wires from the LED and run them to your fan. The $.97 probably won't be big enough. You might need one of the larger ones that charge a couple AA batteries.
Edit: If you decide to go that route, you will have to bypass the light sensor in the solar panel or it won't power up in the day.

This post was edited by Niivek on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 10:33

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:00AM
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I live in South Texas as well. I don't my bin outside. lol They will cook in 3 hours. Actually this summer hasn't as hot like last year. Mostly in the mid 90s.

At first I did have fruit flies. I just put alot of shredded newspaper on top and they went away. I have had my bin for 4 months already.

What part of South Texas? I am in Harlingen (Rio Grande Valley)

This post was edited by sdelafuente on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 10:23

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 10:16AM
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