Return to the Vermicomposting Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
worms clumbing up is this natural

Posted by Celbrise none (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 11, 12 at 21:17

for the past week since i had my first worm bin i been watching them from time to time just to make sure they are not dead or not crawling out and well today i actually caught one trying to crawl out then another baby one. so i thought oh it's still new so didn't worry about it.

later on turned my bin to see how the contents were doing and it smells like crap idk if it was the food rotting in their or it was anaerobic. their is only holes at the top and not a lot either maybe about 15-20 only their pretty big not sure what size bit.

anyways i was wondering 2 things.

1. when i look at my worms i often see them clumped up in the corners of the bin and also when i was turning the bedding their were a mass of them in the corners. i was wondering why? their not dead or trying to escape their all just in the corners some are around the bin in various places but majority of the rest are in the corners as if they are having sex. but this isn't the first time i seen them their it's every single day.

2. do you think my bin is going anaerobic? the bottom half. moisture level was good not too wet, their were worms are the bottom still alive, but the smell.. idk if i can call it anaerobic or if it just smelled bad due to rotting food. anyone with more experience can help me with this?

it's a cooler thats insulated with metal and those packing foam. i removed the foam and some of the metal to allow more air flow and also was thinking of drilling out a big hole at the top and screening it to allow MORE air in but then again my worms are in the bin and i been knocking it up so i didn't want to stress them out more.

any ideas/thoughts?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: worms clumbing up is this natural

1) In general it is hard to say, but I am guessing from your description of the bin that the worms are trying to avoid the rest of the bin. Worms will congregate in the corner of the bin for no other reason than they like it there, or they will congregate in the corners because they don't want to be anywhere else in the bin.

2) From your description of the smell, I would guess that you are over feeding. Stop feeding the worms for at least two weeks. Wait until you can no longer see any signs of the food, or smell any sign of decomposition. And for the sake of your worms, please, stop feeding them the putrefied slop that has been sitting in a bucket for two weeks. Your food has gone anaerobic before you even put in the bin.


 o
RE: worms clumbing up is this natural

they really don't seem to mind the food that i give them. their is still mold growing on it and decomposing as well. but yes i do think i am overfeeding so i stopped feeding them and if they don't continue to eat within 3 weeks i will stop feeding the slop and just add fresh food and let it decay in the bin.

they are new so i don't expect them to eat right away but i highly doubt it is the slop that is causing a problem for the worms besides quantity.

when i turned my bin it seemed they have all been on the bottom portion eating away that stuff most of the bottom part is all castings. as for why they are clumping up i still don't know but they seem more adventurous now trying to climb up in 1 corner alone and it's not alot of worms maybe like 5. i think they are matting since the rest are all still in the bin doing w.e.


 o
RE: worms clumbing up is this natural

I have been looking for some good info on wriggler behaviour, haven't found much on google. (Except the paper that showed worms have leaders! And they like to clump up.) I'll check the university but I doubt there's going to be much.

If the smell is like rotten eggs, or nail polish remover, or window cleaner, that's bad. My anaerobic bin smelled like sulphur with a slight whiff of acetone.

I may still be doing something wrong, but I always get a slight moldy/rot smell when I dig around the bin.

Ivy


 o
RE: worms clumbing up is this natural

I find worms like the edges, even in a worm inn. They also seem to like the top when I cover with a bit of VC. Might be just because those areas get the most air the worms are happiest there (either they like the air or the bacteria they eat like it).

For smells, it is rotting food so it's going to smell of something. It's the sharp smells I'd keep an eye on. Yeasty, alcoholic, sour etc. If you get one in a small area, not a huge problem. I can get this with a cluster of fruit or some bread. It's when it's everywhere there's a problem.


 o
RE: worms clumbing up is this natural

since i started turning the bin that day the worms still clump up but they seem to be more adventurous now i see a lot crawling around in the middle areas.

the rotting smell not sure if it is just food or not but since the worms are still at the bottom at least a good handlful i don't think it is going anaerobic


 o
RE: worms clumbing up is this natural

I'd add lots of ripped up egg cartons. That ought to make them happy!


 o
RE: worms clumbing up is this natural

I would keep adding bedding until I could not see the sides of the bin. Then don't look or add anything for 2 weeks. When you check them again they will be thriving..... Patience!


 o
RE: worms clumbing up is this natural

I have two bins, one wood and one plastic tub. I never get climbers in the wood but its pretty frequent in the plastic tub-- in fact that is what made me find this forum. My best hypothesis is that it is an oxygen shortage. My tub has a pretty tight fitting lid and just a number of small drilled holes drilled in the top. The moisture likely obstructs airflow and my brewing experience tells me that yeasts (inevitably present in food compost) use a lot of oxygen to reproduce. I'm gonna drill some bigger holes and find a big wooden chest asap.


 o
RE: worms clumbing up is this natural

i removed the top of my bin, added more bedding, adding some carpet at the top to keep in moisture and also keep it dark and they all seem to be doing great. not in clumps now a days unless it deals with feeding


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Vermicomposting Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here