Hello I am Brian

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself Here' started by briansworms, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. briansworms

    briansworms Junior Member

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    My web site now has been updated and more information added. I have just contibuted to the I wanrt to Build a Worm Farm thread. Have a look and you will learn how to build a cheap and very productive worm farm.
     
  2. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Strategies for controlling Black Soldier Fly, Brian?

    I'm guessing smaller, blended amounts fed more frequently but not too frequent?
     
  3. briansworms

    briansworms Junior Member

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    You should be a worm farmer lol. Yes I would feed smaller amounts and dig them down into the bedding. You could try Diatomaceous Earth lightly sprinkled over the top. It is a natural pesticide but it must be food grade. https://www.plantdoctor.com.au/pet-animal-health/animal-b9-food-suppliment-clone-2.html

    The only problem I have with my beds is the dog when I put fresh manure in. Maybe a Lead sedative might help. She is still young and getting better so I shouldn't complain.

    I have just started some Bokashi to feed my worms. Basically food left in an air tight container for a few weeks. I had some manure sitting in a bucket for 2 weeks and got some out today. Still stinks so might give it another week. I did however put some in some beds so tomorrow I will see if the worms are into it. If so I will do another manure run this week and start another drum off. I just got 5 full bags last week and it is all gone.

    On another topic I had a bath tub full of worms down on the prperty where my daughter has her horse. Well in the recent floods it was under about 1.5 metres of water for about 2 days. The water dropped for a few hours then more heavy rain and it rose again to about 1.5m for another day or two. The end result was the worms were fine. I don't know how but I got a bag of them and bought home and they are feeding ok. Wonders never cease.
     
  4. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Interesting. The Aquaponics guys that use Constant Flood beds also have worms living in the growbeds besides the fact they are constantly filled with water. Something to do with how aerated the water is.

    Seems now I need to manage my kitchen waste. I've been lazy, building it up over several days, freezing it, waiting and then burying it in there. The BSF get it every time. Lots flying around the garden now, food for the spiders. Amazing how hot the larvae can make their small area.
     
  5. briansworms

    briansworms Junior Member

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    I thought they would have drowned but the other amazing thing was it was still where it was and not washed away. Must have been slow moving water.

    I must check out the Aquaponics on the Worm Expert Forum. Then I have enough going now with what I have lol.
     
  6. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Brian, would love some more advice or suggestions.

    You spoke of population reduction in other posts and strategies to complete that through casting removal and sieving. In my situation, I'm yet to buy a sieve (I despise Wesfarmers and Bunnings but use them if I have to) so recently, my bedding was lowering so I shifted all of it to one side, and filled the new side with horse manure from the side of the road ($1 a bag - take that!). Of course, most of the worms moved straight into that, and still are. On the side that was all castings, I have a few larger worms and lots of hatchlings and tiny worms. If I removed the entire casting side, would that be akin to the population control needed i.e. leaving only the feeding larger, more mature worms in the horse manure side?

    I can take a photo if needed. Edit: Left side castings, right side horse manure.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. briansworms

    briansworms Junior Member

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    Looking fairly dry so a good watering will help. Leave them for about a week and they will move across to the horse manure. I would leave it uncovered if you find the manure side is heating up. If so dig over the top 150mm every couple of days and water it. A better option would be to have gone length ways so you have a better chance of the worms migrating across.

    After a week dig out the castings side and put them into the garden or another tub. The young worms will hatch out after a few weeks so you can have two farms if you wish. The other option is tip the castings onto a table under a desk lamp or on a plastic sheet on the ground in the Sun. Leave it sit for about 30 muinutes then start pulling away the castings. You will see little grape like worm eggs in there if they are breeding. Just keep slowly removing the castings till all the worms are exposed in a clump. Place the worms back into the bath tub. The lack of eggs in the bathtub will start another breeding cycle. Put the castings in you garden and cover with mulch.

    You could lay stips of 70% shade cloth about 200mm wide across the tub about 150 mm apart. Put the food on the shade cloth only and cover with the cover mat. Wet layers mash is a good option. Leave this in place for about 3 days. After this time the smaller worms will be in the food after passing through the shade cloth. They can then be harvested to another bed or the garden. This is one way of keeping the worms breeding and reducing overall numbers. The remaining worms will grow bigger as a result. The young worms will grow at a rapid rate if all kept together and well fed.


    I recently bought a Worm Farming Management book. Hmmm seems I am not as clever as I thought. Doesn't matter as I am learning more every day and am starting to re organize to maximise production. The book is way over the top for the average Compost Bin worm farmer but essential for anybody thinking about getting into breeding worms for sale
     
  8. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Okay, that mix is in no way dry, if anything it's bordering on too wet. It's just the direct flash that may be giving it that impression. I'll see if a full-size picture, one that is zoom-able will show that (...and.....it doesn't).

    They have already moved into the horse manure by force, 99% of adult worms are in there and I'm also adding food to the manure side. The casting side has only hatchlings and zero food, tiny almost see-through worms and the occasional adult.

    I think, judging by when you say "harvested to another bed or garden", it means that my casting side, with nothing but tiny worms could easily be harvested out, and replaced with horse manure. The current adult population on the right-hand side would, I assume, quickly move into the new bedding. Lengthways makes sense, and I will do that next time.



    Edit: I just had an idea. For something different, would you like me to take a video of me digging through it so you can see?
     
  9. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Had to do it, regardless. My voice in no way sounds like that!

    [video=youtube;KZUW5rIjf24]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZUW5rIjf24&hd=1[/video]
     
  10. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Nice! I think you are doing a pretty good job of it.
     
  11. briansworms

    briansworms Junior Member

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    You seem to be on the right track. The video was great. Hmmm that voice lol. Dig the castings side out and put in the wheel barrow as you said. You can let them just sit in there and start removing the soil till you expose 99% of the worms in a clump. They can go back into the tub. You stocking ratio seems pretty good but once you put more manure in they will thin out so the extra worms from the casting side will help keep the numbers up.

    Worms need to be stocked at about 2 to 3 kg of pure worm to 1 sq metre of surface area for optimal breeding with the eggs and young worms harvested about every 4 weeks.. To grow them out to full size you stock at 10 kg per 1 sq metre and feed lots of high protien food. At this stocking rate they wont breed but will grow but must be kept very moist but not sloppy bedding. At this stocking rate you will need an escape proof lip around the top edge.

    For what you are doing your on the right track well done.
     
  12. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks Brian, I owe you a beer or a purchase of something. I spread a couple to four handfuls of castings around anything of importance in the entire garden. There was a good amount, it's nice to be up to your elbows in it.
     
  13. briansworms

    briansworms Junior Member

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    I am pleased to help. Water in the castings well. Just top up the other side of the tub with more manure and you will be good for a few months. No need to buy worms off me lol. Do you keep a cover over the tub? Remember every few days toss the top 150mm to aerate the bedding to improve the microrganisms

    I spent a good few hours today packing down some of my worms. I am changing my management practices and am changing my stocking densities in my beds. I usually have about 2000 worms (500grams) in each of my smaller beds. I am increasing this to about 12,000 (3kg) for my grower beds. At this density they wont breed but will grow out to full size in a short space of time provided they get fed good quaility foods and lots of it. These are the worms I will be selling.
    In my breeder beds the density will be about 4000 worms (1kg) per bed. The eggs will be harvested every 4 weeks and the breeder beds re setup for the next cycle. I have a heap of castings with eggs from todays effort so these will end up in incubation beds out in the back shed where it is warm till they all hatch. It should take about 3 to 4 weeks and then they will be left to grow for a month. After this they will be screened and used as breeders or go to the grow out beds for sale. All breeders will eventuaslly be rotated to the grower beds for sale.

    Management is the key and the sooner I master it the better. I just want to make sure people are getting the best quality worms are a fair price. I will just keep reviewing and improving where possible.
     
  14. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    You are on a total other level. Harvesting eggs, hence the harvesting machines. I shudder to think how many eggs I threw away today.

    I was hoping for some rain today, I'll be watering tomorrow if it doesn't anytime soon. I spread the one side flat and then covered it up with a couple of bags of manure. When it drops again in a couple of months I will repeat the half/half casting/manure cycle as it saved me some sieving (bar the worm deaths). When I get chickens, I'll harvest some for feeding.

    You've been a huge help and you are a credit to the forum.
     
  15. briansworms

    briansworms Junior Member

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    Don't worry about the wasted eggs, they will hatch in the garden. With the new bedding the worms will each lay one egg per week so what you threw out will be replaced many times over in a short space of time. Autum and Spring are when worms are breeding the most. You will find what is called a Breeding Flush with the new bedding and hundreds if not thousands of eggs will be layed over the next couple of months. So toss the bedding, keep it damp and cover it up.

    Many years ago my turtle layed eggs in the tank so I looked for some advice on building a pond. I found an old Yahoo site which is now Australian Freshwater Turtles Forum. The people on there were very helpful so I stayed with it am now a Moderator and giving something back to the community. I also for 24 years was on a school P&C committe, 13 years as President and ran the Qld Schools Shared Car raffle for 10 years. We raised well over $2.5 million for Qld schools in that time. I seem to thrive on giving back to the community. Now Worm Farming has replaced the school.
     
  16. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    You can be my second Dad, the crazy community-minded, turtle and worm-loving one.

    Forgot to mention, old carpet as the covering of the tub. I used towels but the worms ate it. In the video, you can see one piece of material/ribbing leftover from them. The worms/bacteria have started to eat the carpet too, it's getting thinner by the day.

    Now that my worms have gone through a few lifecycles, I'm assuming they are just Red Wrigglers. Is there any benefit to stocking Night Crawlers in the mix too?
     
  17. briansworms

    briansworms Junior Member

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    Well Son it is like this.LOL
    There is no point in mixing the two worms. Africans are more of a specialized worm. Basically they are mongrels to keep. They are also 10 times the price of Red Wrigglers. When they are mixed with the Reds they are around the same size but skinnier and longer. As they get older they become a purple colour and very distinctive They will leave the bedding at the drop of a hat so you need them under constant lighting or escape proof lips around the top edge of bed.

    Africans are more suited for fishing. They are an excellent composting worm and will eat 3 times the food than Reds but the cost and time to get them to marketable size makes the Reds a better option for composting. If you want to get some Africans just keep them in a 32lt cement mixing tray so they are easier to manage. I have none for sale at the moment but if you do order some make sure you dont put the bedding they come in , in the bed with them. To keep from giving away free Africans by the way of eggs they are packed in bedding from Red Wrigglers beds. So the beddinng could contain Reds and their eggs as well as the Africans. You get them home put them in the bed with the bedding no escape boards or lights and before you know it the Africans have mostley bolted and the Reds take over the bed. Lack of knowledge can cost you dearly.

    I am using the cement mixing trays as my breeder beds and grower beds. The incubation beds I have at the moment are my old breeder tubs (160 lt). Once the worms all hatch they will go into the trays and the cycle goes round. The idea of the trays is minimal bedding, maximum worms, easier to manage. I have just spent the last 2 days harvesting worms by the light method so I can re pack them in higher densities. The way I was doing it was unproductive from a worm farming point of view as I had about 10 times the bedding to sort through than with the new way. I still haven't built that harvester yet. To many other things I need first. Like food lol. I managed to pack two breeder beds today at 1 kg of worms per bed. I suppose all up it took me about 4 1/2 hours. The new way will be about 1/2 an hour for 2 kg of worm. Stocking density is the key.That gives you an idea of the time it takes to sort through for so few worms.
     
  18. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    That makes more sense. I just noticed that Red Wrigglers and Africans were sold together and you just explained the reason why. Oh Dad, you are so learned.

    Does one, as a worm farmer, reach a point where you are spending more time with the worms than your family? Do you speak to them? I have mentioned singing before, any worm classics I may be missing?
     
  19. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    'Wriggle it, just a little bit...'
     
  20. briansworms

    briansworms Junior Member

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    I forgot to mention "Dont fall in love with your worms". I have Africans mixed in with my Reds and not by choice either. I blew $100 on them only to spend another $50 after I got smarter. The $50 lot have been threatened with extinction if they go missing. Sadly on the first night and even after I got smarter I still lost about 30 out of the 200 I bought.

    The Worms don't answer back, so Family or Worms?. I am spending a lot of time at the moment because I am changing my stocking and management practices. Soon I will be the " Worm King " in my head anyway.

    No songs but I played a worm game on a computer once.
     

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