Set up problems

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AliG
Junior Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:47 pm

Set up problems

Post by AliG » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:14 pm

I got my very first wormery less than 2 weeks ago and. set up as instructed. every night the worms escaped by the hoards from the gap around the sides. I used a black bag at night to catch them and put back in the mornings leaving the bag off during the day. The amount of worms I could see got less and less then I noted a unpleasant smell from the sump. opening it it was full of foul grey sludge, the remainder of my worms I believe. There are no worms to be found in the bedding tray. I did not get far enough to feed them anything other than the food they arrived with. What did I do wrong. If I want to try again should I throw everything away and start again.
Any suggestion welcome it was very discouraging.

WillyWorm
Senior Member
Posts: 506
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:10 am

Re: Set up problems

Post by WillyWorm » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:12 am

Hi AliG, sorry to hear your sad tale. The weather conditions at the moment are making it very difficult for worm keeping. Worms struggle at temperatures over 26 degrees and start to die at 30 degrees. I think most of us have struggled to keep our bins down below 25 degrees for the last few weeks, I have resorted to placing ice blocks on the top of my bins on hot days and have started to freeze their food in egg trays so I cool them and feed at the same time.
There are a number of other reasons why worms may die, the main ones are, temperature, too wet, over feeding resulting in anaerobic conditions.
You said you had only feed the dried food supplied with your worms, if this was done as per instructions it should not be a problem but if, over fed dried food can go anaerobic very quickly like anything grain based food stuff.
The other biggie is over wet conditions. Your bedding should feel like a damp sponge, to test take a handful of bedding and squeeze hard, if two or more drips come out then it is too wet, if one drip comes out the it may be fine if you have a strong grip but too wet if your grip is weak. If you started with coir it can be difficult to get to the correct moisture level when used on its own.
The fact that you have worms drowning in the sump may indicate that your bedding is too wet. To correct this empty the current bedding in to a bucket, rescue any living worms from the sump and dispose of the rest. Take three sheets of newspaper and cut or fold it to fit snuggly in the bottom tray, now put a layer of dry shredded paper or cardboard on top of the paper, next return your old bedding then cover this with more shredded paper/cardboard, gently mix the old and the new a little, finally add any worms you have managed to rescue and put the bin in a cool dry place (or cover with a plastic sheet to keep rain out) for a while. If you really have no worms then wait a week or two, for the weather to cool, before obtaining more.

Hope this helps please keep us updated and come back if you need more help
Willy

AliG
Junior Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:47 pm

Re: Set up problems

Post by AliG » Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:56 pm

Thanks for your reply. No worms found. Think I will take your advice and leave it till this hot weather is over and maybe give it one more try. You think the old bedding will be ok so long as it is kept dry or should I try a total restart in case it was anything in the bedding. I have now where inside to keep the house but will try to find a shady spot.

WillyWorm
Senior Member
Posts: 506
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:10 am

Re: Set up problems

Post by WillyWorm » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:18 pm

I think keep the bedding, but don’t let it dry out completely, there may still be some worm cocoons (eggs) in it which may hatch out later, cocoons have a much wider range of tolerance of temperature than do worms, so there is still a chance.
Try to site your bin out of the afternoon sun. If you can put a plastic sheet over it to stop rain getting in via the slots between the trays which to be there to allow air in and to make it possible to separate the trays.
Getting more worms when it is cooler is a good idea.

Good luck
Willy

AliG
Junior Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:47 pm

Re: Set up problems

Post by AliG » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:26 pm

Thanks I will follow your advise and try once more once weather is cooler

CrystalW
Junior Member
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2020 6:39 am

Re: Set up problems

Post by CrystalW » Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:30 am

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