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 Post subject: Worms in Grow Beds
PostPosted: Oct 26th, '17, 10:24 
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I have a simple enquiry
Can you still have worms survive and flourish in a constant flow grow bed?
Do they get oxygen by occasionally getting to the top of the grow bed to breathe like a whale or do they get their oxygen supply through the water somehow? :think:

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 Post subject: Re: Worms in Grow Beds
PostPosted: Oct 26th, '17, 10:35 
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Worms manage very well in constant flood (I assume you mean flood rather than flow).

As I understand it, they don't come up to breathe. They hate the light anyway. I believe that they can absorb oxygen through their skin... as long as the water is oxygenated. Which it will be if your turnover is OK.

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 Post subject: Re: Worms in Grow Beds
PostPosted: Oct 26th, '17, 17:38 
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Yep constant drain was what I was meant to say. You were spot on Dave with you comment about their skin and well oxygenated water. Here is some other facts about our wriggling friends! :thumbright:

Breathing:

“Air dissolves on the mucus of their skin, so they MUST stay moist to breathe. If worms dry out, they suffocate. As fresh air is taken in through the skin, oxygen is drawn into the worm's circulatory system, and the worm's hearts pump the oxygenated blood to the head area.”

Eating:

“Worms do not have teeth, but their mouths are muscular and strong. The front end of the worm, its prostomium, is pointed and firm, making it easy for worms to push their way into crevices as they eat their way through their burrows. (The mouth of the worm is just behind the prostomium.) Worms swallow pieces of dirt and decaying leaves, and the food passes through the pharynx, (located in body segments 1-6), the esophagus (segments 6-13), and into the crop, which stores food temporarily. The worm's stomach is very muscular, so is called a gizzard. Like a bird's gizzard, it grinds up the food, which then moves into the intestine. The intestine extends over two-thirds of the worm's body length. In the intestine, food is broken down into usable chemicals which are absorbed into the bloodstream. Leftover soil particles and undigested organic matter pass out of the worm through the rectum and anus in the form of castings, or worm poop. Worm poop is dark, moist, soil-colored, and very rich in nutrients. That's why farmers and gardeners like to have lots of worms in their soil.”

Internet Source: Life of an Earthworm - Annenberg Learner.

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 Post subject: Re: Worms in Grow Beds
PostPosted: Oct 26th, '17, 18:14 
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You're probably aware. But just in case... our aquaponics worms are compost worms. I believe that earthworms will drown.

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 Post subject: Re: Worms in Grow Beds
PostPosted: Oct 26th, '17, 18:58 
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I’m going to get some worms from Bunnings on the weekend......They will be compost worms won’t they?

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 Post subject: Re: Worms in Grow Beds
PostPosted: Oct 26th, '17, 19:15 
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They're exactly what you need.

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 Post subject: Re: Worms in Grow Beds
PostPosted: Oct 26th, '17, 23:08 
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bobbit Worm?


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 Post subject: Re: Worms in Grow Beds
PostPosted: Oct 27th, '17, 12:04 
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Red wrigglers/ compost worms

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 Post subject: Re: Worms in Grow Beds
PostPosted: Oct 27th, '17, 14:05 
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You don't need to add very many worms at all Mike, especially not the 500 that comes in the packs from Bunnings, they populate very quickly, and in accordance with the amount of food in the system. I added half a dozen to a display system a few years ago, which I then sold to a customer about 12 months later, when we were digging the gravel out there were hundreds of them.

I'm going to be harvesting a few lettuce this afternoon and always find a few worms. I can put some aside for you, but you'd need to pick them up before 5pm... I'm on holidays as of 5.01pm. If you can't make it to the shop by 5pm I could throw some at you on my way home, I go past Dianella.

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 Post subject: Re: Worms in Grow Beds
PostPosted: Oct 27th, '17, 15:21 
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That would be great MD!
I’m recovering from surgery so I’m limited by going anywhere for long periods of time plus my wife has our only car at work.
I’ll be home watching the rugby.
My address is Unit 2/69 Elsegood St Dianella
Mobile is 0400636012.

Thanks heaps

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 Post subject: Re: Worms in Grow Beds
PostPosted: Oct 30th, '17, 17:28 
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Dangerous Dave wrote:
You're probably aware. But just in case... our aquaponics worms are compost worms. I believe that earthworms will drown.

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earthworms wont drown, earthworms loved it live in the pond at my mums house, in particular in the biofilm on the waterfall.

i have a worm farm/ compost bathtub which has only had earthworms put in, it composts brilliantly and there are thousands and thousands of worms, "composter" worms arent needed, they may eat things a bit faster, but once numbers are up it doesnt matter at all.

as hayden said, dont add lots of worms at once, too much of a chance of a mass die off and them rotting if there isnt enough food for them all.


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 Post subject: Re: Worms in Grow Beds
PostPosted: Oct 30th, '17, 18:13 
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Good to know!

I won't have to waste money getting a top up pack of red wigglers when I bring my back up system online next summer.

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 Post subject: Re: Worms in Grow Beds
PostPosted: Oct 30th, '17, 19:44 
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I have read that the total mass of worms in a bed will double every two months.
In my experience, they spread throughout a system without any real effort from the system manager.
They tend to self regulate their population too. Will multiply up to a point that there is enough food to sustain their numbers.
Unlike humans...

Don't buy the big 500 worm packs. My ethical issues on their packaging aside, it is an unnecessary purchase when just a handful of worms from another system will suffice.

-K98


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 Post subject: Re: Worms in Grow Beds
PostPosted: Oct 30th, '17, 21:38 
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I raise worms and can send you some. They really were a game changer for my system as they keep the media from getting solified as quick. The rw do stay much smaller in media beds but make up for it in numbers if food is available. You are correct in it doesn't take many to fill a bed.


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 Post subject: Re: Worms in Grow Beds
PostPosted: Oct 30th, '17, 22:08 
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No, you cannot send them worms.
That would be both a very uneconomical thing to do, as well as illegal.
Can't even begin to count how many quarantine violations that would amount to!

Sorry if I sound harsh. Just stressed at the moment, but seriously. Don't you dare send any worms to Australia, that's just irresponsible and dangerous and a threat to our already tarnished native flora and fauna!!!!

-K98


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