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white worms

> Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 09:27:51 -0800 (PST)
> From: J Miller <ruddigar_99 at yahoo_com>
>   I received a starter culture of white worms about a week ago.  I put
> them (about 1/2 dozen) in a small margarine container filled 3/4 with
> peat and the media they came in (looks like soil).  I placed a small
> amount of fish flakes under a piece of plexiglass, but the worms
> haven't come up for it yet.

6 worms isn't much of a starter!  If things don't get going better
by the time the weather warms up, email me and I'll send you some
of mine for the cost of mailing.  I'm in Toronto.  I know what a pain
it can be to get living things across the border.

>   I went digging around in the container to see if any were still
> alive, and found a few around the bottom.  Any ideas why they aren't
> coming up for the food?  Should I take some of the peat out to make it
> shallower?

I keep mine in a plastic box of the rubbermaid type, in about 2-3 inches
of potting soil.  They won't eat the food unless it's wet, preferably 
wet and rotting.  They can only eat soft things - they probably live mostly
on the bacteria and other microbes that rot the food, as do their relatives
the earthworms.  6 worms are not going to eat much anyway - there's likely
plenty to eat in the soil they came in.

>   Maybe it's too cool or warm for them.  I have kept them on the floor
> in my fish room - room temp is about 68F on the racks so a couple
> degrees cooler on the floor.  I tried having them off the floor a bit,
> but I don't want them to get too warm because I know they prefer cooler
> temp.

It may not be wet enough for them.  They like the soil wetter than you'd
keep a houseplant at.  Don't worry about temperatures too much.  I haven't
had any problems with losing them to overheating - they can take temps up
into the 80s F for short periods (we only get that kind of temps for short
periods here...).