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Re: Live Foods Digest V2 #193

Hi list.    I've been raising red worms for better than 10 years now.
Started out when I was dissatisfied with the size of red worms from the bait
shop for fishing. I wanted something larger then the bait shop red worms and
smaller then night crawlers.  Now mine are great for fishing but even a bit
large for my adult discus without chopping. [ If you need smaller pieces and
don't care to chop, place your cleaned red worms in a zip lock bag - put
them in the freezer - when frozen smack them with a hammer - instant little
worm pieces}

I raise the worms in several rubber maid containers approx. 24" x 16" x  9"
placed directly on the basement floor in my fish room.  It takes a while to
establish a mature culture but once you do you will have all the bait you
want for fishing + lots for your indoor hobby.  I start with a 50 - 50
mixture of aged oak leaf mulch (maple or other hard wood leaves will work)
and commercial worm bedding.  Basically it's ground news paper sold at the
bait shops.  My secret - PIG FOOD - Yes pig mash from the grain mill.  Lots
of these places (at least here in Michigan) sell it 5 & 10 bags to fishermen
label as Pig Food/Worm Food ($1.75/ 5lbs).  Make sure you get the type that
includes a multiple of grains i.e. Wheat - oats - corn etc. It's a little
coarser then the texture of whole grain flower (just fine ground corn
doesn't seem to work to well) To each of the above containers (with an
established culture) I add about 2 cups of pig food per week.  Mix it into
the top 2" of soil with a small garden fork.  If you don't mix it will rot
and ferment.  Besides only a few worms come to the surface to feed, most
feed just below the surface.  Once you've mix the food into the bedding.
Add about 4 cups of water.  I use a small kids sprinkler can.  Works great.
Once you have an established culture you'll be amazed at how much they can
eat.  OH, lest I forget - and this is from experience - never shut off all
of the lights - only a small single light the sized used on a Christmas tree
will work BUT without a bit of light to keep the worms in their little world
they WILL explore your world during the dark of night.  Man what a mess that
can be.  If you really want to find out how many red worms you have in your
culture TURN OUT THE LIGHTS.  Good luck - Dave C. From Kalamazoo MI