1) As for packing the bedding material, yes and no... Let me explain. Yes I usually pack it for the way I am raising them, however still have experiments going on, one in which the bedding material is loose bedding however I have been feeding differently. One thing I can say, is that by packing the material the Alabama Jumpers
begin eating within 24 hours. When it is not
packed, the worms can take up to 2 weeks to begin eating. I cannot get too much into detail as my test results are not completed... I am awaiting the stalk to arrive with little Alabama Jumpers.
As for depth, 4" to 6" when packed otherwise at least 6" if the bedding is loose material.
2) As for temperature, I raise them at the same as my African nightcrawlers
which is at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. This works well for breeding as well as other reasons.
3) As for the moisture levels some of this gets more complex than meets the eye and would take my eBook to explain. I will say this, if you study them in an environment where they do well in the wild, a packed bedding material should be about 60% to 70% moisture. In a loose bedding material this would equate to approximately 30%.
Here is one of the cheaper soil moisture meters you can purchase that we use for quick sampling when needed. There is no
need to go to a high end moisture meter costing hundreds of dollars. Luster Leaf 1820 Rapitest Soil Moisture Meter
4) I have been working on the "secret feed formula" as I have not been able to get the growth rate I ma after. George a fellow worm farmer in Australia has been a great help being the materials they have access to their differ from what we have here.
Anyone in Australia looking for worms... I highly recommend visiting Worms 'R' Plenty
5) As for the container, I have not had as much success using the five gallon bucket with the Alabama Jumpers. I do recommend using a worm bin, either a Rubbermaid style or homemade worm bin made out of wood...
I will get back to writing as soon as I finish the new Worm Harvester plans