can you use 5 gallen buckets for worm bins

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can you use 5 gallen buckets for worm bins

Postby Don » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:11 pm

can you use 5 gallen plastic buckets for african nightcrawlers worm bins? I was thinking of putting holes in the bottom so it could drip into a drip pan. Then when it was about full of castings, I would set another bucket on top of it with news paper and food in it, and holes for them to pass through. After they all pass through to the top bucket, ( I've read it wold take about a week) I would take the one with the castings and put the top bucket over the drip pan. The buckets are small enough to keep in the house, and can be conviently moved. Do you think this will work?
I also was wondering why you have to heat manure before you put it in the worm bin? And how hot does it need to be?
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Re: can you use 5 gallen buckets for worm bins

Postby The Worm Expert » Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:45 am

Don

Sorry for the delay. The past few weeks have been hectic with the move and all.

Yes you can use five gallon buckets to raise worms. The main issue will be the holes on the bottom. You can do this by drilling them at the bottom sides all around as well as the top sides. Space about 1" apart.

If you drill holes on the bottom and sit them on the floor, the holes will be useless. :(

Since five gallon buckets fit so tightly when one inserted to another I would not recommend allowing them to transfer from one bucket to another as you will cut off oxygen flow. African nightcrawlers are large enough to pull and sort to add to a fresh bucket. Allow the remaining cocoons and small worms to remain in the original bucket and bedding until large enough to move to another bucket if you desire.

If you have liquid coming from the bottom you will kill off these worms as you will definitely be to wet.

A second lid can be placed under the five gallon bucket to catch some castings that will be pushed through the bottom holes as the Africans work the bottom of the bucket.

On a side note since I use five gallon buckets to raise some of my worms since I screen them every two weeks for castings I found the best place based on pricing and opaqueness of the buckets is Lowes.

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Re: can you use 5 gallen buckets for worm bins

Postby fish_4_all » Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:14 pm

Bruce, how much are they at Lowes? I ask because Homedepot is local here and they are $2.50 last time I checked. they are pretty opaque although I admit I have never checked them for light penetration.

As for the 5 gallon buckets, I saw a system that was used for this, it had PVC pipe put all the way down in the bedding for air circulation. This way you could keep good airflow while stacking the buckets and you can make the holes in the bottom and sides smaller to let water drain if needed and allow for additional airflow.

I am not saying it will work but it should help with the fact they are so tight when stacked.
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Re: can you use 5 gallen buckets for worm bins

Postby The Worm Expert » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:42 pm

fish_4_all

The buckets are about $2.34 plus 99 cents for a lid at Lowes.

I keep a oscillating fan going to move air around in the building which seems to do the trick when stacking 5 gallon buckets.

The holes I drill are for aeration only. I do not have any drainage from them and if I did would only mean they are too wet. In this type of environment, even if the setup is too damp, the worms will end up dieing off. :?

As for the PVC, I would think it could work if setup correctly however for my needs would probably mean extra work and more time cleaning the buckets every two weeks as well as building new ones since I harvest the castings every two weeks.

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