Re: NANFA-- nightcrawlers: predators?

Jeffrey Fullerton (
Sun, 06 Oct 2002 15:52:36 -0400

To Bruce, Ray and others

There's no doubt about it that coffee grounds attract worms. One of our
flower beds was a great place to dig worms for fishing and feeders
because Grandma used to dump coffee grounds there all the time, That was
until she got older and we switched to instant coffee. Productivity has
since declined and I get my worms elsewhere. I'm contemplating trying to
raise redworms in a cool microclimate of the greenhouse or in a bed out
behind it. I would probably start off with peat moss or coir (coconut
husk peat sold for horticultural purposes and reptile bedding). Add
compost and coffee grounds that I would collect while at work.

Speaking of coir - I also use the fiber product for growing some orchids
, bromeliads and other epiphytic plants and use it as bedding for young
terrestrail turtles. While preping it for use as a growing medium I soak
it in a bucket of water and it leaches alot of tannins into the water-
making it look almost like cedar water in the pine barrens or cypress
swamps of the south. Wasn't sure if it would be safe for fish until I
read at one of the Killifish websites a few years ago that some breeders
were using coir fiber as spawning medium for plant spawning killies- I
presume the exotic ones but I have a feeling that my Fundulus escambiae
would not turn down the opportunity either. The article also stated
that coir colored the water but did not acidify it as much as sphagnum
moss or peat. This is consistent with the info regarding horticultural
applications of coir products which also say it's only slightly acidic
to neutral whereas the pH of acid bog peats may be down in the 4s and

As long as you can be sure that coir fiber is free of pesticides it
would make both a great spawning medium and water conditioner. The coir
peat is probably a better alternative to sphagnum peat for worm bedding
too because it wets down and holds moisture better and worms do better
in a neutral medium. I buy the fiber in 13 pound bales from Ann Mann's
Orchids - and the coir peat in compressed bales under the
brand name of "Eco Earth from a local pet shop. Those you just throw in
a bucket and hydrate them to expand into a peat like medium.

It is said that coir products are the "environementally correct"
alternative to sphagnum peat and also less likely to harbor that nasty
fungus - Sporotrichosis that you wouldn't want to get into an open wound
or such.

Having a great day here. Think I will go back up to the greenhouse and
admire my new Sailfin Shiners.