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African Nightcrawlers for Vermicomposting
African Night Crawlers (ANCs) originate from West Africa and can grow larger than the average earthworm. They are ideal for vermicomposting as they have a huge appetite and produce larger quantities of worm castings.
ANCs thrive on our everyday food waste like, vegetable and fruit scraps/peels, making them easy to upkeep, a good choice for your vermicomposting bin!
ANCs reproduce rapidly, birthing an average of around 6-7 worms per week, which means that in no time, you will be able to upgrade your bins to a larger one or multiple smaller bins, and upcycle a greater amount of food waste.
Fun fact, they are able to eat up to their body weight of food waste in a day!
How to Raise African Nightcrawlers
By providing ANCs with their optimum growing conditions, such as food, temperature and moisture levels, they are able to breed as quickly as after 5 weeks and reproduce quickly.
Remember to feed your ANCs with a variety of items such as non-citrus fruit waste, vegetable scraps, egg shells, coffee grounds, dried leaves, and newspapers. However, avoid feeding them any meat products, dairy waste, cooking oil, or human and pet faeces.
Keeping the bedding moist is important as it helps the ANCs to breathe through their skin. The moisture also helps decompose food waste into a mushy matter suitable for ANCs to feed on.
Moreover, it is ideal to keep African nightcrawlers (ANC) in Singapore as they thrive in warmer climates.
Afraid of your earthworms escaping their bins? Here are some ways to prevent ANCs from escaping your vermicomposting bin:
1. Have a light source above the bin. ANCs are afraid of lights; this encourages them to explore within the compost.
2. Bury food waste at the bottom of the bin. The decaying food waste will attract ANCs to stay in the bin.
3. Keep food waste on one side of the bin, alternate the sides with each feeding. Heat from decomposing food may deter the ANCs. Having food only on one side of the bin gives ANCs space to move around, away from the heat.
4. Earthworms love exploring dark environments. Have a light source, and keep your bin in a lit environment (e.g. corridor) to keep the worms in the soil.