This seems a good time to report on my african nightcrawlers in a can-o-worms project. To recap: There was much talk of whether it could be done or not so I bought two lots of 25 african night crawlers from the fishing store and put them in a can-o-worms to see what would happen. There is much talk of them being earth- rather than compost worms, not heat tolerant, prone to wanderlust, and so on... I wanted to know and figured that doing would give a definative answer. If the very worst came to the very worst I'd just have wasted a few dollars on the worms and some establishment time on converting it to red wrigglers.
I am happy to report that the african nightcrawlers are thriving in their can-o-worms. It was a bit touch and go in the beginning. It seemed that they had all died but they recovered. They seemed to want to be in the collector tray all the time but the second level seems to have fixed that problem. I thought they may have been escaping because I found some worms on the concrete nearby but this doesn't seem to happen any more.
Currently the second level is about half full. My friend wanted to start a can-o-worms with african nightcrawlers. I went to my can-o-worms to collect a few for him. I was struggling to find enough. With red wrigglers it is often possible to find a knot of worms under a particularly tasty bit of food. I was hoping to find a similar knot of african nightcrawlers. It wasn't looking good until I looked in the second tray. It was thick with worms! Big fat worms all through the castings. This explains how they get through so much food. They were huge!
So, my theory is that they come up at night ('cause they're nightcrawlers. .. yes?) and munch through all their food (I know they don't really munch).
Two handfulls of bedding and worms later and my friend's wormfarm was off to a good start.