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Start with 1 cup of medium Phoenix Worms.
The small Kritter Keeper is ideal, for 3 reasons:
1) The ventilation is just right -- not too dry or humid.
2) The little feet on the Kritter Keeper hold the container at the perfect height above the heating pad to keep the worms at exactly 95 degrees.
3) The ventilation slots on the lid of the Kritter Keeper can be used as a worm strainer when you are transferring your worms.
Optimal temperature for growth and feeding of Phoenix worms is exactly 95 degrees. I use a Fluker's heating pad, which maintains a constant 100 degree temperature, and place the Kritter Keeper directly on top of it. This maintains the bottom of the container at exactly 95 degrees. At this temperature, you will notice that your worms become extremely happy and wiggly. At lower temperatures, they will be lethargic, and will not eat or grow well. Be sure to warm your worms from below, not above. Using a ceramic heat emitter will warm the top of the container, but the worms at the bottom will be cold and unhappy.
You can go one of two ways on this:
- Soft fruits and vegetables in about a 50/50 ratio. Any soft fruit or vegetable will do, raw or cooked. Phoenix worms don't eat raw leafy greens, or raw, crunchy fruits and vegetables. These should be cooked before feeding. Line the bottom of the container with enough food to allow the worms to burrow underneath.
- Organic, all-natural multi-grain bread, plus fruit or vegetable baby food. I cut the bread about 1/2 inch thick, and saturate it with the baby food, top and bottom. I line the bottom of the container with the bread. The bread acts like a sponge, moist with little air bubbles, and the worms enjoy burrowing into it. (Use only all-natural, multi-grain bread. Bread which contains preservatives and dough softeners will create a gummy mess when mixed with baby food. Plus it is bad for your worms, and for your beardie!)
Here's a Kritter Keeper lined with organic multi-grain bread and baby food: