This is my first post on the Sustainable Living stack exchange, which I did not know existed. I am extremely excited to become an active member on this exchange, because I try to live as sustainable as I possibly can, and love discussion.
Recently, I have invested in a worm bin for my college dorm room. It has been going great for about two months; the worms even underwent a reproduction phase where there were many small baby worms in the bin. I typically did not over react / over protect the worms, and just let them work. After feeding them multiple apples in a row, however, I started to notice that the worms (especially the small ones) balled up into a mass. It was very difficult to determine why, as the "squeeze test" and my moisture meter said that it was properly moist (although perhaps I was reading them incorrectly). I read on some sources that overfeeding nutrient rich food can lead to some form of poisoning. To address this, and the potential high moisture levels, I added a significant (1/4 block) amount of coir and some paper bedding. Then I noticed it was too dry and added some water (about two days later).
Ever since then my worms have appeared to be very weak and not healthy. The worm bin has always smelled very good and earthy, but the worms themselves don't seem to reflect that. I check the moisture levels every so often; I believe I am on the upper end of the "ok" range for moisture. I notice very little activity at the top of the bin. Just recently (just before typing this), I mixed the bin and noticed that there were a significant amount of variously sized worms near the bottom. Yet, to me, the bottom felt extremely moist (like a damp sponge). Additionally, the worms are not eating the small apple bits I just gave them (2 days ago, I have about a pound of worms). Finally, more worms than before have fallen (or have crawled) into the collection basin of the worm bin, yet none of them are trying to escape the top sides of the bin.
My questions: What could be going wrong with my bin? Is it the moisture? Is it over-feeding? Is it a mix of both? My moisture meter, that came with the bin, gives me a reading of about 5-6.5 everywhere in the bin (about 1"-2" deep).
Is my worm bin fine now, and I should just calm down and let them readjust? Would it be better to restart somehow, or should I just let time take its course?
Finally, is there any definite way to determining the health of the worms? I.e. could I sacrifice a sample of the worms to analyze? Am I overthinking this?
I've read How can I tell whether my earthworms are healthy?, although I don't feel it perfectly answers my situation.