Matt K

Matt's Roach Cultures

37 posts in this topic

Well, one of our members here in 'Exotic Insects' in Denmark were having 48 species at his most.

It is complete non-comprehensibly to me, how anyone can properly be looking after so many species. I am only having 14 species in daily care and that is lasting much too long (being family-father and all that).

How on earth do you overcome it? Are you using all available time to observe them besides all the care...

I am now removing roaches, changing all inside and using hot water on 3 cultures that have been infested with Dermestes haemorrhoidalis. These little buggers and their larvae eat ALL: - oothecas, decorations, food residue and dead roaches. Removing the colony takes time when some small nymphs resembles the beetles... :unsure:

Time - time - time

Why are the text-codes not working when they are interpreted right now??

BR/

Ole :o

OBJ-

I have around 100 different cultures to oversee myself, and I work from home and take care of my 2 year old daughter and can still explain th particulars of what each of the roaches are doing in the day or in the night. I look in on them a few times each day, though it may be a week inbetween when I view one colony and when I see it again. Withy better time management I could probably take care of more but I would say I am at my own personal limit, and some colonies that I don't care about as much as others do suffer from time to time. I only find a need to clean out any roach bin every year or 18 months, though it has been 2 years for some of them....

I PM'd Peter about the text codes and he does not see it on his computer, so I tried to explain what I and apparantly you are seeing too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt,

A 100 species??!! How can you accomodate so many? Are they all big cultures with many animals?

How many different parasites like moth, mites, phorid flies, banana flies or beetles have invaded your cultures - to an extent that you must fight them?

The daily care for you is that??:

- removing unused fod

- giving water

- new food, alternation dry food/fruit-veggies

- inspection of animals - removal of corpses (if any)

To my list is also fighting parasites = extra time

BR/

Ole

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How can you accomodate so many? Are they all big cultures with many animals?

How many different parasites like moth, mites, phorid flies, banana flies or beetles have invaded your cultures - to an extent that you must fight them?

The daily care for you is that??:

- removing unused fod

- giving water

- new food, alternation dry food/fruit-veggies

- inspection of animals - removal of corpses (if any)

To my list is also fighting parasites = extra time

Well, most of my bins are 16x23x12 inches in size (63 liters). I do have a few that are in smaller bins that are 14 liter bins and a dozen or so in 3 liter containers. Most of my bigger bins contain 200-500 roaches with the exception of larger species like Archimandrita tesselata and Blanberus giganteus which I maintain 50-150 individuals.

I have no parasites, but I see you mean pests. Invading my cultures are: No moths, 5 different harmless mite species or so, phorid flies ocassionally in 2 or 3 bins (which I hate with a passion), no banana flies, and 4 different beetles in the cultures with the predominate one being a type of dermestid beetle.

I fight off phorid flies tooth and nail almost on a daily basis to minimize them as much as possible. Occasionally I go a few weeks without them and then suddenly there they are again. If left unchecked they can get out of control quickly. Any other invader I live with and have zero problems, so if they leave well enough alone I wont waste time dealing with them.

Daily care:

Some days are more work than others. Many days I do nothing at all. Some days I mist some of the containers and check in on others, then one or two days I feed things and water them well. There is never uneaten food to remove. I feed them what they will eat entirely in a day or two and then no more for some days or a week, sometimes more. Then the next time I feed them I give them something different than last time (however some species only eat the same things all the time). Water- I fill 12 to 15 one gallon containers I have from various beverages (mostly plastic milk jugs) and start pouring water into each bin directly once a week. More for some and less for others. If my room had a drain in the floor I would go in with a hose and spray them all down....but thats a fantasy. I inspect each species when I feed or water. Occasionally maybe just out of wanting to look in. Very few species have any deceased that need to be removed, presumably from the beetles and other roaches consuming the dead, as I do find parts like wings or legs or a pronotum with fair frequency.

Most parasites (read= pests) are not problematic and can be lived with. If a colony gets overfed that can severely add to the pest problem, but once that balance is found its really no worries.

My efforts are not much work as long as they are consistant. If I get lazy or busy (or both!) then it can be much more work to get everything back in line again. I have often thought about getting rid of all but 20 or 30 species that I like best and make more room for other things I keep, but I am such a roach geek it is hard to part with any of them (even if it is a species that normally lives in my backyard). I have quite a few lizards, so they eat alot of different roaches! My chickens once in a while get a small bowl of roaches as a treat too....they LOVE them like kids and candy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Matt K- 100 different 'roach cultures or including other inverts/herps and what not?

....I have too many things for any one hobbiest.

...Growing or culturing livestock and plants is what I like to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once you get a system going, you can easily care for tons of roach species.

I'm a high school student with a 4.00 GPA and also work as an assistant Tae Kwan Do instructor on weekdays, but I can take care of every one of my 30 or so roach cultures. (And I'm always getting more!)

The key is finding a system that works and keeping it like that. Also, great substrates make everything easier too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, it's amazing how much time people have when they shut off the TV or PC!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, most of my bins are 16x23x12 inches in size (63 liters).
Well, I must admire the space you are allowed to occupy. Our houses might not be big enough... Or I must apply for a bigger hobby-room! What a WAF!

I have no parasites, but I see you mean pests. Invading my cultures are: No moths, 5 different harmless mite species or so, phorid flies ocassionally in 2 or 3 bins (which I hate with a passion), no banana flies, and 4 different beetles in the cultures with the predominate one being a type of dermestid beetle.
You are right. Wrong word... One might think the language capabilitiy with english is improving, but it is a constant process of learning it... :(

About the beetles, are you not worried to spread them to the rest of the house - kitchen and so..? What about WAF? (WAF=Wife Acceptancy Factor - known from the high end music apparatus industry.)

Most parasites (read= pests) are not problematic and can be lived with. If a colony gets overfed that can severely add to the pest problem, but once that balance is found its really no worries.
.... And if water is spilled on the left over food, the phorid flies goes berserk.

Having so many species, how do you keep track of:

- their food-top ten list as well as the food turn-off list?

- the amounts of food needed - do you weight it?

- Do you keep a small record of numbers - to publish/study observations for later? Or is it all stored in your head?

-----------------------

To make the aquariums easier to handle on such limited space, I am now mounting each aquarium on small rails so a culture is easy to roll out from the shelf and handling/feeding can happen in few moments. One has been applied right now and seems to work well. They can now stand aquarium up against aquarium. :)

BR/

Ole

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, it's amazing how much time people have when they shut off the TV or PC!

Did I mention I'm on the internet 24/7 as well? :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It takes about as long to cut an apple as feed 8 species of roaches with the slices from it.

Cut the apple into 8 slices.

Open a roach container's lid.

Remove any old food in a upside-down milk carton cap.

Insert new food.

Close container.

Repeat.

Takes longer to type!

Like Matt described, I also have a B. dubia bin that I haven't cleaned for two years. It's in a state of mostly self-maintenance. I have two species of isopods cleaning up in there and I don't overfeed the roaches to the point where food starts to decay and cause problems. (Of course, I also have a separate smaller container with some adult B. dubia that get fed "better" since they are my breeders).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
About the beetles, are you not worried to spread them to the rest of the house - kitchen and so..?

What about WAF?

.... And if water is spilled on the left over food, the phorid flies goes berserk.

Having so many species, how do you keep track of:

- their food-top ten list as well as the food turn-off list?

- the amounts of food needed - do you weight it?

- Do you keep a small record of numbers - to publish/study observations for later?

Or is it all stored in your head?

Ha ha!

Beetles- no, they seem to be more concerned with how to get into other roach colonies and not the rest of my house. I have never seen any out of "the room".

Food is scattered in the tub, so the water does splash in on it.

WAF- she knew odd livestock came as part of the package when she married me. Tough luck!

Food turn offs= still in there next time I open the tub.

No food weighing- visual estimate only (unless my 2 year old daughter is feeding, then its as much sa she can toss in!)

Every thing else I note in my head, though occasionally I need to write somethings down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Matt, what plant species do you keep ?

I keep fat plants or pachyforms-caudiciforms. Mostly pachypodiums, adeniums, cyphostemma and euphorbias as well. Oh and a few ficus species, any thing cool and different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wow matt that sure is a lot of useful information! thanks for sharing and congrats on that amazing collection of... plenty of weird stuffs!:P

I only have dubias colony right now, but they're huge! (few thousands) and that isopod cleaning their tubs is pretty interesting.. I will need to get more information about those! Pillbugs are isopods right?

I am thinking about having pillbugs and springtails colonies too...

Greets

Charlotte

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isopods have been used to clean up tarantula enclosures too.

Now I know that they can also be used for roaches.

But isn't it difficult to sort them out when it's time to make a general cleaning of the bins?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isopods have been used to clean up tarantula enclosures too.

Now I know that they can also be used for roaches.

But isn't it difficult to sort them out when it's time to make a general cleaning of the bins?

Think about it this way: they eat frass, skins, and dead.

If they eat all or most of it, what do you clean?

If you have a slow breeder, then cleaning would be a nightmare!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

also if you loose a couple isopods it's really not a bit deal they breed really easily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are the isopods the little pill bugs that roll up? I can catch them here, can I use them too?

yes thay are, i originally collected my colony from my back yard. i think i actually got two different species, that i have sense started two more colony for each species.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing guys. It's time to go hunting under those clay pots on our garden. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do the isopods ever eat the young, newborn, or molting roaches?

not that i ever have seen thay actually prefer dead or rotting matter like wood, carrots, or dry leafs. i will say i breed my colony for a generation so i wouldn't contaminate my colony with anything that the wild caught isopods might have brought in. but i was breeding them for geckos tanks where thay might be eaten at some time so i was extra cautious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do the isopods ever eat the young, newborn, or molting roaches?

Not that I know of--- they'd rather eat poop.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if i can hunt up a heat pack i can send you some if youre in the US

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes it is good to quarantine first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now