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njohns

Supplementing Diet With Vitamins?

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I love this site because I know that the people here care for the health and well-being of their roaches :)

I probably feed my cockroaches better than I feed myself. I believe in giving them a wide variety of foods and trying to imitate their diet in the wild as closely as possible. Today I was feeding my amphibians and dusting the feeders with Reptivite. I was thinking, "Why don't I do this for my roaches?" I know about the whole calcium thing, but I assume that they need vitamins just like reptiles and amphibians. Granted, it isn't necessary, but do you think it would be a good idea to add some vitamin (not calcium) powder to their food every once in a while?

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Unless these are going to be feeders and you're attempting to gut load them, this is probably unnecessary.

I highly suggest you read this scientific paper on the digestive system and presence of beneficial bacterium in the gut of roaches; Blatta lateralis/S. lateralis in this case. I've been putting off reading it, but this topic got me inspired :P

LINK: http://aem.asm.org/content/early/2012/02/07/AEM.07788-11.full.pdf

Though the paper specifically touches on B. laterals, similar bacterial cultures are said to be found in all roaches aside from "one cave roach" (I am unsure of the species), according to one source.

This information's relation to this topic, in short, is the idea roaches are able to live off of a relatively minimal nutritional pallet and don't require a lot of fussing over in order to get what they need to grow and reproduce successfully. I'm not sure what roaches use calcium for, though I assume that they use in exoskeleton production, but I'm sure yours aren't coming up short on anything important nutritionally.

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To be honest cat and dog food, mabye even reptile food has calcium in it already, so as long as you feed those foods I dont think extra calcium is necessary. The only extras I give are bark and decaying leaves to my roaches, especially ones that need them in their diet like B. giganteus and Hissers, but most roaches will eat that too.

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I think too much calcium can make it hard for them to molt?

No. All animals have voltage-gated ion channels that run the nervous system (nervous impulse to muscle to be more exact). This is why medications, poisons, and venoms exist that act on them. It's a pretty popular mode of action used in insecticides, for example.

Shutting down or over stimulating the nervous system is an effective way to disable an animal, insects included. Roaches, for reasons I haven't bothered to look up yet, seem to have somewhat sensitive Ca2+ channels, than say, compared to crickets.

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I love this site because I know that the people here care for the health and well-being of their roaches :)

I probably feed my cockroaches better than I feed myself. I believe in giving them a wide variety of foods and trying to imitate their diet in the wild as closely as possible. Today I was feeding my amphibians and dusting the feeders with Reptivite. I was thinking, "Why don't I do this for my roaches?" I know about the whole calcium thing, but I assume that they need vitamins just like reptiles and amphibians. Granted, it isn't necessary, but do you think it would be a good idea to add some vitamin (not calcium) powder to their food every once in a while?

I too am careful what I feed my roaches. When I had crickets, a pet shop boy said tropical fish flakes have everything the crickets needed. Since roaches are similar, I tried it with the discoid I had at the time and they did pretty well with it. Same with the German I have now. The flakes make up their diet except an occasional slice of wheat bread. Fresh fruit was attracting ants and fruit flies.

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