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Kevinswither

12 gallon roach colony

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I am setting up a 12 gallon roach colony. Now which species will be suitable? I am raising them as food for mantids and other invertebrates. I am also wondering if I could raise the smaller roach species in a smaller tub (2.5-5 gallons)? I am thinking of discoids but I might do dubias or orange head roaches. 

 

The smaller roach colonies will be p Nivea and the red runner roach.

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Honesty if they are going to be used for mantids I'd avoid any Blaberids, they play dead and don't move in a way that stimulates a feeding response as well as red runners or adult Panchlora do. A 12 gallon tank of red runners would give you a LOT of food for your bugs, a better investment than a colony of Blaberus IMO. I think the lats would outgrow a 2 gallon tank rather fast, it should be fine for Panchlora though.

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For larger inverts orange heads breed fast so unless you have a big collection I would advice against them I can almost never find people to sell them to. Dubia even being slower can be better cause if you end up with to many people actually want those. Personally I use lateralis as my main feeder very active and only the smaller ones will burrow. One to possibly add to your list is lobsters I just tried feeding with them last week and it was ok not like lateralis they will still be my fav feeder

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I would do discoidis and lateralis, but I am a little bit against the turk roaches (I find them pretty good, just that I live in Phoenix and they could establish themselves there). Would nivea and latterlis be able to be housed in smaller totes? Human heating pads for the roaches? 

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33 minutes ago, Kevinswither said:

I would do discoidis and lateralis, but I am a little bit against the turk roaches (I find them pretty good, just that I live in Phoenix and they could establish themselves there). Would nivea and latterlis be able to be housed in smaller totes? Human heating pads for the roaches? 

Yeah you can house them in plastic totes, wouldn't keep them in anything smaller than 2 gallons though, at least not permanently. I'm not sure if human heating pads would work or not, personally I'd just use the reptile ones, since they are actually made for animals and made to be turned on for long periods of time. 

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Well Turkestan/Red Runner is the common name for s lateralis. There is minimal risk of them escaping since only the males can climb. I haven't worked with nivea yet but I think they like it more moist...not sure on that though. I agree that reptile heat pad is the way to go there could be a fire risk from short circuit using human heat pads for to long and underneath a tank.

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4 hours ago, Kevinswither said:

And aren't p Nivea hard to rear?

I think P.nivea are easy to rear, however they do best with a rotten log in the enclosure apparently, and like lots of fruit in their diet. When cared for correctly they are supposed to be fast growing and prolific. 

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51 minutes ago, Kevinswither said:

Also, with the turk roaches and p nivea, how high should the enclosure be? Do turks and nivea roaches need substrate?

Pretty high, especially for the Panchlora, and you are gonna want to stack up several layers of eggcartons for the S.lateralis once the colony kicks off.

Panchlora definitely need a substrate, and it's easier to keep the S.lateralis oothecae sufficiently humid when there is a layer of substrate at the bottom of the cage to retain moisture.

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For the dubia or discoid roaches does the enclosure need to be high? And would I be able to introduce springtails to aid in cleaning up the frass of the roaches? 

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As long as there is 3 inches from the highest thing they can climb no lid is necessary. If useing eggcrate it's normally a 12 inch by 12 inch square so if you put them vertical you want the bin to be 15 inches high. If placed horizontal it won't matter much. Cleaner crews will depend if you use substrate spring tails and isopods need moist substrate but if not useing substrate then cleaner beetles like lesser mealworms will help and be a easy to cultivate feeder. 

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1 hour ago, Kevinswither said:

Could I keep p nivea and discoid roaches together? 

I think the discoids would outcompete the P.nivea and possibly trample them, so I wouldn't keep them together. Honestly I wouldn't keep any two species together long term, at least not if you plan on breeding them.

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3 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

Honestly I wouldn't keep any two species together long term, at least not if you plan on breeding them.

One exception would be Paraplecta. They do considerably better when housed with other roaches(since they seem to love other roaches frass) and don't seem to bother them at all.

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10 minutes ago, All About Insects said:

One exception would be Paraplecta. They do considerably better when housed with other roaches(since they seem to love other roaches frass) and don't seem to bother them at all.

Yeah, those would be the exception, and I'm sure there are other roaches that could co-exist long term, I just personally don't like keeping multiple species together. 

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Just now, Hisserdude said:

Yeah, those would be the exception, and I'm sure there are other roaches that could co-exist long term, I just personally don't like keeping multiple species together. 

Yeah, I honestly don't like keeping any two species together either. Instead of keeping my Paraplecta sp. with another species, I just periodically add frass to their enclosure giving them the one benefit they'd have to co-existing.

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A heat cable has some pros and cons, pros being that it's easy to use, and you can heat multiple containers with it. However you are going to want to put it underneath the enclosures, so it dries out the substrate really fast, and if you aren't careful and forget to mist your roaches, you can dry them out and kill them. For that reason I only put the cable underneath half or just under one corner of the enclosures, so that it does not dry the whole thing out. 

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On 1/13/2017 at 6:38 PM, Kevinswither said:

Could I keep p nivea and discoid roaches together? 

Last year I had P. nivea female escape from its enclosure and it somehow ended up in discoid enclosure. Later I started seeing Panchlora adults pop up in there, suggesting that the female bred in there. However, once my discoid colony grew larger the Panchloras disappeared. So ya, discoids will outcompete Panchlora. 

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I found very quickly with the red runners I prefer tp and paper towel tubes to egg crates for them.   Just personal preference, but easier for me to manover them with those IMO

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