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Twilightroach

heating a roach colony and setup

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Hello everyone, I am new to this forum, and also new to roach keeping. So any help would greatly be appreciated! Now down to the matter at hand.

I have a bunch of Turkistan roaches that I would like to breed. My current setup is this. I have the roaches in a large critter keeper plastic container, substrate is coconut fiber, they have egg crates and paper tube for hiding.

I need to add a heating source to make them breed, as currently it is not warm enough. I recently got a heat cable that I plan on placing on the container. My biggest question is what is the best way to put it on the container, and what is the best place?

I plan on wrapping the heat cable around the outside of the container on the lower portion, and will use tape to hold it up. Although I am having trouble with tape on a different setup with a heat cable. The tape just falls off. What is the best way to put the heat cable on the container? and place, like outside, inside or underneath? what are some setups that other people have used?

Also I am concerned about the proper placement of the roach container. I want to make sure it is not a fire hazard. If I put it on a floor with rug should it be elevated on a wooden board or something? of course if I put the cable on the bottom it would be elevated, but I probably will put it on the sides. And what about if I placed it inside a small bookshelf? would that be a fire hazard, I am concerned the cable might overheat if I put it on the second shelf which is small.

What are some roach colony setups with heating devices?

Thanks

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With the heating cable, I recommend using electrical tape, packaging tape, or aluminum tape. As long as the cables are spaced apart sufficiently and that they don't touch each other, your good. No, I have quite frankly an aquarium and a roach colony and they are all plugged in and no fire occurred. Now, there are heat pads, flexwatt heat tape, using a heating blanket, etc. 

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My roach bin sits on a reptile heat mat.  No tape.  It allows me to slide it halfway off if it's getting a little too warm, since the heat mat is about the same size as the bottom of the bin.  I have a 3/4" sheet of styrofoam underneath it all to help direct the heat to the bin, since it sits on the cool metal of my clothes dryer.

That said, the bin has enough height and enough climbing structure to ensure no one's getting baked on the bottom. The bottom of the bin sits in the mid 80s and the temp tapers off to maybe 75 at the top.

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I use silver hvac tape for securing heat pads to the side of the roach bin, stuff works great its meant for heat. I've never used cable seems cumber-sum. You can get a heat mat with a built in dimmer switch for 5 dollars or less shipped on ebay...

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I plug my heat cable in to a  rheostat, which is basically a lamp dimmer. Then I  zig zag the heat cable under 1/3 or 1/2 of the tub and use masking tape to tape down the cables, although foil tape might be a better alternative.

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On 3/17/2017 at 5:05 AM, CritterChick said:

My roach bin sits on a reptile heat mat.  No tape.  It allows me to slide it halfway off if it's getting a little too warm, since the heat mat is about the same size as the bottom of the bin.  I have a 3/4" sheet of styrofoam underneath it all to help direct the heat to the bin, since it sits on the cool metal of my clothes dryer.

That said, the bin has enough height and enough climbing structure to ensure no one's getting baked on the bottom. The bottom of the bin sits in the mid 80s and the temp tapers off to maybe 75 at the top.

Would you mind posting a photo of the setup of the sheet of styrofoam underneath? I'm currently trying to figure out a way to better keep my roaches at a warmer temperature. 

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On 3/29/2017 at 0:55 PM, charzard said:

Would you mind posting a photo of the setup of the sheet of styrofoam underneath? I'm currently trying to figure out a way to better keep my roaches at a warmer temperature. 

I just go to Home Depot and get these styrofoam boards.  They cut easily with a box cutter if you want accurate dimensions, but they can also just be scored and snapped.  I put them under some heating pads to keep the surface the bin is sitting on from soaking all the heat away, and it also tends to even out the heat distribution.  It also allows me to leave the heat pad in place on the insulation and easily move the bins for cleaning/inspection without dragging a cord around.  I don't know if I'd consider it safe against a glass tank, and placing the heat source at the bottom of a bin with substrate & burrowing species can be a recipe for disaster.  My feeder bin is bare bottomed and all their shelter is in vertical egg crates, meaning the temperature gradient is vertical. 

In all of my non-feeder bins and habitats, I keep a horizontal temperature gradient.  I don't want the critters having to decide whether to feel safe & hidden or properly warm; they should always be able to find shelter at whatever temperature they're wanting.  The feeders, unfortunately, have to be set up a little more utilitarian for ease of cleaning (as infrequently as I do so) and collecting individuals to be fed out.

The bins I use are these, since the dark plastic seems to hold the heat better and the roaches don't really like the light anyway.  I wouldn't recommend a dark bin for flying species, or you'll have a hilarious surprise every time you open it.  These bins don't have gaskets for perfect sealing, so I'd recommend a grease barrier for climbers.

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