smc85

How to start up a colony

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Dubia and red runners advice and tips and do they smell bad

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Likely anything will produce a smell if not taken care of properly. Make sure to monitor and clean the enclosures often enough so that is less likely to occur.

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I guess that would really depend on how many you are keeping. I'm in no way an expert and have yet to keep my first colony, but will be receiving some within the next couple weeks. So, I don't exactly know. But common sense wise..as with any animal someone wishes to keep..cleaning will vary upon the circumstances of the situation.

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Cleaning is more necessary in some species or circumstances than others, if you aren't keeping them on a substrate and have no cleaner crews, and they are not a species that eats their own dead, then you are gonna want to clean out any dead bodies that build up like once a month.

Now if you use a clean up crew, like springtails, isopods, or certain beetles, then they will usually do the work for you, but cleanup crew compatibility varies depending on what roaches you use them on, and what habitat you are planning on putting them in. Isopods and springtails for example only do well in enclosures that have a substrate and are kept moist, and large springtail species like Sinella curviseta can stress out and outcompete smaller roach species, like small Ectobiids for example.

For dubias and red runners I'd use lesser mealworm beetles, Alphitobius diaperinus, as a clean up crew, they do well in drier enclosures and do a decent job of eating dead roaches. Before you ask BTW, no, regular mealworms, Tenebrio molitor, will not work at all, only A.diaperinus. You do need to keep an eye out though, you should keep the numbers of the beetles from getting to high, when it looks like there are a ton of beetles in the enclosure, place some small, smooth sided deli cups in the enclosure, the beetles will fall in and be unable to climb out, you can then cull them out.

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Well I seen some videos that they are kept with no bedding and in tubs that's the set I I was going to use because they are going to be feeders for my T's

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I'm told I clean my dubias way too often.   I clean out the whole enclosure every 2 to 3 weeks as well as seporate the babies from my breeders.   Seeing babies drives me nuts to leave them!

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7 hours ago, smc85 said:

Well I seen some videos that they are kept with no bedding and in tubs that's the set I I was going to use because they are going to be feeders for my T's

Yeah most people keep them with no substrate, TBH I have no idea if they clean their containers or not, or how often they do so.

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I was curious because I heard of some people getting sick allergies I guess is it expensive to maintain them

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I keep both species. The dubias get vertical stacked egg crates, water crystals, and a myriad of food. Bananas, apples, bread, rabbit food, my own dubia feed mix. The red runners are in a shoe box at the moment with a piece of egg crate, same diet. I have 30 some egg casings but no nymphs yet.

I clean both colony containers out once a month and keep the frass in a container with egg crate to sort out nymphs and buffalo beetles that get left in the frass.
 

Edit:was going to link pictures but the file size is too big.

 

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3 minutes ago, smc85 said:

What's frass 

roach poop, dead skins, etc. Build up of junk waste items you dont want in your tank. 

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Here is how I raise thousands of Dubias. My invert room is around 80 degrees, but this setup I describe can be kept in a room at typical room temperature and still facilitate decent reproduction rates.

I use 30 gallon Sterilite Totes. I use 2 pieces of 1 x 4 about 10 inches long and screw one to the other on the top and bottom of the lid perpendicular to the length of the tote about 12" from the end of the tote. In the center of the 1 x 4s I drill a 1/4" hole for the light cord. I install a ceramic light fixture on the inside of the lid 1 x 4, wire it to a 6' extension cord with the plug cut off and use a 25w red incandescent bulb for additional heat. This also keeps excess moisture from building up. I cut 2 - 4" diameter holes with plastic cross stitch mesh hot glued to the lid on the end opposite the eggcrates between the light and end of the tote for ventilation. At the other end of the tote I put in egg crates vertically oriented.

I do not use water crystals ever. I use primarily organic carrots and rolled oats for food and moisture and put in new carrots every 2 or 3 days. I occasionally feed winter squash, oranges, plantain bananas and seasonally available root veggies for variety. I like to keep some dried oak leaves and a small piece of oak wood in the totes at all times. Raising Dubias is not rocket science and their care is overly complicated by most. I use no substrate and clean the totes every 6 months or so and pick up any uneaten food every time I feed. I like to feed them so they completely eat everything before I feed again, so more often than not there is nothing to clean out on feeding day.

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I used to keep a colony of dubias and a colony of the turks next to each other.  One day, my miniature pig made a jail break through the baby gate and got downstairs, and godzilla'd both colonies.  Figuring all was lost, I scooped up the few stragglers that survived the onslaught, tossed them all back into one of the bins with some fresh egg crate, and put them back on the heating pad.

I now have a thriving colony of both roaches in the same bin.  They survived the pig, and a fair amount of neglect on my part.  They get scraps of veggies, the intermittent jar lid of Repashy's Bug Burger, they love rice baby cereal, and bits of dog food.  I never use any polymer crystals for water since they make mold in the frass.  I use no substrate and clean out the bottom of the bin every few months.  I mist the sides of the bin for moisture a couple times a week, and there are zero ventilation holes in it.  They don't have any odor whatsoever.  I'm a terrible keeper to these particular critters, but they actually reproduced more slowly when I paid closer attention to them.

As far as feeder roaches for tarantulas: the dubias like to burrow in coconut bedding and the turks are obnoxiously fast.  Despite having this big combined colony, I still have to buy crickets for some of my pickier T's that are too slow to catch the turks and don't find the dubias before they disappear.  I have a 9" L. parahybana that is a gigantic baby about wrestling with the big dubia nymphs, so I have to pull the heads off, wait 5 minutes for the thing to realize it should start dying, and then tong feed her, where my P. regalis who's just shy of 8" tags them just fine (from tongs), while hanging upside down on the glass.

The slings love the turk pinheads which are infinitely easier to keep and raise than tiny crickets, but anoying to transfer from the bin.  My horrid assassin nymph loves them as well.  I've considered moving the turks' oothecae into separate containers for easier access to those teeny nymphs, but I figure when I try to complicate things is when I'll start having troubles!

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Thanks I will keep this in mind how expensive is it to take care of them

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Well there are 2 main factors for cost one is heating when keeping one colony or 2 heat pads are efficient but when you have like 20 Or more spieces in different bins it's cheaper to use a mini space heater to heat a room or closet. 

Food gets pricey carrot and apple are cheap for bigger colonys I use cantaloupe or watermelon. The best thing to do is dumpster dive then it's free I used to do that when I had more time.

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Yeah but isn't that bad for them couldn't you pass some kind of parasites to the animals you feed them to from grabbing it from the trash

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Not very likely people are wasteful and throw out fresh veggies all the time that maybe discolored or a lil moldy on one tiny spot. Its kinda a judgment call thing I wouldn't feed them just anything just the most choice trash lol 

I fed my dubia, orange head, and lateralis exclusively on trash for over a year and they did great.

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I will tell you will probably enjoy the roaches more than the tarantulas. I have 7 t's and the roaches give me more entertainment. I personally prefer hissers for t feeders. They do not burrow and since they climb they are easier to catch as nymphs. As far as cost  of feeding roaches, I compare it to the cost of feeding fish. Hardly noticeable. I buy a 2$ container of old fashioned oats at Walmart. It lasts a couple months or so. And that's to feed a colony of dubia, Eublaberus serranus, and Elliptorhina javanica. Toss in your kitchen fruit and veggie waste and buy a citrus fruit every so often ( no rind).

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The only thing I am worried about is getting sick from keeping them I had really bad asthma as a kid and allergies so yeah but I also weld as my career so hopefully it won't bother me

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I can tell you that if you are getting them in mail, open them up and place them in the Ben outside. I have done 4 unboxings and when I did it inside we all had allergic fits for the day. Runny nose and sneezing for the remainder of the evening. But since then nothing.

 

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On 2/13/2017 at 10:03 PM, Hisserdude said:

Cleaning is more necessary in some species or circumstances than others, if you aren't keeping them on a substrate and have no cleaner crews, and they are not a species that eats their own dead, then you are gonna want to clean out any dead bodies that build up like once a month.

Now if you use a clean up crew, like springtails, isopods, or certain beetles, then they will usually do the work for you, but cleanup crew compatibility varies depending on what roaches you use them on, and what habitat you are planning on putting them in. Isopods and springtails for example only do well in enclosures that have a substrate and are kept moist, and large springtail species like Sinella curviseta can stress out and outcompete smaller roach species, like small Ectobiids for example.

For dubias and red runners I'd use lesser mealworm beetles, Alphitobius diaperinus, as a clean up crew, they do well in drier enclosures and do a decent job of eating dead roaches. Before you ask BTW, no, regular mealworms, Tenebrio molitor, will not work at all, only A.diaperinus. You do need to keep an eye out though, you should keep the numbers of the beetles from getting to high, when it looks like there are a ton of beetles in the enclosure, place some small, smooth sided deli cups in the enclosure, the beetles will fall in and be unable to climb out, you can then cull them out.

I've been working towards teaching bearded dragon owners keeping their roaches with substrate and cleaner crews to help with lessening the "allergic" reactions.   

For red runners I haven't started substrate yet, do have lesser mealworms on hand.   Do you leave the egg cases where they fall?   I have about 14 egg cases so far and have been putting them in a deli cup with substrate to keep their humidity better.   

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36 minutes ago, KatsKreations said:

I've been working towards teaching bearded dragon owners keeping their roaches with substrate and cleaner crews to help with lessening the "allergic" reactions.   

For red runners I haven't started substrate yet, do have lesser mealworms on hand.   Do you leave the egg cases where they fall?   I have about 14 egg cases so far and have been putting them in a deli cup with substrate to keep their humidity better.   

See, you probably wouldn't want to keep lesser mealworms with red runners, as I'm sure they'd eat their oothecae. Beetles and isopods should only be kept with live bearers, as both can eat roach oothecae occasionally, springtails are OK for egg layers though, however I'm having a lot of trouble with Sinella curviseta, in certain cages (namely those of slow breeding/growing roach species), they are stressing out even my larger roaches... :unsure:

Yeah you are supposed to just leave the egg cases with the adult lats wherever they land, if they are well fed they shouldn't cannibalize the ooths.

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