Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
stanislas

Agar blocks with banana aroma as water source

7 posts in this topic

Does anyone else use agar gel instead of water crystals to water their roaches? 

This is what I do: I make a 1% agar gel. I mix the agar with water and boil it. Next I poor it into a plastic box and let it cool. After that I cut it in small blocks and put them in a container with water. 
To the water I add a very small amount of isoamyl acetate (an aroma that is natural in bananas) to attract the roaches. I add about one drop in 4 gallons of water. It gives the agar cubes just a feint smell of banana. 

I keep the agar cubes in the refrigerator. There I can keep them for months without any mold showing up. Also when I add them to the roach bins, it never molds. 

So for me this works very well. And I like the idea that agar is a natural substance in contrast to the water crystals. 

My Dipteretrum hanstroemi, Eupolyphaga sinensis and Archimandrita tesselata roaches readily eat it. The polyphaga species here rather neglect it. In the latter case, the cubes just dry and shrink. 

Anyone else? 

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a great way to keep them hydrated, and is probably a lot healthier than whatever is in those "water crystals". :)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

Sounds like a great way to keep them hydrated, and is probably a lot healthier than whatever is in those "water crystals". :)

Yeah... I'll have to... replace mine... <_<

I have a big packet of agar in my cupboard that I bought who knows how long ago for who knows what purpose. Could do worse with it than feed it to my roaches. They might have to do without the isoamyl acetate, though!

What about agar cubes with real fruit - chunks or liquidised - as a crude homemade version of those commercial beetle jellies? Would they mould too quickly to be a regular water source?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@WarrenBLikely it will mold after a while, depending how much sugar there is. Also keep in mind that if the pH is low due to the fruit, the agar solidifies less well. 
But of course, one can add a tiny bit of fruit to 'flavor' the gel. 
Let us know how it goes!  

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, WarrenB said:

What about agar cubes with real fruit - chunks or liquidised - as a crude homemade version of those commercial beetle jellies? Would they mould too quickly to be a regular water source?

You got me thinking about this... Next time I will make some agar cubes with plain water and instead of storing them in water with banana aroma, I'll store them in water with a bit of fruit juice. I'll see how that works. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2017-6-25 at 3:02 PM, stanislas said:

@WarrenBLikely it will mold after a while, depending how much sugar there is. Also keep in mind that if the pH is low due to the fruit, the agar solidifies less well. 
But of course, one can add a tiny bit of fruit to 'flavor' the gel. 
Let us know how it goes!  

Good point about the pH. I guess I'll switch my ideas to something other than orange. :)

 

I tried it with plain water first. The agar I have is long, uneven strands rather than powder, and the only measurement instruction is to throw the whole lot (40g) into 2240ml(?!) of water. So I played it by ear and threw a few fragments into a small amount of boiling water. Dificult to dissolve, and small pieces were still noticeable by the time I decided I was done. It might be because I used already-boiling water rather than bringing it to boil from cold.

Anyway, the water seemed suitably cloudy, so when it cooled a little I added water conditioner (although I'm beginning to wonder if that's a good idea anymore), poured it into a spare ice-cube tray, and put it into the fridge. A few hours later, it looked fine - solid but wobbly. But when I stuck a finger in one cell, it was more like 'watery slop' than 'neat cube'. The roaches won't mind, I expect (I only have a few at the moment, so no big swarm rushing the capful of slop...) but I obviously used too little agar, or messed it up in some other way! Next time I'll properly measure the correct proportion, and perhaps grind it up too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or perhaps have the agar soak for a few hours before boiling? Of boil it and reboil it a second time (in the microwave)? 
But there is agar and agar, at least I found that with one brand I need to add substantially more than the other. You mileage may vary...

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
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0