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aoikirin

My millipedes won't burrow

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I have two American giant pedes in a creature keeper about one foot long by six inches tall.  Their substrate is coconut fiber that I keep moist by misting their enclosure twice daily.  I incorporated dead oak leaves on top as well as mixed into the coconut fiber.  They have a small heater.  

 

They will not burrow but stay at the surface ! When I say that don't burrow I mean like ever.  

 

I have tried experiments where I bury them half way down the substrate but they always come to the surface and remain there.

 

By the way the substrate is about five inches deep.  

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Perhaps that's because they have no rotten wood to feed on, and are thus looking around for food.

Most millipedes require a substrate that is mainly composed of crushed rotten hardwood, dead leaves, and maybe some compost too. The bottom couple inches can just be coconut fiber to increase overall substrate depth, but the top few inches should be edible substrate. Without rotten wood, your pedes will starve, supplemental food like fruits and such aren't enough.

If you can't find rotten wood yourself, I'd suggest buying some pre-made millipede substrate here. :)

EDIT: Actually a more pressing matter that could be making them restless is that heater, native US millipedes should be kept in the high 60s to mid 70s, no warmer, or else they can overheat. The heat may also be causing them to wander around the cage restlessly in an attempt to find a cooler area. 

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Thank you for the quick reply.  

 

Ok so I unplugged the heater.  That should make them take the plunge? It was on one side of their enclosure by the way not on the bottom.

 

So the dead oak leaves on top and interspersed throughout the substrate isn't food enough for them ? I thought they ate that no?

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2 hours ago, aoikirin said:

Thank you for the quick reply.  

Ok so I unplugged the heater.  That should make them take the plunge? It was on one side of their enclosure by the way not on the bottom.

So the dead oak leaves on top and interspersed throughout the substrate isn't food enough for them ? I thought they ate that no?

Unplugging the heater will help, but yeah they will still starve to death eventually without rotten wood, (albeit slowly, poor husbandry conditions can sometimes take months to actually kill your millipedes, thus making it seem like all is good, until they finally drop dead). 

Dead leaves are also an important part of their diet, yes, but rotten wood is also just as important, if not more so.

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2 minutes ago, aoikirin said:

Ok I will order some of that substrate thank you.

No problem, happy to help! :) Hope your millipedes do well for you!

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