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Keith

Thin roaches either dying or bad eating habits.

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I dont know how to explain this health issue well, i've searched everywhere and cant find anything on this behavior it's puzzling me?

Occasionally if I order some B. Giganteus nymphs, one or two will either die or they wont eat very good but still manage to survive.

When I get the nymphs first sign I see they may be unhealthy is they are VERY thin. I know they come from tanks with hundreds of roaches so it makes me wonder.

1. I've had one healthy nymph that was skinny and ate fairly well, and within days of getting it I wake up and find it dead. No injury,no contact with poisons, not old age. Why did it die?

2. Then I get thin nymphs that wont eat in the tank I have all my roaches in, they wont bother to eat the food I put out they burrow under the substrate for weeks and never come out unless I move them. I know this because I have less than 12 roaches in the tank (their pets), so I can tell every single one apart, and every one is important to me and worth saving. To help them survive, I take one or two of the thin nymphs out once a week, put them in a small tank by themselves for about 2 hours with food, and leave them alone. When I come back I find them munching on the food I put in, and some will ONLY eat hamburger meat, nothing else, which is odd IMO. Is this related to inbreeding or disease or severe stress? Or are these roaches "genetically weak" and arent meant to survive?

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1. I would have to ask questions of the person who sold them to you. Most people with so many surplus have fat nymphs to sell off, not thin ones, if they are breeding them themselves. If they are reselling them for someone, then they might get thin by the time they get to you. How is the seller keeping them?

2. You also have to ask yourself "Should me own setup and feeding/watering habits be different?"....Mostly roaches are thriving or dying, and its almost always a husbandry issue.

3. How often do you handle them? What are the nymphs doing at 2 or 3 in the morning? "Burrowing around for weeks" is what nymphs do for a living, but at night *may* run around on the substrate surface, feeding and such, staying burrowed most of the day. This is what mine do and they are pretty fat. That and they really dont eat as much as you might think.

4. I would stay away from hamburger meat. They will eat other foods if you are patient with feeding them. Most roahces only eat it because it is dead and soft... the favorite condition of any food item.

5. Inbreeding is not an issue. Disease is possible- do you have other types of roaches with the same problem?

Stress is something that is within your control...could you be stressing them somehow? (Lots of light, movement in the cage by you, too dry/wet, too little air circulation, vibrations on the cage, too hot/cold, etc.)

** Requisite disclaimer: Just some thoughts based on what works for me. Methods can vary from one keeper to another. Not all roach keepers have the exact same housing situation and subtle difference in husbandry may or may not have any effect on the roaches themselves. It is up to the person keeping the roaches to make some judgement calls. Side effects can include nausea, cramping, tension, and diarrhea. Fever may or may not also be present with extreme frustration. Ask you doctor if roach keeping may be right for you....

I dont know how to explain this health issue well, i've searched everywhere and cant find anything on this behavior it's puzzling me?

Occasionally if I order some B. Giganteus nymphs, one or two will either die or they wont eat very good but still manage to survive.

When I get the nymphs first sign I see they may be unhealthy is they are VERY thin. I know they come from tanks with hundreds of roaches so it makes me wonder.

1. I've had one healthy nymph that was skinny and ate fairly well, and within days of getting it I wake up and find it dead. No injury,no contact with poisons, not old age. Why did it die?

2. Then I get thin nymphs that wont eat in the tank I have all my roaches in, they wont bother to eat the food I put out they burrow under the substrate for weeks and never come out unless I move them. I know this because I have less than 12 roaches in the tank (their pets), so I can tell every single one apart, and every one is important to me and worth saving. To help them survive, I take one or two of the thin nymphs out once a week, put them in a small tank by themselves for about 2 hours with food, and leave them alone. When I come back I find them munching on the food I put in, and some will ONLY eat hamburger meat, nothing else, which is odd IMO. Is this related to inbreeding or disease or severe stress? Or are these roaches "genetically weak" and arent meant to survive?

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I'll answer your questions.

1. I would have to ask questions of the person who sold them to you. Most people with so many surplus have fat nymphs to sell off, not thin ones, if they are breeding them themselves. If they are reselling them for someone, then they might get thin by the time they get to you. How is the seller keeping them?

1. Most of the nymphs I got were from the same seller and most were thin.

2. You also have to ask yourself "Should me own setup and feeding/watering habits be different?"....Mostly roaches are thriving or dying, and its almost always a husbandry issue.

2. All of my previously bought roaches are thriving, only the new batch are having health issues, so it's not the husbandry.

3. How often do you handle them? What are the nymphs doing at 2 or 3 in the morning? "Burrowing around for weeks" is what nymphs do for a living, but at night *may* run around on the substrate surface, feeding and such, staying burrowed most of the day. This is what mine do and they are pretty fat. That and they really dont eat as much as you might think.

3. I mabye handle them for a few minutes a week, if that. I check on them at night and early morning when the others are eating, and the thin roaches are not eating with them. They remain in the same area they burrowed and dont move.

4. I would stay away from hamburger meat. They will eat other foods if you are patient with feeding them. Most roahces only eat it because it is dead and soft... the favorite condition of any food item.

4. I have tried feeding them cat kibble,apples,bananas, and romaine lettuce, the thin roaches just wont touch it. My healthy roaches will eat anything I put in the tank and I will see nibble marks all on the food the next day. The only thing the thin roaches will eat is the meat, which is odd due to the fact my other roaches eat anything and I do nothing special just drop the food in for them.

5. Inbreeding is not an issue. Disease is possible- do you have other types of roaches with the same problem?

Stress is something that is within your control...could you be stressing them somehow? (Lots of light, movement in the cage by you, too dry/wet, too little air circulation, vibrations on the cage, too hot/cold, etc.)

5. Like I said my other roaches are healthy, only this new batch of roaches is having problems. If they were stressed than that would mean my other roaches would be too, and they cant be because their healthy and thriving. Some i've had for 2 years and still going!

Could my roaches be wild caught you think without me knowing?

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Sounds like a real stumper....

Chances are from what I can gather wild caught animals are preferred over anything.......

This problem may take some additional research......

...Also may sound harsh to people to get attached to anything alive, but if I have had anything in the past that seemed like it may be diseased, I burned it. I will sacrifice any few to preserve the health of the many others I have, so if a problem arises that I cannot resolve in short order, then the bugs and thier substrate get tossed into hot coals/flames and incinerated, then the bin sterilized to the best of my ability.

I also do this with any that die of old age, molts, and substrate I change out when it gets too full of frass...

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Well I change the substrate twice a year, and only having 12 roaches in a 20 gallon I dont have much of a mess problem or mold. As a matter of fact during the day they hide and if you look sometimes you wont see any of the roaches.

I'll keep what I have it's so little and for what I spent getting rid of them is a big waste of money.

I was just hoping the cause could be found so anyone else with the same problem can mabye prevent it from happening if it's disease, or from selling people ill roaches.

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Do you have another cage full of giganteus or are you comparing them to a different species? B.giganteus are the weakest Blaberus species out there and can't be expected to fare as well as other species under the same conditions. B.giganteus nymphs and adults are known to fall over dead now and then but generally it seems to be the fat ones.

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No I do have a few giganteus in a different cage. Why are they a "weak" species? What do you mean by weak?

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No I do have a few giganteus in a different cage. Why are they a "weak" species? What do you mean by weak?
They fall over dead with minor lapses in care and even for no reason at times.

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I think they do best if on a schedule, like if they were given maintenance the same day(s) of the week consistently. They seem to do better with some kind of consistency in what happens (arrival of food, water, etc).

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Small update.

I've been feeding the ill roaches more often than the healthy ones, and it seems to be doing some good. I have seen 2 now forage at night for food and eat on their own, enough that they are starting to get bigger. So i'll just have to see what happens.

I guess if you have a couple hundred roaches in a tank not all of them will get food to eat often, and most of these I find thin have injuries so that made it harder for them to get to the food. So they were hungry and weakened which would explain why they got so thin, they couldnt compete for food with the healthy roaches. And add stress of shipping and that may be why it took so long for them to actually forage for food on their own. So the ones that died may have been they were too weak to eat with all the stress and just dropped dead.

In my tank there is plenty of food everyday so they always have food to eat which is probably why the other thin roaches are still alive and didnt starve to death and will probably make it.

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I guess if you have a couple hundred roaches in a tank ....

I would suggest dividing into two colonies if your situation is overcrowding.... ;)

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I've solved the thin problem with my B. giganetus.

Using an edible substrate, like my ripped up oak leaves, keeps them with an endless supply of food if their main food runs out before I have a chance to refill it. :D

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