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Keith

Woods chips important for certain species

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I used to keep dubia in egg crates long ago, but even with a good diet they never thrived.

I switched to repti bark as substrate and have real wood decor in the tank along with giving rotting tree bark and old leaves.

I notice after the roaches eat food they ingest bark, it happens daily and I always see a small dark area underneath the abdomen, I assume bacteria to digest the wood. Anyway, my roaches are healthy and thriving so I would say wood/bark is essential if you want healthy stock.

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I was thinking about switching to either repti bark or orchid bark from the plant nursery ... Did your roaches nibble on this type of wood ? I was looking at the mulch at lowes and other big box chains but it's cypress and pine so I declined.....

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I use repti bark and they munch on it a little. That's why I give them rotting oak leaves and bark from outside too because repti bark lost most nutrients found in stuff outside.

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I'm very glad to hear Keith's roaches are healthy.

I have an interesting scary story from a few years back.

I was raising Blabberous Disorderous roaches a rare species from South America. They're big, beautiful, light brown colored. I gave them wood chips to play in.

The scary part is that after a while I started getting some larder beetle larvae invaders in their tank. My friend who gave me the roaches told me the beetles where no harm to them and that the roaches might eat some of the eggs. However, one day I found two of my adult roaches decapitated!! So I moved all my roaches to another tank, no more wood chips in the new home, and let the beetles go. Problem solved. Can't be sure if the beetles caused the decapitations or if the 2 roaches were just fighting. Anyway, my point i guess is unless your species needs the chips as Keith's does, try to avoid using them.

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I'm very glad to hear Keith's roaches are healthy.

I have an interesting scary story from a few years back.

I was raising Blabberous Disorderous roaches a rare species from South America. They're big, beautiful, light brown colored. I gave them wood chips to play in.

The scary part is that after a while I started getting some larder beetle larvae invaders in their tank. My friend who gave me the roaches told me the beetles where no harm to them and that the roaches might eat some of the eggs. However, one day I found two of my adult roaches decapitated!! So I moved all my roaches to another tank, no more wood chips in the new home, and let the beetles go. Problem solved. Can't be sure if the beetles caused the decapitations or if the 2 roaches were just fighting. Anyway, my point i guess is unless your species needs the chips as Keith's does, try to avoid using them.

It's impossible you had beetles from the wood chips as the larvae need animal matter to survive in dry bags of wood Chips they would die.

These are sometimes found in roach colonies, even eggs, and all it takes is to order from someone who had them mixed in the colony and bam you'll start to see them in your roach colony. You probably already had them mixed in when your friend gave you them, the eggs probably hatched and then as they ate roach food grew and you suddenly noticed them, making it seem like it was substrate when infact tiny beetle larvae and eggs were already there.

They will eat dead roaches and the food you feed roaches, I had them once and they never killed any roaches they did eat the shed skins or a dead roach. But mine came from an infested colony I was sent. I seperated the roaches, scrubbed the tank with hot water, and added new substrate and never saw another beetle again.

I know you probably had no idea where they came from and that's why you assumed the substrate but I had to inform you it wasn't the substrate. Cricket colonies also have been know to get infested with larder beetles.

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Hi Keith,

Thanks for all the information. Sounds like your more versed in exotic species care than I am.

Right now, I only have German roaches which are easier to care for and the only invaders I've had in 2 years are ants.

Thanks again and good luck with yours.

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just started using organic mulch mixed the dark and light woods,from there adding in eco earth and a few types of moss

for decoration broke up cork bark,and found a tree that was chopped down and used some of that.in the process of making leaf litter

for our dubia and laterils we just use egg crates never had a problem with those species. found with orangeheads,deathshead,and peppered the wings would get damaged and its alot harder to keep the humidity high with egg crates

just took a bunch of videos today I would upload them but no idea how too.

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just started using organic mulch mixed the dark and light woods,from there adding in eco earth and a few types of moss

for decoration broke up cork bark,and found a tree that was chopped down and used some of that.in the process of making leaf litter

for our dubia and laterils we just use egg crates never had a problem with those species. found with orangeheads,deathshead,and peppered the wings would get damaged and its alot harder to keep the humidity high with egg crates

just took a bunch of videos today I would upload them but no idea how too.

Sounds like you did a great job putting together your substrate, your right the egg crates don't hold humidity too wel.

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