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RaZias

Impermable alternatives to Egg Crates

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I am searching for alternatives to egg crates.

-------- The alternatives must:

1 - Be impermeable

2 - Increase the surface area (like the egg crate advantage compared to the wood log)

-------- There are 3 options:

1 - PVC tubes (scratched with iron sponge to make it climbable)

2 - Lego structures (for 38 euros you get 100 pieces)

3 - Bricks (...at least they have several holes)

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A nice way to impermeabilise an egg crate would be to glue sand to it.

Or glue any tip of small plastic peaces to it (like sequins).

The glue should withstand the water.

I am going to try sequins this week-end...I think it´s a beatiful idea since it allows a irregular terrain to roachs climb.

Sequins-christmas-01.jpg

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Disco Roaches... : )

You have to agree that it adds a sophisticated touch to the that primitive look of egg crates :P

Another alternative is a Paper Storage unit, this one is made of wood but there are plastic (and cheap) ones:

51zCPyZJS0L._SL1000_.jpg

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I use egg flats but hate them. They eventually break down and then I have to buy more. The problem is that I have never found an alternative to egg flats. Everything I have tried has not produced the large numbers of feeder roaches I need. There is something about 12 vertical egg flats placed together that can produce massive amounts of dubia, red runners or discs. But like I said...the egg crates break down. Good luck.

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Since I am at a reptile expo every month I have egg flats on tap : ) for display I wouldn't use them but for selling purposes...so easy to take out your flats shake...scoop up roaches ahhhh easy .

Sequins sound AWESOME! I must seeeee this! DISCOOOOO ROOOOACHHHH

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I think this is the solution, plastic paper shelves for bureau.

It´s just a question of putting them horizontal and scratch them with an iron sponge so the roaches might climb.

Or glue sequins to it :D .

When I will do it I will post a youtube video with the Bee Gees music Staying Alive B)

8666547180_dbb42df397_k.jpg

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I REALLY would like to find an alternative to buying egg flats all the time but I think the design is why they are so effective at producing such large, densely packed colonies. In my experience the cupped indention (that holds the egg) is the key and anything without it is not going to be as effective. I only say this because when my females give birth, I see large numbers of nymphs densely stacked on top of one another in these cupped indentions. I think plastic egg flats that have been sanded is your best bet. They will need to be sanded by hand with a finer grit sand paper so that the entire plastic egg flat is sanded on both sides. This will require some work up front, but in the end you can take them out and wash them off and will require less overall effort. This will also alleviate the annoying problem of having egg flats that are half eaten (and will not stand up), needing to always order more, buy more and always having to replace them. I am going to try this as I am sick of my egg flats in my feeder colonies. In all of my pet roach enclosures, I have replaced all of my egg flats with hollow heat treated limbs. It is working very good but my hissers are eating my high dollar cork bark. The colonies are not as dense but I don't need nor want densely packed pet roach colonies as I am not selling them. I am going to buy the red plastic ones here: http://www.uline.com/BL_1907/Egg-Filler-Flats

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The solution could be a Silicon Muffin Mold:

4690stacks.jpg

1469muffins.jpg

Or even metalic ones:

2052muffin_pans.jpg

Check it at:

http://www.fantes.com/stacks.html

http://www.fantes.com/muffins.html

The only problem is that they are not have "spacers" as the egg crates (the cupped zone will enter on the other one or they will create a closed cupped zone...just try to joint two of those and imagine the result).

The solution would have to add spacers so the cupped zones are turned face to face to another cupped zone without creating a closed zone.

The silicon structure needs a "wood frame" otherwise it will roll on it self, the metalic ones won´t have this problem.

The metalic structure must be sanded and surely will be more aseptic than the silicone one and won´t have smells.

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The colonies are not as dense but I don't need nor want densely packed pet roach colonies as I am not selling them. I am going to buy the red plastic ones here: http://www.uline.com...gg-Filler-Flats

I guess you are right. If you sand it you will have nice chances.

I will have to find similiar in europe (maybe in a UK site that sells to europe).

HD_1907_L.jpg

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Although the idea of non-degradable alternative is appealing, I will probably always use egg cartons. In my experience they provide more to the culture than just living space; beneficial soil fauna will grow on them and this keeps the colony healthy and odor free. If anybody else has seen very old egg cartons, you'll notice they're usually littered with holes and bite marks. The roaches will nibble on these when they're hungry or if a particularly tasty fungus pops up on them, which means they have something to eat when you haven't fed them. Altogether I feel they contribute a lot to a colony and the closing thing that I will ever switch to using that won't degrade as fast is plywood or various tree barks which have similar benefits but much longer "shelf lives".

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Although the idea of non-degradable alternative is appealing, I will probably always use egg cartons. In my experience they provide more to the culture than just living space; beneficial soil fauna will grow on them and this keeps the colony healthy and odor free. If anybody else has seen very old egg cartons, you'll notice they're usually littered with holes and bite marks. The roaches will nibble on these when they're hungry or if a particularly tasty fungus pops up on them, which means they have something to eat when you haven't fed them. Altogether I feel they contribute a lot to a colony and the closing thing that I will ever switch to using that won't degrade as fast is plywood or various tree barks which have similar benefits but much longer "shelf lives".

Good points, Zephyr. Would you be concerned about plywood as most is treated and all is sheets of wood that are glued together?

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Good points, Zephyr. Would you be concerned about plywood as most is treated and all is sheets of wood that are glued together?

I usually wash it off though I know this won't get rid of the chemicals "inherent" in the wood. Usually it gets swarmed by springtails and fungi when I add it to my containers and I'm sure this allows for dillution of anything toxic. I have also used particleboard with great success too and the advantage there is that it doesn't break apart as easily.

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I usually wash it off though I know this won't get rid of the chemicals "inherent" in the wood. Usually it gets swarmed by springtails and fungi when I add it to my containers and I'm sure this allows for dillution of anything toxic. I have also used particleboard with great success too and the advantage there is that it doesn't break apart as easily.

Good to know. I often have access to particle board. Thanks.

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Next week I will try to use plastic letter trays sanded with finer grit sand paper on both sides (I hope they arrive next week).

I will post photos in the near future.

I have found letter trays below 2 euros each on internet. In a street shop is like 11 euros each !

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Next week I will try to use plastic letter trays sanded with finer grit sand paper on both sides (I hope they arrive next week).

I will post photos in the near future.

I have found letter trays below 2 euros each on internet. In a street shop is like 11 euros each !

Yes, let us know.

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8729780050_fb14579b53_h.jpg

Top box: insignis, below it is the Portentosa/Princisia box and the other one below is the Javanica box.

The one that is at the base is a Millipede Gigas colony.

8729779202_32f905c8fb_h.jpg

The javanica box

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8728661377_b94ec82283_h.jpg

8729780342_63effe4fc6_h.jpg

8728661209_4a39c4f3d6_h.jpg

The letter trays are holded with tape.

No tape has an exposed gluing area so the roachs will not accidently get caught.

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Some conclusions about it:

I used plastic letter trays, I sanded it with a metalic brush (what a work !).

The plastic letter trays were cutted with a soldering iron.

Each letter tray has an "entrance" that I made with the soldering iron so a roach can go from a letter tray to another.

---------- A bad point:

I putted them vertical because when the roach is vertical on the wall it poops towards the ground.

That way in teory will create a distance between the poop and the roach

(I think that is the teory about putting the egg crates vertically and not horizontaly)

So what is the problem ? Well...even hard sanded plastic is hard to climb.

Only Insignis climb it well and small Princisia roaches.

Altough a small Princisia roach made it, it seams that it doesn´t do any more because it leads to nowhere (instead of a hidding zone like the cup section of an egg crate).

I think that if I glue a cork panel or a rubber panel it will be more easy to climb.

Why I didn´t used only cork panels ?

Well...they bend very easly and they are fragile, I think that the plastic will make a nice holding frame for it.

The vertical position reduces the area that a roach can move but it allows to create separated sections that males roachs can defend...an open horizontal territory would create to much conflit because it´s more hard to defend.

------------------- Improvements to make:

I am thinking on gluing a plastic horizontal structure between each letter tray so it will make a new floor.

The plastic structure will be a cutted letter tray (with a rion soldering).

The roaches will have a cork panel to help them climb.

I must test the roach ability to climb a cork panel before I implement it.

------------------ Alternative to cork panel

A nice alternative to a cork panel is a sound sponge, it can be glued to the plastic.

And it even has the same structure as an egg crate...but I wonder if it will resist less time than an egg crate...

Sound-Absorbing-Sponge.jpg

------------------ Plastic VS plywood:

Plastic is impermeable.

Plastic is more easy to cut (a soldering iron cuts it more easly than a saw cutts a plywood board).

A plastic letter tray is more cheaper than plywood.

But plywood is more easy to climb and it allows for a certain micro-fauna to grow (like the egg crates).

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