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Jimbobtom

Phasmids kept bioactively???

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I keep gigantea (green bean stick), was wondering if I could keep them with substrate to take care of the poop. Only thing is I want to hatch the eggs, would the eggs be fine in the substrate? Would springtails eat the eggs? I'd be hesitant to use isopods or anything else because they tend to eat eggs.

 

Anyone have any thoughts on this??? I've been searching for it everywhere, but mainly see people using paper towels.

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I've kept phasmids (Neohirasea maerens) in a bioactive setup with isopods (just a common woodlouse species I picked up from the local woods, I am not sure of species) and they were fine, as far as I'm aware the isopods didn't eat the phasmid eggs and the substrate was certainly kept cleaner.

However I went back to using kitchen roll in the end for the simple reason that having a bioactive substrate makes it difficult to collect the eggs. I just left them where they were, in the end way too many of the eggs hatched and I ended up with far too many sticks (over 450!). I think some who use bioactive setups freeze the substrate periodically to ensure that not all the eggs hatch but unless you're prepared to sift through to pick out all the woodlice first then they get frozen too, and I wasn't prepared to kill them just for the sake of controlling the stick insect population. 

So now almost all of my phasmids are kept on kitchen roll and for those which just drop their eggs to the ground (most species) it makes it far easier to collect the eggs and freeze them early on (when I don't have such a bad conscience about it!) which means I can keep the population under control better.

The one exception is that I have a small number of Dares phillippinensis nymphs which need high humidity and which are reckoned to do much better on damp coir or similar (with or without isopods / springtails) than kitchen paper. I don't currently have any woodlice or springtails in the cage and intend to change the substrate fairly regularly so it doesn't get fouled up. The main reason I'm happy with this setup is they are very slow growing and only lay eggs very slowly which means I can move them to another container and sift out the eggs relatively easily (or I hope so - none of them are yet mature!).

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4 hours ago, BlattaAnglicana said:

I've kept phasmids (Neohirasea maerens) in a bioactive setup with isopods (just a common woodlouse species I picked up from the local woods, I am not sure of species) and they were fine, as far as I'm aware the isopods didn't eat the phasmid eggs and the substrate was certainly kept cleaner.

However I went back to using kitchen roll in the end for the simple reason that having a bioactive substrate makes it difficult to collect the eggs. I just left them where they were, in the end way too many of the eggs hatched and I ended up with far too many sticks (over 450!). I think some who use bioactive setups freeze the substrate periodically to ensure that not all the eggs hatch but unless you're prepared to sift through to pick out all the woodlice first then they get frozen too, and I wasn't prepared to kill them just for the sake of controlling the stick insect population. 

So now almost all of my phasmids are kept on kitchen roll and for those which just drop their eggs to the ground (most species) it makes it far easier to collect the eggs and freeze them early on (when I don't have such a bad conscience about it!) which means I can keep the population under control better.

The one exception is that I have a small number of Dares phillippinensis nymphs which need high humidity and which are reckoned to do much better on damp coir or similar (with or without isopods / springtails) than kitchen paper. I don't currently have any woodlice or springtails in the cage and intend to change the substrate fairly regularly so it doesn't get fouled up. The main reason I'm happy with this setup is they are very slow growing and only lay eggs very slowly which means I can move them to another container and sift out the eggs relatively easily (or I hope so - none of them are yet mature!).

Thank you so much! That eases my mind. I was hoping the eggs could hatch out of the substrate even when misted daily(D gigantea enjoy a lot of water and they drop eggs to the ground from what I've read). Maybe some other isopods are fine with the eggs, I don't trust the giant canyons isos I use in most of my bio set ups. Never witnessed them gnaw at any live inverts/animals, but will eat eggs. They ate up my cham's infertile eggs and were eating my snail eggs for a good 9 months before i caught on lol. I think springtails should be fine though. I have no problem with the sticks all hatching in my enclosure, it's pretty large and I've heard the D gigantea benefit from being with the adults in order to learn to eat. I have chameleons to thin the population as well. 

 

Maybe I'll collect some eggs and hatch them separately on paper towel and then add substrate and see how the hatch rates compare.

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Springtails won't bother eggs of pretty much any invertebrate, however several isopod species have been known to eat roach ooths, I wouldn't put it past them to eat Phasmid eggs if they get the opportunity. 

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Thank you, I'll give it a try then and go with springtails(probably no other safe cuc out there huh?). I definitely do not trust the isopods lol, those things are ravenous, at least the species I keep. Never witnessed them attack/bite anything living, but I see them clean up dead feeders and chameleon poop within hours. Been worrying about having them in with my small roach nymphs even.

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3 hours ago, Jimbobtom said:

Thank you, I'll give it a try then and go with springtails(probably no other safe cuc out there huh?). I definitely do not trust the isopods lol, those things are ravenous, at least the species I keep. Never witnessed them attack/bite anything living, but I see them clean up dead feeders and chameleon poop within hours. Been worrying about having them in with my small roach nymphs even.

Yeah, springtails are definitely the safest, everything else can be pretty iffy. Isopods will stress out and outcompete some roach species, so definitely keep an eye on any roach colonies with isopods in them too! 

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On 12/27/2018 at 3:09 AM, Hisserdude said:

Yeah, springtails are definitely the safest, everything else can be pretty iffy. Isopods will stress out and outcompete some roach species, so definitely keep an eye on any roach colonies with isopods in them too! 

Hmm wondering if that's what has caused me some problems with several of my roach species. Nothing terrible, just slow to reproduce and low population. I just attributed that to the species though. Only roaches I ever had die out completely were 3 adult peppered roaches which remains a mystery.

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6 hours ago, Jimbobtom said:

Hmm wondering if that's what has caused me some problems with several of my roach species. Nothing terrible, just slow to reproduce and low population. I just attributed that to the species though. Only roaches I ever had die out completely were 3 adult peppered roaches which remains a mystery.

Could be that the isopods are competing with your roaches for food, causing slower growth and breeding, possibly eating ooths, etc., could also just be that you are working with slow growing roaches though. I'd keep an eye on those colonies, and closely monitor the isopod to roach ratio...

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12 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

Could be that the isopods are competing with your roaches for food, causing slower growth and breeding, possibly eating ooths, etc., could also just be that you are working with slow growing roaches though. I'd keep an eye on those colonies, and closely monitor the isopod to roach ratio...

I might go through and remove a large chunk of the isos in each bin. It'll be impossible to remove them all. I haven't ever noticed isopods biting live roaches, and I dont have any ooth species. I could see them overpopulating and causing some stress though. I usually leave plenty of carrots, leaves, and other food in the bins so everything has a chance for food though.

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1 hour ago, Jimbobtom said:

I might go through and remove a large chunk of the isos in each bin. It'll be impossible to remove them all. I haven't ever noticed isopods biting live roaches, and I dont have any ooth species. I could see them overpopulating and causing some stress though. I usually leave plenty of carrots, leaves, and other food in the bins so everything has a chance for food though.

Good idea, and technically you could just move all the roaches to an isopod free enclosure, if you wanted them gone completely. ;) You might just have some slow breeding roaches though, many live bearers are!

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Not a bad idea. I get lazy on my projects in the winter though. When it warms up I'll probably change some stuff around. 

 

The ones I noticed that are very slow in particular 

Giant banana roaches

Yellow porcelains

Halloween hissers 

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58 minutes ago, Jimbobtom said:

Not a bad idea. I get lazy on my projects in the winter though. When it warms up I'll probably change some stuff around. 

 

The ones I noticed that are very slow in particular 

Giant banana roaches

Yellow porcelains

Halloween hissers 

Hmm, those Panchlora should be pretty fast growing and breeding, they typically only breed slowly when stressed out IME... Panchlora is a very fragile genus, and I'd never recommend any cleaner crews for them besides springtails. 

Gyna lurida take a while to build up in numbers in my experience, despite having huge litters, and E.javanica can both be picky about breeding conditions, and be slow breeding even in a good setup, so I don't think the isopods are the main contributors to their slow colony growth, (depends on just how many are in there though, what species of isopod, etc...). 

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On 12/29/2018 at 11:42 PM, Hisserdude said:

Hmm, those Panchlora should be pretty fast growing and breeding, they typically only breed slowly when stressed out IME... Panchlora is a very fragile genus, and I'd never recommend any cleaner crews for them besides springtails. 

Gyna lurida take a while to build up in numbers in my experience, despite having huge litters, and E.javanica can both be picky about breeding conditions, and be slow breeding even in a good setup, so I don't think the isopods are the main contributors to their slow colony growth, (depends on just how many are in there though, what species of isopod, etc...). 

Thanks for all of your responses. I went through my bins to get a better look. Seems like it's not as bad as I thought. Still finding the roaches, they may just be slow to grow/reproduce and I'm expecting more than i should. They're in pretty large bins relative to their sizes as well. There is tons of isopods(porcellio dilatatus), but with all the space/substrate hopefully they don't bother the roaches too much. When it warms up I might redo a bunch of my bins and clear out some isopods. Would be really cool to have a thriving colony of giant banana roaches.

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1 hour ago, Jimbobtom said:

Thanks for all of your responses. I went through my bins to get a better look. Seems like it's not as bad as I thought. Still finding the roaches, they may just be slow to grow/reproduce and I'm expecting more than i should. They're in pretty large bins relative to their sizes as well. There is tons of isopods(porcellio dilatatus), but with all the space/substrate hopefully they don't bother the roaches too much. When it warms up I might redo a bunch of my bins and clear out some isopods. Would be really cool to have a thriving colony of giant banana roaches.

Well hopefully that's the case, maybe come Spring they'll start growing and breeding faster for you! :) I'd just be sure to keep the isopod population in your Panchlora cage relatively small, as not only are they not needed in a Panchlora enclosure, but over time they may cause some harm to them. 

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8 minutes ago, Hisserdude said:

Well hopefully that's the case, maybe come Spring they'll start growing and breeding faster for you! :) I'd just be sure to keep the isopod population in your Panchlora cage relatively small, as not only are they not needed in a Panchlora enclosure, but over time they may cause some harm to them. 

Good point. my regular panchlora are thriving alongside surinams, but the giants are iffy atm. Definitely nymphs running around, but the adults don't seem to live that long and don't seem all that different in size compared to the regulars. Originally I put a cuc in all of my bins, not thinking the isopods would cause any issue. Now that they're there I'm not sure how to remove all of the roaches or isopods lol. Its several inches of substrate in bins about 1ftx2ft or so. Got cork bark too and I try to top off with leaf litter every once and awhile.

 

Sorry I've gone way off subject with this thread lol

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20 hours ago, Jimbobtom said:

Good point. my regular panchlora are thriving alongside surinams, but the giants are iffy atm. Definitely nymphs running around, but the adults don't seem to live that long and don't seem all that different in size compared to the regulars. Originally I put a cuc in all of my bins, not thinking the isopods would cause any issue. Now that they're there I'm not sure how to remove all of the roaches or isopods lol. Its several inches of substrate in bins about 1ftx2ft or so. Got cork bark too and I try to top off with leaf litter every once and awhile.

Sorry I've gone way off subject with this thread lol

Well good luck man, hopefully those giant Panchlora will start exploding for you soon! :) Perhaps just try offering less leaf litter, I don't think Panchlora nymphs absolutely need it, but most isopods breed much less without them. 

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6 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

Well good luck man, hopefully those giant Panchlora will start exploding for you soon! :) Perhaps just try offering less leaf litter, I don't think Panchlora nymphs absolutely need it, but most isopods breed much less without them. 

Will do. Thank you again for the input. Always good to hear what others have to say here.

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3 hours ago, Jimbobtom said:

Will do. Thank you again for the input. Always good to hear what others have to say here.

No problem, happy to help! :)

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