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Betta132

Need advice, contemplating Blaberus giganteus enclosure

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I'll be copy/pasting this to two other places, and will link them up here in case anyone wants to see any other suggestions I might get. 

https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/351136-considering-blaberus-giganteus-exhibit-need-background-advice.html#post3060760

http://arachnoboards.com/threads/cave-roach-enclosure-advice-needed-blaberus-giganteus.318477/

 

I have a 65 gallon aquarium standing empty except for a couple inches of water, and I think I want to make a giant cave roach habitat. But a really cool one- like the inside of a cave. I've been looking at pictures of their natural habitat, and they live in rainforest caves in Central America. I'm thinking of making a background that looks like fake rock, and providing light only from one smaller fixture, like the light is shining down through a hole in the ceiling. The substrate would be a nice, thick layer of coco fiber and hardwood leaves, and I'd put some wood in for them to chew on. 

My main concern is that the roaches will chew anything I use as a background. I don't want to use a cement background because it would be super heavy, and I don't want to work with clay, it's kind of a pain in large amounts. I'd thought about styrofoam with something over the top as sealant, but I'm worried the roaches would eat through the sealant and just start chewing. 

Who's kept these guys, and how do you keep them? Any sort of background?

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I have kept B. giganteus before, and the timing of this post is interesting. I submitted a PPQ-526 commercial biological supply permit application for this species, and it was just denied. To answer your questions, I never had them in a decorative cage as I got rid of my colony before it was ready to be displayed. When I kept them, I just had them in a bin with a couple inches of coconut coir substrate. I wonder, though, if you could make a background out of spray foam and then imbed sand or pebbles in it, so the roaches could not eat the foam. 

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You could use the spray foam, paint on black silicone and pack coco fiber on top. It works quite well with little to no shedding of the coco fiber. I've been keeping them for years, and I doubt they would chew into that. They're more interested in high-protein and high-sugar snacks. In fact, it might provide a nice area for the nymphs to molt into adults. 

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On 4/5/2019 at 10:19 PM, The Mantis Menagerie said:

I have kept B. giganteus before, and the timing of this post is interesting. I submitted a PPQ-526 commercial biological supply permit application for this species, and it was just denied. To answer your questions, I never had them in a decorative cage as I got rid of my colony before it was ready to be displayed. When I kept them, I just had them in a bin with a couple inches of coconut coir substrate. I wonder, though, if you could make a background out of spray foam and then imbed sand or pebbles in it, so the roaches could not eat the foam. 

The USDA no longer requires a permit for B. giganteus. Full list of permitted species.

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1 hour ago, Axolotl said:

The USDA no longer requires a permit for B. giganteus. Full list of permitted species.

Thank you for pointing that out, @Axolotl. I have since acquired a colony because of the deregulation. Also, since that post, I have also realized that a flat substrate would not work well long term. These things will breed out of control, and vertical surface area seems to be quite helpful. @Betta132, I know this is quite old, and you may have an enclosure already. If you do not, then would you be open to making the theme of the enclosure the inside of a hollowed-out tree? B. giganteus love cork bark. 

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I've since rearranged my living space and no longer have room for an enclosure that size, unfortunately, but that sounds like a great idea. I'll keep it in mind, because I definitely want to do a big setup like that someday! Just not any time particularly soon. 

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