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The Mantis Menagerie

A Cryptocercus Question for the Experts

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I just posted photos of some of my newly collected Cryptocercus wrighti roaches. Before collecting them, I read a guide put together by Roach Crossing that said they can be reared on cellulose powder and was planning to use that. I realized, though, that coconut fiber is primarily cellulose. It resists mold, which might be beneficial, unless it makes it harder for the roaches' symbiotic microbes to digest the material. It seems likely that someone has already tried it, but could sterilized coconut fiber be an inexpensive medium for rearing hooded roaches? Another idea I had was using Traeger oak pellets. The guide said that failure may come from microorganisms in wild-collected wood out-competing the roaches, but the pellets should be sterile. It might even be worth trying the fermented flake soil used for beetle larvae. Do any of these ideas sound like good sources of cellulose for the roaches, or should I stick to the powder?

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7 hours ago, Allpet Roaches said:

I suggest sticking with the rotten wood.

The guide said that the unpredictability of rotten wood could be the problem with maintaining these colonies. 

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Coconut fiber has pretty much no nutritional value, and I doubt Cryptocercus would eat it. Additionally I'm pretty sure others have tried Kyle's cellulose powder method, and the Cryptocercus still died... Also I'm pretty sure Kyle's Cryptocercus died off as well, but I can't be sure, after all he's basically dropped out of the hobby. 

I'd probably stick with the rotten wood, honestly I think these things need whole logs to bore into, undisturbed by us humans... They are very, very finicky little things, and require steady, cool temperatures to prevent overheating of their gut bacteria. I also personally think they may require a diapause during the winter, don't think anyone's ever given theirs one. 

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5 hours ago, The Mantis Menagerie said:

The guide said that the unpredictability of rotten wood could be the problem with maintaining these colonies. 

Did the guide tell you it will take 5 years?

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1 hour ago, Allpet Roaches said:

Did the guide tell you it will take 5 years?

No, but I read one of your posts about that from a few years. I am not too worried about how long it takes, except the care must be nearly perfect or else my colony will take years to recover. 

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