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Everything posted by Betta132

  1. Cypress repels insects, definitely don't use it. It's too coarse, anyway. Without knowing exactly what roaches you're getting, I'd recommend coco fiber. It's made from shredded coconut shells, and it's very soft, fine-grained, and good for a wide variety of burrowing insects. If you don't have it when your roaches come in, just give them some crumpled, lightly damp paper towels to hide under, that'll hold them over.
  2. That's about what I was picturing. Sandy soil with more organic matter than straight sand, leaf litter piled into crevices, fairly hot and dry but not terribly so. We have that sort of environment in Texas, and a lot of bugs seem to do really well in it. Oh, I like the look of those guys, especially the Adesmia. Do they need a rotting piece of wood, or just a piece that's kept damp? Also, where would I potentially get some? What about desert millipedes? I don't think I'd be able to breed them, but they live a long time, so that's OK.
  3. They're absolutely gorgeous! Is their care any different/more difficult than the other Gyna?
  4. Oh, yeah, that stuff should be fine. I'm not sure about it as a solid substrate, I think it would be a bit difficult for larger ones to wriggle through without getting tangled, but a few dampened handfuls mixed into the substrate would help keep things nice and moist. Do NOT use peat. I'm not sure why, but it'll kill roaches if used as a substrate. I have my peppereds in coco fiber with pecan leaves over the top, and there's only two of them so far, but they seem to be doing well. It works great for my domino roach nymphs, too, they love it. They can burrow without problems, the coco fiber holds moisture well, and it looks natural. Probably cheaper than that much sphagnum, too.
  5. Sphagnum moss likes to be really damp and have very bright light over it, and it's a bog material. I don't think it'd fit the appearance, and I don't think its needs are compatible with those of the roaches. Check your local pet shop for cork rounds, sometimes you can get what look like hollow stumps of cork bark.
  6. I'm thinking of turning my current domino+peppered roach setup into a peppered-only setup and moving the dominoes to an enclosure set up to resemble their native habitat. Can't find any pics of wild domino roaches, but, seeing as how one of their common names is "desert roach" and I know they live in India, I think I have a decent idea of where they live. I have them in coco fiber with pecan leaves right now, and they seem to be doing well. My idea for the setup would be to take the existing substrate out, sift it to remove as many nymphs as possible, then gently mix some coarse sand in- mostly for appearances. All the substrate and leaves currently in the setup would be transferred over to make sure I didn't miss any nymphs. Coco fiber with a bit of sand, pecan leaves over the top, desert wood for climbing, goat skull for hiding/chewing, kept lightly wet on one side of the enclosure and moderately dry everywhere else. They'd get a constant supply of cat food and hardwood leaves, and fruit of one variety or another now and then. The tank would get semi-indirect light from a lamp. Any suggestions for species that would do well in a similar environment? The dominoes are the main priority, so nothing that might eat the eggcases. I'd also like something that would eat the same food, or at least something that wouldn't have to be provided with fresh food daily- I prefer pets where you can put food in a couple times a week and it lasts. I'd also really like it to be able to breed and maintain its population. Bonus points if it can be taken out and handled to show off to people. Maybe there's a suitable millipede species, or some variety of beetle? I like darkling beetles, but I'm worried about the larvae attacking eggcases or domino nymphs.
  7. So... I thought there were three, maybe five invasive nymphs in there. Today I took the goat skull out and shook it over a bucket, and no fewer than seven American nymphs fell out. Caught those, put them in a container, shook the skull again, and more came out. 20 minutes of shaking and a small amount of poured water later, I had 30 roach nymphs in my container, ranging from tiny newborns to ones almost an inch long. Shook the skull until roaches stopped coming out, then did the same with the driftwood, then removed the leaves and caught every roach that had nowhere to hide. Total was 47 roaches, and a few that got away. Turns out they've been coming in a hole in the back of the lid, into the filter compartment of the aquarium, and then into the main enclosure. I've put a Vaseline barrier along the inside of the filter compartment, just on the enclosure side, so any remaining ones can get out and not starve but won't get in with the roaches I do want. Gonna put a bottle funnel trap in there tomorrow and try to catch the last few, but at least I've thinned 'em out.
  8. Yep, overnight was enough! Such a calm roach, very easy to handle. He did nibble on my hand at one point to see if I might be food, but he stopped when I tapped him, and he didn't try to jump or fly away at any point. Only darted around to hang out underneath my hand at one point when something startled him.
  9. Are you certain they didn't escape? If I were you, I'd try and find more. Love the textured back on the females! They look almost like they have little crocodile scales.
  10. You could try uploading it to a photo hosting site like Imgur and posting the link here. Not optimal, but it'll work. Does it look like the nymphs of any of your species?
  11. I've had my first A. tesselata adult show up today, and he seems to be in good health. I'm wondering how long it takes these guys to harden up completely, though. Overnight or longer? Here he is, newly molted. He's hanging on the sandstone background, and that's a petroleum jelly "no domino roach escapes allowed" barrier right above him. Threeish hours later, he was moving around and had crawled onto a magnolia leaf, so I picked the leaf and his exoskeleton up for this pic. He then proceeded to demonstrate their calm nature by crawling onto my hands and wandering around. I've put him back in the tank with some blueberries, and he's currently nestled down into the leaf litter.
  12. You could probably just collect some dirt from a pesticide-free area and bake it to sterilize it, then use that as substrate. Please disregard, I saw that this was the top post in the forum and thought it must be new.
  13. Why specifically oak leaves? Is it the tannins in them that are good for roaches? I'll keep in mind to not open anything after dusk, I don't want roaches all over my room. Pothos is toxic to cats and dogs, and I'm not sure about roaches, so I don't think I want to put one in. Might use a ficus or an ivy, though, or maybe a fern? I'm sure I could figure something out that would work in there. Are banana roaches compatible? Every now and then, I find a banana roach in my room, and I'd like to have somewhere to put them and watch them. They're not native to Texas, but I guess there's a colony living somewhere nearby.
  14. Don't get an exo-terra. I can guarantee that any female hissing roaches you get, unless you get them as nymphs, are already pregnant, and the babies will squeeze out the gaps around the door. Use something that opens from the top, then put a 3" tall, thin layer of petroleum jelly around the top of the bin, that way they won't be able to climb out. I'd suggest a small glass aquarium with a non-airtight lid, since plastic isn't safe with the heaters you want to use. Should be able to get one very cheaply on Craigslist. Either heater is fine, but stick it to the side of the enclosure so there's a cooler area on the other side. You don't need a water conditioner, small amounts of tap water are fine. If you're really worried, you can use bottled water, it won't take much. A thermometer is good. Just go to a pet store and pick up one of the floating sticks meant for aquarium use, they should work fine. Same for a humidifier, anything cheap is fine, it doesn't need to be terribly precise. Either substrate is fine. I personally wouldn't use the plastic plants, it's not really needed, sticks and cork bark are fine. It's your choice, though, the roaches really won't care about it as long as they have cover. You could put doll furniture in there and they'd use it to hide in. The curtain isn't crazy, most people keep hissers in relatively dim places. The cats and dogs aren't actually a concern near the roaches as long as they're well-behaved enough to not try and get into the enclosure. The roaches probably wouldn't notice an animal outside.
  15. I absolutely love the look of Gyna caffrorum, and I think I'd like to try keeping a colony of them. They don't seem difficult to keep, but I'm trying to figure out how to balance appearance and practicality, especially as far as preventing escapes. I'd like to put them in an Exo Terra, hoping to snag one after Christmas since people are upgrading, but I'm not sure if they'd squeeze out the gaps around the doors. Has anyone tried keeping them in a similar enclosure? I'd like something good for display. Also, how do I keep them from flying at my face? Just kinda wave around the enclosure before opening it, scare them into hiding so they don't fly out? And if they do get out, how hard are they to get back? I have some good nets. Roughly how large of an enclosure do I need for a decent colony? I'm hoping to have a group large enough to have an adult or two out at all times when the light is dim. They're so pretty! Do they need oak leaves in particular, or will any hardwood leaves work? Is food and misting a reliable way to lure them out to show to guests? What habitat do they inhabit in the wild? Generic forest floor? Trying to figure out how to make their enclosure look roughly accurate. My plan as of right now is to set them up with a soft mixed substrate, probably coco fiber (the fine-fiber stuff) with something larger mixed in for bulk, and then give them leaf litter over the top and plenty of branches to climb. I'll keep half the substrate moist and let the other half more or less dry out, and put something around the enclosure to keep the light dim. They'll get cat food and some occasional chunks of whatever fruit is on hand, and will have a steady supply of pecan leaf litter and maybe the occasional crushed pecan. The goal is to have a display enclosure, with them hopefully breeding fast enough to sell/trade a small batch now and then.
  16. Well, he's doing it again, running around all over the place and climbing up onto high things. The newer, smaller male is asleep in a hiding spot, but the older one is running around trying to climb everything. I wonder if this one is maybe just weird? I'd think if something was wrong, it would be upsetting the other, and this doesn't look like a panicked run. Too much antenna waving.
  17. I have my domino roaches (burrowing nymphs) in a substrate that's about 50/50 coco chunks to fiber, with a handful of leaves mixed in. They seem to be doing well so far. I've also learned that burying magnolia leaves about half an inch under the substrate will retain a pocket of moisture underneath, if that's useful to you.
  18. I do kinda like American roaches, but the container I have my roaches in isn't American-escape-proof, and I'm worried they'll outcompete my others if/when they start multiplying. Probably gonna try a funnel trap with some fruit inside, that ought to do the trick. Maybe not all at once, but it should catch 'em over time. I'll just chuck them outside when I catch them. EDIT: I've just seen my two adult male dominoes interacting with about a half-inch American nymph over some food. They didn't seem too pleased by the nymph and did their little intimidation-hops, but ignored it once it was a couple inches away from them. Kind of funny to watch, two little spotty bugs trying to intimidate another bug by hopping.
  19. There are American roach nymphs (I think) in my domino roach enclosure, and I want them out, but I don't want to risk hurting the dominoes. Anyone have any ideas on how I could build a live trap to put in? I figure I could just set it in, then sort the roaches inside and put the ones I want back. Maybe something like a pitfall made of a water bottle, baited with fruit?
  20. You mean 300 dominoes, right? Because that seems like a huge number even for them, and I'm pretty sure 300 A. tesselata would fill a 10g with solid roaches. Does anyone know where in the substrate both nymphs tend to hang out? I haven't gone digging around too much, but the dominoes seem to stay just under the leaf litter, they don't go down very far unless frightened. Not sure about the peppereds, they vanished when I put them in and haven't come out. Good news: the dominoes don't seem to mind the light! Some testing is still to be done, but these guys are really chill.
  21. Would there be any particular way to tell if they were causing trouble? I'm assuming it would be really hard to tell, what with them all being under the substrate. Your concern definitely seems like something to have in mind, since even these nymphs are larger than the adults. Not sure how to tell how active the nymphs are under the substrate. With that in mind, can I keep a colony of A. tesselata in a 10 gallon tank? Maybe even a vertical setup? Not sure what the best shape would be for tesselata or if they'd have enough room in there.
  22. Great to know, thanks. I'll leave a dry patch in the substrate just in case, but I think I'll keep things slightly wetter for the A. tesselata. They're such lovely roaches, I'd love to have some adults available to handle occasionally. If the roaches are OK with the light, and I might try shading it at first, I'll try a couple of nontoxic plant species in there. If they chew the plants, no big deal, I'll take the plants out. Much rather have A. tesselata than plants.
  23. Are there any isopods that can be seen out and about when their enclosure is lit by ambient room light? I'd really like to set up an itty-bitty isopod vivarium for display purposes, maybe even something multi-layered to look like the inside of a fallen log, and I'd like to be able to actually see the lil guys. Could probably set up something really cool-looking with cork bark as structure and actual rotting wood as food.
  24. I went to a ComicCon yesterday, and there were some people there who'd brought some reptiles, both preserved (dead of natural causes) and live. They also had some roaches, including some peppered roaches, that they'd brought as display. The roaches weren't intended to be sold, but, when I asked, the owner was happy to sell me a couple. I now have two male peppered roach nymphs, one almost 2" long, one closer to 1". They're both in my domino roach tank, and I haven't seen them since I put them in, unsurprisingly. They were really charming to hold before I put them in, though, calm and seeming curious more than anything else. I impulse-bought these guys after chatting with the owner about how they were kept, but I'm strongly considering trying to get some females. The owner was keeping them in a bioactive enclosure with hissing cockroaches, and there were a couple of teeny peppered nymphs in the moss they'd been brought in, so they were definitely doing well. Apparently the enclosure was just wet enough to keep the decomposers happy, so I thought I'd give these guys a try in mine. The enclosure is an 18" cube aquarium, with a 3" layer of petroleum jelly to prevent escapes. The substrate is a mix of coco fiber and coco chips, 3-4" deep, with about 1" of pecan leaf litter on top of it. There's a big piece of driftwood that would make a good hanging surface, plus a goat skull and some pieces of slate, so there's room for shedding. I keep about a third of the substrate damp enough to keep springtails happy, and there's a heating pad on one side so the temperature doesn't go below 68F. The dominoes seem pretty happy, though it's hard to tell when I only have two adults. Anyone have any thoughts on if I could add female peppereds and have these two do well together? I don't think they'd fight each other. I know the peppereds eat a lot of food, but I don't think it'd be too hard to keep both species supplied with cat food, and the 5 pecan trees in my yard mean I could keep them supplied with literal heaps of leaf litter, so I'm pretty sure I could give them enough food to keep them from outcompeting each other. I haven't seen them interact yet, but I'm reasonably certain they wouldn't stress each other- dominoes stay mostly on the floor, peppereds climb. Do domino roaches actually need a dry area of substrate, or could I keep all the substrate at least slightly damp to help up the air humidity? Mine were damp all the time in a smaller tank before I put them in here, and they didn't seem to mind, though a lot of mold happened. Also, has anyone tried keeping plants with either of these species? I've turned on a light over the tank to see if they'll come out under a light, and, if so, I'm hoping to plant some ferns or something else that can grow in coco fiber, or maybe tuck some pots in somewhere. Maybe try some ivy- though I'd have to make sure it didn't climb over/through the jelly layer. I know the dominoes won't eat plants, but what about peppereds? And I assume there's no concern about them burrowing into the roots and getting stuck, since they'd encounter roots in the wild.
  25. I'm still only seeing a couple of them, so they definitely aren't breeding very fast, and they seem to be behaving. Not sure exactly how damp the substrate patch they like is, but it also has some springtails living in it.
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