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EricSJCA's Achievements


Eggcase (1/7)



  1. Which isopods and roaches would fare okay outdoors in shady, slightly sheltered area in San Jose, CA, where it only barely freezes at night or reaches 100° a few days of the year. I'm guessing at least A. vulgare, and P. dilatatus, and oriental roaches (Blatta orientalis) since they can be collected outdoors here almost year round, but what about the rest? Porcellio ornatus? Porcellionides pruinosus? Porcellio dilatatus? Porcellio laevis? Roaches? Etc. I was thinking of starting some compost pet colonies outside. If only I could find a sturdy mesh floor that would let isopod droppings pass through, but keep most of the isopods in, that won't rot or rust. A mesh floor could drip out excess water, keep it from growing nasty anaerobics at the bottom, and I was hoping to come up with a more trouble-free enclosure that could almost self-clean detritivore waste and self-harvest compost. What do you think?
  2. Happy Halloween! After my son scooped out a pumpkin he was carving, I fed some of it to a terrerium full of detritivores (roaches and isopods), and a small piece fell into the web of an invading Pholcus phalangioides. Not only did the cellar spider start eating the pumpkin, but it wrapped it in web, and is still eating in over 30 minutes later.
  3. Somehow some powdery blues (P. pruinosis) contaminated my zebra (A. maculatum) culture. Powdery blues seem quite capable of quickly outcompeting the zebras, but is there any way they can coexist or I can give zebras an advantage? Anything powdery blues can't resist I can use as bait to clean out most of them?
  4. Any luck keeping them by now? The ones in Oregon are huge.
  5. All my roaches (Eublaberus, Panchlora, and Blatta) have water bowls with charcoal. Eublaberus adults will drink from the bowl when I fill it, but nymphs in the substrate eventually spill the bowl into the substrate.
  6. Great resource! However, there's one clue that he's a biochemist, but not a nutritionist: Eating oats would provide plenty of lysine, but perhaps be poor in some other amino acid available in other plant sources. There are several good plants source of lysine, notably beans. But yes, diets lacking higher plant sources of lysine would be detrimental to humans. https://www.palavanfitness.com/lysine-rich-plant-foods/#_ftn10
  7. BTW: I don't have frogs, so I can't vouch for the safety of charcoal in frog water dishes, but I see a lot of people using charcoal in frog substrates anyway. I use charcoal in water dishes with roaches and isopods, and they all seem fine.
  8. Have the drownings subsided? I don't know how much it will help with a frog pushing things around, but in my isopod cultures and other terrariums, I have small water dishes for backup humidity and hydration. I put all washed all-natural lump charcoal in those dishes large enough to stick out of the water. (No lighter fluid!) The charcoal is very easy to grab onto, and I think both the isopods and springtails like hanging out on charcoal for some reason. Supposedly, it can help keep the water from souring, but if your frog poops in the water, you might just have to keep replacing the charcoal; it's cheap in bulk. Most of my cultures have no drownings, but my larger ceramic bowls in terrariums needed charcoal to cover all ends of the dishes. When a dish empties, it often fills with isopods. I just refill the dish with water, isopods and all, and the isopods just climb out. Note that most creatures end up walking to a wall and then follow the perimeter, though isopods may zig zag more than most creatures. They just need to encounter a foothold before they drown.
  9. It can take my various isopods months to break down whole dry brown magnolia, but that's a good thing if you are trying to keep leaf cover available longer. Break up the leaf so more surface area touches moist substrate, or submerge whole leaves in the soil if you want them as a more readily available food source. It takes my various isopods weeks to break down whole dry brown live oak (rounded leaves), but they start eating them right away. The pointy-leafed oak leaves seem to take months like the magnolia. Try sycamore. In just days, my isopods wil demolish whole, barely dry (two days in summer sun), and still green sycamore leaves, leaving behind a few veins and some fuzz that coats the leaves. https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/sycamore
  10. There are several carob trees in the neighborhood, and my roaches and isopods seem to enjoy the seed pods I get for them. People are frequently pruning these trees back, so I have to wonder, does anyone know whether roaches or isopods will fare well with carob tree leaves?
  11. Yes, but the ivory-heads are notable for not chewing on wings like the other Eublaberus; so I didn't think they would nip snakes either. A large population could be rather pushy, but I was considering culling most of the adults.
  12. Probably won't help with aquaponics options, but mine like watermelon rinds and love corn cobs. They also enjoy anything they can pickup and run away with. My Porcellio dilatatus eventually haul away all the sesame seeds I sprinkle in their dish. (It has high concentrations of calcium and copper which are both supposed to be good for them.) If you get green filament algae, I personally would experiment with that on a small population of isopods to see if they like it and don't die from it. Some algae is toxic to some creatures.
  13. I had something similar happen with the Armadillidium I gathered. Seemed like all the adults I gathered died off, but then waves of their offspring matured and multiplied. I think they were just at the end of the their lifecycle, were unhealthy to begin with, didn't adapt to changes I put them through, or some bacteria bloom or slightly lethal chemical in the coco fiber or box slowly got to them before gassing off. I only have several months experience with A. vulgare, P. scaber, Porcellio dilatatus, but I've had all of those cultures go through relatively damp and drier conditions without denting their populations as long as there was some moisture somewhere in the box. I don't have problems with phorid flies, I think because I try to keep springtails in all those cultures, which cover carcasses such that I doubt a fly could land there. My Porcellio dilatatus culture is pretty much wall-to-wall springtails, which might annoy the isopods a little, but they plow right through them and are reproducing anyway. On the other hand, P. scaber seems to have overwhelmed their springtails such that I can't find any in their culture. Now, in all their cultures I always keep a lid with water and charcoal (to climb) so they have a backup source of hydration. I also use that dish as a visual gauge of when I need to rehydrate an area of the enclosure.
  14. A nearby feed store offers me, not wheat bran, but 50 pounds of wheat mill run for $12.14. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheat_middlings I didn't know anyone could transport 50 lbs. of anything in this overpriced city for $12, much less the all the most nutritious parts of wheat. So is this stuff good staple for roaches?: Dubia, Eublaberus "Ivory Head", Panchlora "Banana", Oriental, Madagascar Hissers
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