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My Hissing Cockroaches keep getting sick


DMarinel4
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Hi,

I'm new to roach keeping. My first G. Portentosa I had for over half a year. Roughly a month ago I noticed her no longer hiding under her food bowl and just sitting out on top of the substrate. A few days later I found her lifeless with one of her antennae missing. Now my other female is starting to exhibit the same behaviors (except she still has her antennae). I'm worried I'll lose my last two roaches. The only symptoms that my first roach exhibited that always had me concerned was that she never ate much. I always had a fresh supply of cat/dog food in her food bowl for protein and occasionally gave her carrots, apples, oranges, celery, potatoes, or lettuce. She barely ever ate yet she always looked very plump. I figured maybe she was pregnant from the colony I got her from but like I said I had her for over half a year and she never showed signs of trying to give birth. The current female that looks sick also won't eat now and acts sluggish. Here is the setup that I have for them:

Tank: Two roaches in a 5 gallon plastic carrier
Substrate: Reptisoil 10 with some orchid bark
Temperature and humidity: Typically 68-71 F and sprayed down with water every day (tank is covered with damp cloths to keep in the humidity)

I'm not sure what's going on, or if I should be concerned at all. Maybe my first roach just died of some random complication and my second one is just acting weird. I don't know. If anyone has any tips or ideas, I'm grateful to hear them.

Thank you.

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Hi,

I replied to your introduction thread. But I'll reply here as well.

My thoughts would be try to raise temps 5 degrees or so and to increase ventilation. If you are worried about it drying out in there you can make a humid hiding spot. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Bhjjr said:

Hi,

I replied to your introduction thread. But I'll reply here as well.

My thoughts would be try to raise temps 5 degrees or so and to increase ventilation. If you are worried about it drying out in there you can make a humid hiding spot. 

I'll do that—that's what I figured could be the main problem. The issue is that my mother likes the house cold, so I keep the air off in my room and I think the temperature is consistently 72 F now. I'll look into other heating ideas instead of heating pads because not only do they have a plastic tank but I hear heating pads are iffy? Thanks for your input!

Edited by DMarinel4
Wanted to give my thanks
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Well if they were bought as adults they may already just be old. Also, your humidity sounds a bit excessive, Gromphadorhina "portentosa" (in this case probably portentosa hybrids) generally like lower humidity, with a quarter to a third of the substrate kept humid, the rest bone dry. Good airflow is important to them too so I wouldn't cover the lid. In the end though, might just old age getting to them.

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4 minutes ago, Hisserdude said:

Well if they were bought as adults they may already just be old. Also, your humidity sounds a bit excessive, Gromphadorhina "portentosa" (in this case probably portentosa hybrids) generally like lower humidity, with a quarter to a third of the substrate kept humid, the rest bone dry. Good airflow is important to them too so I wouldn't cover the lid. In the end though, might just old age getting to them.

This is really informative. I didn't know they prefer it half humid half dry. I'm fairly certain my sluggish female is just starting adulthood because she was a bit smaller than she is now when I got her. I'll do what you said and see what happens, thank you!

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2 minutes ago, DMarinel4 said:

This is really informative. I didn't know they prefer it half humid half dry. I'm fairly certain my sluggish female is just starting adulthood because she was a bit smaller than she is now when I got her. I'll do what you said and see what happens, thank you!

Yeah, they come from pretty arid habitats in Madagascar, half the setup humid is more than enough for this particular hisser species. :) Hope your other females does better soon!

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2 minutes ago, Hisserdude said:

Yeah, they come from pretty arid habitats in Madagascar, half the setup humid is more than enough for this particular hisser species. :) Hope your other females does better soon!

I actually just checked their enclosure to take off the cloths and check the humidity and I saw this!

I can't tell what it is, because aren't their babies a live birth? Whatever she's pushing out isn't wriggling. So strange!

WTF.jpg

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8 minutes ago, DMarinel4 said:

I actually just checked their enclosure to take off the cloths and check the humidity and I saw this!

I can't tell what it is, because aren't their babies a live birth? Whatever she's pushing out isn't wriggling. So strange!

WTF.jpg

Well that's her ootheca (eggcase) she's expelling. Either to air it out and rotate it before pulling it back in, which they do about halfway through their incubation, OR she's aborting it due to stress.

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4 minutes ago, Hisserdude said:

Well that's her ootheca (eggcase) she's expelling. Either to air it out and rotate it before pulling it back in, which they do about halfway through their incubation, OR she's aborting it due to stress.

Oh no! I really hope the latter isn't the case. 😥 I won't disturb her during her process. Thank you again for the information!

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10 minutes ago, DMarinel4 said:

Oh no! I really hope the latter isn't the case. 😥 I won't disturb her during her process. Thank you again for the information!

Yeah hopefully she'd just rotating the ooth, fingers crossed!

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Well, small update, she ended up aborting it. 😭 I'm so sad. I was so excited to find out she was pregnant. But oh well, I'll try to find her a suitable male. I'm going to a reptile con in Oaks, PA this weekend and I'm hoping there will be a roach seller there!

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Sorry to hear it. :( Probably wasn't warm enough for her to keep it, they require temps in the 75-85F° range to breed consistently.

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