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Wondering about Hisser Enclosures


Xiphosura
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Hello! I have never owned roaches or any invert before. This is majorly about enclosures, so I hope this is the right forum.

 

I'm planning on keeping hissers. Either G. Portentosa or Oblongonota, not sure yet. Only around 1-2, for pets. Not looking to start a colony atm. I've heard these guys can escape pretty easily, and though tiny newborn nymphs won't be an issue, older nymphs may be - that's around the age I'm hoping to buy them at. I have done research on different cages, but it's unfortunately been difficult to find a lot of specifics for these guys. 

 

I would personally prefer to get a glass enclosure, because I want to observe them clearer, and most plastic ones seem to be kind of blurry. Would love to hear about plastic enclosures that have clear sides if anyone knows some, though. 

 

In terms of basics: Have considered peat moss, ‘creature soil’, and coco fiber as substrate. And, of course, some logs and whatnot for them to crawl around and hide.

 

My main concerns have to do with humidity and temperatures within the enclosure: This is kind of why I’m wary of just keeping them in an aquarium or critter keeper, and leaning a bit more towards a reptile terrarium. Though once again, I have no experience with keeping these guys, so please let me know if the listed ones are actually fine for that! 

 

Planning on keeping the humidity at around a constant 50%-60% : But I saw a few posts that having half the area moist and the other half dry is preferable. 

Also was wondering how well different enclosures can handle this level of humidity, or have the proper ventilation to both prevent mold(A bit of a personal concern) and still preserve the level of humidity required.

In terms of heat, around 72-76 degrees Fahrenheit? I'm thinking of maybe adding an additional heat source in case room temperature drops below 70. Not sure if heat tape, a heat lamp, or a heat mat would be better for these guys. Would a temperature gradient be good?

 

I feel like I might be getting a little too worked up about what these guys need, but hey, I want them to live as long as possible, so why not?

 

The current enclosures I am looking at are the front opening ones, like Zilla and Exoterra, or something more like this: https://www.zillarules.com/all-products/terrariums/critter-cage 

 

Thank you for your time. Did not really mean for this to get that long - Any recommendations or things to note? 

 

(And as a very small question unrelated to enclosures, should these guys be fed once a day, twice a day, or every other day?)

 

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I kept two male hissers for 4/5 years (got them as adults in 2017, and they died in 2021/2022).  I had two escapes, and I was able to recatch the offender within a couple months.  Hissers are definitely one of the best cockroaches to keep.  I had a ton of hides throughout the enclosure, and one side had a heat pad attached to the glass.  Coconut coir or peat moss would definitely be good, preferable coir since it is harvested more sustainably. I had very high ventilation in my enclosure, and kept the humidity between 40 and 80% (hissers are very versatile). For food, I fed them 1-3 times weekly.  I used a 10 gallon, that is 30 inches long and 12 inches wide and high, but I am sure that you could use something smaller than that.  I hope this helps.

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