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Enclosure cleaning


padkison
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I have a colony of Blatta lateralis that are kept in a cooler with about 1.5" of vermiculite and egg crates. I feed dogfood and water crystals. The colony is doing well and appears healthy. However, should I be cleaning it out periodically?

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Roaches with substrate require a bit less cleaning unless you get the food mixed in with the substrate. I used to dump popcorn in my lateralis tank and they would eat most of it except for the kernals and hard parts but then I got grain mites which were pretty gross so I had to clean out the tank and put fresh substrate in. I now keep ALL food in a food dish just to be safe.

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I guess i keep my roaches in a veritable pigsty since i rarely clean out the tanks (some of my tanks have not been cleaned out in upwards of 4 years). Then again, this is only because i try to be vigilant and clean out every single dead roach, every piece of old food that i can and because taking hundreds of roaches out of one tank in order to clean it is not an easy task.

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I think even in a large colony it would take a while for them to dirty up the tank. As long as food items are removed they should be ok. I haven't cleaned any of my roach tanks so far, except changing my lats substrate. Because of the leftover food in it I was getting some mold and mites.

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I had a large colony of E. prosticus for 3 years without a single cleaning, just remove the dead ones as soon as you see them, don't let food stay in there long enough to mold over, and you should be fine in my experience. The high humidity lovers might be a little different however.

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I clean most out on an annual basis, though some like Eublaberus posticus I feed anything extra to (garbage disposals they are!) so I wind up cleaning them twice a year maybe three times. The "chaff" that I sift out does wonders for beans in the garden, wisteria growing on the fence, and a few assorted potted plants. And cactus.

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