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Molting pandemic!


Zephyr
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Too low humidity. This killed 5/4ths of my hissers before I knew it. Regular spraying will stop it.

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Too low humidity. This killed 5/4ths of my hissers before I knew it. Regular spraying will stop it.

When I DID have the extra humidity, the frass began to rot and this brought phorid flies.

How did you find the "happy medium?" (Pardon the pun, lol)

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When I DID have the extra humidity, the frass began to rot and this brought phorid flies.

How did you find the "happy medium?" (Pardon the pun, lol)

Clean out the cage and use cypress mulch for substrate. Add roaches back in. I only have to change out the substrate about once a year, and the retained moisture in the mulch maintains humidity. You may also add a variety of bugs to feed on the frass (I have assorted beetles including dermestids).

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When I DID have the extra humidity, the frass began to rot and this brought phorid flies.

How did you find the "happy medium?" (Pardon the pun, lol)

I just use the phorids to feed my mantids! But springtails seem to work well at controlling frass. My isopods are more interested in the roaches' food.

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I just use the phorids to feed my mantids! But springtails seem to work well at controlling frass. My isopods are more interested in the roaches' food.

Alright, I bumped up the humidity. But now it seems like the nymphs aren't hardening completely after molting.

Could this be a dietary issue?

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Sometimes I have nymphs not darkening because they had been injured in a molt. One hisser's leg was crushed soon after he shed, and it never regained color. Do yours look healthy and everything, or are they wrinkled or sickly? If they are healthy, it's possible that they are just very light colored.

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Sometimes I have nymphs not darkening because they had been injured in a molt. One hisser's leg was crushed soon after he shed, and it never regained color. Do yours look healthy and everything, or are they wrinkled or sickly? If they are healthy, it's possible that they are just very light colored.

They look wrinkly. Which would explain the molting problems... However, would this be a dietary problem? From lack of protein?

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Are you feeding dog or cat food at all? I use it every week or so. Fish food can be good too, but some ingredients might be harmful. I don't know for sure.

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Just a quick note to say you can balance the humidity with some microscreen that will keep the "pests" out, though I don't really have ventilation on a lot of my roach containers aside from the bit that gets in between the lid and container (and when I open them to feed every couple of days). I use isopods in my large dubia colony and I see fewer fungus gnats in that bin than any of the others that don't have isopods. I simply change substrate when a problem occurs and sometimes the bin. Mostly, I just kind of live with the traveling fungus gnat "culture". I rarely see phorid flies because I usually find the dead roaches before they get a chance to pupate and emerge.

I haven't changed the substrate in that dubia tank in over a year, maybe closer to two. It was an isopod bin, then a giant cave cricket bin, then about a year ago it became a dubia bin that has housed thousands of dubia. The isopods and probably the roaches seem to do a pretty good job cleaning house together, though I probably don't feed them as often as I could.

Sometimes, I just drop my youngest mantids in with the roaches to feed on the fungus gnats and keep the humidity down for awhile.

Wouldn't hurt to hit up all the typically recommended foods and maintain higher humidity too! Maybe you're putting too much food in or not pulling it out fast enough (though I know it only takes 24 hours or less for mold to spread under some conditions).

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Ralph, I've never had a problem feeding fish flakes to any of my roaches.

Neither have I, but I thought I read somewhere on another forum that some brands could be harmful. Most are probably completely safe. Also Peter, I have small groups of cockroaches with no deaths for months, and still phorid flies. Can they also live on the roaches' food?

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...
A lot of my discoids are showing up like this lately:

What is the cause of this? Too low humidity? Too high? Dehydration?

How did this one end up? Were you able to find the culprit and fix it? I kept my hissers in an open topped glass aquarium for years with chick waterers and never misted them. Humidity was single digits or low teens on a good day. No substrate. Paper towel rolls to hide in. Never saw any problems like that. Their main food source was an occasional handful of premium dog food. They got other stuff every once in a while. I just didn't know any better back then, but my colony was thriving anyway.

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