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Craniifer Baby Mortality


Roachman26
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I had about 15 to 20 very small babies. They are several weeks old and don't appear to be growing or molting. I'm finding the occasional tiny little dead body, so they aren't being eaten. They seem to be slowly dying off. The adults all appear to be fine. They've got water crystals in a lid. I see the tiny babies crawling in and out of the crystals, so they have access to water and they aren't drowning. Food is dry dog kibble, aquatic turtle sticks and various produce items. 18 gal. tub is clean and dry, except after I mist it daily. Then its moist on the bottom of the lid and sides, but it doesn't pool on the bottom. No substrate. The colony that these came from has no substrate either. Just newspaper on the bottom. Room temp. is now staying in the low to mid-eighties. I also have hissers and dubia under these same conditions and they are flourishing with no molting or growing issues of any kind. I also have B. fusca and B. discoidalis, but these are all older nymphs so no breeding yet. The fusca and discoid nymphs have been molting and growing really well. Any ideas? I'm very inexperienced with everything except the hissers, which I've had absolutely trouble free for many years. Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

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I've never used water crystals but I've heard of some species drying out despite their presence. Maybe try misting them when they're small.

I mist them at least once a day, more if its hot. Should I try smaller amounts more often?

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I think these guys are better kept on substrate; I can just pour water onto it and they seem to like it just fine. You could also put in a wide shallow dish of water with maybe some sticks/rocks in it or something if it's smooth to increase the humidity without drowning. In my opinion, there's a problem in the setup if you need to mist multiple times a day. I'm in southern Utah so we're pretty dry and I never have to mist multiple times a day.

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Personally, after 3 years of keeping B. craniifer, the few times I kept them without substrate (very early on) I had many problems keeping them alive; a good 4-5 inches of substrate with plenty of additives will keep them more than content and healthy.

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