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How are people keeping their rhinos?


luketoms
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How have you set up your Macropanesthia rhinoceros?

It seems that the consensus is that humidity needs to be high, to the point that having condensation build up is a good sign. However, in the wild rhinos are found in arid sandy Eucalyptus forests or Acacia scrub land in Queensland and only very rarely in rainforest. They also seem to prefer cooler temperatures with the temperature within their natural burrows being recorded at a stable 20C. This seems to be why their burrows can sometimes be up to 1m below the surface; to get away from the heat outside and only come out later in the day once the temperature has dropped in search for dried leaf litter which they then cache in their nest chamber at the end of their burrows.

I am really interested in knowing whether anyone is keeping them in a dryer setup and if they are thriving and breeding? Maybe they are just very hardy and can adapt to a wide variety of environments?

Luke

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I have an adult pair, that I keep in a 10 gallon tank with about 3-4 inches of a sand/mulch/leaf litter substrate. I mist the enclosure 2 times a day usually.. just enough to wet the top, and a little to run down the sides of the tank. I make sure that the sand mix is wet enough for their burrows to hold up and not cave in on them by making a hole with my finger, and if it stays, it is good. It works for them, as they seem happy and healthy. My male just molted and was fine, so I guess the humidity is ok. I have this set up per a friend that has successfully raised babies.

Feeding them is another story, as it seems they never eat. But they must be. I have an oak litter that I sprinkle on top and eucalyptus leaf dry mix that I bought from Double D's that I feed. I try carrots, romaine, everything that I feed my other roaches. Seems that little of that is eaten. I have a range of temps where I keep them in room temperature, regular ups and downs with heat and cool.

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My observation is that they are easily dehydrated, though I haven't been keeping them very long. I used to keep them in a few inch of substrate, so I didn't know how much water they needed. Now I am keeping them on a very thin sand base with about an inch of dead plant litter on top. Even if I keep the sand constantly damped, and high humidity to the point that 10 hours after I've sprayed, there was still some water on the wall of the bin, they would still run for water droplets to drink if I spray more water on the wall. In the last few days, I had plugged almost all ventilation holes to keep the bin extremely humid, it is then they stop being thirsty all the times.

I imagine that in a deep burrow, with so little circulation of air, evaporation is really kept to a minimal. And since there is a huge temperature between their burrow and outside, there will be condensation available for them to drink somewhere along the tunnel at all times, or even constantly dripping down to their burrow. From papers I have read, they build their tunnel system deep, but the main burrow is often not at the very end, but somewhere along the tunnel, probably for the right temperature and water source.

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BTW, I read somewhere, I believe it was a Australian publication, that a museum built some very interesting cage for Macropanesthia rhinoceros. They use some very deep tank, with a tube to the bottom which filled with rectangular stones which fit the bottom leaves only small gaps between the stones to keep the roaches dig deeper, and they use some kind of plastic support to hold the stones 1 or 2 cm above the bottom to hold water then fill the tank with damped sand mix with a network of twigs to help holding the tunnel system. They use the tube to fill water directly to the bottom, and keep the part just below the top of stones flooded. The sand part is at least 50cm deep, if not deeper, if I remember correctly.

I am planning to make at least 1 tank like that when mine mature, seems a very cool setting, probably very close to their natural environment.

See if I can find the article, I'll post it here.

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BTW, I read somewhere, I believe it was a Australian publication, that a museum built some very interesting cage for Macropanesthia rhinoceros. They use some very deep tank, with a tube to the bottom which filled with rectangular stones which fit the bottom leaves only small gaps between the stones to keep the roaches dig deeper, and they use some kind of plastic support to hold the stones 1 or 2 cm above the bottom to hold water then fill the tank with damped sand mix with a network of twigs to help holding the tunnel system. They use the tube to fill water directly to the bottom, and keep the part just below the top of stones flooded. The sand part is at least 50cm deep, if not deeper, if I remember correctly.

I am planning to make at least 1 tank like that when mine mature, seems a very cool setting, probably very close to their natural environment.

See if I can find the article, I'll post it here.

That would be interesting to read/see! I just read your journal.. great work! It is good that you are doing that since not to much info out there on them! :)

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Thanks, but please excuse my English, sometimes even I don't know what I was talking about when I read it myself... :P

I have been digging for that article the whole day to no avail, I am sure I read it on my laptop just before I go to bed about a week ago, it is so frustrating... :(

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