Jump to content

Help a noob


Recommended Posts

Hey friends. I recently received a 10-gallon tank from my uncle; he used to use it for snakes. I cleaned it up so I could get some roach pets since I've always wanted some. I got two young hissers and some custom-made substrate for them.

I've read countless care sheets and books and this and that but now I'm paranoid I'm "doing it wrong."

I am pretty sure the tank is done right... protected, warm, big, etc. I'm kind of worried it's too big, though. I took the little hissies from the capsule they came in (it was through the mail) and sat them in the tank. The first thing they did was crawl under parts of it. I was expecting them to hide but not to burrow.

And then that's it. I have not seen them again. I put many kinds of foods in there, but I have no idea if they're eating it or what. I lightly sifted through parts of the substrate where one was but didn't find anything. It's like they disappeared. It's really unlikely they escaped... the tanks is very secure and doesn't have even the slightest of cracks or holes in the lid other than the very fine mesh. So I guess they're just... really good at hiding.

One of them, you could always see its back and he was kinda by the food all the time. Later when I came to check, he had disappeared, too.

The foods are good... breads and grains, some organic spinach and overripe plum. I have a feeling they are not coming up to eat it. Can they get trapped under the substrate? It's a little 'deep' in some parts (like 2in). Is the only way to find them to dig through all the substrate? It's a big tank for just two little guys so they could be anywhere. And is there an effective way to do it without risking smashing them or anything? I feel like if I was sifting it gently with my hand like I was before, it would take hours to find them... especially if they could move around on me.

Well, yeah. I'm just wondering what I should be doing at this point. These are my first roaches. I wasn't expecting them to be visible much, but I never really thought about the fact that I may never see them. How can I know they are eating and getting the care they need? Do I need to hunt them down regularly to check if they are alive and well? Should I invest in a smaller tank? (like those little plastic things?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 gallon is a bit big i think for 2 roaches, they may breed slower and have a hard time gettin round but as long as there is food and shelter and they r cared for they will be fine

most roacheys r nocturnal so that's why u can't see them

if they die they will rot and u will know, i feed my roacheys carrot, pear, apple, strawberry, potato, and fish flakes, they dont like leafy veggies that much

hope this helps, i'm still kinda new to this as well :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've noticed that nymphs tend to hide a lot more than adults. You said yours are young...how young? Are they Madagascars or one of the other types of hissers? As they get larger they spend more time out in the open but still like to be touching cork bark or a piece of wood or something. A smaller enclosure would make it easier for you to narrow down where they might be hiding, but you don't need to spend money on anything special. Just find a clear plastic cheese puff or pretzel container at the grocery store, eat the contents, then cut out part of the lid and tape or hot glue screen in it, and presto!~ Here is a picture of something I made although I took most of the stuff out of it and just put some substrate in the bottom along with a piece of cork bark.

In short, I'm sure your roaches are happy as can be. With only 2 hissers you will be surprised at how little they eat. And you will know if one dies because it will STINK.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cool thanks guys. I figured it was a bit big for them, but as long as there's no harm in it being big, I don't mind it. And it's in my bedroom so I would smell the stink right away. So I'm glad to know they are safe and happy, heh.

And yes they are Madagascan. I am so used to just calling them 'hissers' from when I took entomology in school and we would get them out to look at a lot.

But yeah maybe I will get some cheese puffs at the grocery this week... I like them so I can eat through them pretty fast haha. And then when they get bigger move them back to the 10gal so they can have more roaming space.

I was just worried that they might get lost or confused in the big tank and not find the food or something. I kinda spread it out so they could access it easily.

And I found Hades (the bigger one) today in the egg carton. And he ran around when I poked at him so I know he's healthy. Pit (the other one) is still hidden but if Hades is doing well, I'm sure he is too. And of course I have no idea if they are male or female since they are both young, I just gave them those names, ahaha.

But yeah I'm not sure how young they are. I got them from a website that you can order young nymphs individually, and they just kind of send you random non-adults... Based on what I know from pictures, etc. I am guessing Pit is still kinda young, but Hades is probably reaching adulthood soon... he is closer to adult size and color (he's like over 1in long and looks more adult like, but still not adult looking... if that makes sense...) Pit is like less than 1in and very dark color.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a current picture of the Bug Barrel - I put in about 10 hissers, 3 six-spots, 1 E.javanica, and 1 Domino, and loaned it to my friend for a few weeks for her kids to observe. It was a cheese puff container that I bought at Sam's Club.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those are cool. I never thought of using a cheese puff container. I thought of using some big tupperwares I had but I didn't want to cut them up (my husband is obsessed with tupperwares and probably would be mad).

How much food do you guys think I should put in the tank, and how often should I put it in there? Of course, I should take it out if it starts molding or something, but is it OK to just throw a bunch in there at once? I've been putting a lot in there all over the place because I thought they might not want to stray far from the heated side of the tank (even though the water is on the opposite side from the heater... but I assume they get some water from the plums, too, since they are very juicy). But yeah just so they can have food no matter what part of the tank they are on, ahaha.

And can roaches eat tea? Like, not the drink, but the leaves. I am a tea connoisseur so I have a lot of various teas around my house... very fresh leaves, and some with dried fruits and stuff blended it. It's probably safe to eat, right? It's very bitter though... so they'd probably go more for sweet foods right? Do dried or candied fruits work well?

Anyway, I look forward to posting here and getting to know you guys. It seems like there's a group of regular posters so hopefully we all will get along :) I'm a roach fanatic and definitely excited to finally be raising my own.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as eating the tea leaves, you could do an experiment like I did and let us know :D Look under the food thread and see the "food preference experiment". I personally don't spread food all over the enclosure. If you put it in one place, they will find it when they are hungry. And if you put only one little slice of apple, for instance, then you will be able to see if there are any bite marks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I raised hisser's nymphs in a 10 gallon and they did great! When they were young they hid all day and only came out to eat when it was dark, that's why you probably never saw them. Believe it or not they will find the food just fine, wild roaches do it all the time and they have unlimited space :)

My hisser's favorite foods seemed to be bananas, oranges, apples, romaine lettuce, dog or cat kibble, baby iguana fruit pellets, fruit loops cereal ( sparingly as a treat), and once a month is give a few pieces of cooked hamburger meat for protein.

My hisser's substrate was repti bark and after I misted the tank with water each night they would chew on the wood and eat it. I also provided plenty of tall wood decor as they got older to climb and shed on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most roaches are less active and so they eat less when they are not in a colony, since they prefer hiding all day long. 2 hissers certainly would be a very slow start, I think we're looking at 9 months to 1 year for some real activities to be observed. I have a few different hisser colonies, some are already around 50 individuals (started from around 4) but they're still very inactive and skittish, while I have a hybrid hisser colony which have more than 300 individuals, they are so brave that every time I throw food in there, they riot the whole place, stepping on each others... etc.

I also have a medium size Elliptorhina javanica colony and a small size Aeluropoda insignias colony, Aeluropoda insignias had been very slow going due to their small number, so I decided to mix them together (i am quite certain that they won't hybrid). Since then both species has been producing young's a lot quicker, and are willing to eat while I am watching which they had never done before.

So I guess for all of your concerns, smaller container and number is the key. If you have a small enough container, your colony will start to thrive after 1 or 2 clutches of nymphs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've got two adult hissers in a 30 gallon and they lay around on the wood all day, completely visible. The one baby they've had I've only seen a couple of times in the past month as he's still little and tiny and feels safer being hidden. :) I very much recommend having a log or branches of some sort as they spend nearly all their time perched on top, and it gives them a quick hiding location if they were to be startled. The three of them eat very little and even with small portions I've still having to toss about half of it in a day or two when it starts growing mold. On a good night they can eat one piece of dog food, but generally the bowl will look untouched.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...