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substrate or no


sss81387
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So I just got my first roaches--a couple hundred dubia of mixed sizes. They are currently in the case that I picked them up in and should be fine in there for a few days while I get their future bin just the way I want it. I've been reading a lot about substrate and seems like it depends on a case by case basis whether or not to use it. I've been leaning towards using it. Although it can be more humid than florida in mn durinf our summers, it is very dry during our long winter. That was my main thinking in using a substrate. Also I was contemplating using the roach bin for springtail and isopod cultivation too, unless others have good reason to advise against that. I'm also into naturalistic terrariums for my herps, so it just seems normal to do it for the roaches too. The downfall that I can see would it would be annoying to search for proper size nymphs as feeders every few days. Any help and advice is much aprecciated for this newbie :)

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Since you have the herps, do you know that the humidity in your home tends to be for summer and winter? If you have to take extra steps with the herps it may be worth the trouble.

Otherwise, I would suggest ease of handling/cleaning of a feeder bin ..but then I don't do natual set ups for my geckos. The room all mine are in stays around 45%, I simply keep water crystals always available, mist the bin, and keep fresh fruit/veggies for them. No roach has had problems molting, yet.

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Most of my herps are arid or semi arid so they stay happy with a humid hide and their water bowl. The air in my house can get dry enough to crack my skin though. I have plenty of houseplants and a fishtank, but the roaches won't be on the same floor. The humidity levels frequently drop into the teens (though I try and remedy that situation when thats the case).

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I figured you'd have some idea of the humidity with all the pets. ;) Mine use humid hides, too, but I keep an eye on house humidity.

Since it's that low in your home, it's really just a judgement call up to you. It will be easier to go from without to with substrate if you want to experiment.

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I think I will start without the substrate at least for the very beginning while I teach myself all about my new roaches behaviors/needs, but should I switch to substrate are there any tricks to collecting nymphs for feeding so I'm not constantly sifting through substrate?

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Coir (coconut fiber) is fine enough that it's shiftable (per the shifting/sorting boxes). Anything with larger nymph sized pieces will require a little shuffling through.

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I use shallow coconut substrate with some egg crates on top of that. I know some folks keep Dubias on large egg crates. I think that would be a big pain in the neck! They clump together and stick their heads tightly into the middle of every single egg crate indentation! I think I'm going to get rid of the crates altogether and use something else for them to hide in & climb on!

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Yeah, the colony I got was pretty male heavy, so I've been feeding some of the males already (and got a couple nice big prego females from the local herp shop) and I've found it super annoying to get them out of the eggcrates. The paper towel roll "cricket method" seemed to work a little better.

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