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Help! Dying nymphs!


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I've lost three nymphs in two days and I don't know why!

They are just a couple of weeks old, there were only six in the litter to begin with, so its pretty important to me to save the other three.

They have been living in a small mealworm tub, with air holes, they have cardboard tubes for hiding and kitchen paper as bedding. It's pretty warm here right now, especially in my room so I'm just keeping them at room temp.

I do have two bigger, but empty, tanks as well, but I thought it was best to keep it small for now, it's listed every day or so.

They have a sponge for water too. So far they have eaten some biscuit, a lot of carrot, some home grown lettuce (no pesticides), some dog biscuits, a tiny bit of banana and some moistened bread. They also have oak leaves to nibble on.

Two of the dead nymphs were partially eaten by the others, so I don't know if they were dead first, but one died in my hands, it was flipped on its back and convulsing for a few minutes, prior to that it had been extremely healthy and active.

The remaining three seem okay, hiding and scuttling around as normal...

The other thing is that I have had to keep a sick ferret in a cage in my room as well, could that have made a difference?

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Is it possible to collect feces from your colony for them to eat, perhaps since there mom had complications during birth and died they did not get enough of the vital digestive enzymes and nutrients from her and that could be the cause because I don't see any other reason for them to die suddenly.

As far as nymphs cannibalizing mine did this when they couldn't find enough food and attacked weaker siblings. But you have food, mabye buy beef baby food (no lemon juice in it) and put a few small dots of it in the cage, make sure its not deep enough they will get stuck. Once they have enough protein there should be no reason to cannibalize, or seperate the last 3 in their own tiny cages. But since there was cannibalizing try the extra protein with beef baby food.

A tip on how they might eat, put a nymph on your finger, dip a toothpick into the baby food, try to rub the baby food gently under the nymphs mouth and legs so it sticks to nymph, instinctively the nymph will clean itself eating the baby food ensuring you know at least it ate. I do this for weak nymphs or adults if they need a boost if more dominant roaches won't let them eat and it prevents them from starving to death until they get to the food or in this case your nymphs get their strength and grow.

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Unfortunately I don't actually have a colony! The mother was my last hisser (unexpected babies! Woop!) but the nymphs spent their first 24 hours in the mothers tank, would that have helped?

I do have some meat baby food thankfully, as that's what I'm supplementing the ferret with, so I can easily provide a little for them. Might even give them some softened ferret biscuit, as that's very high in meat proteins.

Also, how long after birth are they meant to moult? They're about two weeks old, so I think there's a little while to go.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Eeehh! So nerve-wracking, only got two out of the original six left alive, but they seem really healthy and active, still not moulted but it is only just over a month since they moulted. Just to be sure I've been moistening their cage quite frequently, as I heard that low humidity can make moulting difficult for them. They still seem to be eating, do they lose their appetite before a moult like some other inverts?

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I noticed mine eat more few days before molt, them get really fat and stop eating and hide few days before molting.

Woke up this morning to find one stuck inside the moist folded kitchen paper I put in for extra water, she might have been hiding pre-moult, or she might just be stupid, haha! Actually they are looking more round-bodied than they did last week, so fingers crossed for a moult soon! :)

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