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Hello

I have a big problem. My hissers are eaching each other alive - I notice it when one of them has just finished shedding.

I feed them crushed puppy/cat food kibble, fish food, a piece of fruit/veggie once a week, and their bedding is oats. They have fresh water everyday in a bowl, and in a humidity hide box. Temps are in the 85 - 95 range, and they were moved to a huge tank 6 months ago, with lots of egg cartons to hide in.

I have never noticed it in all the years I've had them, but have seen it only in the last 6 months.

This has been the first year the colony hasn't done well - I have also noticed a lot of deaths - 4-5 a week (but they aren't eating them as their shell has hardened), and no babies in 6 months.

I'm just waiting for colony collapse to wipe them out.

Any help/suggestions will be appreciated.

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I would change the bedding to either bark or a coco fibre substrate. I have problems with this (especially the nymphs) when the humidity gets too low. Have you done anything new in the last six months? Also, I would feed them fresh fruits and vegetables three times a week.

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Make sure the temperature is above 70 degrees ferenheit. Otherwise, hissers won't eat. Keep the tank nice and clean. Tropical Fish Flakes have everything crickets need, so I feed them to my roaches whether Discoid, German, or hissers. Plus Flukers Cricket vitamin supplement (a brown powder). Flukers also has a cricket quencher water gel which a good portion a day should guarantee they have enough water.

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I have always used oats for a substrate - I have an overturned down with a dish for a humidity hide. The funny thing is, I've had them for over 5 years, and never had this problem, and its only in the last few months that everything is happening. I gave them a separate bowl of fish flakes to see just how much they are eating of them, and a bit of wet cat food every day - they seem to like it. I'll see if this makes any different, and then change the substrate. Oddly enough, the few people I know who have them also keep the on oats.

Thanks for everyone's advice.

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  • 6 months later...

Reviving this topic: I have a mixed colony of dubia and portentosa hissers. They live together mostly in peace. I added some orange heads a couple of weeks ago, so now three species are together.

Over the long weekend (3 days) the kibble ran out and the tank got a bit dry. Nothing lethal, it's happened before. But this morning I found 2 freshly molted hissers with bite marks and injuries. I assume it is the new orange heads.

I have to be more vigilant about keeping kibble and moisture in the tank at all times!

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Yea orange heads will turn on eachother when there is no other food present. They love meat. After my third failed attempt at raising waxworms, I dumped them into the orange head bin and they were gobbled up almost instantly.

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