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Ooth hatching issues with Lateralis


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My Lateralis colony seems to be eating newly hatched roaches. With about 100-200 adults i got zero in over a month. I can see many of the ooths are empty which seems to be they're actually hatching. During this time i tested temps (low of 68, up to high of 80), humidity (low side 50, high 80), and foods (chicken feed with fruits and veggies). Finally i resorted to the isolation route after reading some posts on here. Food and Fresh water with spots to climb in and out has never yet run out. They're also not very densely packed compared to other "thriving" colonies i've seen videos of.

After isolating the ooths in a separate container inside the bin I have lots of new hatchlings. What i would like to figure out is what others with this same problem have done to create an effortless colony. I'm planning to grow the colony from 500 now up to about 5000 in the coming months, so scooping the frass and ooths out of the container is going to get way too tedious.

Anyone with some insight or who solved this problem chiming in will be greatly appreciated. Other than smelling worse than my dubias they're pretty cool roaches.

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Also when i separated the ooths, I had 10 running around within 12 hours. 60+ within 3 days. This is under the same exact conditions in the bin, just isolated in a bowl. I was also planning to buy dog food to see if low protein is the issue. I hear a lot of people talking about it.

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Here's a basic run down of my setup if you can pick out any easy problems.

20 gallon rubbermaid bin with 12 small vent holes in the lid.

5 large egg crates. 70% of the bin is open.

No substrate.

Heat from the bottom is 19 watts keeping the air in the bin 79F all the time. Ambient is 65F all the time now as i'm in NY. I drape a blanket over the top to keep heat/humidity in.

Humidity is between 60 and 80 at all times.

Open water source with easy spots to climb in and out. Never had a drowning.

Food is mostly chicken feed. About twice a week i'll supplement a fruit or veggie. Apples, oranges, squash, pumpkin, carrots, or romaine are what i've tried so far.

I open them up about 4x per week, so not every day.

There's nothing else i can think of, other than being kept right above a dubia bin.

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I was thinking they might be too. So when i separated them into a bowl, i wet them all down a bit. So much for the experiment... They were literally hatched within 12 hours though, so it doesn't make much sense that a dried ooth could rejuvenate in that amount of time.

What do you use for substrate and how does cleaning go? Schedule? How many Lateralis are in what size bin? Trying to make this as simple as possible for a large colony. I have a very hungry Monitor Lizard :-)

The heat coming right from the bottom might also be the issue if they're drying out. Most ooths are touching the bottom of the plastic bin.

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Ya, your bottom heater set up will dry the egg cases out. the following set up will not. Ya, I also have a bunch of hungry geckos, spiders, centipedes, scorpions, etc. :)

18 gallon plastic tote with a lid with minimal ventilation. Maybe 4000-5000 in the bin? I have no idea. Just packed to the gills. The room is 75 F but I have heat cable (Zoo Med) on the bottom. Not sure how hot it is in there. 80s? I have coir (and over the years much has turned to soil) with very old crushed cardboard egg flats on the surface. The coir is about 2 inches thick and the crushed egg flats are 1 inch maybe. They are really shredded. The ootheca are deposited in and on this layer. I pour water directly into the substrate so the entire substrate and the shredded egg flats are moist. Everything gets really moist once the heat inside the enclosure goes up. I have lesser meal worm beetles that eat anything that dies and keep the whole thing from colony collapse. This is something I just discovered. I HATE the cardboard egg flats...expensive, need to replace them all the time, the lesser meal worm beetles shred them, etc. I take Styrofoam 18 egg count containers (which I normally do not know what to do with anyway-can't recycle them, etc.) and cut them in half and stack them top to bottom in towers using the whole enclosure. I then just throw hand fulls of dry dog food kibble on top of the styro egg containers. The roaches pack out the egg containers. I can lift one up and there are hundreds if not thousands. Let me know if you have more questions.

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