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keeping dubias hydrated


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Im a little bit frustrated- I've had 70 dubia roaches for a couple weeks now (10 percent as a never ending food supply for my three little gray tree frogs who could never make a dent in a mature colony, 90 percent just as pets in their own right) that are just starting to produce babies, but the fruits and veggies I've been giving them tend too dry out really quick. a couple places recommend a shoelace or piece of twine poking out of a water filled container to provide water via capillary action, but i tried this and it just flooded the bin. (fortunately no egg crates got wet.) i tried poking two holes and and looping the shoelace back into the container with one end lower than the other, but that doesn't work either. How can i do this without flooding the cage, so just the string gets wet? I'm not going to resort to water crystal (Blehh!) anytime soon.

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When I have to leave my roaches for a week or more, I take a large test tube, fill it with water, and use a cotton ball as a plug. The cotton wicks enough water out, and as the roaches need more water, they push the cotton in deeper.

But more generally, I mist the enclosure 1-3x a day, lightly, if feeding mostly dry food. Otherwise, fresh fruits and veggies seem to be enough moisture.

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Is the test tube on its side? Does the cotton ball do an adequate job of holding the water in? Just a little confused. My setup does not have substrate and is kind of hot and dry, so I'd be worried about not watering them for several days, and it has poor ventilation so I don't really want to get anything wet.

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XD I wanted to ask that when I joined here! Thank you for asking!

I was wondering about that for months too LOL

Anyways i keep my dubias hydrated by putting 2 slices of mandarin oranges in my bin. One on each corner. For some reason sweet citrus fruits, roaches and our year-round warm weather is doing some magic here :D

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Is the test tube on its side? Does the cotton ball do an adequate job of holding the water in? Just a little confused. My setup does not have substrate and is kind of hot and dry, so I'd be worried about not watering them for several days, and it has poor ventilation so I don't really want to get anything wet.

Yes to both. It is a large enough diameter test tube that adult dubia can crawl down it and then back back out. The cotton plug starts just inside the rim, so that it does not wick out onto other materials. I still prefer fruit and misting though.

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I'm thinking maybe my enclosure is either too hot or doesn't have enough airflow. The temperature is around 109 degrees right next to the ceramic heat bulb (which is aimed at the side, as the lid is made of thick plastic that doesn't let enough heat in), but the coolest part of the bin is closer to 74 degrees, so they can go cool off if they need to. The lid definetely isn't airtight, but doesn't have much ventilation, so I open the bin up and wave some air in a couple times a day. I'm thinking maybe the most recent death is because I misted for the first time yesterday. What do you guys think?

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Completely normal for males to die first. Females live for 2 plus years while males typically max at a year. Air flow is crucial with any animal. The temps sound a little high but the cool end is fine so no worrying there. Misting doesnt have anything to do with death unless you have a really sensitive species that needs it dry. I think you should get more air flow in there.

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Are any holes drilled into the top/sides? If you had enough holes drilled in you would not need to open the cage to let air in. Just a thought.

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I think I might have figured it out- I was feeding them cat food. I just read about how adult roaches that are no longer growing convert excess protein into uric acid that builds up to lethal levels if they don't use enough of it. That would explain why it was mostly males that died, since they aren't using protein to make babies. And the one female that did die had a small abdomen that suggested she wasn't gravid at the time..

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