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Colony Setup


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Hey everyone,

Just wanted to share how I set up my roach tubs. I set them all up the same way, have not had any problems, have never had to use a barrier, and the roaches have all been extremely prolific. My dubia population was exploding, so I gave the colony to a friend with a bearded dragon. I only have Lats right now but just set up a bin for some G. portentosa that I ordered.

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Lateralis bin on the right, G. portentosa bin on the left

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I used a Sterilite air tight bin for the hissers. Since it is air tight I do not have to worry about any escapees. I used a 2.5-inch hole saw for the ventilation holes and secured the screen with hot glue both inside the lid and outside.

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This is the inside of the hisser bin so far. Just have to put the food dish, water dish, and egg crate in. I used an extra-small ZooMed UTH on the back and a medium on the bottom. The heat pads are secured to the bin using foil tape meant for air ducts. I then taped foam board insulation to the bottom, sides, front, and back. This keeps the heat pad in contact with the bin and makes all the heat from the heat pads go into the enclosure. I used duct tape to secure the foam board to the bin.

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Another view of the inside of the bin. Showing both heat pads and thermometer probe.

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Each heat pad is attached to a Lutron Credenza plug-in lamp dimmer. This is available at Lowe's or Home Depot. These allow me to adjust the amount of heat given off by each heat pad and control the temperature inside the bin. There are two different kinds of the dimmers, normal and CFL. You want to use the NORMAL ones, NOT the CFL ones.

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I use a basic digital thermometer with probe to monitor the temperature in the bin. Many companies make these. This one just happens to be made by Zilla.

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This is the foil tape that I use to secure the heat pads to the bin. There are a few different varieties, but this one has worked the best for me.

I have not had any issues with melting plastic or any other issues by setting up my bins this way. The temperatures remain steady and all my roaches have thrived in these conditions.

I look forward to reading any comments and will answer any questions as best I can. I hope this helps some of you and gives others ideas for your own enclosures.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nice set ups you've got going there. Simple and they definitely seem to be effective. I'm planning on altering my dubia bin a little bit this weekend to increase production and I think I'm going to go the route you did to keep it simple.

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Thank you very much. Since the egg crates are right over the heat mat, they trap the heat. Inside the egg crate is around 85-90 degrees, just to the side of them stays around 83 degrees, and the rest of the bin stays about 80. I set up my bins this way because I am not going to heat my entire studio apartment to 90 degrees lol. The initial set-up is a bit pricey, but it works and is cheaper than heating entire rooms.

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