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Planning an enclosure


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Hi, people. I still don't know much about this hobby, and I had a lot of trouble even finding someone who sells roaches around here (I finally managed to find a guy with hissers just a few days ago), so I want to make sure I'm doing everything right. I want to use one of these generic plastic bins. Can I use a common mosquito net in addition to petroleum jelly to prevent escapes? It's so thin and fragile, I'm afraid the roaches will just chew right through it, or something. Also, about the substrate, I've been browsing local classified ads, and I found this:

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This is hay, sold as food for guinea pigs, rabbits and chinchillas. Could I use it as bedding?

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Generic plastic bins are an economical housing option and work quite well. Petroleum jelly will be sufficient to prevent escapes if properly applied and maintained. You're unlikely to see adults get past a good layer of petroleum jelly, but small nymphs are often light enough to crawl over it. They are unlikely to chew through netting as quickly as adults, so mosquito netting should be okay, but some sort of wire mesh would be preferrable as it's less likely to be torn by you over time.

The hay will become a moldy mess with moisture. Hissing cockroaches don't really require much of a bedding since they don't burrow, but will appreciate the humidity given off by moist substrate. You should obtain some compressed coconut fiber bricks and use that as a basic substrate. Add water to it and squeeze it out so it's just moist and not dripping wet before using it. For better substrate, you can also add hardwood leaves and crumbled rotten wood which they will eat over time. You'll want to provide them with something to hide under and climb on like a cork bark round or half round. Cardboard egg cartons also work, but will fall apart in moist conditions and will need frequent replacement.

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Hm, if hissers don't really need bedding, I think I won't use it. It must make cleaning much easier.

I do live in a rather dry place... Will a water dish with gravel be enough, or should I mist the bin as well? If yes, how often? I don't think an enclosure with no substrate will hold moisture for long...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well chlorine-free water would be preferable, but I have used tap water with no harm. I'm sure most people use tap water as well.

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