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Not sure what's wrong


supershygamergirl
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So I just got 10 madagascar hissing cockroaches from rainbowmealworms.com a week ago. I'm new to them and though I've done tons of research on care and how to keep them I've run into a small issue with one of the females.

First off my set up consists of:

10 gallon ziploc container, 4 3x3in squares cut out and covered with mesh for ventilation in the top. Vaseline around top rim just as an added measure.

Food bowl with paper towel soaked for water (I plan to change to gel once I get some). Food mix I made is a mix of premium dog food, cichlid pellet, cricket chow all ground up together.

Egg crates to give them places to crawl and hide

Human heating pad set on low.

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I keep it in a cabinet out of the light. In the picture there is substrate but I removed that once I was assured I didn't really have to worry TOO much with the humidity for these guys.

Anyways that's the set up I have for them. I didn't get the heating pad until yesterday so heat was not part of the equation when the female in question started having issues I want to say Wednesday. After posting up in the Arachnoboards forum inquiring because I couldn't post here yet, it was suggested she may be having a bad molt. Tried to molt after reaching adult hood and she may be pregnant because of how round she is. But to put her in quarantine just in case it was something else. Which I did. Today she is still alive but still in the same state as before. I'm putting a video here to show her and the condition she's in. I made this video Wednesday night, her condition is still the same right now. I realize I will probably get the same answers but I figured since this community is focused on roaches more so then arachnids then perhaps there will be more insight or experience to offer. I'm honestly rather surprised if it was her trying to molt past adulthood I would think she'd be dead by now but she still moves slowly and shows small signs of life. Below is a link to the video showing her and her condition. I would've embed the video but didn't know how to do that.

Here are some still images, doesn't show her movements and such but it gives a look as well if you don't want to see the video.

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Well you got to remember, they are roaches after all. You'd be surprised just how long a dying roach can last. On of my Brysotria sp. "Cuba" had an absolute horrible molt, poor thing was stuck in it's skin and disfigured beyond belief. It lasted two whole days before I put it out of its misery, it probably could have lived for another two days if I let it suffer.

Even though your girl probably had a post adult molt, she will probably hang on for a few more days. She won't be getting better though, I believe she is just too far gone. :( If she were mine, I'd probably freeze her or feed her to something.

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Yeah looking at her today I saw a small crack in the shell and peeling it showed she had molted and it already hardened underneath. There was no fixing or saving her. I could've nursed her daily and such to keep her going I'm sure but that seemed cruel. I put her in the freezer. How long do you think it would take? As for feeding her to something I don't have anything right now that can take adult roaches. Right now I have a 6th instar tarantula and I have a friend who I'm trying to convince to feed her bearded dragon something healthier then the occasional superworm for it's protien content. She's just very creeped out by the roaches lol. But I wanted to be able to feed the younger offspring to our tarantula as she grows and gets ready for the bigger ones, since she eats MAYBE once a week if that I don't need a ton of roaches to keep the numbers going. I wanted to get a colony started with these guys now though because I read how they take a long time to mature and such. That and they don't creep me out like any of the other roach species. Oddly enough I think it's because they're so big and slower moving that they don't unnerve me like common house roaches do.

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Yeah, I saw on the Arachnoboards, sorry for your loss. :( I don't quite know how long it takes, never froze a roach before. I would assume it would be dead within a few hours, though it will shut down and "sleep" after about half an hour.

Yeah, my T hasn't eaten in over half a year now, she loves to fast.

Yep, hissers are much more approachable than other, more skittish roaches. That's probably the reason why they are so popular! :)

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I'll leave her in there for a few hours then. I'm still new to the T's and of course very new to the hissers. But I'm having fun with them. And I've been getting into vivariums. I converted a 5.5 gallon fish tank into a vivarium with waterfall using the old aquarium pump that came with it. The backdrop and everything is set up and running fine. I will be getting the substrate kit I ordered in today along with microfauna and plants. Once I get it established I'm considering putting one or two of the roaches in there once I'm sure it's inhabitable by something living.

Do you have any experience with using a vivarium set up for a T? Our T is at her 6th perhaps 7th instar so she's still really young, A. Versicolor. I moved her to a 2.5 gallon tank but once she is full grown she will need a bigger enclosure. I'm considering various possibilities for her forever home once she gets older and a vivarium I think would be really cool to do. Especially since she is an arboreal species so I wouldn't have to worry about burrowing with substrate.

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I'll leave her in there for a few hours then. I'm still new to the T's and of course very new to the hissers. But I'm having fun with them. And I've been getting into vivariums. I converted a 5.5 gallon fish tank into a vivarium with waterfall using the old aquarium pump that came with it. The backdrop and everything is set up and running fine. I will be getting the substrate kit I ordered in today along with microfauna and plants. Once I get it established I'm considering putting one or two of the roaches in there once I'm sure it's inhabitable by something living.

Do you have any experience with using a vivarium set up for a T? Our T is at her 6th perhaps 7th instar so she's still really young, A. Versicolor. I moved her to a 2.5 gallon tank but once she is full grown she will need a bigger enclosure. I'm considering various possibilities for her forever home once she gets older and a vivarium I think would be really cool to do. Especially since she is an arboreal species so I wouldn't have to worry about burrowing with substrate.

Ooh, sounds very nice, if you do put some roaches in there I bet they'll love it! :)

Sorry, I have only kept one tarantula and she is in a rather plain and dry setup, though she doesn't seem to mind. I've always wanted to keep a A.versicolor, they seem much more interesting and active than my rose hair!

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https://www.jamiestarantulas.com/ is where we got ours. They do these bundle specials where they send you a spiderling with a small enclosure already and everything you'd need for it. It costs us 54 and then 17 for shipping and handling at the time. I think they sell the bundles for A. Versicolor for like 45 now so the price came down for them. Excellent customer service, they answered all the questions I had. I got her for my hubby, he used to have 3 rose hairs that lived on the truck with him before we met but he had to get rid of them and he really missed them. So I got him Sarah and I've become rather attached to her myself now that she's here since I'm the one who takes care of her. Hubby is a trucker so he's on the road more then he's home.
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XD I think the Hissers are the only roaches I will look into myself. Any advice on clean up crews to go with Hissers? I was thinking of adding one once the colony was established. I've done some reading but first hand experience from someone on the topic would be nice.

Well if you use a clean up crew you'll want to put some coconut fiber at the bottom, most of them need it. Springtails are great cleanup crews, so are isopods. I would try to use a combination of both. Springtails are good at eating leftovers and preventing mold, isopods are better for dead roaches. As long as you have a moist corner, both should do well. Lesser mealworm beetles work as well, but you need to remove some adults as the population grows, otherwise you'll have too many in the cage!

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well I was supposed to get some springtails with my substrate kit but they forgot to add it apparently. I thought about getting isopods for the vivarium I may go ahead and do that so I have them for the hissers. Or I could just take some of he beetles/mealworms I already have and toss them in there. I wasn't sure if they would be an issue for the hissers. I have a large batch of them, I just let them breed and when I get a bunch I give them to my friend who's got a beardy that likes the sudden treat. Our T will only take the beetles she doesn't go for the worm much.

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Well that sucks, you should ask them to send you some springtails! You can always go in your backyard and try to find some isopods, that is where all of my isopod colonies originated from. Regular mealworms, Tenebrio molitor won't do anything, they have to be lesser mealworms, Alphitobius diaperinus. Those are the ones that make good clean-up crews. :)

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Hmmm. I don't know what kind I have? Eh The kind you get from petco in a small cup of 50 count? They turn into the darkling beetles, I know that much. lol. And I sent them an email about it. So we shall see. I did finish my vivarium today though. Kinda proud of it. Once the plants get themselves established and such I might put a hisser in there to live. What do you think?

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The petstore ones are almost certainly Tenebrio molitor, never seen any petstore sell Alphitobius. Good, hopefully they will send you some springtails. Ooooh, very nice! Very lush looking, I love it! :D

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Thanks for the clarification on the wormies. If they plan to send the springtails I might order isopods for them to add to the order. ^.^ I think those would be easier to deal with rather then trying to find a different species of mealworm and such. ^.^

No problem, hope they can get you your clean up crew! :)

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Yeah I just got an email back. they're going to send me my springtails on monday and let me add isopods without having to pay shipping XD So all in all worked out great.

Perfect, now you'll have a great cleanup crew! :D

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