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Hello everyone,

 

My name is Chris. I'm 17 years old, and I live in the Netherlands. I am in the first year of 'college' studying 'applied biology'.

 I've been reading on this forum quite some time now, and since we don't have a forum in the Netherlands dedicated to roaches, I decided to sign up!

In the last couple of years, my interest in insects and other 'weird' creatures has expanded. 

I've always been fascinated by the variety of insects. Therefore, I've kept quite a few as pets (mantids, stick insects, beetles, butterflies etcetera).

Only a couple of months ago, my parents agreed to let me have roaches. This is because I still live in my parents' house. So I will have to folow their rules ;)

 

I decided to start simple, with just a small starter colony of Blaptica dubia. At this moment I have 7 adult females, three adult males and I guess around 60-70 nymphs. They are doing absolutely amazing! As I started with 20 nymphs just a month ago.

I feed them ground up cat food, vegetables that are left over and are laying around, and CGD (leftover crested gecko diet, which they love)

Since they are thriving, I was wondering if it would be an option to add eco-earth to the tank. I'm not sure if the colony would benefit from this. Does anybody have experience with this? (I mean the benefits for the roaches versus the downsides for me to clean, and sort them out)

And last but not least, I need to keep the colony a secret for my sister, because she absolutely hates roaches :). Is it possible to keep the roaches in a closet? And is there a good way to provide them with a proper amount of heat? Currently, my sister is not at home for a couple of months, so right now I don't have this problem. Right now they are on a heat mat with thermostat, set at 33 degrees celsius (91,4 Fahrenheit), will this be okay in a closet as well?

 

pfeww, this is quite a story ;) thank you for reading it! Let me know if anything is unclear.

I hope to learn a lot on this forum, and am looking forward to do so!

 

Chris

 

 

 

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Welcome to the forum! To answer your questions, eco earth isn't all that necessary, though you can add it if you wish. I know some keepers will put some in to help reduce odors, but B. dubia does fine with or without any substrate. 

For your heat mat, I'd say that's actually too warm. If you want to add a bit of heat to your enclosure, a small heat pad on the side will do just fine. I'd say a temp of 25-29 C should set them up just fine. They'll survive to fairly low temps, but you'll see a decrease in breeding and slower growth if you keep them cooler. If you want to hide them in the closet that won't hurt anything. 

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Hi pannaking22,

 

Thank you for your reply and advise!

I will set the temperature a bit lower if that's better, thank you for that.

For substrate, I think for now, I'd just leave it as it is. They are doing fine, and I always say 'never change a winning team' :) 

 

Chris

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