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Safe cohabitation of spieces


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So this has been something I have been thinking about for awhile. General guidelines for having different species together in the same tank. Maybe similar to how they do it for community fish tanks. So there are of course concerns and reasons not to cohabitate; hybridization, predation, health issues being transferred, telling the species apart when offering for sale. There are also strong reasons to cohabitate; more impressive displays, save space and time, using other roach species as cleaner crews over beetles. So I currently have 3 setups like this and 2 planned to some degree.

The first setup is peppered roach, domino, and a black hisser species. They are easy to tell apart at any age, only the domino lay ootheca, peppered and domino nymphs burrow which is slightly concerning but so far they are doing well. I have specific "bait" ootheca I have checked regularly and neither the hissers or peppered have nibbled so I feel they are safe. Only observed issue is the male hissers like to head butt/bulldoze the peppered every so often when they get territorial.

The next setup is widehorn hissers, gyna caffrorum, and harlequin roach. Only gyna burrows and harlequin stick there ootheca instead of scattering. Everyone seems happy but I need to check on ootheca safety but I don't think they are at risk.

Setup 3 is banana roaches, death head (just a pair), hybrid hissers. As you can tell by now I like using the hissers this way because they stay high in the enclosure and don't interfere with the other species much. In the future I could see issues arising between the banana and death head because both burrow and can be quite dominant.

One of the ones I have planned is what I'm gonna call my "wicked" tank. Its going to be all black roaches and have skulls in it. I'm planning to use warty glow spot roaches, red head roaches, p. japonica, and my black hisser group. I think this should be pretty safe. Once numbers are established I might add a sun tiger tarantula to keep the populations in check. : p

The next one I'm not sure about I was thinking I want to combine my pallid and Surinam because the pallid don't seem to eat very quickly and Surinam may make a good clean up crew. Just a thought I will toy around with it some.

 

Looking forward to your opinions and I would love to hear of your experiences with cohabitation whether its 2 species together or 20. :) 

 

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Wouldn't it be better to try two species that have different habitats? For example, hissers live up high on bark and in plants and then you could pick a burrowing species that likes it dry? A polyphagid perhaps? I think what has been addressed before that problem is one species will outcompete the other. So you could get the magnetic rocklike feeders to attach up high to place the hissers food. 

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That's basically what I am going for 1 high up spieces, 1 burrow and I have added a "leaf litter" spieces that climbs some and never burrows. The leaf litter style roaches are lateralis, red head, red goblin, harlequins, p japonica, etc. 

That's an important point about feeding I forgot to mention. I spread food around enclosures and various heights to ensure they don't get swarmed by a dominant spieces and put in enough that there's enough for at least 24hrs so everyone gets a chance to eat.

Glad you mentioned the magnetic feeders I am actually planning to make my own specifically textured for roaches. :) Or at least it's on my list of projects lol

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Unless it's a super large enclosure with very deep substrate (>6"), that tarantula would be very stressed surrounded by hordes of roaches, especially if any of them burrow.  If you were running a population of non-climbing roaches, you could use a more strictly arboreal tarantula like any of the avics or a pokie.  That way the spider could stay clear of the roachy chaos, but still take his pick at dinner time.

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Ahh yes I couldn't do that to a terrestrial tarantula I hatched out some p irminia recently that's where I got the idea but it's pretty silly I know. The tank I was gonna use is a 40 breeder. It probably won't happen since my wife doesn't like roaches display tanks I may try a scaled down version in my bug closet though.

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An easy combo would probably be a small and large species. Maybe Paraplecta or the little penguins with peppered roaches, or something along that line. As long as temp and humidity requirements line up, you should be able to keep a couple species together as long as they fill their own ecological niches and won't compete too much. Something to keep in mind too is the reproductive potential of any given species. Some species have larger broods or reproduce more frequently, giving that species a potential edge in out-competing whichever other species are in the tank. 

In set-up 2, I would bet on the caffrorum eventually out-competing the rest because they have huge broods. If you're keeping it humid enough for the harlequins, it may slow down the caffrorum a bit since they prefer it a bit drier. In your wicked tank, the red heads will likely out-compete the rest after a point because they also have fairly large broods and give birth frequently. Periodic removal of some of the more dominant species should help keep everything in check though.

If you want a predator that would do well with a variety of roaches and not get too stressed, I would try assassin bugs. 

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Hmm I like the idea of adding assassins they are just so small when they are born I'm pretty sure some were eaten by lateralis before...its worth a try though considering red heads don't seem as aggressive of eaters as lats.

I really want to figure out something for my lobsters they don't seem to eat food fast enough. So I want a roach clean up crew for them lol

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On 3/17/2017 at 9:24 PM, lovebugfarm said:

Ahh yes I couldn't do that to a terrestrial tarantula I hatched out some p irminia recently that's where I got the idea but it's pretty silly I know. The tank I was gonna use is a 40 breeder. It probably won't happen since my wife doesn't like roaches display tanks I may try a scaled down version in my bug closet though.

Do you sell your slings?  I've got a P. cambridgei but I'd love an irminia as well.

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You could probably just throw in a couple large nymphs or adults in there and that should get the process rolling. From what I've seen, red heads are pretty mellow, so you shouldn't have to worry about them eating the assassins. 

What temp are you keeping your lobsters at? Anymore it seems like I can't give them enough food. 

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 I have a feeder/hybrid bin that I keep as pets and on occasion use to feed my reptiles. ( when I get too many) It's a mix of... I want to say 8-10 species of roaches.  They seem to be thriving in the mixed society setup. From what I can tell they tend to do better than my single species "purebred" tanks. Granted it's not the best idea to mix but, it works for me. Good luck with your setup.

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