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Gromphadorhina hybrid Colony Setup

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Hello everyone, I just wanted to get your thoughts on the set up I have for my Gromphadorhina hybrid colony. I apologize about image quality but I am not very tech savy... this took me all morning to figure out :P



My goal is a half pet display half breeding project so I am trying to make the enclosure look presentable and also easy to clean and maintain population. There is a 2'-3' petroleum jelly barrier and the screen lid is secured with metal clamps. The colony started on coco fiber as substrate but I found that it was too difficult to keep track of the nymphs especially during cleanings; I switched to a green pet carpet with several layers of paper towels underneath and a hunk of moss which the nymphs enjoy burrowing in. The heating pad is underneath the enclosure but after reading a few post here I decided to side mount it when I get the adhesive. I am always tinkering with the setup and have a few more plans including covering the sides of the aquarium to make the enclosure feel a bit more closed in.

For the water bowl I used to use the the cotton ball method, but I recently came across and article explaining how people can help bees in the wild stay hydrated. The idea is to fill the bowl with marbles giving the insect a surface to walk on while still being able to reach the water. I've also noticed the humidity has gone up a few degrees since I started this, and living in a dry climate like Colorado humidity is hard to come by.

I keep between 25-30 adults at a 1:4 male to female ratio with anywhere from 3x to 5x that in nymphs of varying stages. I had many more at one point but cleared out a bunch to reset the colony once I really got into the hobby. The plan was to let them rebuild, but since thinning the numbers I have not seen a single escape attempt in months; I have also noticed most of the individual specimen are keeping their full antennae for much longer. I take this to mean they are happier so I will be experimenting with keeping the population low... How many adult hissers would be too many for a set up like this?

I look forward to you thoughts.

P.S. I don't know how important this is to the cockroach community but I do not euthanize these guys for population control; they are given to local reptile shops who happily take them and even offer store credit from time to time. This way feels much less wasteful to me.

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Nice enclosure man, I'm sure they love it in there! :) With enough hides, you could probably fit about 150 adults in that tank, maybe more, it's all about providing enough surface area for them all. Later down the line, egg cartons will come in real handy for that. 

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Good idea to use the marbles in the water dish instead of cotton balls. Makes clean up easier and you won't have to worry about potential bacteria/mold problems. 

As long as the reptile shops know they are hybrids and label them as such, I see no problem in dropping them off with them instead of freezing them. 

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Wow, 150 adults is quite a bit more than I expected... My wife pointed out that the cotton balls would get kind of nasty at times and drove me to find an alternative for water :P That is a good point about how the roaches are actually labeled; it's usually just "Hisser" and are sold as feeders primarily so the employees don't usually know much about them... Next time I thin out the numbers I will ask questions.

Colony Update: I side mounted the heating pad and added a couple slits of egg crate which they seem to enjoy; I also added 4 new adults for their dark brown color.

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  • 3 weeks later...
10 minutes ago, Cassidy_Brigh said:

I love the idea of the marbles!  I was wondering how to keep the water from evaporating while still keeping a level that was safe (no drowning).  Colorado here as well, so the dry air and all!!  Thanks for sharing the images...I'll have to hit Toys-R-Us today and collect my marbles!  

I have heard of some people using water crystals as a water source. Instead of me trying to explain them and failing miserably, here's a link to a website that sells them: http://www.rainbowmealworms.net/cricket-and-roach-water-crystals/

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