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How many hissers in a 45x45x30cm (18x18x12in) terrarium?


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Hi all, quick question, how many hissers (Gromphadorhina species, probably oblongonota but may be hybrids) can a tank 45x45x30cm (c. 18x18x12in) hold? I now have about 50 hissers, about 3/4 of which are adults and the remainder large nymphs. They seem fine in there at the moment, they have plenty of hiding places, and I have seen no major signs of aggression or fighting amongst the males as yet (a bit of hissing but no antenna biting or other physical attacks on each other), but obviously as these ones breed the tank will become more crowded and either I will need to get a bigger one or (more likely) I'll need to thin out the colony. I am hoping to be able to trade them or give them away to some people in an insect group I belong to, probably about 10 at a time, or there is a breeder here in the UK who says they will take excess breeding stock of most inverts, although I have not yet contacted them about these!

Should I be thinking of thinning them out now (there is an insect group meeting next week I can take some to) or can/should I wait until this generation has babies in case anything happens to the colony (sudden disease/unexplained deaths etc.)?

 

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I honestly have no idea what the maximum amount of hissers that could be held in that tank is, but once they are coating all surfaces, start chewing off each other's antennae and tibia, or start cannibalizing, then it's time to cull some off. 

Once you get over 50 I'd start culling honestly, they multiply very fast!   

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Thanks Hisserdude yes I was thinking I would probably need to start reducing the numbers soon, before this new generation starts to produce too many babies!

The good news is that the UK breeder I mentioned has said they are willing to take my excess stock so it looks like I will be able to reduce the colony size without killing any of them myself - whilst I am sure others have far less qualms about it than me I am very squeamish about the whole idea of using my pet hissers as feeders, especially the bit about choosing which individuals get to live and which ones die, so it will be good to be able to pass them onto someone else - hopefully they will breed from most of them rather than feed them off, although of course I do realise I won't have any control over what happens to them afterwards so I can't be 100% certain. However the alternative (having my house completely taken over by roaches!!!) is probably more of a issue than the small guilt trip I will have knowing that the person I've passed them onto might have less qualms than me about feeding them off!

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