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Rhino roach died, please help


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One of my rhino roach nymphs died today. Last night it was squirming like it was going to molt so I misted the enclosure a couple times, but it later died without molting. My other two appear to be ok though I've been keeping an eye on them. 

I haven't changed husbandry recently so I'm not sure what happened, other than maybe a random death or something was wrong with the roach. Theyre all about four to five years old but the one that passed was noticably smaller than the others and had been for a while, which makes me think maybe something was wrong with it. 

Does anyone have any clue what might've happened and how to prevent it? I've never fed them eucalyptus btw, so I know it wasn't poisoning from that (I feed them oak, produce, and occasionally fish flakes). 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another one died in similar circumstances (though it fought hard for over a day instead of succumbing in a few hours). Beyond devistating. I've moved the last one to a different enclosure and keeping my fingers crossed.

Does anyone have any insight? Also who all sells rhino roaches?

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How warm are you keeping them? Are they dying up on the surface of the substrate or are they buried when you find them? A full setup description would be helpful. 

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56 minutes ago, Hisserdude said:

How warm are you keeping them? Are they dying up on the surface of the substrate or are they buried when you find them? A full setup description would be helpful. 

Both were on the surface when I found them. I keep them at room temperature which is currently 70 something. 

Setup was a large critter keeper with about two inches of organic soil and a piece of cork bark. The setup has been the same since I got them.

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49 minutes ago, Android raptor said:

Both were on the surface when I found them. I keep them at room temperature which is currently 70 something. 

Setup was a large critter keeper with about two inches of organic soil and a piece of cork bark. The setup has been the same since I got them.

Hmm, temps seem to be good, I know anything above 82F° has been reported as fatal for this species. 

Soil seems a bit deep, but they died on the surface so that rules out death by mismolts under loose substrate... Does the cork bark provide them adequate cover? 

You say you only occasionally feed them protein based foods like fish food? I'd personally up that to a couple times a week, feed them like you would any other roach, just in smaller amounts and make sure they always have leaf litter available as well. 

Really not sure why those two died so suddenly, nothing in your husbandry sounds particularly harmful. I'd shrug the first death off as a fluke, but two deaths within such a short period of time is definitely not normal for this species... It's quite a head scratcher for sure. The substrate didn't dry out or anything did it? 

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1 minute ago, Hisserdude said:

Hmm, temps seem to be good, I know anything above 82F° has been reported as fatal for this species. 

Soil seems a bit deep, but they died on the surface so that rules out death by mismolts under loose substrate... Does the cork bark provide them adequate cover? 

You say you only occasionally feed them protein based foods like fish food? I'd personally up that to a couple times a week, feed them like you would any other roach, just in smaller amounts and make sure they always have leaf litter available as well. 

Really not sure why those two died so suddenly, nothing in your husbandry sounds particularly harmful. I'd shrug the first death off as a fluke, but two deaths within such a short period of time is definitely not normal for this species... It's quite a head scratcher for sure. The substrate didn't dry out or anything did it? 

I'd actually fed them more fish flakes in the past few weeks. Not a super huge amount more but a bit more. The though had crossed my mind that too much protein might've hurt them but idk. 

I always keep the substrate moist, it didn't dry out.

The cork bark actually had a small bit of white mold on it, and a couple days ago some fish flakes had gotten moldy (I removed them when I found them). The mold is my best guess as to what killed them, but moldy food has happened once or twice before with no ill effect. 

Only other thing I can think is that there might be been mold in my fridge that got on the oak leaves (I keep them in the freezer).

I live in an apartment complex so the possibility that a neighbor sprayed pesticides exists, but none of my other bugs have been effected. 

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7 minutes ago, Android raptor said:

I'd actually fed them more fish flakes in the past few weeks. Not a super huge amount more but a bit more. The though had crossed my mind that too much protein might've hurt them but idk. 

I always keep the substrate moist, it didn't dry out.

The cork bark actually had a small bit of white mold on it, and a couple days ago some fish flakes had gotten moldy (I removed them when I found them). The mold is my best guess as to what killed them, but moldy food has happened once or twice before with no ill effect. 

Only other thing I can think is that there might be been mold in my fridge that got on the oak leaves (I keep them in the freezer).

I live in an apartment complex so the possibility that a neighbor sprayed pesticides exists, but none of my other bugs have been effected. 

Nah, many breeders feed their Macropanesthia a staple diet of dog food, supplemented by the dead leaves, too much protein isn't the issue here. 

It would have to be one heck of a mold to affect them, most of the grey or white mold growth on food and on enclosure decor isn't harmful to them, unless they are tiny and get tangled up in the strands. If anything moldy leaves and such would add some nutrients to their diet, not kill them. 

Do you wash your produce and leaves well before offering them to your Macropanesthia? Because there's always a chance of poisoning them via pesticides through unwashed fruits and dead leaves. 

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1 hour ago, Hisserdude said:

Nah, many breeders feed their Macropanesthia a staple diet of dog food, supplemented by the dead leaves, too much protein isn't the issue here. 

It would have to be one heck of a mold to affect them, most of the grey or white mold growth on food and on enclosure decor isn't harmful to them, unless they are tiny and get tangled up in the strands. If anything moldy leaves and such would add some nutrients to their diet, not kill them. 

Do you wash your produce and leaves well before offering them to your Macropanesthia? Because there's always a chance of poisoning them via pesticides through unwashed fruits and dead leaves. 

I wash everything I give all my roaches, and also freeze the leaves.

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5 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

Nah, many breeders feed their Macropanesthia a staple diet of dog food, supplemented by the dead leaves, too much protein isn't the issue here. 

It would have to be one heck of a mold to affect them, most of the grey or white mold growth on food and on enclosure decor isn't harmful to them, unless they are tiny and get tangled up in the strands. If anything moldy leaves and such would add some nutrients to their diet, not kill them. 

Do you wash your produce and leaves well before offering them to your Macropanesthia? Because there's always a chance of poisoning them via pesticides through unwashed fruits and dead leaves. 

I wash everything I give all my roaches, and also freeze the leaves.

EDIT: forgot to mention the second one was on its back the when I found it having issues. I don't know how long it had been like that as I'd been gone a couple days. 

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  • 1 year later...
On 5/22/2018 at 6:06 AM, Android raptor said:

I wash everything I give all my roaches, and also freeze the leaves.

EDIT: forgot to mention the second one was on its back the when I found it having issues. I don't know how long it had been like that as I'd been gone a couple days. 

Whoops, should have replied to this way sooner... In any case though, it seems like contaminated food wasn't the issue. I do know these guys are pretty sensitive to being stuck on their backs though, supposedly more than 24 hours can prove fatal...

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I know you can feed roaches certain things that kill them. Try feeding slightly spoiled coconut to hissers.  I remember feeding algae wafer fish food to some isopods that killed huge numbers. Certain fish pellets seem to make millipedes grow better and then they die while molting. These cases are rare and I usually would blame it on the food last, but I'll guess it was the fish flakes.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 2/5/2020 at 3:31 PM, Allpet Roaches said:

I know you can feed roaches certain things that kill them. Try feeding slightly spoiled coconut to hissers.  I remember feeding algae wafer fish food to some isopods that killed huge numbers. Certain fish pellets seem to make millipedes grow better and then they die while molting. These cases are rare and I usually would blame it on the food last, but I'll guess it was the fish flakes.

Can you tell me what isopod species died from algae wafers? I toss some of my algae wafers to Porcellio expansus and magnificus along with few other species but now I'm worried. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/1/2020 at 6:12 PM, Cariblatta lutea said:

Can you tell me what isopod species died from algae wafers? I toss some of my algae wafers to Porcellio expansus and magnificus along with few other species but now I'm worried. 

They were pleco wafers, it didn't wipe out the whole colony but killed off 95% of  "St. Lucia", "peach", and corcyraeum. The colonies did eventually recover. The pellets that caused molting deformities on flamelegs were half green/half brown cichlid algae food.  They didn't cause the same problem with Narceus or giant blues but produced the same deformities and post-molt deaths on young AGBs.

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22 hours ago, Allpet Roaches said:

They were pleco wafers, it didn't wipe out the whole colony but killed off 95% of  "St. Lucia", "peach", and corcyraeum. The colonies did eventually recover. The pellets that caused molting deformities on flamelegs were half green/half brown cichlid algae food.  They didn't cause the same problem with Narceus or giant blues but produced the same deformities and post-molt deaths on young AGBs.

Thank you for the info. Looks like I need to avoid those at all cost! 

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