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Blatticomposting Noob :) How’s my Setup?


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Hello community! 
I will have a ton of questions regarding these critters, so I figured I’d introduce myself. 
I live in Southern California USA, and was that weird kid that spent hours outside lifting up rocks looking for critters. I’m a biology nerd, but fancy most other sciences as well. 
TLDR questions are the end. 
 

I had a composting bin with red wiggler worms, but after I read about how much faster roaches get the same amount of work done, I went a little crazy and added 3 species of cockroaches. 


• Eublaberus serranus: 65 total, mixed nymphs and some winged adults

•Eublaberus sp Ivory: 65 total, mixed nymphs and some adults. 

•Dubia: around 20 adult females, 10 adult males, 100 mixed nymphs. 

So far, the ivory’s are my favorite! E Serranus is my least favorite. I’ve only had each species between 3-5 weeks, so they are all still pretty new. I’m looking forward to seeing the colonies grow! Eventually I might separate the species when their numbers are large enough, and will need help telling the adult male Dubai’s from the E. Serranus. 
 

The enclosure is a large, 27 gallon, plastic bin kept outside. Ventilation holes are drilled on the lid and all four sides near the top. The center of the lid is cut out and covered with steel mesh for the heating element. 
I keep my roaches comfortable with:

seedling heat mat underneath the bin to warm the substrate— thermostat controlled and set to 78F (so the worms don’t get too hot).

100 watt ceramic heat emitter. 
Closer to the top of the “eggcrate mountain” it’s about 90-100F (still in June-gloom weather), and the roaches have the option of moving down lower for cooler temps, or dig down into the substrate. 
They also have some buried egg crate for the Eublaberus, buried and exposed pieces of wood, dried oak and magnolia leaves ontop of and buried in the substrate. 
substrate is a mix of compost, planting soil, coconut fiber, a little bit of wood char, coffee grounds, dried leaves, shredded paper, etc  

I mist the enclosure anywhere from twice a day to every couple days.
The roaches are offered fruit and vegetable scraps, sometimes little bits of egg or very small amounts of meats (I don’t want the bin to stink or attract flies), ground eggshells, ground bird seed, sometimes high quality fish pellets. Variety is the spice of life :)

There are also various species of isopods, mites, springtails, and a few buffalo beetles. 
 

I look forward to any recommendations you guys have for my new hobby, and am trying to create a mini-ecosystem where my critters are content and productive. 
Let me know if there’s anything else I ought to add. 
 

QUESTIONS:

I’ve read on other posts that Eublaberus species do not hybridize, and hybridization with Dubia is unlikely. Let me know if this isn’t the case.

Since I’m already on the communal composting bin train, any interesting species you’d recommend adding? 
requirements: cannot climb well, cannot fly well

Do E. Serranus adult females have wings? 
can someone post a picture? The google doesn’t work that great for roach questions/ pictures. 

whats the best way to tell adult dubia males  and E. Serranus apart? 

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Update. I think the seller may have put some dubia adults in with the E. Serranus nymphs. 
found an adult today and the two are unmistakeable. 
 

still waiting on info regarding hybridization. I found are two, rather old, posts suggesting that they don’t/ can’t. This forum doesn’t make uploading pictures easy... or I’d post the screenshots. The individual I bought the Ivory’s from said he had not heard of hybridization, and the people who got back to me on Arachnoboards didn’t seem to think they did either, or it was unlikely. 

 

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  • 3 months later...

Hi. I have kept for a while Aeluropoda insignis, Eublaberus "ivory" and Blaptica dubia together. In the end I have left the three species Eublaberus alone. I don't see that in terms of composting I would contribute anything by mixing them. There were also isopods and mealworms in small numbers. I have acquired Pycnoscelus surinamensis recently, but I have doubts whether Pycnoscelus nigra would not have been better. In any case it seems to me that the best are the Eublaberus. They reproduce better than any other species. I have hundreds of nymphs.... Here I show you my design...

 

Terrario con Eublaberus2.jpg

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I have had Eublaberus Serranus since 2016. As well as several other species. But now only the pantanals.  In the end the Eublaberus will win. Which species? I have tried adding isopods of various species, millipedes. There have been accidental “temporary” roach additions. Little Kenyans and red runners. Eublaberus appear to be voracious eaters and the others dont survive. Once the population gets high enough nothing not even fungus gnats survive. I think they like to taste everything. And Of course if enough taste something alive it’s going to die. They eat there own dead. Adult Dubai and E. serranus do not actually look alike. The E. serranus are substantially larger and bulkier. The question is will the ivory outcompete the pantanals? I have noticed my pantanal slow during the winter. It maybe that I don’t supply enough supplemental heat and the humidity drops severely here in the winter. 

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