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questions on proper moisture levels and normal eating habits for hissers

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Hello all!

I'm a new roach owner - I have 4 Madagascar hissers, two adults and two juveniles. I've had them about 3 weeks now, and they never eat a noticeable amount of food before I change it out. I've been going through posts on here and am feeling a bit better about that, as it seems fairly common? I give them lettuce, carrots, grapes, and cat/dog food pellets. The vegetables wilt pretty rapidly, so I was giving them new food every night at first but they don't touch it. It almost seems like one of them hasn't eaten at all - that or he is very good at being in the same exact spot every time I look for them.

I am also wondering how everyone monitors moisture level? I got a hygrometer to measure the percent humidity, and through some research it seems like I should try to have their tank at 60% humidity at a minimum. So usually I've been doing a daily routine of misting the tank, soaking their peat moss until it's lightly saturated and then putting it back, and filling their water dish. With all this, the hygrometer would read only about 50% at the most (we have cold and dry winters here) so now I am also keeping a humidifier running right next to their tank. With this I can get the humidity up to 80%. Is this too much moisture/over-doing it?

A long first post - but I want my new little pets to be happy and am so excited to be an invertebrate owner!

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I live in las vegas and we have really dry air here, too. What I do for my hissers is I blocked off part of the screen mesh in their lid to reduce (but not completely stop) ventilation and I mist the cage down once or twice a day and give them high moisture foods (melons, apples, oranges, things like that). I have a pair and probably 12-17 babies, and they've done well so far. Other people might be in a more similar climate and could answer your question a bit better. 

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  • 3 months later...

I either reduce ventilation for species that don't mind and like moisture, or I keep a lot of ventilation while pouring water into the substrate once or twice a week. My bugroom is heated with a space heater so the air stays pretty dry, this has worked well for me.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Portentosa!

I have many hissers and figured I'd give some care advice. I wouldn't worry too much about them not eating a ton. Hissers don't seem to eat much and don't have a strong feeding response. You're feeding good stuff, they just may not eat a ton. For example, mine didn't start clearing large food amounts until they got to the amount of 50-60 large hissers. Might try adding in oranges or banana as they love those. Fish pellets too. They aren't picky eaters though. 

As far as moisture is concerned, hissers (most species), are not picky or particular about humidity. They hail from humid Madagascar forests but don't seem to mind drier conditions. I keep mine at moderate humidity but not really wet. They do just fine on no substrate, or dry substrate as long as you offer water crystals or fruits and veggies. I prefer to mist nightly or every other night (depending on how much ventilation there is) and they will drink the droplets. But honestly, just like dubia, they really don't seem to care what humidity they are at so long as you give them consistent food, water sources, and space adequate to colony size. 

Hope that helps and I'm happy to talk more if you need any other advice! I love hissers and am always happy to see people keeping them!

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