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Watercress Plants for Hissers


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Hi, I am new to the hobby and have 4 madagascan hissers annd 2 halloween hissers. I want to put a small watercress plant in their enclosure, i assume this is fine if I grow them (obviously pesticide free etc) but waned to make sure!! 

any advice is appreciated :) 

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  • 2 months later...


I would assume it's fine as honestly, most leafy greens are pretty safe for roaches. I would be careful with things like spinach (And occasionally watercress) as I've been told they can bind calcium in large amounts but not sure if this is true for roaches. I do think they'd much prefer a piece of fruit (they love bananas in my experience) or another healthy veggie like carrots. But I never tried putting an edible plant in there so they might really like the natural foraging. I've personally never fed watercress but my roaches like other greens (collards, dandelion, etc.) though many roaches don't care for them vs a fruit or pet food option such as fish or dog food. If you want a good consistent food, Tetra Pond Sticks work well or the Tetramin fish flakes. Both seem to really make my large hisser colonies happy. I keep both of these species and mine eat loads of both. I supplement a few times every week or two with carrot, banana, or another fruit or veggie. Carrots are the real mvp as they're healthy and are extremely mold resistant. I'm happy you got hissers though! I keep many species but hissers are still among my faves. They have alot of personality and are great for beginners! I also find most roaches love those little beetle jelly cups but I'd just use them as occasional treats. Same for a bit of honey. In all honesty, I feed large amounts of them with the pond sticks or flakes as a staple with fruits or veggies once or twice a week. Just be sure to mist on the dry food days. I only need to feed mine like 2-3 times a week as a good feeding lasts them a day or two and helps to keep them from leaving food around for pest attraction. Hissers actually have low appetites for their size so don't be alarmed if you don't see them swarm every food option. I find they aren't too food motivated across the board (Unlike Eublaberus serranus who devour anything I put in there lol). But if you have breeding pairs you'll have a high chance of nymphs as hissers tend to be easy breeders so you'll have lots of hungry babies in a few months! I would just increase food relative to colony size. In all honesty I have LOTS of hissers of both types (G. portentosa and E. javanica) if you want some. I'd happily send them for free if you take on the shipping. My Common Hissers are not pure strain though (Unless your source mentioned they were, yours most likely aren't either as pure common hissers are really rare). If you wanted links to the fish food I was talking about I'm happy to find it online and PM you. All the big pet stores have it. Hope that helps! I find with most roach species including hissers, variety is KING. So if you give them variation in their diet to keep them from getting tired of things they do better (They do actually get sick of the same food and thrive on variety!). Roaches kind of eat cafeteria style (As Orin McMonigle calls it) and they eat different things each feeding session to suit their daily needs. If you offer like 3 or 4 things a feeding session, you'll see them kinda pick and choose what they want. It's really cute!

Hope all this helps!!!

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  • 10 months later...

Interesting.  I feed as much variety as I'm able.  I have no vehicle so getting fresh stuff is a challenge.  Do you have any wide worm hissers or other variety?

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