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Raising Feeders in living soil environment

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TamanduaGirl
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Raising Feeders in living soil environment

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:08 pm

https://www.beardeddragon.org/forums/vi ... 6&t=221653

I just bought a bunch of small dubia roaches to raise up and am going to do it basically this way. I really wanted to try raising earwigs because the Anteater LOVE those things but they wont be coming out to gather some till late April at the earliest. Since predatory bight need to do their own container if I still do that as they may eat the young roaches or may still give it a shot and feed whoever survives.

I have a 30 gallon tank and finally figured out a place for it with some rearranging. Using this method will even have it looking sorta nice. May even try adding some plants though they may get eaten.
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Re: Raising Feeders in living soil environment

Postby Ana » Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:12 pm

Okay, that's seriously fascinating. Are you going to try and replicate their natural habitat? I'm so skeeved by the superworms that I might
not be able to give them the care they would need. How big do these dubia roaches get? What made you choose this insect in particular?
Have you looked into the black soldier fly?

I'd love to do this same thing you're planning, but I'm already worrying about the dozens of ways I'll screw it up.
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Re: Raising Feeders in living soil environment

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:50 pm

Image
So the largest size is full adult.

Not necessarily their natural environment but a natural environment. A mini ecosystem so instead of having to clean out a container of poop you just have to change the sticks and hides as they get eaten up. They used pill bugs to clean up any stuff the roaches didn't eat, like the roach shed skins.

But you can do it the simpler way and put egg crates in a tub for them to hide in. Unlike other insects that still doesn't smell much so most only clean to poo out like every few months is what I read. Unlike the worms they spend their time up in the crates so not in their own mess that falls to the ground. You place a bunch of egg crates vertical. So then when you do clean you take those out shake the roaches off into a tub then dump the poop. Ideally dump to poop in another container to save errant babies. You have to have the tank at least 80 degrees is the biggest issue but you can buy a under tank reptile heater or use heat lamps, or heat tape like you use on pipes to warm several containers.
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Re: Raising Feeders in living soil environment

Postby Vata Raven » Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:51 pm

Have you thought about starting a compost unit to raise worms?
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Re: Raising Feeders in living soil environment

Postby Ash » Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:53 pm

I LOVE dubias! I raise them "bio-actively" so that I never have to clean out the tub. They do have dirt to burrow in and lots of egg cartons. But I put in tons of cleaner bugs to keep it clean. It's really nice.

You'll love these roaches. While I do feed my roaches off to my lizards, I enjoy keeping the colony as a pet. So they're like a collective pet.

I'm excited you're raising them. They're pretty cute and neat little things.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas
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Re: Raising Feeders in living soil environment

Postby Ana » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:36 am

What had you both choose this particular insect? Found this and was daunted afresh. :roll:

IMPORTANT: Please be aware that we DO NOT recommend starting your own colony unless you are absolutely set on doing so. Not only is it common for people to develop an allergy to dubia roaches or their frass (droppings) with too much handling and constant exposure, but the amount of time involved in sorting out and maintaining a colony is more than you might expect. You might save money long term, but it may not be worth the risk. Handling your dubia roaches in a well ventilated room, and wearing gloves or even a mask if possible can help reduce the chances of an allergic reaction. Our facility has been specially equipped with high quality ventilation to manage this problem. Let us provide your dubia roaches as you need them with minimal exposure and risk of developing allergies.
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Re: Raising Feeders in living soil environment

Postby TamanduaGirl » Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:49 am

They are really nutritious. Is the main reason and they don't climb well so the glass tank will be fine for them.

Is that from a site selling them. They're gonna slant it to sound like you should buy them. To me the biggest down side was having to keep the tank warm to breed them. I keep my room warm for the anteaters but not normally up to 80 it's about 75-80 so usually around 78-ish.

They aren't as messy as others like crickets and mealworms but I'm gonna throw some superworms in there too since Fennecs like them so much and they help keep the tank cleaner and mix up the soil. But you can make it work with just other cleaner bugs like the pill bugs I think.

Cleaning the tanks might be a bit dusty done traditionally but I'd think the risk of allergy would be about the same as any bug. I don't think the sorting is super important when you have big critters eating the adults. People sort for lizards to feed the smaller ones so have to only keep a few adults to not let the colony get to big. Feed males off first since you need less of them. Heck if they do that well I can freeze them up and even blend them into anteater food, that would be ideal.
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Re: Raising Feeders in living soil environment

Postby Ash » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:55 pm

They're nutritious, don't bite, easy to keep, don't smell, don't climb, don't fly... the list goes on for me. :)

A guy I know who breeds Fiji iguanas has bins and bins and bins full of dubias he doesn't know what to do with. Lucky guy. He told me the secret to dubia keeping was to never feed off the breeders and to have as many breeders as possible. I've started doing that, and it's worked great for me.

I put superworms in with mine. They chew through the egg cartons quickly. I have a few beetles now though that I don't really know what to do with. Supposedly though superworms are easy to raise.

Oh, in addition to veggies and fruits, you can also give them chicken feed. Mine go crazy for it. The guy with the Fiji iguanas gives lots of chicken feed as well as lots of veggies and fruits.
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Re: Raising Feeders in living soil environment

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:12 pm

The link above said having the superworms in there that way had them breeding a lot. More than they really needed. So you'll get plenty if you leave some beetles to breed. Don't you have anything that would eat the beetles too if you have too many?
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Re: Raising Feeders in living soil environment

Postby Ash » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:44 pm

Oh yeah. The iguanas (ctenosauras) and sailfin will gobble them all up. I should get more superworms and put them in.
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Re: Raising Feeders in living soil environment

Postby TamanduaGirl » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:22 pm

Ya know how they say to use marbles to make a safe drinking place for bees. I decided to do that with fish thank rocks and tiny trays(cut bottoms off small dip containers). Looks like they like it.
ImageSuper Worms getting a drink by TamanduaGirl, on Flickr

I also changed out most of the sticks for bark off of Pua's logs and they love that too. Also added some pine cones and the tiny roaches hide in those and under the bark in clusters. Tossed some moss in there and the meal worms really like that. To spice things up a bit I put my lizard figurine in the corner. I just left the one partial egg carton for the food. Some dehydrated lamb dog food no one ever liked and some fish food. Can still give veggies and apples but I feel better providing water and didn't want to buy crystals and not everyone comes to get it when some is just sprayed in there.
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Re: Raising Feeders in living soil environment

Postby TamanduaGirl » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:49 pm

Vata Raven wrote:Have you thought about starting a compost unit to raise worms?


Oops sorry. We have a compost bin but Pua rarely eats one if I offer it. One issue though even if she did is parasites. I'm a bit worried about that with earthworms. I know they can carry some parasite detrimental to birds and found a case of a human getting parasites from eating live worms(ew). They do get DE in their food to help prevent parasite infection but I'm just a bit paranoid about earthworms anyway. I think the bird thing stuck with me.
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Re: Raising Feeders in living soil environment

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:48 pm

I had just ordered small dubia's before but ordered my adults to get things going now, since the tank seems to be doing well. One mommy already had babies in the box on the trip here! Another found the water and then went to nomming on the stray chicken food pellet that fell in when I put them in the tank.

ImageDubia getting a wet snack by TamanduaGirl, on Flickr

ImageMama had babies on the trip here by TamanduaGirl, on Flickr

ImageMama had babies on the trip here by TamanduaGirl, on Flickr

Edit: she's still popping babies out and a male is now chugging the water.
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Re: Raising Feeders in living soil environment

Postby Ana » Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:25 pm

Thank you so much for the pics. I'm incredibly grossed out and fascinated. I'll be starting the boy's colony
next month! What temp are you keeping them at?
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Re: Raising Feeders in living soil environment

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:20 pm

Right now it's in the 70's which is fine for them to survive in and the superworms will breed in that but everything I read says it needs to be 80 for the Dubia's to breed. I just haven't decided on heating method yet. I'm thinking maybe do a heat rock then put the aquarium top back on to help keep heat in.

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