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Cricket colony for tarantula keep dying

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by bjbrokaw, Aug 30, 2008.

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    I have spent 40 dollars on crickets so far and two colonies I setup have died. Using a large rubbermaid container with ventilation holes. Cardboard for them to hide. Fish flakes and cat food and water is a wet paper towel changed every day. Potting soil mixed with coco bedding for eggs but they all keep dieing on me and no eggs are being laid. :wall:
     
  2. Snipes

    Snipes Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Make it easy on yourself and get roaches. Discoidalis roaches don't climb or fly but won't breed as fast. Blatta lateralis breed better but you're in worse shape if they get out. Trust me, it's worth the investment
     
  3. Kris-wIth-a-K

    Kris-wIth-a-K Arachnoprince

    This is how mine stay alive. When I do have them I keep them in a 50G tank with substrate to dig and a few cardboard things to hide. I use realy fruit and that sems to be the key to the survival. I have heard of everything else but that seems to work. Another thing is keep them cool. Once they overheat they die.
     
  4. Le Wasp

    Le Wasp Arachnoknight Arachnosupporter

    I accidentally started a cricket colony in my bearded dragon tank. The substrate was sand and I had a dixie cup with small holes in it to give a slow drip of water into a shallow dish. The crickets fed on whatever I fed the dragon, usually collard greens, etc. Pretty soon the female crickets laid eggs in the moist sand and pinheads started showing up. I used them to feed slings, but now I changed the substrate in there. I'll probably miss it since it was such an easy way to get feeders for slings.
     
  5. WyvernsLair

    WyvernsLair Arachnobaron

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    If you are buying mature adults, chances are you are getting them literally at the end of their life cycle when they are supposed to die. Once a cricket is mature you have a week or two at best before they start dying on you. If you want to get crickets for breeding, but also have some to feed to other animals at the same time then I suggest you buy a bunch of crickets at the pre-wing stage as well as the winged stage so you have the best of both worlds. The mature crickets are laying eggs and dying while you feed the pre-wings to your animals. If you have left overs on the pre-wings they will continue to grow and mature and start breeding for you.

    When I need crickets simply for bulk egg laying reasons (when it's time to restart a colony from scratch or when I need more tiny crickets than I usually produce), then I buy a 250 ct box of 7/8" from ReptileFood.com. I KNOW that in under a week most of those crickets (the older adults) are going to be dead and the rest (the slightly younger adults) will be dead the following week. I don't care about the deaths in that case because I wanted them simply for egg heavy females to dump eggs. If I have any animals that need to eat when I do that type of purchase order, then I sort through and feed off just the male crickets so I can keep as many females dumping eggs for as long as I can. It is important that when doing this it also means you have to be scrupulous in keeping the container clean of dead crickets (I remove dead crickets every day). I also have 3 egg laying dishes that I replace every other day. The egg filled ones have a lid put on and then put in the refrigerator so that I can then control the hatching.

    Other reasons for sudden deaths could be temperature related. You do not want to keep them too cold or too hot (75-85 F is what you want to aim for). Also, does your rubbermaid container have a few holes drilled in? that isn't good for them.. keeps the humidity too high and the air flow stagnant and they die. You need a good size section in the center of the lid cut out and then screen put into it. A good rule is, if there is ever any moisture condensate on the lid or sides of the container then there is not enough ventilation. My 2 main cricket containers have full screen lids - no solid portions. Baby crickets (1/16 to almost 1/4" size), however, are kept in containers with a tiny bit of humidity as they are prone to dessication unlike larger/older crickets.

    Ok with that aside. The diet you are feeding them is not good. Too much calcium in it makes it hard for the crickets to molt and I think the taurine isn't good for them either. Plus the carnivore based cat food isn't healthy for an insect that is mostly an herbivore. You should invest in a good quality cricket diet. Timberline Fisheries sells nice size bags of food fairly cheap. I usually buy (3) 6 pound bags of the dry food and this lasts me about a year. I store it all in the freezer and fill a small jar to use as needed for the week (does real good at minimizing problems of grain mites, moths, etc.). Also a wet paper towel is NOT enough to provide needed moisture for the crickets. Gel water is good. diced up carrots are good. I usually soak a chunk of carrot in water overnight in the fridge and then dice it up the next day before giving it to the crickets. I also regularly use gel water as a supplemental source of moisture for my crickets. I sometimes like to alternate the moisture sources: 1 day they get carrots, then for 2 days they get gel water. The gel water is replaced each day because you don't want to encourage bacterial growth from occurring due to cricket fras (poops) that have gotten into the gel water tray....crickets are soooo not litterbox trained. sigh. ;)
     
  6. Diggy415

    Diggy415 Arachnoknight

    ive had good luck with a 30gl rubber maid, lined with newspapers, a small container with potting soil and moss kept moist and egg cartons to hide in , lids that contain oatmeal and fishfood, eggs are being laid and this is the second generation ive got going now, mealworms are taking off in a 10 gl with soil and wet moss and hides as well, same food also...
     
  7. I switched from paper towles to potato for water and no more have died. Maybe some chemical used to make the paper towels was killing them?
     
  8. Senses-Tingling

    Senses-Tingling Arachnoknight

    Well - all I can add to the convo is encouragement to keep trying. A old buddy of mine had a dart frog business and was very successful breeding dart frogs. He tried his hand at breeding crickets cause most cricket suppliers were not very good at supplying true pinhead crickets - which is what he needed for his young froglets. It took him about 14 months to get his system down - and this from a guy who breeds one of the most environmentally demanding species in the hobby.
    So - keep experimenting, keep trying. If the cricket suppliers can do it, we can.
     
  9. blazetown

    blazetown Arachnodemon

    crickets are one of the most pain in the ass random animals...half the time they sprout up everywhere where you don't want them even tho you can be trying to breed them with no success....I would say just keep trying.
     
  10. Just get some roaches. It may seem expensive at first, but once you get a colony going, There is no way you are gonna run out of pet food unless you spray a can o' raid in the tank. here's a good sight, I ordered 25 roaches and got at least 40 from here: http://nyworms.com/roaches.htm
     
  11. baf236

    baf236 Arachnosquire

    I would just leave the lid off the cricket container. I find that the crickets can't climb the slippery rubbermaid containers. By leaving the lid off you will get the best ventilation. If they are able to climb your particular container you can put packing tape all around it a few times. They can't climb packing tape - it's too slippery.
     
  12. Meer

    Meer Arachnopeon

    I don't have a problem keeping my crickets alive, but I can't seem to breed them. I've been trying for months and only had one random batch of eggs hatch. What are you guys doing to get your eggs to hatch?
     
  13. scottyk

    scottyk Arachnoangel

    All paths lead to roaches my young seeker of knowledge...
     

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  14. jeepinwu2

    jeepinwu2 Arachnoknight

    $40!!! Like all have said get roaches. For $40 you can have a never ending supply of lobster roaches. Periodically I have to freeze some of mine to keep my colony in check.
     
  15. Hedorah99

    Hedorah99 Arachnoprince Old Timer

    The only time I have been able to get a cricket colony going is when they breed on their own in a tank I don't want them in. Like everyone said, get some roaches.
     
  16. desertdweller

    desertdweller Arachnoprince

    Thanks for a great belly laugh!!!!!!! I needed it. The boards owe you one.
     
  17. Live with my parents because I'm 17 and they keep thinking of american roaches that will infest the house. It is impossible to convince them otherwise so I have to stick with crickets for now and some worms later.
     
  18. Moltar

    Moltar ArachnoGod

    Tell them crickets will infest a house more rapidly than tropical roaches. And roaches don't chirp.
     
  19. Meer

    Meer Arachnopeon

    You speak the truth oh wise master! :worship:

    Seriously, already got the roaches. But unfortunately it's going to be a long time before my colony is established. So in the mean time I'd like to get my crickets to breed so I don't have to keep buying them.
     
  20. similar question

    I really just dont like the idea of roaches, so im going to be trying the cricket thing