AGB problem...

Argus

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
6
One of my AGBs died tonight for reasons unknown. Over the past few days, it had turned a grey-brown color and became very, very lethargic and unmoving. I was told that more than likely, this was a sign of an oncoming molt. The molt never came, and the poor millipede has passed on... I was wanting to know what could have caused this greying and sad, slow death. Another one occupies the same tank with it and has not shown any signs of the same problem. It's appetite is still rather robust and it's very active. Any idea what could have killed my AGB? :(
 

C_Strike

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 8, 2005
Messages
445
Could it have been its age?
I have only had mine for a couple of weeks, i couoldnt imagine them changing colour.. they feel like metal, smooth and cold to the touch.
where they given decaying leaf matter?
 

fantasticp

Arachnocompulsive
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 18, 2004
Messages
512
One of my AGBs died tonight for reasons unknown. Over the past few days, it had turned a grey-brown color and became very, very lethargic and unmoving. I was told that more than likely, this was a sign of an oncoming molt. The molt never came, and the poor millipede has passed on... I was wanting to know what could have caused this greying and sad, slow death. Another one occupies the same tank with it and has not shown any signs of the same problem. It's appetite is still rather robust and it's very active. Any idea what could have killed my AGB? :(

Was it curled up and turning gray or outstretched? If it was curled up in one layer with all legs facing the same way like it was going to molt and turned gray over the course of a couple of weeks, it might have gotten stuck in the molt. Sometimes a millipede will be taking WAY too long to finish molting and the outer layer (the one being shed) will re-harden making it impossible to break and crawl out of.
This is not "hey, it took my milli a couple of days, and I'm tired of waiting", but if it has been a couple of weeks and the milli changed to the pale about to push out of the molt color, and then to an even lighter stony white color and is completely hard and cannot move. You can- EXTREMELY CAREFULLY take an xacto knife (or generic equivalent) make a few knicks at random on the sides of the milli, not with the intent of cutting off the old layer, but with the intent of scaring it. The milli should then ink all over, and you can see the ink build up between the layers. Bury the milli halfway under some moist dirt just exposed enough that you can see its progress. In about 2-3 days it should be able to make it out of the old molt because its ink re-loosened everything up.
This is a pretty rare occurrence but if you know what you are looking for it can save your milli's life.

If it was outstretched when it died, or fell apart into pieces, it could have died from anything without a picture.
 

Argus

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
6
Thank you very much for the help. As it stands, I don't think the millipede is with us anymore. It took a period of around two weeks like this before I posted about the problem. Thank you so much for the information. Should anything like this happen to my remaining AGB, I'll know what to do.

Follow up: I took a razor blade and made a few very tiny nicks on the millipede's side. It might be my eyes playing tricks on me in hope, but it does look like the milli may have darkened a bit. I've half-buried her in some damp vermiculite as instructed. I know its a longshot, but I'm hoping for the best.
 
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Wade

Arachnoking
Old Timer
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Aug 16, 2002
Messages
2,933
Are you using vermiculite as a substrate? I would not consider that a good choice. I don't know if it would actually hurt them, but it isn't doing them any good, either. Most millipedes are detritus feeders, meaning in the wild they priamarily feed on decaying organic matter. Generally, organic substrates work much better, for they offer dietary supplements as well as moisture/cover.

Wade
 

Argus

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
6
The normal habitat I have my millis in is a thick layer of peat moss. For this little hospital setup, I am using vermiculite. The milli can't feed right now because of its condition, so that really isn't an issue in the hospital tub :/
 

Wade

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
2,933
Feeding may not be an issue now, but poor nutrition could be a factor in your millipedes condition. Peat is an OK base substrate, but I've found that adding material such as natural leaf litter and rotten wood the substrate has dramitically improved the survival rate of my millipedes. Before I started doing this, they seemed to die after a year or so, but once I started adding natural leaf litter they've done much better and even reproduce with regularity.

Wade
 

Scorp guy

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Messages
900
Feeding may not be an issue now, but poor nutrition could be a factor in your millipedes condition. Peat is an OK base substrate, but I've found that adding material such as natural leaf litter and rotten wood the substrate has dramitically improved the survival rate of my millipedes. Before I started doing this, they seemed to die after a year or so, but once I started adding natural leaf litter they've done much better and even reproduce with regularity.

Wade
Hi,

Not to steal this thread or anything, but what kind of wood do you use? can i find it, or do i have to buy it?
 

fantasticp

Arachnocompulsive
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 18, 2004
Messages
512
Hi,

Not to steal this thread or anything, but what kind of wood do you use? can i find it, or do i have to buy it?
Depends on where you live. If you live near a forest, go out and find any non-coniferous log that will crumble and break apart easily. Oak is best. If you live out in the middle of the desert, you might have to have someone mail you one. Microwave it or bake it before you put it in with your millis to kill anything already living in there.
 

Wade

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
2,933
A good substitute for rotten wood if you can't find it is shredded aspen bedding. In its normal state, the milllipedes can't eat it, but when it's mixed with moist substrate it eventually rots and becomes edible.

Wade
 
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