Calcium for millipedes

Abel

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Oct 1, 2016
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So I found some aquarium clay which says it contains 90% calcium and has labels saying stuff like non toxic/ all natural. Maybe I can use it as a calcium source for my millipedes? If so, do I need to mix it infood or will they simply eat it off a dish?
 

Ranitomeya

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I add some gypsum to the substrate when it's first prepared and provide mine with cuttlefish bone. I also give them unsalted, dried anchovies every once in a while which also provides calcium and other minerals.
 

mickiem

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I rely on turtle food for calcium. I crumble pellets once or twice a week. @Marika what kind of calcium do you use?

Does the aquarium clay list other ingredients? I use to use a clay product from Germany for freshwater fish/ plants and it contained a lot of iron. I'm not sure if millipedes can have high levels of iron? I would check your ingredients before you feed it to the pedes.
 

ErinM31

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So I found some aquarium clay which says it contains 90% calcium and has labels saying stuff like non toxic/ all natural. Maybe I can use it as a calcium source for my millipedes? If so, do I need to mix it infood or will they simply eat it off a dish?
90% sounds quite high to me. I have mixed calcium powder into substrate for millipedes and isopods before and some were at least not harmed by it but I do believe I had a more sensitive species die from conditions being too alkaline. Now I rely on supplementing with "crab cuisine" -- made for crustaceans so it's supposed to have extra calcium. Not all of my millipedes eat this or just the ones still growing will, which I think makes sense that they would benefit from extra protein and calcium.

I rely on turtle food for calcium. I crumble pellets once or twice a week. @Marika what kind of calcium do you use?

Does the aquarium clay list other ingredients? I use to use a clay product from Germany for freshwater fish/ plants and it contained a lot of iron. I'm not sure if millipedes can have high levels of iron? I would check your ingredients before you feed it to the pedes.
I would be hesitant about using a product with a great deal of iron as a supplement or substrate. I imagine their needs would be quite minimal, only as a cofactor for enzymes since arthropods use copper instead of iron to carry oxygen in their hemolymph. I have never read about too much iron being dangerous for millipedes or other arthropods, but those are my thoughts on it.
 

Abel

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Oct 1, 2016
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90% sounds quite high to me. I have mixed calcium powder into substrate for millipedes and isopods before and some were at least not harmed by it but I do believe I had a more sensitive species die from conditions being too alkaline. Now I rely on supplementing with "crab cuisine" -- made for crustaceans so it's supposed to have extra calcium. Not all of my millipedes eat this or just the ones still growing will, which I think makes sense that they would benefit from extra protein and calcium.



I would be hesitant about using a product with a great deal of iron as a supplement or substrate. I imagine their needs would be quite minimal, only as a cofactor for enzymes since arthropods use copper instead of iron to carry oxygen in their hemolymph. I have never read about too much iron being dangerous for millipedes or other arthropods, but those are my thoughts on it.
I will remove the clay just in case then. Luckily I put it on a dish so its easier to remove. Ill just feed them turtle food as I keep a terrapin and have constant supply to that
 

Abel

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Also, I found a scarlet millipede yesterday with a injured exoskeleton yesterday. The injury is right behind its head, making it slightly tilted to the right. The area where it is injured is black in colour. The millipede is still active, running around and even tried mating with one of my females 5 mins after I put it in. Im guessing it can only heal after it molts, so in this period of time I gotta give it a contant supply of the calcium right?
 

ErinM31

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Also, I found a scarlet millipede yesterday with a injured exoskeleton yesterday. The injury is right behind its head, making it slightly tilted to the right. The area where it is injured is black in colour. The millipede is still active, running around and even tried mating with one of my females 5 mins after I put it in. Im guessing it can only heal after it molts, so in this period of time I gotta give it a contant supply of the calcium right?
Glad to hear it seems to be doing alright! :) You're right, the injury won't be corrected until it molts and it may take a few molts for it to completely heal (at least it did for one of my scarlet millipedes). While I think it would be a good idea to provide some source of supplemental calcium, I do not think there is any need to give it extra on top of that.
 

Abel

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Glad to hear it seems to be doing alright! :) You're right, the injury won't be corrected until it molts and it may take a few molts for it to completely heal (at least it did for one of my scarlet millipedes). While I think it would be a good idea to provide some source of supplemental calcium, I do not think there is any need to give it extra on top of that.
Thks! Hope it heals completely ASAP:)
 

mickiem

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I would be hesitant about using a product with a great deal of iron as a supplement or substrate. I imagine their needs would be quite minimal, only as a cofactor for enzymes since arthropods use copper instead of iron to carry oxygen in their hemolymph. I have never read about too much iron being dangerous for millipedes or other arthropods, but those are my thoughts on it.
Thanks, Erin. I don't know the biology of it per se, but it didn't sound right. That makes sense.
 
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mickiem

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90% sounds quite high to me. I have mixed calcium powder into substrate for millipedes and isopods before and some were at least not harmed by it but I do believe I had a more sensitive species die from conditions being too alkaline. Now I rely on supplementing with "crab cuisine" -- made for crustaceans so it's supposed to have extra calcium. Not all of my millipedes eat this or just the ones still growing will, which I think makes sense that they would benefit from extra protein and calcium.



I would be hesitant about using a product with a great deal of iron as a supplement or substrate. I imagine their needs would be quite minimal, only as a cofactor for enzymes since arthropods use copper instead of iron to carry oxygen in their hemolymph. I have never read about too much iron being dangerous for millipedes or other arthropods, but those are my thoughts on it.
I thought copper was toxic to inverts? I am guessing it depends on the amount, can you comment, @ErinM31 ? Also - I looked up the Crab Cuisine and the ingredients are mainly fruits. I just put it on my list. I think variety is the spice of life. :hungry:
 

ErinM31

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I thought copper was toxic to inverts? I am guessing it depends on the amount, can you comment, @ErinM31 ? Also - I looked up the Crab Cuisine and the ingredients are mainly fruits. I just put it on my list. I think variety is the spice of life. :hungry:
Yes, the amount is all-important! To my knowledge, no animals are able to rid heavy metals from their system. Before the modern age, I imagine the challenge was more often to get enough. In any case, we instead sequester these metals -- which can be good if it means hanging onto and recycling your precious iron supply (here referring to our own cycle of turnover of red blood cells). We can be poisoned by excess iron and copper as well but have a higher tolerance. A perusal of articles online suggests to me that higher levels of copper are especially dangerous for aquatic invertebrates (see this thread). I would think that excess iron would be bad for invertebrates as well, but this based on the assumption that they sequester it like we do (we even sequester metals that we have NO use for, like mercury) but I do not know this for a fact. I would avoid excess of any metal in a millipede's substrate both for how it affects the pH of their environment and, in the case of the heavier metals, we do not know how much of each is beneficial, benign or toxic. I do make a point of giving kale to any of my arthropods that will eat it because it is higher in copper -- I do not know whether any or all of them are able to extract it from this source, but for sure they won't be get an overdose from it. :)

What brand of Crab Cuisine did you look up? I have Hikari Crab Cuisine. Ingredients: Fish Meal, Flaked Corn, Wheat Flour, Rice Bran, Soybean Meal, Gluten Meal, Krill Meal, Fish Oil, Brewers Dried Yeast, Dl-Methionine, Garlic, Canthaxanthin, Astaxanthin, Choline Chloride, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Stabilized Vitamin C), Inositol, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Niacin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Cobalt Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Salt

Is all or any of that good for millipedes (or crabs for that matter)? I don't know. I bought it when I had marine crabs and snails and while I give my millipedes a variety of supplements (depending on what they will eat and whether there are growing pedelings present), I had thought this would be a particularly good choice (compared with other fish, cat or dog food) because it was formulated for crustaceans instead of vertebrates but maybe I am giving them too much credit or maybe the science of arthropod nutrition is not that advanced (or existent?). Maybe it doesn't matter? I would like to learn more and will look into different options, but in the mean time, my pedelings seem to enjoy it (I probably give it once a week) and are growing well. :)
 

kjgalaxy

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I've been feeding my millies crested gecko food, Pangea fruit mix complete. They especially like the watermelon & mango or banana and papaya type. A few won't eat it and so I put in fresh fruit and veggies and mushrooms as other options. Each one has slightly different ingredients. This is the watermelon one: Ingredients: Dried Watermelon, Whey Protein Isolate, Dried Mango, Dried Banana, Dried Apple, Dried Egg White, Dried Coconut Milk, Rice Bran, Precipitated Calcium Carbonate, Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite, Bee Pollen, Spirulina, Apple Pectin, Direct Fed Microbials (Dried Aspergilus niger, Aspergillus oryzae, Bacillus subtilis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Products), Mixed Tocopherols, Potassium Sorbate, Beet Juice Powder, Choline Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate, Beta Carotene, Inositol, Niacin, Kelp Meal, Ascorbic Acid, Cholecalciferol, Potassium Chloride, Riboflavin,Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Folic Acid, Sulfur, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin B12.
I also put in some occasional betta fish pellets.
 

Abel

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mine love the turtle food. in fact, they are eating it as we speak lol
 

ErinM31

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I've been feeding my millies crested gecko food, Pangea fruit mix complete. They especially like the watermelon & mango or banana and papaya type. A few won't eat it and so I put in fresh fruit and veggies and mushrooms as other options. Each one has slightly different ingredients. This is the watermelon one: Ingredients: Dried Watermelon, Whey Protein Isolate, Dried Mango, Dried Banana, Dried Apple, Dried Egg White, Dried Coconut Milk, Rice Bran, Precipitated Calcium Carbonate, Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite, Bee Pollen, Spirulina, Apple Pectin, Direct Fed Microbials (Dried Aspergilus niger, Aspergillus oryzae, Bacillus subtilis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Products), Mixed Tocopherols, Potassium Sorbate, Beet Juice Powder, Choline Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate, Beta Carotene, Inositol, Niacin, Kelp Meal, Ascorbic Acid, Cholecalciferol, Potassium Chloride, Riboflavin,Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Folic Acid, Sulfur, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin B12.
I also put in some occasional betta fish pellets.
I like all the natural ingredients in there! :) What brand is it?
 

kjgalaxy

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I like all the natural ingredients in there! :) What brand is it?
Pangea. There have several different flavors. It's a little pricey, but since I have two geckos, I have it around. It doesn't take much to make up for the millies. My sonorans really love it. The others are hit and miss but the sonorans often lick the container clean.
 
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