Cockroaches

danread

Arachnoprince
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I was just wondering if any of you use cockroaches as food for your Ts? And if you do, how do you keep them?
 

Botar

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Yes. You can find more info about them on the insect forum, but I'll give you a quick rundown of what I've got.

Blaberus giganteus - Giant cave roaches. I keep them on dry substrate, with verticle hides, at room temp in my spider room... 74-80 F. I feed them ground kitten food and hamster mix and occasional pieces of apple, cucumber, banana, etc. Water is provided with a shallow dish filled with the polymer water crystals. The grow large (over 3") and can't climb glass. Since I've only had them for a short time, I can't attest to their growth/breeding rates.

Unk sci name - Lobster roaches. I got these from Galeogirl and she is the expert, IMO. I feed them the same, water them the same, and temp is the same as the cave roaches. The don't seem to grow very quickly, but multiply rapidly. I've got hundreds of nymphs. I dare to say I'm just a few months away from never having to buy feeder insects again. They are glass climbers and must be contained with a band of vaseline.

Code Monkey is raising a third variety and posted a picture of his set-up in the insect forum. I built a hide in a similar fashion to his for my cave roaches. For the lobsters, I just put a couple of pieces of egg crate in their enclosure.

I also raise mealworms, which make a great alternative and excellent sling food. (you can cut them up to size) I feed all three stages of the mealworm. (worm, pupae, and beetle)

Botar
 

atavuss

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Originally posted by Botar
Yes. You can find more info about them on the insect forum, but I'll give you a quick rundown of what I've got.

Blaberus giganteus - Giant cave roaches. I keep them on dry substrate, with verticle hides, at room temp in my spider room... 74-80 F. I feed them ground kitten food and hamster mix and occasional pieces of apple, cucumber, banana, etc. Water is provided with a shallow dish filled with the polymer water crystals. The grow large (over 3") and can't climb glass. Since I've only had them for a short time, I can't attest to their growth/breeding rates.

Unk sci name - Lobster roaches. I got these from Galeogirl and she is the expert, IMO. I feed them the same, water them the same, and temp is the same as the cave roaches. The don't seem to grow very quickly, but multiply rapidly. I've got hundreds of nymphs. I dare to say I'm just a few months away from never having to buy feeder insects again. They are glass climbers and must be contained with a band of vaseline.

Code Monkey is raising a third variety and posted a picture of his set-up in the insect forum. I built a hide in a similar fashion to his for my cave roaches. For the lobsters, I just put a couple of pieces of egg crate in their enclosure.

I also raise mealworms, which make a great alternative and excellent sling food. (you can cut them up to size) I feed all three stages of the mealworm. (worm, pupae, and beetle)

Botar
Hey Botar, which sp. of mealworm are you raising, and is it easy?
Ed
 

Botar

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It is the common mealworm that you find in pet stores. The darkling beetle is the adult form... I'll have to check for the scientific name. They are EXTREMELY easy to care for and breed.

I've got 4 small rubbermaid sandwich containers... approx 5"X5"X4". I put about 2.5" of oat bran in the containers. I started with 1 container of mealworms purchased in the pet store about 6 months ago and haven't purchased any since. The mealworms will pupate and stay in that stage for a week or so and then molt into beetles. When they do, I move the beetles (or pupae) into another container and let them do their thing. The beetles can be moved from container to container every two weeks. Then you will have mealworms in various stages of developement. Baby mealworms are very tiny and make a good meal for the tiniest of slings... but they can be difficult to see.

They eat the substrate and I provide a slice of apple or cucumber (pumpkin at Halloween) for variety and hydration. No lids are necessary as they can't climb at any stage. Some T's can be picky about eating the adult beetles, but I've got some adult T's that don't mind the crunchy ones at all. If they won't eat them, just let them live out their lives laying more eggs.

As I said, I feed all stages to my T's and I even feed the mealworms to my blue crawfish for variety in their diet as well. I've posted a pic of the size container I use for the mealworms... I'll try to find it and post it in this thread.

Botar
 

atavuss

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jwb121377

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ED I'm with you an that one! What a Pain in the butt crickets are! Now botar has me thinking of starting a mealworm culture. How handy they must be for the slings.
 

Nikos

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the scientific name of the common mealworm is Tenebrio molitor.

They are excellent meal for all sizes of taranulas and the beetle isn't that hard... I have a very small b.vagans sling that is taken them down pretty easily.

A good site with lots of info about living pray for your Ts is

http://www.anapsid.org/mainprey.html

Take a look at it, it's absolutely GREAT!
 

danread

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Thanks botar. The thought of not having to buy any more feeder insect definitely appeals to me, and cockroaches sound ideal as they are fast breeding. One thought though, what is the flesh to chitin ratio like in roaches? I've heard people say that mealworms shouldn't be used as the only source of food as there is a high proportion of undigestable chitin in the exoskeleton. Is this the same for cockroaches?
 

schlinkey

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the final stage mealworm (darklin beetle) makes a STINK when threatened! some chemical warfare stuff.. man i almost toppled over when my rosea started fanging the bug..
 

Botar

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Originally posted by danread
Thanks botar. The thought of not having to buy any more feeder insect definitely appeals to me, and cockroaches sound ideal as they are fast breeding. One thought though, what is the flesh to chitin ratio like in roaches? I've heard people say that mealworms shouldn't be used as the only source of food as there is a high proportion of undigestable chitin in the exoskeleton. Is this the same for cockroaches?
Good question. I couldn't give you a scientific answer, but I can tell you that they look meaty enough to me. As far as that goes, my mealworms appear fairly meaty (although it's mostly juice) also. I don't want to go with anything as a sole source of food though. That is why I keep a variety of feeders and feed them well.

Botar
 

Code Monkey

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w00t! I'm a roach dad

Speaking of my roaches, as I was getting ready to go shell out buku $$ for crickets again today I did a check on my Blaptica dubia colony :D

I got baby roaches, I got baby roaches, I got baby roaches!

It's taken over six months for my 18 starter nymphs to mature and begin producing youngins of their own but the process has finally started. Hopefully by spring I'll have a large enough supply to start feeding from.

I got baby roaches, I got baby roaches, I got baby roaches!

EDIT: since no one else posted this thread link, I will http://www.arachnopets.com/arachnoboards/showthread.php?s=&threadid=463 - this is my colony setup.
 

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danread

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Your right of course botar, variety probably is the key to giving a tarantula a healthy diet. Does anyone here keep and breed locusts? I've seen them for sale in pet stores and on the net, but usualy for truly extortionate prices. Is it feasable to keep and sustain a feeder population of locusts, logic says that they must be easy to breed, otherwise they wouldn't reach pest proportions in some countries, but that wouldn't explain why they are so expensive to buy.
 

Vys

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OK; I'm assuming there aren't any giant burrowing cockroaches in yankland.
 
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