Crickets and literature

Damien

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 18, 2004
Messages
62
Hello,

I have started taking my tarantula keeping a bit more seriously recently, and have acquired a few more of them. Naturally this comes with some more questions, so was wondering if anybody could help me with either one of these:

What do crickets eat? I have bought a cricket keeper, and put in a bit of wet sponge which they seem to like, but what should I chuck in for them to feed on?

Does anyone know of any good books about the breeding of tarantulas? I'd really like to mate my original tarantula, but would like to do some reading up on it first.

Cheers.

Damien
 

Laceface

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
264
Hey there! Crickets are easy to care for. Give them some veggies, carrots, anything like that.. and some sort of whole grain cereal, and they're happy. Be careful with the sponge that it doesn't mold.

For breeding stuff, I don't know of any specific books, but if you search on the forum, you'll find TONS of info, theres even a breeding report section, where you can find info on specific species. Good luck!
 

WARPIG

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 29, 2007
Messages
822
I have my crix in a large KK with no substrate, I have a large water lid with a sponge in it, clean the sponge often and when it starts to break down, replace it. I have a couple of cardboard tubes so they can hide, I also change them when they become dirty. I usually keep 40-80 at a time. If you keep adults, be prepared for alot of chirping, I hated it at first, the I got used to it, and then I started keeping smaller crix, and then chirping went down alot, as soon as they mature, I feed them to my T's.

I feed the crix catfood (hard) and inexpensive fish flakes, both are kept in some type of cap, I use a large mayonaise cap, its pretty wide and low enough to allow access.

If you intend to breed them for pinheads, you will need adult crix and a moist substrate. Females lay eggs in the moist soil, then you'll see the pinheads soon after.

Check out NYWorms.
http://www.nyworms.com/ccare.htm



GL-
 

fartkowski

Arachnoemperor
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 5, 2007
Messages
4,965
hi
i used to put some kind of veggie like carrots in for the crickets to eat, but I found that it started to smell after a day or so.
I bought this stuff called cricket quencher and I use that instead of water.
It is like a gel, I put it in a water cap.
also I bought a bottle of cricket feed for their food.
Since I started using these the smell has disappeared and I find the crickets last alot longer.
The brand name of the stuff I buy is Fluker's, they cost about $5 each but they last a while
hope this helps a bit
 

Rain_Flower

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
661
hi
i used to put some kind of veggie like carrots in for the crickets to eat, but I found that it started to smell after a day or so.
I bought this stuff called cricket quencher and I use that instead of water.
It is like a gel, I put it in a water cap.
also I bought a bottle of cricket feed for their food.
Since I started using these the smell has disappeared and I find the crickets last alot longer.
The brand name of the stuff I buy is Fluker's, they cost about $5 each but they last a while
hope this helps a bit
Yeah I use Fluker's too, they love that water gel, and that stuff does keep the smell down alot. That's what I reccomend anyways.
 

Stan Schultz

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 16, 2004
Messages
1,678
... What do crickets eat? ...
Functionally, crickets are just a variation on the theme of "cockroach," and will eat just about anything. Some feed them tropical fish food, but that gets expensive. Other foods are plain wheat bran (baking supplies section of your grocery store), dry oatmeal and other cereals, and stale bread to name a few. You can even buy small bottles of official cricket food from a pet shop. That gets awfully expensive, too.

The cricket farms use UNMEDICATED chick mash. You can get this in 40# bags from most farm and feed supplies in your area. It's really cheap. Store as much as you can in a freezer or refrigerator to prevent it from getting buggy and throw the rest away. By the way, if it does become infested with flour beetles or something, that doesn't spoil the mash as cricket food. The crickets don't care. The major problem is that the bugs will spread to the cereal products in your pantry as well.

By the way, the commercial cricket food you buy in the pet shop is usually little more than some sort of unmedicated chick mash, repackaged in a flashy bottle that you're going to throw away when it's empty! All this is a big rip off!

... I have bought a cricket keeper, and put in a bit of wet sponge which they seem to like, but what should I chuck in for them to feed on? ...
Lose the wet sponge! Crickets are notorious for vomiting on wet sponges (and wet cotton wads too), defecating on them, laying eggs in them and dying on them. Within a few hours of putting the sponge in their cage that sponge is plague ridden and as poisonous as cyanide.

On a molecular level it doesn't make any difference where the water comes from. We used to use a slice of orange, for instance. Just make sure you cut the orange CROSSWISE to the internal partitions so the crickets can get at the moist pulp. A slice of apple will also work.

A lot of enthusiasts use a jar lid with a little clean aquarium gravel as a water dish. They need to clean it and use new gravel every day, though.

When we had a large collection of tarantulas we would order in a box of 1000 crickets every week. We'd set up a 29 gal aquarium with a thin layer of wheat bran spread across the bottom. We'd dump the crickets on top of this.

The cricket boxes come with several sections of "egg crate" in them. These are papier mâché squares that are made to hold 30 chicken eggs in a layer in a large box of eggs. We'd cut one square in half and lay these pieces on top of the mass of crickets and bran flakes. These egg crate pieces give the crickets a place to hide and relieve the crowding a little on the floor of the cage.

Under or between the papier mâché pieces we'd throw the quarters from an orange for moisture. We'd replace these whenever they became stale or were close to be eaten up.

Need I state that we had a secure screen cover on the aquarium to prevent the crickets from escaping?

When all the crickets were fed off and we were preparing for another shipment we'd throw away the soiled bran flakes, spent orange slices and dirty egg crate pieces; rinse out the aquarium and set it up with more bran flakes.

A carton of 500 or 1000 pinheads usually went in a 5-1/2 or 10 gallon aquarium and were treated the same way.

You can use this same system for smaller batches of crickets (a few dozen to several hundred) by merely downsizing the system.

... Does anyone know of any good books about the breeding of tarantulas? I'd really like to mate my original tarantula, but would like to do some reading up on it first. ...
As far as I know there are no such books available. Several Europeans are apparently writing books (one or two may even now be available), but when they finally reach the market they may not be in English. And, it's entirely probable that each book will only address breeding some particular genus or group of tarantulas, not tarantulas in general.

The Tarantula Keeper's Guide contains a section on breeding but it's now about 10 years old and is beginning to show its age and there are one or two parts that definitely need changing. Even then, unless another member of this forum can suggest another work, it's about the best we've got so far.

The tarantula keeping hobby isn't old and mature enough to have reached that level of sophistication yet. In another 10, 20 or 50 years, maybe.
 

Drachenjager

Arachnoemperor
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
3,512
cricket quencher is way overpriced , i buy the crystals from www.watersorb.com and hydrate it myself. Also i feed my crix fish flakes almost exclusivly. I use the flukers cricket food some times. but not too much because of the calcium they add for vertibrates.
Sponges are a no no just a bacterial breeding ground. I also always have some coco fber or peat that is moist in there so the females can lay eggs . that way i can get a few pinheads later from the original purchase.
 

Cheshire

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 7, 2005
Messages
3,157
The best resource you're going to find on breeding tarantulas isn't in a book...it's in the breeding report forum.
 

Aragorn

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 21, 2003
Messages
361
Crickets need high protein food inorder for them not to eat each other. I feed mine crushed dog food. In the past I have tried tropical fish flakes and chick mash. They seem to like these food. Fish flakes does have color enhancing substance in it which can make your T's color more vibrant when it eats the crickets. For water I use a shallow dish of water with gravel slop to one side so the crickets don't down if they accidentally fall while drinking. It's easy to keep crickets. Hope this help.
 

SPIDERBYTE

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 17, 2005
Messages
208
I use those blue water gels and some dry "gut load" which is just a bunch of mixed grains, mostly powder. The calcium content is min 1.2% to max 2.0%.
"ESU reptile gut load, cricket and insect food" is what it says on the box. Even at 2% calcium, it cant be as bad as the amount of calcium from eating mice right?
 
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