Drowning crickets

SkyeSpider

Spider Queen
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Knowing that crickets drown so easily, what methods does everyone on here use to keep them from drowning in their tarantulas' water dishes?

The best method I've found so far is to use a plastic aquarium plant piece in the side of the dish for the crickets to climb out on. If it's not obvious, I don't use the shallowist of dishes ;) I'd rather pay $1 for a hampster sized dish than $5 for a shallow rock dish.

Either way, I'm interested in what everyone else is using. Maybe I can find a better technique.

-Bryan
 

JacenBeers

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I just use the lids of jars so that not only are they cheap but they are not being wasted when i dispose of the jar. If the lid is particularly deep then it can be filled with cotton balls that is what I do.
 

atavuss

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I very rarely if ever have probs with crickets drowning in the deli dishes I use for water dishes for my t's, because if the t does not grab the cricket when I drop it in the enclosure I take it out and throw it in another t's enclosure. on the other hand I have problems with crickets drowning in my red eye tree frog's water dishes.......I use cheap plastic straws and float them in the water dish so the crickets can get out, the straws get tossed each time I change the water dish.
Ed
 

Immortal_sin

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the only crickets I have drowning is the crickets in the damn cricket tank! They are so stupid, that I find drowned crickets that should not be drowning, upside down and drowning....
I keep a super shallow rock dish in the crik tank..I am thinking of switching to orange slices, or water bites...
I don't let criks stay long enough in the T containers to drown. If they are not eaten immediately, then they are taken out, and given to someone else...
 

Arachnopuppy

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I agree with the fact that crix are extremely stupid. I have seen them drown in extremely shallow water dishes. I have even seen them drown even with something to hold onto. I just give the cricket to another t if it is not eaten right away. As for the cricket encloser, I just wash a piece of lettuce before tossing it in to give them enough moisture. BTW, in case you're wondering, I give the crix other foods besides the lettuces as well.
 

ArachnoJoost

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I think the crickets drowning is not quite 'stupidity'. You have to remember that they are small, and can get stuck in a single water drop, even if they get out of the water dish the water sticks to them, eventually suffocating the crick. This is especially true to small crickets.
greetz,
Joost
 

krystal

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well, if crickets weren't stupid, don't you think they would have already formed a revolt or something to save their tiny behinds from the impending doom, kung-fu grip of my tarantulas? the only "smart" crickets i've ever come into contact with is a camel cricket (which are very disturbing creatures to look at), and the only thing that makes them "smarter" than the average cricket is the fact that their method of defense is to jump _at_ you instead of _away_ from you. a cricket that jumps at me is more likely to live since i usually run away screaming, whereas crickets who jump away from me just make it easier for me to aim my shoe so i can throw it on them.

oh, and i second holley's method--rocks in the waterdish.
 

Paul Day

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Immortal Sin:

an Orange slice, or any moist veggie is well enough to suppliment a cricket with water. I don't even bother with "Water bites" :)
Crickets are rather low humidity species.

as for tarantulas, use a shallow water dish. A sugestion might be to place one of those small terracotta pots (those wee ones that measue at an or so inch in diameter the crickets can jump off of. Or a slate ramp on the side. For my big spiders, I don't bother wth homemade stuff. I use one of those reptile "rock" dishs, and crickets have no problem crawling out of those.

Pauly
 

Immortal_sin

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I have done it...I've switched to an orange slice...don't know why I didn't do this before :)
Costs a bit more than water, but hey, I'm not picking out drowned crickets out of their dish anymore either!
 

Paul Day

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Lettuce has no nutritional value. It may be a better solution to feed it more nutritious foods like spinach, kale, collard greens, ect.
 

Wade

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I've used Bryan's method , it works well, and I also found a rock in the dish helps, but sometimes they still drown. In the cricket cages, I use the hardware-store version of water bites, much cheaper (see Code Monkey's post on the myriapod forum for a description). Before that, I used chick water bottles, sort of a dish attached to a bottle (available at the feed store for about $3), with paper towels stuffed in the dish to prevent drowning. The towels must be replaced every week or so as they get pretty foul.

Potato or orange slices are a good way to offer water, but a pain if you have a lot of feeder colonies to maintain. I usually have 5-6 cockroach colonies and 2-3 cicket tubs at one time.

Wade
 

Paul Day

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Hey guys, any vegatable has moisture in it. You do not have to use potatos or orange slices. Just throw some greens in (not too many, just enough that they can eat without them rotting, and use ones higher in calcium such as collards, which are also signifigantly cheaper then potatos or oranges). Crickets can live on amazingly little for a short period of time. I may feed my crickets once a week and I regularly deal with 2000 every 2 weeks or so. There have been times I've feed all my crickets once a month, and they all live fine. A good substrate if you want to eliminate a lot of rotting is Reptibark, which is very highly resistant to fungus in my use, and lasts you a while.

Pauly
 

Paul Day

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Again, taking care of crickets shouldn't be complicated. I have one 5 gallon bin of pinheads, and a huge 44 gallon bin of large crickets, and with 2000 crickets at any given time, I have a very low occurence of deaths.

Products like water bites are one of those things the reptile industry have created to make you dependant on them. If you want a list of other things, I certainly can provide it. Such as "Reptariums" for Iguanas (which are highly inappropriate), or heat rocks. Anyway, my point is, is that crickets need very little to survive well. They can eat ANYTHING, and need very little moisture to survive for extended periods of time.

Pauly
 

Paul Day

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As a side note, Crickets aren't very fond of sprouts or sprout-like vegetables. Stick to leafy veggies which they can consume quickly before they dry out or go rotten. Feed them enough they can eat in a day once a week.
 

Wade

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Paul-

I don't use any substrate with crickets. As you said, they're very dry tolerant. Substrate is just going to give them a place to hide, plus it's a waste of $ since you're going to have to toss it anyway. The only thing I have in there besides food and water is the egg crating they came packed with.

The advantage to dry diets is drier cricket feces, which equals less smell. Crickets are scavangers/detritivores (A. domestica, anyway), not herbivores, so they should probably have some protien in the diet as well. I have found nothing better than unmedicated chick starter mash, a well-balanced diet that's easier then fresh veggies, less greasy than dry dog or cat food, and cheaper than either of the above.

The "water bites" and related pet-trade products are very overpriced, but you can buy the same stuff at Home Depot in it's dry state very cheaply. They call it "Water Savers" and it's intended as an additive to potting soil. The large jar of the dry stuff will make something like 50 gallons when you hydrate it yourself! About 2 teaspoon fulls makes a gallon. This is cheaper than any greens or veggies, although not as cheap as a dish with paper towels in it.

Fun Arachnopets Trivia: Here you can edit your posts when you have something to add, istead of posting again :)

Wade
 

Immortal_sin

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I also forgot to add that the smell was cut down considerably, when I started using the unmedicated chick mash as substrate!
They eat it too...
someone suggested this at one time, don't remember who, and it really works.
I have a bowl with veggies and dog food, and now the orange slice instead of water. Seems to be working well now
 

The_Phantom

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Cricket ressurections

HEre is something wierd. I found a dead drowned cricket in my Ts water. I pulled it out, put it on the floor of my Ts cage, and went to school (this was when I was still in skool). When I came home, the cricket was alive !!!!!!!!!!!:?
 

Paul Day

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Sorry Wade, I'm still used to Petbugs where you don't have an Edit button.

As for not using substrate, I don't agree with that. I, and people who have tested my "cricket theory" (who have also praised me on it) agree that crickets live longer with substrate then they do without. And crickets can not hide under Repti-bark (well, of course unless they are pinheads, then I use peat). Though the dry food idea sounds like a good one... Substrate isn't nessisarly for keeping in humidity rather it gives a place for fecal matter and dead crickets to decompose, and one bag of Repti-bark goes a long way, so I hardly think it's a waste of money compared to how much I would have to clean the enclosure otherwise. My only problem has been with little beetles that keep poping up. But those usually go away when I switch who I'm buying crickets from!!

I might clean out my cricket bin every 2 months changing the substrate :) So compare the effort you have to go through (cleaning the bin out one a week) with the effort I do. I've gotten used to the smell, it's never got to be a big problem. Heck, crickets have come a long way since I've switched to this method.

Pauly
 

Wade

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I guess if your goal is to keep an ongoing cricket colony, substrate is in order. I usually use up all my crickets, and then clean when they're gone. I buy 1000 or so every couple of weeks, and clean between batches. I loose very few, and since the bins are cleaned between baches, there's no chance of mites or other pests surviving from one group to the next. The only time there's any die-offs is a couple of weeks after they reach maturity (i.e. at the end of their normal life span), but I rarely keep them that long, with all my hungry mouths to feed!

Wade
 

Arachnopuppy

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I have tried all kinds of substrates and even no substrates with cricket colonies and discovered that no substrate at all with the egg cratings give out the worst smell, especially for someone like me who is too lazy to clean them out every week. I am currently using peat moss, which works wonderfully with considerably less mortality rate and very little smell. As for the food, I usually throw in whatever I find left over around the kitchen that is dry every few days or so and pick out remains every other day or so. I think I'll stick with this way until I can think of a better way.
 
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