Giant african Millipede! (First invertebrate)

Skreemre

Arachnopeon
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Mar 14, 2021
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4
Hi newbie here so sorry if I'm posting in the wrong place but I got my first millipede (Giant african) about a week ago and I just wanted to check that I haven't done anything wrong/ show off my viv. I've mixed some hardwood leaves into the substrate but I'm planning to get more. There's a heat matt on the side (that plastic box is my cricket colony) and I'm buying a thermostat for it too.I spray it with water once or twice every day and leave veg out in the middle. There is some mould but I remove the big bits when I see them IMG_20210403_101521.jpg IMG_20210403_101607.jpg IMG_20210403_101626.jpg IMG_20210329_201848.jpg acessando stickers.jpg
 

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LizardStudent

Arachnosquire
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Aug 16, 2020
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Very jealous, these are next to impossible to get over here in the US. Congrats!
 

goliathusdavid

Arachnobaron
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Yeah I'm drooling with jealousy. They're my favorite invert species of all time, though luckily I get to work with them and Giant Asians through some the institutions I'm at. Would still kill to have some for myself though :rofl: .
Your setup looks okay, with the exception of the heat mat. Unless your house temperature is FAR below 70 degrees farenheit (21 C) I would not use one. The risks are too high, especially for such a precious species, though you did the right thing putting it on the side. Also I noticed you did not mention substrate mixture. May I ask what you are using? Everything else looks great.
 
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Bugs and Herps

Arachnopeon
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Dec 10, 2020
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16
Cool! I just got a young A. gigas so this gives me some ideas for its enclosure when it’s older. I agree with goliathusdavid- heat mat is too risky and it’s not necessary to add supplemental heat. I would recommend introducing springtails to the substrate as they will help control mold. Lovely millipede and nice tank scape!
 

Sterls

Arachnobaron
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377
I know the enclosure won't really allow much more, but we typically give millipedes a depth of substrate that is equal to or greater than their length. Maybe you could slope it towards the back to provide more.

I don't think a heat mat is necessary, and at the very least it should definitely NOT be plugged in until you get the thermostat.
 

Skreemre

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
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4
Yeah I'm drooling with jealousy. They're my favorite invert species of all time, though luckily I get to work with them and Giant Asians through some the institutions I'm at. Would still kill to have some for myself though :rofl: .
Your setup looks okay, with the exception of the heat mat. Unless your house temperature is FAR below 70 degrees farenheit (21 C) I would not use one. The risks are too high, especially for such a precious species, though you did the right thing putting it on the side. Also I noticed you did not mention substrate mixture. May I ask what you are using? Everything else looks great.
I've removed the heat mat now I was just super worried the first couple of days cause my room was extra cold as I had the window open while painting. However when I came home today it was really warm and dry cause my family turned the heating on without me realizing, it had probably been like this around 15 hours, this wont damage them that quickly would it? Not seen him above ground yet but he usually doesn't come out till later anyway. The substrate is coco coir mixed with hardwood leaves (collected from my local woods and cleaned) however I might change this in the future if I get the chance as I've heard from a few people on here that coco coir is bad for them- although some others say they can live on just that. I also plan to add springtails when I can next get a hold of some.
 

Sterls

Arachnobaron
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377
I've removed the heat mat now I was just super worried the first couple of days cause my room was extra cold as I had the window open while painting. However when I came home today it was really warm and dry cause my family turned the heating on without me realizing, it had probably been like this around 15 hours, this wont damage them that quickly would it? Not seen him above ground yet but he usually doesn't come out till later anyway. The substrate is coco coir mixed with hardwood leaves (collected from my local woods and cleaned) however I might change this in the future if I get the chance as I've heard from a few people on here that coco coir is bad for them- although some others say they can live on just that. I also plan to add springtails when I can next get a hold of some.
There's some speculation that an excess of coco fiber can cause impaction, a lot of us don't think it's a concern so long the proportion of it isn't too high.

Coco fiber is without a doubt not a nutritious substrate, and should not be the primary component of the substrate. Personally I use a mix of organic food-waste compost, hydrated hardwood grill pellets (Traeger), moss, and coco coir. I also mix in hardwood leaves, and scatter some on top.

Here's a good thread to reference for substrate composition. You'll probably have to tweak it depending on what's available in your area, but it's a good starting point. There are a number of vendors that sell ready made substrates as well.

 

goliathusdavid

Arachnobaron
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376
Completely agree with @Sterls. I use coco coir personally in my mix (as do many people I work with) but the substrate as a whole is going to require a lot of organic matter. Hardwood leaves is a good start though I would also recommend adding hardwood flake soil (if you have access to it) as well as calcium supplements (I use Repashy). A small amount of sphagnum can also help hold in moisture.
For an AGB your substrate should be as deep as possible. I know I would do about 10 inches depth.
 

Pigeon

Arachnopeon
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Jan 9, 2021
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Brilliant to see another Uk giant African owner. I've had my girls for coming up 2 years now and they're fantastic. May I ask what size vivarium you are using? i have been trying to upgrade mine and this one looks like a brilliant size!
 

Skreemre

Arachnopeon
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Mar 14, 2021
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Brilliant to see another Uk giant African owner. I've had my girls for coming up 2 years now and they're fantastic. May I ask what size vivarium you are using? i have been trying to upgrade mine and this one looks like a brilliant size!
It's 60 cm, had it left over from planning to get a gecko and turns out it's perfect size for an A.gigas, mines only measuring up to 15cm right now but will cover him all the way to adulthood :)
 

DreadMan

Arachnopeon
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Apr 4, 2021
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32
This is not just the US honestly. Aquatic insects are also rare in the European hobby.
I dont know why they dont sell aquatic insects. Thats probably the one type of insect that I actually want and cant find on my own. Thanks to goliathusdavid but they only have water beetle and water bugs. Wheres the backswimmers and water boatmen and water striders? Someone needs to start a aquatic insect breeder.
 

Pigeon

Arachnopeon
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Jan 9, 2021
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25
It's 60 cm, had it left over from planning to get a gecko and turns out it's perfect size for an A.gigas, mines only measuring up to 15cm right now but will cover him all the way to adulthood :)
I'll have to have a look and see if i can find anything that size. It looks fantastic
 
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