Giant African Millipede

pdm

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Messages
15
I just came home with a giant African millipede. I have been researching about them for awhile now so I know the basic care for them but just have a couple questions. I have seen it written that they should have calcium powder sprinkled over their food. However, since they are herbivores I am wondering how they would obtain calcium in the wild & if this is necessary in maintaining the health of my millipede.

My second question is in regards to water intake. I was told at the pet store to purchase a sponge as it is easier for them to get the water from that than drinking the water directly. I have read though that they actually "drink' from standing pools of water so a sponge is not needed. This made sense as there are no sponge stations set up in the wild for them to drink from.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback on these two issues from anyone who has background knowledge on these little guys.


Thanks,

pdm
 

Mr. Mordax

Arachnoking
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Oct 22, 2006
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2,301
This should go in the "myriapods" forum, but I can help you out. :)

Calcium is not necessary. To give them their minerals, throw in some oak leaves and rotting hardwood (preferably oak). Just bake it for a while to kill any foreign pathogens / hichhikers.

As far as drinking, sponges are BAD. They allow lots and lots of bad bacterial growth. Either a shallow water dish, fresh fruit and veggies (which have lots of water in them to begin with), or regular misting will be fine.

Have fun with your new buddy! :D
 

NrthCstInverts

Arachnoknight
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May 2, 2004
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243
General rule of thumb>> Sponges are BAD!! If you cant keep them pristinely clean, they harbor different disease/bacteria/fungus/ etc... within that can be passed on to your animals... Standing water and water on tank objects and even thier own bodies is fine.... thats all mine ever drink.

They need soft "rotting" wood in there diet. That seems to fill the void with the calcium. If you REALLY want you can crush and pulp a bird cuttlebone or sumthing.... but the wood should cover it from what i understand....

Ive seen it suggested that you can actually mix Aspen in with the coco fiber or whatever substrate, and as it decays it will allow them a good source of food..... i think its a great idea.... Ive been trying it for some time now and it works nicely along with the leaf litter on top of it

Im sure some others will be chiming in here shortly to correct me if i have mis-spoken on this stuff......
 

Mr. Mordax

Arachnoking
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Ive seen it suggested that you can actually mix Aspen in with the coco fiber or whatever substrate, and as it decays it will allow them a good source of food..... i think its a great idea.... Ive been trying it for some time now and it works nicely along with the leaf litter on top of it
I keep hearing that but not trying it . . . I think I'll throw some of my corn snake's bedding suppy in tonight, then, and see how it works. I have no idea when I'll get around to finding some rotting oak.
 

pdm

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Messages
15
I wouldn't know an oak tree if i ran into one. I live in Atlanta GA & am not sure what type of trees we even have here.

Is there somewhere online I can order the type of wood scraps I need for the cage or would it come in a forest substrate bedding from pet stores.?


Thanks,

pdm
 

Mr. Mordax

Arachnoking
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Oct 22, 2006
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I wouldn't recommend pet store forest substrate bedding. That's a fancy name for "bark chips." :) If you see something labelled as "aspen shavings" or something similar, that should work.

NO pine, cedar, or other pine-smelling woods. The resin that gives it the scent is a natural insect repellent (thus making cedar chests wildly popular for fabric storage).

As for oak trees, I humbly direct you to this page. Not all of them have the lobey leaves like that, but if it's got acorns, it'll do.

Hope this helps.

Edit: I found some oak trees in Atlanta. At least, there should be some at this park.

85 south to Langford Parkway
go west on Langford Parkway
Take the 4th exit to Stanton Road
Left on Stanton
Take a right at the light on Connally Drive
Take a left on Mulberry Street and park in the cul-de-sac on your left.
Enter the woods near the small white Trees Atlanta sign.
 
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pdm

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Messages
15
Thanks very much for the info.

I checked & the forest bedding I got was natural cypress mulch. I tried to get peat moss & potting soil from lowes but all they had included miracle-gro in it. Also, bed a beast has always molded in a few days on my T's so I dont use it anymore either.


pdm
 

Mr. Mordax

Arachnoking
Old Timer
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Oct 22, 2006
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2,301
If bed-a-beast is the coconut fiber, I've never had any problems with that. Might be worth a try (and a little mold won't hurt millipedes anyway). I know cypress is good for snakes, but not sure on 'pedes. You'll have to wait for someone else to comment.
 

Cheshire

Arachnoking
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Jul 7, 2005
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3,160
The aspen may take a few years to break down. When and if I actually get out to the woods this year, I'll be selling some oakwood here on the boards.
 

OldHag

ArachnoHag
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Sep 8, 2003
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I have some dead wood and oak leaves I sell. If your interested....
 

fangsalot

Arachnobaron
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Aug 9, 2005
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AAAAAAAA THOSE D*** SPOUNGES! petstores are driving me nuts about those spounges!all the books they sell and dont even bother to pick one up and READ IT!
 

juggalo69

Arachnobaron
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Mar 20, 2005
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448
When I got my AGB I read the same thing about the calcium powder and I actualy got as far as trying it once, as an expiriment I put in one vegi with one without and my pede wouldn't touch the powdered vegies.
So long story short don't waste your money.
As everyone else here has said oak is the way to go. When I went to get mine I just went to my local plant shop told them my situation and they had no problem cutting a branch off one of their oak trees, they gave it to me for free just because it was a request they had never heard before and it made their day a little more interesting.
 
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