Keeping crickets alive

si_sleaf

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
May 2, 2003
Messages
177
I seem to have trouble keeping my crickets alive long enough for my T's to get rund to eating them.

For example, I bought a tub of crickets last weekend. Mt five T's have eaten around a dozen of them and there should have been about 40 or so of them left. Instead, they are all dead except for around 10 of them. I put some slices of potato in with them along with a few crunched up bran flakes. I also spread the crickets out across 3 seperate tubs so I don't think it was overcrowding.

Can anyone suggest anything?

How do you guys keep your live food?
 

Iktomi

Arachnoservant
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 16, 2002
Messages
539
We have the same problem and I think it's one of those things you just kinda have to deal with. We try to keep a variety with the food...always providing fruit and stuff...but never had good luck with the potatoes. Our best luck has been with the little square things they sell that is actually cricket food.
Believe it or not, ours do best with bearded dragon food. The little pellets!
 

Rich

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
64
50 crickets seem to live well in a medium kritter keeper. I put three toilet paper tubes in there and a very shallow dish for water (water level about 1/16"). I replace the water daily. I feed them Flukers cricket food.

If it is cold, they will die fast. If it is warm, they should live a while based on their age.
 

AllenG

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
May 28, 2003
Messages
168
i've put some catfood in...usually i would soak some cheerios for a second in water and they would live i buy about 10 crickets at atime and get my T to eat about 5-6 of them in two weeks...though this week there were 9 crickets alive one day the next 1...hahahaha...so he has been all alone for 2 days now...my T max eats 3 a week..i think he may be getting ready to molt cuz he hasnt taken ne cept for 1 earlier this week...
 

Botar

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Messages
1,442
Moisture and poor ventilation seem to be the biggest mistakes people make with their crickets. I buy them 1,000 or 2,000 at a time and have virtually no noticeable loss. I put them in a rubbermaid blanket box on about 1" of dry peat moss. I put in a shallow water dish with the water polymer crytals and another shallow dish with dog food. An occasional slice of apple, squash, or whatever I happen to be cooking with once a week or every two weeks. For hides I use the egg crates that come with them. I throw in a papertowel tube for ease in catching them. The biggest thing is NO LID. They can't climb or jump out as long as you don't put anything in there high enough to give them the boost they need. I usually buy 1,000 1-week old crickets every 3 or 4 weeks. By the time they reach maturity, I've fed off almost all of them. If I have a bunch left, the T. blondi get to feast for a few days. I can honestly say I lose less than a dozen in the 5 to 6 weeks that I have them. I keep 3 tubs going.

Botar
 

defour

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
May 17, 2003
Messages
347
What are you keeping them in? Cricket waste is noxious enough that they can be gassed to death if there's too little airflow. I kept mine in an aquarium with a screen lid and had good results.

Steve
 

MizM

Arachnoprincess
Old Timer
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Jan 13, 2003
Messages
4,918
That looks PERFECT for my needs... unfortunately, perfect for my cat's needs also! Wish I had an empty closet! I'd put ONE or the other in it!
 

skadiwolf

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
May 6, 2003
Messages
645
cricket methods

the best advice i can give you is this: btw, i almost never lose more than 10 crickets now. i usually keep 1000 crickets in a roughly 7-8 gallon plastic tub. if you scrape the sides about 3" inches from the top down to the bottom they will have places to climb which will help a LOT. eggcrates and paper towel/toilet paper tubes are invaluable. crickets are cannibals.

for water, i only use sponges, soaked until they are no longer dripping and then placed on a thin plastic lid, not directly on the floor. this helps keep the enclosure bone dry, which you need to do. if crickets get moist, they will catch a disease that will spread like wildfire through your population.

i sprinkle the dry food on the floor of the cage so they do not have to compete with others to reach one pile. this helps with the smell very well. i have a wire screen top for total ventiliation.

also your cricket source might be a problem. i order exclusively from armstrong and my 1,000 crickets last about 1 1/2mths and i lose very, very few of them. i highly recommend them. :)

hope this helps, it has worked without fail for me for a long time now. oh, btw, it's best to avoid feeding moist food. around your house you can feed plain oatmeal, plain cream of wheat, plain grits, etc. i like to get a food mixture from armstrong that i like a lot. my reptiles and Ts are in beautiful health and i attribute this to their diet just as much as the husbandry. :)
 

genious_gr

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 23, 2003
Messages
955
Originally posted by Botar
Moisture and poor ventilation seem to be the biggest mistakes people make wit....................3 tubs going.

Botar
Since you need so many, why dont you breed them???
 

Botar

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
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Aug 27, 2002
Messages
1,442
I dabble in that occasionally, but it's just easier to buy them. I get a consistent size range that way. Buying by the 1,000 lot is fairly cheap. When breeding, I've lost entire batches by letting the egg medium dry out too much. Not that it is any more difficult than tending an egg sac, but for me, it's not worth the extra trouble.

Botar
 

Buspirone

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
1,064
Get away from crickets all together and start a roach colony. Roaches don't stink like crickets, they don't make noise, breed easily, and they don't up and die for no apparent reason. Once you establish a colony you won't be short on supply.

Death heads and False Death Heads make good Feeders.
 

jwb121377

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 20, 2002
Messages
907
Buspirone,

Don't roaches tend to burrow when placed in the inverts enclosure? Is it a problem in regards to the tarantulas finding the prey to eat them? I've been on the fence for the better part of a year now, on weather to start a couple of colonies of roaches or not and would be intereasted in a bit more information.
 

Marc_C

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 4, 2002
Messages
438
Whether roaches burrow or not depends completly on what species you are using and at what stage of life they are at. The nymphs of the more common feeder species like to burrow, but most of the adults I use seem to just scurry around on the surface. Blaberus Discoidales adults seem to burrow very little when I'm using them as feeders.

You could also get some hissers. Gromphadorhina Portentosa, which wont burrow at all, but do like to climb.

Roaches are hands down better then crickets in my opinion.
 

Buspirone

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
1,064
Jwb:
I sent you some links and more specific info privately since my intention wasn't to change the topic or hijack someone's thread. I just wanted to recommend what I felt was a better alternative.


I just started my first Roach colony because I just got sick of crickets and the more I have to deal with them the more I HATE them. The noise, the escapes, the stink from even a small number of them, the unpredictable nature of crickets.... "will this batch live for a day or for a week?" and not knowing what conditions they were kept in or what they may have been exoposed to before I got them was/is all annoying me. Once established the roaches will offer a variety of prey sizes and survive under a broader range of living conditions. I also have 7 slings that will eventually reach the 7 to 10 inch range and are reputed to have big appetites so roaches look like a better prey item for those larger Ts, IMHO.
 

Botar

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Messages
1,442
I've got, and use, both. With the crickets set up the way I have them, there is no odor or die off, but there is noise. They don't start making noise until they mature though. I purchase a thousand at the 1-week stage and by the time they mature, most of them have already been fed off. Although the noise doesn't bother me, if it did, I'd just feed my larger stuff more crickets. I have two roach colonies, but crickets are still my main feeder source.

Botar
 
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