my roaches are dropping dead

Snakeman4life

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Hey guys i was wondering if you could provide any solutions to a problem i have. Over the last few months i have noticed many dead giganteus nymphs in my colony. I purchased 75 nymphs of various sizes a few months ago and got my first adult to molt out last month. Prior to this i would find one or two nymphs dead at the bottom of the cage every day. At first i though that it was a heat issue as it was the closest roach bin to my radiator. I moved them to the other side of the room, However the room is heated and never gets above 86 F and is roughly 65-75% humidity which i thought was optimium conditions for breeding and growing. I also keep a number of other species of roaches, all of which are doing fine. I have noticed that the dead roaches are somewhat bloated and limp. I orginally gave them dog food as a protein source and supplemented it with fresh fruits and vegetables. I now have recently been using non-medicated chicken mash... which they absolutley love. Is it possible they may be getting two much protein? I heard once a week is when it should be offered and the majority of time their diet should consist of fruits and vegetables. I have been giving it to them on a more regular basis as they seem to swarm it more so than the other stuff i offer. Lately some of the adults have been dying off roughly a week after molting out, which caused me to switch them from a potting soil(no perlite) substrate to a no substate cage. I used to spray them quite a bit but stopped because I found it takes away from their ventilation. I also have 80% of the lid cut away which is replaced with screen and have had this from day one. There is also no mold or fungus growing in the tank.The guy i got them off of is having no problems what so ever and his colony is breeding out of control. So basically i have gone from 75-40 nymphs with about 7-10 of those being adults in the matter of two months. I suspect it could be the chicken mash...... should i switch to dog food. I also have ab. fusca colony which love the chick mash and have not had any problems. I used small amounts of chick mash in the beginning and than switched to it exclusively as protein source. How often should they be getting protein? Should i just stick with fruits/vegetables. Is their anything else i should be giving them.

Any ideas/suggestions would be appreciated. Sorry for the long post.
 

cacoseraph

ArachnoGod
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i just read on another forum that someone feeding dog food found out that it has roach repelling components as additives. i think they might have been using Eukanuba
 

Snakeman4life

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Well the individual who i got them off of uses dog food with no problems...the only difference between us is i used to spray mine quite a bit but found it was not necessary considering the amount of humidity in the room.
 

james

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Oct 20, 2003
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food

Giganteus require hard wood. I keep oak leaves and decaying oak wood in their bin. I use a mixture of cat, and fish food with other things, but their main diet is the apples and wood.
James
www.blaberus.com
 

Snakeman4life

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oh yeah i forgot to mention i have pieces of oak wood and oak hollows in the bin...i usued to have rotting leaves in their as well when their was soil.so what could be killing them off?
 

Snakeman4life

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anyone had a similiar problem? Is there anything that roaches should not be fed. i heard phosphorus was not good for them
 

Matt K

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This is an EXCELLENT question.

I too have had similar issues in the past. Followed ALL the rules and regulations, and pow! 30% suddenly on thier backs cross-legged. When I asked help from the more experienced keepers, was told that it was "probably a husbandry issue". This seemed odd to me because as far as I can tell, I have exactly replicated various bins/tubs/buckets and techniques that long-time roach keepers use, and I mean EXACTLY.

So I have to wonder....
 

bugmankeith

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Giganteus require hard wood.

I keep my giganteus on wood chips, but I have never fed them wood and i've had healthy adults live for 2 years or more.

I have seen them chew the wood chips, so mabye they are infact getting wood in their diet.

I feed mine cat food,carrots,romaine lettuce,apples,bananas,watermelon,peaches,white bread, and cooked hamburger meat.

Not to mention I mist their cage once a day.

Variety helps alot!
 

xelda

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Blaberus giganteus is a tricky species to work with. I would say the OP's death rate has little do with diet and more to do with overcrowding. If you were housing all 75 of your giganteus together in one container, even if it was a huge Rubbermaid bin, that would have been overcrowding them. I recommend breaking them up into smaller groups with no more than five or six adults in a cage but ideally only three or four. Keep loose substrate in there for the nymphs to burrow through, but have pieces of thick tree bark (or strips of egg carton) leaning up against the side of the cage so it mimics a tree. The adults are arboreal afterall.

If you don't separate your giganteus, you can be sure they will kill each other until they get themselves down to the right numbers for whatever size cage you're keeping them in. I learned all this the hard way, but now I consistently produce hundreds of giganteus.
 

Matt K

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On my previous post I did not mean to imply that I had issues with giganteus...on the contrary. I have followed BugChicks advice and now I have beautiful giganteus. My losses of past have been with several other species....
 

IguanaMama

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Take a jeweler's loupe or other strong magnifier and check for tiny translucent mites. That's what it sounds like to me.
 

Snakeman4life

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I have moved them off of the substrate and the are now in a barren cage with exception of some oak wood hollows . I have noticed some mites on the dead carcasses but not on the living animals. I am noticing less deaths now..I am also getting alot of nymphs molting into adults..... how long till i start seeing babies?
 

Takumaku

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On my previous post I did not mean to imply that I had issues with giganteus
Which specie(s) of roach are you talking about then? If multiple types, then please list them.
 

Distasty

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Jun 20, 2007
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Sounds like something in the soil.

Since they're in a naked tank and now flourishing, it sounds like death by bad substrate (only a slightly obvious statement :p )

Although I was curious to know if anyone has had roach colonies die off through
substrate issues before?
 

Snakeman4life

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Since they're in a naked tank and now flourishing, it sounds like death by bad substrate (only a slightly obvious statement :p )

Yeah that what i figured...however i would prefer them being on a substrate...Does anyone know if roaches need calcium in their diet similiar to way the millipedes need it. I was thinking of placing cuttlebone in their cages.
 

Snakeman4life

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As far as giving gigantea rotting wood as a food source will cyprus mulch suffice? I have seen them nibbling on the the little bit I have placed in their cage.
 

barkobarko

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Mar 17, 2007
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i just read on another forum that someone feeding dog food found out that it has roach repelling components as additives. i think they might have been using Eukanuba
am excuse me, im just worried coz i feed my dubia with pedegree dog food for 2 months and seems that they are all happy on it....

question
1. do anyone here has tried feeding pedegree?
2. do anyone here heared of a bad rumors against pedegree on feeding
roaches?.

im just worried coz sooner im going to feed them to my Ts

oh that eukanuba thing sure did scare me.
 
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