Rhinoceros cockroach sand

Ratmosphere

Arachnoking
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What color sand should I use for Macropanesthia rhinoceros? I know not to use sand with calcium in it. It is a huge investment and I want to get everything right.
 

WeightedAbyss75

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What color sand should I use for Macropanesthia rhinoceros? I know not to use sand with calcium in it. It is a huge investment and I want to get everything right.
Not sure the color matters :) Not sure why it would in the first place. Don't think they mind, so choose your favorite or the one that compliments them the best. Not sure about sand for roaches though, may want to mox it with eco earth or another type of dirt. Hope they do well for you, biggest roaches by mass!
 

ErinM31

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I have not kept this species of cockroach but I doubt that sand would be the best substrate for them. I would recommend blending coir, hardwood bits and leaflitter and compost soil.
 

Hisserdude

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Yeah he's talking about what sand to use in a mix of sand and potting soil/coco fiber, which is the preferred substrate for this species. :) A substrate made up entirely of sand would of course not be good for them as it's abrasive and hard to keep at just the right humidity levels, and compacts when it dries up. A 50/50 mix of sand and potting soil however works great for this species.

Color doesn't matter at all to the roaches, though personally I'd pick white/beige just because it looks more natural to me.
 

ErinM31

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Yeah he's talking about what sand to use in a mix of sand and potting soil/coco fiber, which is the preferred substrate for this species. :) A substrate made up entirely of sand would of course not be good for them as it's abrasive and hard to keep at just the right humidity levels, and compacts when it dries up. A 50/50 mix of sand and potting soil however works great for this species.

Color doesn't matter at all to the roaches, though personally I'd pick white/beige just because it looks more natural to me.
Thank you for correcting me on that! I was unaware that some cockroaches benefit from some sand in their substrate. Are there other species with similar needs or is Macropanesthia rhinoceros fairly unique in that regard?
 

Hisserdude

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Thank you for correcting me on that! I was unaware that some cockroaches benefit from some sand in their substrate. Are there other species with similar needs or is Macropanesthia rhinoceros fairly unique in that regard?
This is the only roach in the hobby currently that I would recommend keeping with sand in the substrate, yes. There are some roaches out there though like Eremoblatta and Leiopteroblatta that are adapted to living in sandy habitats, and would probably need pure sand as the substrate.
 

jaredc

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I use a small percentage of sand with many species of burrowing roach, millipede, or isopod as it prevents burrows from collapsing.
 

Ratmosphere

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Now I'm hearing some different advice. One person is saying not to use sand and use just peat moss. An other person is saying to use a sand/peat moss mixture instead of sand/potting soil mixture. This is because the soil sticks to their legs when its moist? Ugh.
 

ErinM31

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Now I'm hearing some different advice. One person is saying not to use sand and use just peat moss. An other person is saying to use a sand/peat moss mixture instead of sand/potting soil mixture. This is because the soil sticks to their legs when its moist? Ugh.
So does peat moss -- well, at least it sticks to my Pasimachus beetles a bit. Coco fiber does this less in my experience. Whether this is an issue for either the Pasimachus beetle or the Rhinoceros cockroach, I do not know.

I would follow @Hisserdude's recommendations. Orin McMonigle's For the Love of Cockroaches also recommends 50/50 sand/potting soil (and of course, the potting soil should not contain fertilizers or pesticides!).
 

Hisserdude

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Now I'm hearing some different advice. One person is saying not to use sand and use just peat moss. An other person is saying to use a sand/peat moss mixture instead of sand/potting soil mixture. This is because the soil sticks to their legs when its moist? Ugh.
I definitely wouldn't use just peat moss, the sand makes the soil more like what they'd find in their natural habitat, and keeps the soil aerated and stops it from clumping onto the roach.

I personally don't like using peat moss for my bugs because like @ErinM31 said it sticks to their feet, which can stress out some bugs. I don't know if that would be a problem for the rhino roaches, but I'd stick to the potting soil and sand or coconut fiber and sand mixture. Potting soil is less likely to stick to the roaches feet than pure peat moss BTW, even though it does contain some peat moss, it's usually mostly ground up wood.
 
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