roaches & substrate: yes or no? SCIENTIFIC accounts?

musihuto

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
665
Hi,

There seems to be a bit of a consensus that roaches do not need substrate. Personally, I do use substrate, just due to its intuitive appeal (roaches live on the ground, and many species burrow).

I was wondering if anyone has actually undertaken some sort of at least somewhat scientific inquiry into the matter. e.g. splitting a population of roaches in two, raising one on substrate, one without. and keeping reasonably good records of the results and any differences in the maintenance activities of the two colonies.

cheers! :D
- munis
 

OldHag

ArachnoHag
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 8, 2003
Messages
1,712
I have my B. giganteus in two enclosures. One has peatmoss, wood and corkbark hides. I keep that one in my living room to enjoy them when they come out at night, They thrive.
The other, for feeding purposes, I just have some eggcartons for them to hide in, that way I dont have to go digging for them. They thrive as well..... I didnt do that as an experiment, just for ease to find them when I wanted to feed my larger animals and I dont wanna dig through substrate to find one.
I see no difference. As long as they have somewhere to hide theyre happy
 

arachnocat

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 27, 2005
Messages
792
All the caresheets I read on B. lateralis said to keep them on substrate so I do. I was wondering if there was a reason for it though. Do they lay their egg cases in the soil or just drop them wherever? Or is there another reason for substrate?
 

Tunedbeat

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 4, 2007
Messages
656
I have some B. lateralis too and was wonderin about the substrate thing. Right now, i have mines with no substrate. Do anyone know, if they need it or not to lay eggs, Or can they just lay anywhere?
 

Gsc

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
538
I've kept alot of roaches over the years...both feeders & exotic/collectors species. For ease, I've kept most of the hardier feeders pretty simple (ie paper lined caging w/ egg crates. Alot of the more exotic/collectors species I'va had much more success with a deeper substrate (~6") which is composed of cocofiber or a peat base along with a large amount of decomposing wood and leaf litter. I tend to use a 1"-2" layer of dried leafs to cover the surface... some species eat them...others just hide in them...either way this has really seemed to work very good for me with most species.... It may be a bit of overkill but the roaches love it. The deeper substrate with all the rotten wood retains moisture well... the surface dries out quicker than the bottom, so the roaches can choose the humidity levels they perfer....
 

musihuto

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
665
lateralis egg cases dry out somewhat easily, and substrate helps retain moisture. depending on the ambient humidity, if you don't have substrate, you may have to mist quite frequently, or, pick out the egg-cases and relocate them to a high-humidity hatching chamber.

i tried the latter, which works reasonably well, but is somewhat of a pain in the ass. now that its approaching spring and its not quite so dry, i'm going to experiment with just leaving them on the substrate... the catch is, if you leave the substrate too moist, it starts to smell kinda bad, so you need to achieve some sort of balance!

cheers! :D
- munis

I have some B. lateralis too and was wonderin about the substrate thing. Right now, i have mines with no substrate. Do anyone know, if they need it or not to lay eggs, Or can they just lay anywhere?
 

Tunedbeat

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 4, 2007
Messages
656
lateralis egg cases dry out somewhat easily, and leave the substrate too moist, it starts to smell kinda bad, so you need to achieve some sort of balance!
I will try usin substrate and see how it work. What about adults eatin the babies, does this happen with roaches? :?
 

OldHag

ArachnoHag
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 8, 2003
Messages
1,712
The only time Ive noticed roaches eating eachother is when one dies, the rest will nibble on it. OR if theyre Orange Heads they just eat eachothers wings... just what they do.

I agree, they (roaches) are probably MUCH happier ON substrate. But its not needed to get them to breed. Just easier to clean, find, etc without substrate :D
As far as getting them to lay eggcases in a tank with no substrate, I would put a dish with moist peat in with the eggcase type roach, they would lay the cases in there. If they like to stick the cases to something I would put a peice of corkbark in the bowl on top of the peatmoss, then they would stick the cases onto that, and get the benifit of the moisture from the peat.
 

bugmankeith

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
2,731
When I first got my roaches I had them with no substrate or hiding places just some food and water dish and a rock because I thought I would have a big mess and mold, big mistake I quickly changed.

The roaches were stressed because they had nowhere to hide, and some didnt molt properly being they had no areas to climb up to molt. Roaches hate sunlight/light so if they cant hide they arent happy.

Nymphs especially like to hide and burrow under substrate, it's usually the adults that climb alot or perch on the decor during the night when its dark.

Stick with substrate and ample hiding/climbing places, like those fake logs or that driftwood usually sold for fish tanks.
 
Top