So it begins...

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
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@AuroraLights, true. You make excellent points, although my argument is with those who say it is absolutely necessary to provide millipedes with extra calcium otherwise they will do poorly; I've kept millipedes for years and never seen any ill effects from a lack of calcium. Orin McMonigle also notes that he has kept thousands of millipedes for 10+ years without providing any added calcium in his book "Millipeds in Captivity".

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

AuroraLights

Arachnosquire
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@AuroraLights, true. You make excellent points, although my argument is with those who say it is absolutely necessary to provide millipedes with extra calcium otherwise they will do poorly; I've kept millipedes for years and never seen any ill effects from a lack of calcium. Orin McMonigle also notes that he has kept thousands of millipedes for 10+ years without providing any added calcium in his book "Millipeds in Captivity".

Thanks,

Arthroverts
That's true: it's not necessary, just possibly helpful. :)
 

NopusNatus

Arachnopeon
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I’ve never been consistent with adding cuttlebone but I do make sure to shred some over the top every now and then. I can’t say I’ve ever seen them actively eating it but it does seem to disappear over time. On very rare occasions I’ve used a cellulose powder based product called Repashy morning wood that has calcium carbonate and high calcium ingredients in it. I’ve also used Mazuri ls tortoise pellets a few times but had some mite issues and haven’t used them since. I’m not sure if any of this has impacted the survival of mine as this is what I’ve always done. I just thought I’d share.
 

The Odd Pet

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I’ve never been consistent with adding cuttlebone but I do make sure to shred some over the top every now and then. I can’t say I’ve ever seen them actively eating it but it does seem to disappear over time. On very rare occasions I’ve used a cellulose powder based product called Repashy morning wood that has calcium carbonate and high calcium ingredients in it. I’ve also used Mazuri ls tortoise pellets a few times but had some mite issues and haven’t used them since. I’m not sure if any of this has impacted the survival of mine as this is what I’ve always done. I just thought I’d share.
My millipedes eat more egg shells then any other calcium I offered to them.
 

NopusNatus

Arachnopeon
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My millipedes eat more egg shells then any other calcium I offered to them.
I’ll give it a try. Do you prefer to use raw shell or boiled? I keep 3 tortoises and grow most of the food I give them. I grow high calcium plants like wild chicory, English plantain, common plantain, dandelion, hibiscus, and nopal cactus. I’ve given most of these to isopods and roaches with no obvious negative effects. I’ve often thought of trying some with my millipedes but have never gone through with it.
 

NopusNatus

Arachnopeon
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Now that I think about it, mixing calcium bentonite clay in with the soil could possibly be another way to provide calcium. I’ve only ever used small amounts in scorpion enclosures to help with burrowing though.
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
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I know some enthusiasts mix garden lime into the substrate to provide a source of calcium, although I think I have heard one say that it is in such an unnatural quantity that it is just to be safe.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

The Odd Pet

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I
I’ll give it a try. Do you prefer to use raw shell or boiled? I keep 3 tortoises and grow most of the food I give them. I grow high calcium plants like wild chicory, English plantain, common plantain, dandelion, hibiscus, and nopal cactus. I’ve given most of these to isopods and roaches with no obvious negative effects. I’ve often thought of trying some with my millipedes but have never gone through with it.
I hard boil them. I feed the eggs I don't eat to my isopods also.
 

AprilCreature

Arachnopeon
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Jan 12, 2020
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I can share some experience with this. I have raised Thai rainbow, Flame leg (Trigoniulus macropygus), and Glossy black pink leg millipedes (Dendrostreptus macracanthus) on a hundred percent base of fermented oak pellets (Traeger brand) for well over a year. I have always added rotted wood and leaves from coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia), canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis), and Englemann oak (Quercus engelmannii) into and on top of the fermented oak. I haven’t had a single adult death (4 Thais, 5 flame leg, 4 pink leg) since I’ve started using this mix. The Thai rainbows have produced over 100 babies in the last year or so. I am in the process of counting all the flame leg babies but I’ve already counted over 200 and still have some searching to do. I don’t believe the pink legs have reached maturity yet and I prefer to disturb them as little as possible but as of now I have not seen any babies through the clear sides of the container. I have also been using a thin layer of this same substrate for my rhino roaches (Macropanesthia rhinoceros) for over a year with nothing negative to report.

To start fermentation I have used small amounts of wheat bran, wheat germ, whole wheat flour, oat bran, all purpose flour, white rice flour, brown rice flour, and probably something else I’m not remembering. Depending on temperature, moisture, additives and how fermented I want the final product it usually takes 2 to 4 months to finish for me. I use 50 liter plastic storage bins and turn the soil every 2 to 4 days.
Your description makes the fermentation process sound doable! I've been worried about trying this. Where do you store the container as it ferments?
 

NopusNatus

Arachnopeon
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Your description makes the fermentation process sound doable! I've been worried about trying this. Where do you store the container as it ferments?
It really isn’t difficult to do, it just takes some patience. Heat really seems to speed up the process so during the spring and summer months I store it outside. During the colder months I will store it in my garage and inside my house. It does give off a smell for the first few weeks or so and it can be strong but neither my girlfriend or I find it overly offensive. Everyone is different though, I’ve talked with people who can’t stand the smell so you might want to try your first batch outside. Fungus gnats absolutely love the stuff but as long as you turn it throughly every few days they shouldn’t be a problem.
 

The Odd Pet

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I can share some experience with this. I have raised Thai rainbow, Flame leg (Trigoniulus macropygus), and Glossy black pink leg millipedes (Dendrostreptus macracanthus) on a hundred percent base of fermented oak pellets (Traeger brand) for well over a year. I have always added rotted wood and leaves from coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia), canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis), and Englemann oak (Quercus engelmannii) into and on top of the fermented oak. I haven’t had a single adult death (4 Thais, 5 flame leg, 4 pink leg) since I’ve started using this mix. The Thai rainbows have produced over 100 babies in the last year or so. I am in the process of counting all the flame leg babies but I’ve already counted over 200 and still have some searching to do. I don’t believe the pink legs have reached maturity yet and I prefer to disturb them as little as possible but as of now I have not seen any babies through the clear sides of the container. I have also been using a thin layer of this same substrate for my rhino roaches (Macropanesthia rhinoceros) for over a year with nothing negative to report.

To start fermentation I have used small amounts of wheat bran, wheat germ, whole wheat flour, oat bran, all purpose flour, white rice flour, brown rice flour, and probably something else I’m not remembering. Depending on temperature, moisture, additives and how fermented I want the final product it usually takes 2 to 4 months to finish for me. I use 50 liter plastic storage bins and turn the soil every 2 to 4 days.
I've seen this as flake soil for beetles and thought about using it for my millipedes. I do use Traeger oak pellets mixed with organic topsoil leaves, different stages of decaying wood, repti bark topped with live moss, more leaves, oak bark and oak branches covered in lichen. I do have coco coir in the mix but only with my (Anadenobolus monilicornis) "Bumble Bee Millipedes" and that's because the person I got them from said he keeps them in only that and they breed like rabbits. So far that part is true.
 

Ratmosphere

Arachnoking
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Aug 23, 2015
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Far more than I can buy cheaply, that's for sure. That is why I've been trying to collect my own, but I am so sick of trying to crush coast, canyon, scrub, etc. oak (Quercus sp.) leaves. They are so tough and spiky, it hurts the hands to try and break them down.
I don't know for sure, but probably in the area of 15+ adults and dozens upon dozens of babies.



I actually have some wood in the process of fermenting, hopefully for some beetles/other stuff I would like to keep in the near future. I used this recipe:


As for what I'm using for the millipedes I just added water.



That is awesome, thank you for sharing! Do you have a recipe, or do you try something new every time?
I know you probably get this a lot, but are you going to be selling some offspring in the future? You have three species I have been searching for for a long time...



What brand do you use?

Thanks,

Arthroverts
How did the guide work for you? How are the larvae doing?
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
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@The Odd Pet, I've been told A. monilicornis is a sensitive species if kept cool, without proper food, etc. It has likely been my hardiest species in actuality, surviving tank crashes, cool temperatures, lack of food, and so on (and I have kept them on coco fiber), and still I have dozens of them.

How did the guide work for you? How are the larvae doing?
Your guide was very helpful, but...I fear my batch may have gotten contaminated with pesticides, so I kind of stopped paying attention to it and let it go to seed to borrow the colloquialism. I am planning on starting again however soon, I just have to get more pellets.
I was planning on using it for my millipedes and isopods at first till I found someone with a beetle species I want. Kinda ironic, I just found someone with two species I really want, but I have three other buys/imports going on right now. Argh.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

The Odd Pet

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@The Odd Pet, I've been told A. monilicornis is a sensitive species if kept cool, without proper food, etc. It has likely been my hardiest species in actuality, surviving tank crashes, cool temperatures, lack of food, and so on (and I have kept them on coco fiber), and still I have dozens of them.



Your guide was very helpful, but...I fear my batch may have gotten contaminated with pesticides, so I kind of stopped paying attention to it and let it go to seed to borrow the colloquialism. I am planning on starting again however soon, I just have to get more pellets.
I was planning on using it for my millipedes and isopods at first till I found someone with a beetle species I want. Kinda ironic, I just found someone with two species I really want, but I have three other buys/imports going on right now. Argh.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
They are the easiest for me to breed as well next to my flame legs and Acladocricus sp. Philippine giant blue millipedes. I'm also getting into be beetles. I want some Dynastes hercules especially the Dynastes hercules hercules and some flower beetles.
 

Ratmosphere

Arachnoking
Joined
Aug 23, 2015
Messages
2,122
@The Odd Pet, I've been told A. monilicornis is a sensitive species if kept cool, without proper food, etc. It has likely been my hardiest species in actuality, surviving tank crashes, cool temperatures, lack of food, and so on (and I have kept them on coco fiber), and still I have dozens of them.



Your guide was very helpful, but...I fear my batch may have gotten contaminated with pesticides, so I kind of stopped paying attention to it and let it go to seed to borrow the colloquialism. I am planning on starting again however soon, I just have to get more pellets.
I was planning on using it for my millipedes and isopods at first till I found someone with a beetle species I want. Kinda ironic, I just found someone with two species I really want, but I have three other buys/imports going on right now. Argh.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
How did pesticides get in there?
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
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@Ratmosphere, well, we unfortunately spray pesticides, but I wasn't aware we paid for them to come in the winter. I placed the bags containing the substrate outside by our back door, and a few days later I saw the receipt of service on our porch. I know they spray by our back door, so I am paranoid of possible contamination. In all likelihood he didn't spray the bags per se, but with them being in such close proximity I can't help but consider the dangers.

@The Odd Pet, two species of Pachnoda; P. sinuata flaviventris and P. marginata peregrina. Roach Crossing is selling larvae of both, but you have to ask.
The only problem is that I have a group buy, an import, and another purchase lined up that I need to close before I can start trying to purchase anything else (that is, unless I come into $500 suddenly...). But I have been desperately searching for any exotic cetoiine species for a while now! Argh, the trials of an invertebrate enthusiast! Seriously, I was prancing about with joy when I discovered there were still some Pachnoda available in the US, but then reality slapped me in the face...

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
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Messages
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Yes, it is somewhat frustrating. I'll figure it out though...

BTW, I've seen a few of your recent videos on Youtube, you've got some pretty cool beetles! In the future do you ever plan on selling larvae?

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 
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