So it begins...

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
1,255
Update:
The experiment has gone well insofar, with no abnormal deaths. I crushed, added, and thus used up most of what little hardwood leaves I had left, but I was able to collect some more recently. Here's to hoping their good!

I haven't seen any absolutely verifiable eating of the expanded pellet substrate, though a few times it looked like some of the specimens were chewing on it. It holds its shape remarkably well, so that tunnels left by the millipede's burrowing activities often remain days to even weeks later.

@Ratmosphere, unfortunately I discovered mold in this batch and ended up having to throw the whole thing into the garden bed. Gonna try again with what few pellets I have left here soon though...

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

NopusNatus

Arachnopeon
Active Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Messages
19
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.
I’ve been keeping beetles longer than millipedes so I’ve always known it as flake soil and have always called it that. The problem with calling it flake soil though is it’s usually followed up with a “what’s that?”. Calling it fermented sawdust/wood pellets kind of explains itself. If you ever see flake soil or beetle mat for sale it will most likely be fermented sawdust. Beetle mat sold for different species will have different levels of fermentation and different additives. Mat sold for some Lucanidae will be milled rotten hardwood but it is usually much lighter in color than flake soil.
Update:
The experiment has gone well insofar, with no abnormal deaths. I crushed, added, and thus used up most of what little hardwood leaves I had left, but I was able to collect some more recently. Here's to hoping their good!

I haven't seen any absolutely verifiable eating of the expanded pellet substrate, though a few times it looked like some of the specimens were chewing on it. It holds its shape remarkably well, so that tunnels left by the millipede's burrowing activities often remain days to even weeks later.

@Ratmosphere, unfortunately I discovered mold in this batch and ended up having to throw the whole thing into the garden bed. Gonna try again with what few pellets I have left here soon though...

Thanks,

Arthroverts
If the mold was a thin white carpet it could be hypae, which is a good thing. If it was actual bad mold that won’t necessarily ruin a batch. If mold develops just turn it more than usual for a week or so. Once oxygen has entered the soil stagnant mold growth and anaerobic activity should stop and be replaced with good fungal/bacterial/enzymatic activity. You should start a new batch regardless because of the possibility of pesticide contamination but if mold happens again it’s not necessarily going to ruin the final product.
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
1,255
I spoke too soon when I said there had been no abnormal deaths. Unfortunately I discovered one of my four remaining Spirostreptus sp. "1" dead, with a few exoskeletons of A. monilicornis juveniles on the surface as well. I did lose a Spirostreptus sp. "1" (for a total of 5) I had in the old terrarium, which could have been tied to large moisture gradients or lack of adequate food, but I wasn't losing this many A. monilicornis babies.

I was testing a bunch of leaves and rotting wood in their old ten gallon terrarium on some guinea pig A. monilicornis, and I just dug through it a little bit today to find one baby and loads of micro fauna thriving in it, so I am thinking it is safe. Strongly considering moving everything back over as I really don't want to lose any more specimens. Plus, the substrate, which was the main reason I moved the millipedes in the first place, has now been refreshed with several gallons of rotting oak leaves and plenty of rotting wood.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

AuroraLights

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Messages
55
I spoke too soon when I said there had been no abnormal deaths. Unfortunately I discovered one of my four remaining Spirostreptus sp. "1" dead, with a few exoskeletons of A. monilicornis juveniles on the surface as well. I did lose a Spirostreptus sp. "1" (for a total of 5) I had in the old terrarium, which could have been tied to large moisture gradients or lack of adequate food, but I wasn't losing this many A. monilicornis babies.

I was testing a bunch of leaves and rotting wood in their old ten gallon terrarium on some guinea pig A. monilicornis, and I just dug through it a little bit today to find one baby and loads of micro fauna thriving in it, so I am thinking it is safe. Strongly considering moving everything back over as I really don't want to lose any more specimens. Plus, the substrate, which was the main reason I moved the millipedes in the first place, has now been refreshed with several gallons of rotting oak leaves and plenty of rotting wood.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
That's a shame, I'm sorry for your losses. :sad:
Were these deaths all in the setup with the expanded wood pellets? I read a thread on a German forum where someone found that the death rate of N.americanus offspring increased dramatically in the presence of flake soil. Since flake soil is made from the same stuff perhaps sawdust is not good for young millipedes? I can't think why it would hurt them when it is great for beetles, but if the only two people I know of who have done a proper comparison with millipedes have found the same result, I am inclined to think it might be true.
Here is the link to the German thread and their results.
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
1,255
That's a shame, I'm sorry for your losses. :sad:
Were these deaths all in the setup with the expanded wood pellets? I read a thread on a German forum where someone found that the death rate of N.americanus offspring increased dramatically in the presence of flake soil. Since flake soil is made from the same stuff perhaps sawdust is not good for young millipedes? I can't think why it would hurt them when it is great for beetles, but if the only two people I know of who have done a proper comparison with millipedes have found the same result, I am inclined to think it might be true.
Here is the link to the German thread and their results.
That is very helpful and interesting. I didn't read through the whole thread since it was just devolving into a war of definitions (a German forum Arachnoboards-style flame-war, ha ha), but that is very interesting, if somewhat disheartening to hear, that the specimens didn't do very well. Sounds like I'll need to move the specimens back over as soon as possible.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

AuroraLights

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Messages
55
That is very helpful and interesting. I didn't read through the whole thread since it was just devolving into a war of definitions (a German forum Arachnoboards-style flame-war, ha ha), but that is very interesting, if somewhat disheartening to hear, that the specimens didn't do very well. Sounds like I'll need to move the specimens back over as soon as possible.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
Yep, I didn't read the whole thread either. Nice to know the internet is the same no matter which language you speak! :rofl:
@MadMilli is trying something similar with Traegar pellets, so it will be interesting to see what they find.
 

MadMilli

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
116
Yep, I didn't read the whole thread either. Nice to know the internet is the same no matter which language you speak! :rofl:
@MadMilli is trying something similar with Traegar pellets, so it will be interesting to see what they find.
WIP! I added a lot of the suggestions that others mentioned, such as safe non-sterilized leaves, cycled millipede poop, and springtails. This may change the outcome? Not sure.
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
1,255
@MadMilli, I also added millipede frass, non-sterilized rotting wood, and springtails, though that didn't stop the specimens from perishing.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

MadMilli

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
116
@MadMilli, yes I did. I used the Hickory, Maple, and Cherry blend.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
Is that their special blend? I’m wondering if maybe they added something since it’s 3 woods? Not sure. I posted a thread a few days ago raising concerns about the use of other wood besides oak and the people who responded convinced me to go straight oak pellets. I wish I had an explanation for you besides that, I’m currently experimenting to see if the oak by itself will work. Sorry for your losses!
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
1,255
It is a "premium" blend, but a lot of their pellets are marked as "premium". All hardwoods are safe to my knowledge, so I figured a three-in-one would provide a more varied diet.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

BepopCola

Arachnoknight
Active Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2018
Messages
227
I know cherry wood is toxic to gerbils, and it's on a list of unsafe-wood for hermit crabs. I don't know if this translates to bbq pellets or other inverts, but other people have used cherry flakes, successfully to my knowledge, with their milli's.

That's a shame, I'm sorry for your losses. :sad:
Were these deaths all in the setup with the expanded wood pellets? I read a thread on a German forum where someone found that the death rate of N.americanus offspring increased dramatically in the presence of flake soil. Since flake soil is made from the same stuff perhaps sawdust is not good for young millipedes? I can't think why it would hurt them when it is great for beetles, but if the only two people I know of who have done a proper comparison with millipedes have found the same result, I am inclined to think it might be true.
Here is the link to the German thread and their results.
I've also been mixing expanded Traeger oak pellets into my substrates. I have noticed that I have not had any N. americanus babies since I've added the flake soil, I've had deaths of the adults as well, but I don't know if it's related as I got them fully grown already. It does feel suspicious though.
On the other hand, my ivories have been reproducing fine and so have my A. monilicornis and Trigoniulus corallinus.
 
Top