To heat or not to heat tropical millipedes

Nick H

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
215
I am not entirely new to millipedes, but I am about to get my first A. gigas and I'm trying to figure out whether or not to attach a heat pad to the side of the enclosure. From what I can tell, there doesn't seem to be much of a consensus on this issue. Some say that species from warmer tropical climates should be provided extra heat and some say it is unnecessary and possibly dangerous. Neither opinion seems to be derived from ignorance concerning millipede care, so I thought I'd create a thread about it. I'm particularly interested in hearing what keepers who have had success in breeding millipedes have to say, especially concerning A. gigas.
 

mickiem

Arachnoprince
Active Member
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Jul 23, 2016
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1,534
I don't think you should be concerned with whether or not you use a side heater. The issue is - what is the temp you can maintain? Get a thermometer (I use stick on thermometers and put them on the outside near the top right). I am a little OCD and the thermometers have to be in the same area on each enclosure for no reason except that it has to be. I have about 30 enclosures with a dozen thermometers scattered about. A little lower or higher for short periods won't kill them, but try for consistency if your goal is to breed them.

You should set the tank up with thermometers before the pedes arrive so you will be ready for them. If the enclosure isn't warm enough; then consider the side heat as one option. You should try for 74-78 degrees.

I keep mine in a plastic tub about 40X18 and 16" deep. The substrate is about 8" deep. I sprinkle a handful of dried oak leaves on top once a week and feed fresh food 2X a week or so. Sometimes more often. The substrate is lots of rotted wood and composted leaves with coir. My tropical millipedes are kept in a 72 degree room so I add side heat. I also have a heater on their side of the room. I got one that will shut off if it gets knocked over and it has a thermostat.

I have only been keeping them about a year, but I kept them 20 years ago for 10 years or so. It's like riding a bike...

I have lots of babies - some are 2" long and some are protonymphs.

Best of luck!
 

Nick H

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
215
I don't think you should be concerned with whether or not you use a side heater. The issue is - what is the temp you can maintain? Get a thermometer (I use stick on thermometers and put them on the outside near the top right). I am a little OCD and the thermometers have to be in the same area on each enclosure for no reason except that it has to be. I have about 30 enclosures with a dozen thermometers scattered about. A little lower or higher for short periods won't kill them, but try for consistency if your goal is to breed them.

You should set the tank up with thermometers before the pedes arrive so you will be ready for them. If the enclosure isn't warm enough; then consider the side heat as one option. You should try for 74-78 degrees.

I keep mine in a plastic tub about 40X18 and 16" deep. The substrate is about 8" deep. I sprinkle a handful of dried oak leaves on top once a week and feed fresh food 2X a week or so. Sometimes more often. The substrate is lots of rotted wood and composted leaves with coir. My tropical millipedes are kept in a 72 degree room so I add side heat. I also have a heater on their side of the room. I got one that will shut off if it gets knocked over and it has a thermostat.

I have only been keeping them about a year, but I kept them 20 years ago for 10 years or so. It's like riding a bike...

I have lots of babies - some are 2" long and some are protonymphs.

Best of luck!
Thank you! I'll get a thermometer.
 

SDCPs

Arachnolord
Joined
Feb 8, 2012
Messages
659
Mickiem knows what he's talking about! Try not to let temps fall below 60 if you keep multiple species, although gigas can handle lower, but they won't be happy or breed. I wouldn't let it get much above 80
 

Nick H

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
215
Mickiem knows what he's talking about! Try not to let temps fall below 60 if you keep multiple species, although gigas can handle lower, but they won't be happy or breed. I wouldn't let it get much above 80
okay thanks. I'll be keeping them in a room that is usually 72° or 73°, but we don't have air conditioning so in the summer it can get much hotter. If it gets too hot I can bring them to the bottom floor, which is underground and rarely exceeds 80° except maybe on the very hottest summer days. Ward's screwed up my order so it won't be here till next week, which gives me more time to get their enclosure just right. I'll get a thermometer, I already have an extra heat pad should I need it (likely will). I'm going to mix up some more substrate too. Right now it's about 6" deep. I'll add a couple inches. I really appreciate the input! I'll be so excited if I get pedelings out of these guys.
 

Nick H

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
215
@mickiem do you give them pieces of wood to climb on? My Chicobolus spinigerus seem to love having something to climb around on, but they seem to be the only ones.
 

mickiem

Arachnoprince
Active Member
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Jul 23, 2016
Messages
1,534
I do but they rarely climb. I have long pieces if bark and they seem to like that. It's swamp white oak which has a very rough texture. It's about 4" wide and 10" long.
 
Last edited:

Ratmosphere

Arachnoking
Joined
Aug 23, 2015
Messages
2,208
When I had my African giant black millipede, I put her in a 10 gallon tank with a heating pad on the side. I also had a temperature sensor on the side of the enclosure. It worked perfectly!
 
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