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"Water bites" in the substrate - my bright idea

Code Monkey

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Now that I'm the proud poppa of two itty bitty evil pedes I've been playing around with trying to come up with good environments. From what I've been able to gather, pedelings are even more subject to dessication than slings and the general consensus is you want to keep the substrate very moist all the time. To aid me in this endeavour, I decided to experiment by adding a small amount of water saver crystals (what Cricket bites are made from) into the peat verm before moistening it. End result is a substrate with a built in resovoir which takes up excess moisture when I mist, and releases it slowly back into the soil the rest of the time.

Any thoughts from the more veteran pede keepers?
 

MrDeranged

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Sounds like an interesting idea to me. One thing though, I always thought those crystals just trapped water, I didn't know that they released it. (Even though that would make sense :? ) How does it release the water? Does it just seep out of the hydrated crystals over time? Or is there some other delivery mechanism. Personally, my small pedes are all in deli cups with restricted ventilation. That, with misting, helps keep the soil pretty moist too :) Keep us updated on how the crystals work for you. If you have more than one baby pede, I would use the crystal set up for the one you would least care about if you lost until your method can be proven to meet the needs of the baby pedes. I would hate for you to lose whatever you would like to grow into a 14 inch monster....

Scott
 

SkyeSpider

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I wish I'd heard of this a week ago. My baby centipede just died two days ago. I imagine it just dried out. If I ever try another one, I'm going to use your technique. It sounds great :)

-Bryan
 

MrDeranged

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Sorry to hear about your pede Bryan. It sucks to lose the little ones. How humid/moist were you keeping it? Did it dry out in the enclosure at any point? What were you keeping it in?

Scott
 

Code Monkey

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Just a followup to this post, the idea kicks major booty. With half the misting the pede substrates remain uniformly moist instead the usual moist at the top, bone dry below.

As I change out substrates for my moisture loving Ts they're all going to get the polyacrylamide crystals mixed into the substrate. I like my bright idea if I don't mind saying so myself :D
 

SkyeSpider

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Originally posted by mrderanged
Sorry to hear about your pede Bryan. It sucks to lose the little ones. How humid/moist were you keeping it? Did it dry out in the enclosure at any point? What were you keeping it in?
Wow! Sorry it took me a month to reply. That's not like me :p

The pede was being kept in a 10 gallon aquarium with a peat/verm mix substrate. I'd mist the cage heavily daily, but I doubt the day I went out of town, my mom remembered to mist the "empty cage." I didn't see it for a few days after that, and found it dead when I checked.

I've thought about getting another pede, but I want to get one that's more of a "display" animal.

-Bryan
 

Solar Dart

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I've had only horrible luck with baby centipedes. The guy I bought my scorpions from gave me 3 for free a couple years back, and they all died within two weeks.
A couple months ago I got an adult S. subspinipes and he's doing fine, but I'd like to get a few more younger animals as well.
My question is, what exactly are these "cricket bites?" Is it the same stuff as "Easy Water"...those little gelatine cubes? I'd like to try this method myself when I get more animals next week.
 

Code Monkey

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It's the 'raw' form of what many people volunteer to get ripped off by when they call it 'Cricket Bites' or 'Cricket Quencher'. It's probably what you're thinking of when you call it a gelatin cube.

You can buy it in garden stores or even at Home Depot. In the below picture is the container of polyacrylamide crystals purchased at Home Depot (name brand Water Saver), cost $14. On the right of that is a bottle of Fluker's Cricket Quencher, cost $4. About 1/16 of a teaspoon of the water saver crystals expands to the volume of 'gelatin' you get in the Cricket Quencher. When I mix the substrate (50/50 peat/verm) I add just a shake of the crystals to it and it absorbs and releases water over time (which is why it's sold in garden shops).
 

Attachments

skinheaddave

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Now there's a useful tip! Thanks for sharing it with us. Just be careful of that dark sedan with the Flukers thugs that is going to start following you around.

Cheers,
Dave
 

atavuss

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Originally posted by Code Monkey
It's the 'raw' form of what many people volunteer to get ripped off by when they call it 'Cricket Bites' or 'Cricket Quencher'. It's probably what you're thinking of when you call it a gelatin cube.

You can buy it in garden stores or even at Home Depot. In the below picture is the container of polyacrylamide crystals purchased at Home Depot (name brand Water Saver), cost $14. On the right of that is a bottle of Fluker's Cricket Quencher, cost $4. About 1/16 of a teaspoon of the water saver crystals expands to the volume of 'gelatin' you get in the Cricket Quencher. When I mix the substrate (50/50 peat/verm) I add just a shake of the crystals to it and it absorbs and releases water over time (which is why it's sold in garden shops).
I found a wholesaler of the polymer crystals, 5 lbs. shipped was 26.00 (jeez, probably will be a lifetime supply! LOL) 1 or 2 spoonfuls makes 16 oz. and one lb of the non-hydrated product makes 16 oz. 115! times.
try: www.watersorb.com
Ed
 
Last edited:

Code Monkey

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Originally posted by atavuss
I found a wholesaler of the polymer crystals, 5 lbs. shipped was 26.00, 2 lbs. shipped is 12.00. 1 or 2 spoonfuls makes 16 oz. and one lb of the non-hydrated product makes 16 oz. 115! times. I could not locate the polymer locally at several home depots BTW.
try: www.watersorb.com
Ed
I posted a link to watersorb in the Tarantula forum but it quickly got buried. Their prices with shipping are even cheaper than the Hardware store, and you get a choice of granule sizes. Hopefully they'll still be in business five years from now when I run out of my current lot :D
 

atavuss

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Originally posted by Code Monkey
I posted a link to watersorb in the Tarantula forum but it quickly got buried. Their prices with shipping are even cheaper than the Hardware store, and you get a choice of granule sizes. Hopefully they'll still be in business five years from now when I run out of my current lot :D
I bought 5 lbs. of the stuff and at the rate I am using it I may just have a lifetime supply!
also, I e mailed watersorb's customer service and they recommend for our usage we get "large craft" size (it is sifted more so there is less powder)
Ed
 

Ephesians

Arachnobaron
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I believe I have said this before Sir Code Monkey, under previous name in this thread...(don't ask me what it was because that's obviously why I had to register a new one. Sucks when you have no internet for a few months...lol). Anywhoooo...I hate building the ego of others, especially since I know yours is quite large..lol...but Excellent idea. Rock on Sir Monkey.
 

Ephesians

Arachnobaron
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wow....7 current posts by me. that's depressing. lol. anyway, so offsubject. sorry.
 

cacoseraph

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i was reading about polyacrylimide toxicity (the jury of me is still out, but leaning towards not so very dangerous to inverts) and was wondering if you still use this tech at all CM... or anyone?

it would seem to give me a little more slack raising baby centipedes

edit:
beginning of adecent longitudinal on using it in the substrate if you still are.

oh, p.s. i read that you don't use it for cents anymore, but i was wondering if you use it for anything else and why you quit?
 
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