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Questions About Dubia Roach Colonies

  1. #1
    Elite Member TJOHNSON722's Avatar
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    Questions About Dubia Roach Colonies

    Hello everyone, I have decided to start a Dubia Roach colony with or without my husbands approval. I know crickets have the least amount of protein for Bearded Dragons, and if I can talk the husband in a monitor in a few years, we will have to have them. Naturally, I have alot of questions.

    First, I use a very very high quality dog food for my pitbull the main ingredients in it are all stuff I would eat myself. It literally has 24% crude protein (ill post a picture of the ingredients below). However, I just read on another forum post, that you dont want to feed them this stuff. I can get the chick starter feed, no problem, but what else do I feed them?

    Second, what kind of substrate should you use for them? I know they need the egg crates just like crickets, but I am not sure what would be best to use for substrate.

    Third, What temperatures do I keep them at? I have flexwatt heat tape, Im getting a large opaque bin, and they will be kept in the basement so it is dark, but it is also cold down there until I get the reptile room built.

    Finally, who do you guys order your starting colonies from? The weather here in Ohio is very wierd. Our favorite saying is, "Dont like the weather? Stay a day or two" if that tells you anything. It can literally be 95 degrees one day and 75 the next.

    Sorry for the kinda long post, I now do not trust youtube (or petstores) anymore as anyone can post pictures or video's when in reality they dont know squat.

    (On a side note, I was at petsmart getting a undergravel filter for my aquarium. Walked by the reptile section, as I am sure most of everyone reading this does. This kid I went to school with was showing the Bearded Dragons to this couple. They asked how old they were. He said he had no idea. (He knows I own herps). The girl from the cash register yelled, "they are 5 months old". These dragons were probably no more then 4' long from nose to tip of tail. My eyes got about as big as half dollars...... Had to share.)
    Please do ample amount of research and have a backup account for emergency costs before purchasing any pet.






  2. #2
    Elite Member TJOHNSON722's Avatar
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    Pictures of ingredients.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Please do ample amount of research and have a backup account for emergency costs before purchasing any pet.

  3. #3
    Subscribed User DragonsKeepers's Avatar
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    You should shoot for lower protein...like 18%. Oranges are good and seem to be readily eaten by roaches. Everyone claims they make them horny, so better breeding. I don't know the science behind that though, so just anecdotal. No substrate is needed. I use butter tub type lids for food. One with oranges, greens, carrots; one with water crystals, and one with a blend of dog food and grains blended together, and a little pile of repashy's bug burgers. In my photo albums, I have a couple pictures of my dubia setup in the feeders album. Egg crates go vertical in there. I use a blue sterilite tub (22 gal) with a screen hot glued into the top. Use a human hearing pad and just set the tub on it. I got mine for like $20 from Amazon - no auto shutoff! I tried the basement but it cooled the container too much for me. They breed over 90 degrees, but up to 100 is better (keep a good heat gradient). If you wrap a blanket or insulation around the tub, the basement may work for you.
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    Elite Member TJOHNSON722's Avatar
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    Re: Questions About Dubia Roach Colonies

    i may try my mothers dog food. She has little dogs so she dont need the protein that my pitbull does. All the other stuff seems really easy. I may still try the basement. I will look at getting a thermal wrap for it. I actually do have 2 human heating pads for emergencies incase my normal methods of heating goes out, I will use one of those for it. It seems super easy. I am just worried about heating still. I guess once my room gets done, it wont be that big of a deal.

    Now, where is a good reliable company to order from? And, how many do I order? I noticed on some sites they only sell mixed groups. Is this ok to order or would I need more specifics?

    Also, I know this is off topic, but you also keep different feeders. Are they hard to breed and keep too? It would be easier to get the animals that I want to get (chinese water dragon, monitor, etc) if I could breed these feeders.
    Please do ample amount of research and have a backup account for emergency costs before purchasing any pet.

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    Re: Questions About Dubia Roach Colonies

    I got my first order from theroachguy.com I bought a starter kit, and a large lot of mixed dubias. The egg crates he includes with the starter kit have been all that I need. I separated out the smallest ones to select my feeders from, and they don't get dog food or citrus, but the box with the adults I want to breed does. I put in an order with CNS, but I won't be going back to them any time soon. They sent the wrong sizes, the wrong genders for the adults I'd ordered, and most of that order's died off or been cannibalized. In any case, I've got everything separated in a way that works best for me: my 22 gallon sterilite tub has my mature adults and immature females. I go through periodically and pull nearly all the babies to use as food. I've got a smaller box with immature nymphs too large for me to use as feeders that I've identified as males. I want to try and hit a 3:1 female to male ratio, and I don't really want excess males competing for resources. Everything still small enough to use as feeders is in a separate 10 gallon tote for convenience. Then, I keep a dozen or two of those in a critter keeper for gutloading. I'm not allowed to keep "excessive amounts of roaches" at my apartment, but I'm okay for a small amount of feeders, so that's my gutload box.

    As for food, The Roach Guy's starter kit came with a bag of his blend of roach chow. To me, it looks like ground bran and ground corn, and some other things. I make a small amount available to each box of my colony, but I've reworked my diet on Aja's advice. I now always have romaine lettuce, collard greens, and carrots available in each box. The breeder box gets dog food and citrus, and the box with the young males also gets dog food to prevent cannibalism. Everyone gets Repashy's Bug Burger, but the gutload box gets a special batch made with half Bug Burger and half Repashy's Superload. The gutload box always has fruit in it, mostly apples and sometimes mixed berries or melon, but because I have to drive over to the place I keep the rest of my colony, they only get fruit once or twice a week.

    I don't use substrate in any of the boxes, but I do also use water crystals to help keep humidity up. No one seems to have trouble molting, and I've regularly got babies appearing. I'm not doing anything for additional heating during the summer, but that's going to have to change come winter.

  6. #6
    Administrator Merlin's Avatar
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    Re: Questions About Dubia Roach Colonies

    Maybe this will help
    Breeding Blaptica Dubia
    My staple feed is wheat bran from the feed store. You can get a 50 lb sack for about 12 dollars! Add to that a pinch of dry catfood and the leftover fruits and veggies and you are good to go.
    As for ordering. I hear good things about Ian from the Roach Ranch.
    He also has a number of tutorials on setting up and maintaining the colonies.

    And of course Michael's (Knox) videosReady for My Dubias
    As for breeding other feeders. I just do mealworms in addition to my dubias.
    Both are incredibly easy to culture.
    I started out my roaches as a mixed batch of 100. If you only buy adults you have no idea how old they are and theymay be on the downhill slide of their lifecycle. By getting mixed you will be getting different ages and the colony will take longer to establish but will produce better over the long run.
    Merlin,
    What's Life Without A Little Magic!

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    Administrator Merlin's Avatar
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    Re: Questions About Dubia Roach Colonies

    And I do not recommend anything as a substrate. Substrate will make cleaning a lot more difficult.
    TJOHNSON722 likes this.
    Merlin,
    What's Life Without A Little Magic!

  8. #8
    Subscribed User DragonsKeepers's Avatar
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    I would post something on craigslist or go to an expo to get roaches. I got mine from asking on here about someone in the area. I got 35 adult females, 8 males, and about 250 mixed sizes for $65. It takes 4-6 months to start breeding for a small nymph, so it depends on your immediate needs. Adult females will have 30 babies every 30 days. I have 600-800 now and I feed about 50-100 a week out of it. My problem is I have tons of new nymphs and tons of adults, but not a good medium size, as most of my herps eat about the same size.

    I order crickets and superworms from reptilefood.com. I don't breed them, but try to keep them alive as long as possible. I started with a 1000 mealworms to start that colony. I feed out of it regularly and have more than I can count. It's fairly easy once you get it going. I'm also getting ready to do nightcrawlers too. I found it's easier and cheaper keeping big colonies as opposed to small amounts. If I buy 100 crickets locally, they cost $7-10. If I buy 3000, I pay $40. Mealworms - 1000 for $7 or 50 for $3. No brainer for me. Nightcrawlers will be $50 for 1000, or $5 for 25 locally.
    0.0.1 Tiger Salamander
    1.0.0 Chinese Water Dragon
    1.1.0 Bearded Dragons
    0.1.2 Leopard Geckos
    1.1.1 Crocodile Skinks

  9. #9
    Elite Member TJOHNSON722's Avatar
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    Re: Questions About Dubia Roach Colonies

    Ok, he is out of stock, but I can wait. Ill keep checking back periodically. However, stupid question, what exactly is gut-loading? Also, why do you do it? I understand the concept of different tubs. One for breeding, one for feeders that you would keep at lower than 90 degree temperatures so they dont breed. Is gutloading just basically loading them up with protein and sprinkling calcium powder to feed to the animals? That way they can get the most nutrition possible?
    Please do ample amount of research and have a backup account for emergency costs before purchasing any pet.

  10. #10
    Elite Member TJOHNSON722's Avatar
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    Re: Questions About Dubia Roach Colonies

    Quote Originally Posted by DragonsKeepers View Post
    I would post something on craigslist or go to an expo to get roaches. I got mine from asking on here about someone in the area. I got 35 adult females, 8 males, and about 250 mixed sizes for $65. It takes 4-6 months to start breeding for a small nymph, so it depends on your immediate needs. Adult females will have 30 babies every 30 days. I have 600-800 now and I feed about 50-100 a week out of it. My problem is I have tons of new nymphs and tons of adults, but not a good medium size, as most of my herps eat about the same size.

    I order crickets and superworms from reptilefood.com. I don't breed them, but try to keep them alive as long as possible. I started with a 1000 mealworms to start that colony. I feed out of it regularly and have more than I can count. It's fairly easy once you get it going. I'm also getting ready to do nightcrawlers too. I found it's easier and cheaper keeping big colonies as opposed to small amounts. If I buy 100 crickets locally, they cost $7-10. If I buy 3000, I pay $40. Mealworms - 1000 for $7 or 50 for $3. No brainer for me. Nightcrawlers will be $50 for 1000, or $5 for 25 locally.
    I think I can get my husband to definately agree to nightcrawlers. lol Both he and my 4 year old are avid fisherman. I will have to look into this also. What herps eat nightcrawlers? I thought Bearded Dragons only ate mealworms, crickets, dubia's, and veggies. I will try craigslist. I would have never thought of that.
    Please do ample amount of research and have a backup account for emergency costs before purchasing any pet.

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