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Your Dubia Colony

  1. #11
    Elite Member AdamL8's Avatar
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    Re: Your Dubia Colony

    Dark was saying that it would go in to the machine as dog food then be ground up and come out as roach food, not that he had a roach mix already. Dog food can be OK as a staple to sustain them but what most people do is then feed them a healthy gut load prior to feeding them off. Dog food isn't ideal but it is cheap, easy to find, and works. Put good in, Get good out.

    How long have you been keeping them like that Jarich? Too much calcium is deadly to Dubia and since you can simply put the calcium on the outside prior to feeding it seems silly to put extra in their diet. Once or twice a year cleaning is just asking for trouble. A year without cleaning at this point would fill up half of the tub with frass for me. I don't know how that would work. You would also think that a dry food mix on the humid substrate would be a major mold hazard.
    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing."

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  2. #12
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    Re: Your Dubia Colony

    Hey Adam,

    No dog food is not a good staple for them or even an adequate one. I see you made reference somewhere to some reading about protein. What did that tell you about their protein requirements and how they metabolize it? Roaches are adapted to a low protein diet and do well with about a 10-15% protein diet. While a little higher isnt an issue, a lot higher can be. Dog and cat foods are usually around 20-30% protein. Dry dog food is barely good for dogs, and not good for anything else. As well as the protein issue, it contains preservatives, higher phosphorous levels and a higher amount of fat than needed. Use food that is designed for the animal. They do make roach chow if you are looking for cheap and easy. Mazuri makes a good one if you are able to find it online.

    As for too much calcium being deadly to them, where did you get that information? A high calcium diet can be hard on crickets, but again you are talking a rather high amount, like 10% of the diet or more. Roaches do not appear to have this issue, but either way I am not mixing it that high. I usually have about 5% of the dry mix as calcium. While you can dust, it is MUCH less effective a way to increase the calcium levels. Gut loading with calcium is a much better and more effective way of increasing their calcium levels and getting it into your lizard.

    When I clean mine there is usually a good few inches of wastes in the bottom, yes. Again, not a problem for them at all and very natural actually. Ive never had any problems with mold. Ive kept them for about two years now, so I know how much to feed them every other day without it building up on the bottom and causing mold problems.

  3. #13
    Elite Member diehardislanders's Avatar
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    Re: Your Dubia Colony

    Good stuff Jarich, thanks for weighing in. I was keeping an eye on this thread hoping your'd stop by, I know how much you like talking diets lo.
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    My best friend is still my dog

  4. #14
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    Re: Your Dubia Colony

    Quote Originally Posted by diehardislanders View Post
    Good stuff Jarich, thanks for weighing in. I was keeping an eye on this thread hoping your'd stop by, I know how much you like talking diets lo.
    Haha, ya its become a bit of a passion of mine. Always more to learn

  5. #15
    Elite Member AdamL8's Avatar
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    Re: Your Dubia Colony

    Quote Originally Posted by jarich View Post
    No dog food is not a good staple for them or even an adequate one. I see you made reference somewhere to some reading about protein. What did that tell you about their protein requirements and how they metabolize it? Roaches are adapted to a low protein diet and do well with about a 10-15% protein diet. While a little higher isnt an issue, a lot higher can be. Dog and cat foods are usually around 20-30% protein. Dry dog food is barely good for dogs, and not good for anything else. As well as the protein issue, it contains preservatives, higher phosphorous levels and a higher amount of fat than needed. Use food that is designed for the animal. They do make roach chow if you are looking for cheap and easy. Mazuri makes a good one if you are able to find it online.
    While it is true that higher protein is going to kill more of them than something closer to 10-18%, they still will grow and thrive on it. Dog and cat foods are too high to be ideal but they will work for sustaining a colony as proven by many people growing thriving colonies using it. It isn't a gut load but it will grow them. The reason people feed these options is mostly because of the widely spread misinformation stating that roaches need a super high protein level. I'm not trying to convince people to use it but it isn't the end of the world if a few do. The majority of "Roach Chow" options from large scale roach breeders are usually a few things made for other animals mixed together and blended. I agree fully that there are much better options but clearly some of these less complex options still work.

    Quote Originally Posted by jarich View Post
    As for too much calcium being deadly to them, where did you get that information? A high calcium diet can be hard on crickets, but again you are talking a rather high amount, like 10% of the diet or more. Roaches do not appear to have this issue, but either way I am not mixing it that high. I usually have about 5% of the dry mix as calcium. While you can dust, it is MUCH less effective a way to increase the calcium levels. Gut loading with calcium is a much better and more effective way of increasing their calcium levels and getting it into your lizard.
    I don't remember exactly where I read it but while I was searching for a good recipe for a roach chow that I could make in bulk, I read it in several different places. The logic behind it seemed sound at the time although I don't have any references for you. How is dusting with Calcium less effective than feeding it to the roaches. Regardless of how you do it, the calcium will be getting in to your reptile. By dusting it you can get more calcium on to the roaches.

    After a quick search I did find a thread on another forum that seems helpful in this conversation. Link

    Quote Originally Posted by jarich View Post
    When I clean mine there is usually a good few inches of wastes in the bottom, yes. Again, not a problem for them at all and very natural actually. Ive never had any problems with mold. Ive kept them for about two years now, so I know how much to feed them every other day without it building up on the bottom and causing mold problems.
    I can definitely understand how you would know how much food to add to make sure it's gone before molding after 2 years. It does surprise me that you have never had mold in 2 years of keeping them that way however. It sounds like it would be a time bomb but you seem to have it perfectly under control. I'll continue doing monthly cleanings but if annual cleanings work for you then more power to you. Less work for you.
    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing."

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  6. #16
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    Re: Your Dubia Colony

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamL8 View Post
    While it is true that higher protein is going to kill more of them than something closer to 10-18%, they still will grow and thrive on it. Dog and cat foods are too high to be ideal but they will work for sustaining a colony as proven by many people growing thriving colonies using it. It isn't a gut load but it will grow them. The reason people feed these options is mostly because of the widely spread misinformation stating that roaches need a super high protein level. I'm not trying to convince people to use it but it isn't the end of the world if a few do. The majority of "Roach Chow" options from large scale roach breeders are usually a few things made for other animals mixed together and blended. I agree fully that there are much better options but clearly some of these less complex options still work.
    While you are right, they can breed and live on dog or cat food, that really isnt the point, especially on a reptile forum. People can also use dog poop, hamburger and coffee grounds and roaches will live and breed on that diet. Again, they are adapted to low nutrient environments, so the decision of what to feed shouldnt be based on what simply keeps them going. Rather, the decision should be what is best to feed your roaches so that they breed readily and make good reptile food. Feeding them dog or cat food does not make them good reptile food (or even particularly healthy roaches for that matter).

    As for Roach Chow, what I meant was Mazuri, Timberline, or one of the reputable food manufacturers. They specifically formulate food blocks for many different kinds of animals, including roaches.


    I don't remember exactly where I read it but while I was searching for a good recipe for a roach chow that I could make in bulk, I read it in several different places. The logic behind it seemed sound at the time although I don't have any references for you. How is dusting with Calcium less effective than feeding it to the roaches. Regardless of how you do it, the calcium will be getting in to your reptile. By dusting it you can get more calcium on to the roaches.

    After a quick search I did find a thread on another forum that seems helpful in this conversation. Link
    Ya, it happens often, like in that thread you linked to, that information gets sort of clouded and passed along without much to back it up. I know that I have read that it does hinder reproduction and molting in crickets, but Ive never seen anything about it as relates to roaches. Now thats not to say that it isnt true, just that Ive never heard or read anything reputable to say so.

    However, either way Im not suggesting a super high calcium diet that would cause problems, even in crickets. I use about a 5% calcium dry diet, which would put it even lower in their total diet. (I feed fresh vegetables as well). Ive never had any issues with my roaches dying and they breed quite readily.

    As for dusting, again Im not saying that it shouldnt be done. I think it should be done as an additional way of increasing the Ca:P ration. However its not as effective because it is greatly influenced by the type of powder used, the size of the insect (surface area:internal volume), how long before the insect is consumed, and the adherence factor of the particular insect. There have been numerous studies done, and gut loading has been shown to increase their calcium levels to a greater degree.

    As for the mold, I have occasionally had it but rarely so and its never been an issue of mortality in my roaches. I feed quite a lot of squash to my roaches, and in the NY summers (very high humidity, much like you have, Im sure) that means there is a bit of mold if I overestimate. Ive not found it to be an issue though. I should probably look into why mold is always stated as a big problem for roaches. I know Ive heard it from lots of people, but never looked into it.
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  7. #17
    Elite Member TigerIvy's Avatar
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    Re: Your Dubia Colony

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkbird View Post
    Yeah, powdering the stuff seems to boost consumption tremendously, but I too have been trying to find an easy /cheap way to do it. I'm actually going to try an old hand meat grinder, but it may not make the stuff fine enough even if it doesn't jam up on me. Wonder if I could find one of the old commercial coffee grinders that they used to have in stores. Dog food in top, roach chow out bottom.
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  8. #18
    Elite Member TigerIvy's Avatar
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    Re: Your Dubia Colony

    jarich I have to agree with you on this one. I actually find if I use too much dog food I lose a good deal of roaches. If I use something with less protein and more balance (like baby cereal that I have TONS of right now) I have a great deal less die off problems. I have never tried chick mash before, I'm not sure how that would work but honestly my roaches get a good deal of fruits, veggies and other organic items like that. I have found they will eat different flower pedals that are reptile safe also. I will agree Mazuri works really well on them - I sometimes use it for gutload in the feeder tank.

    Again I agree on the internal gut load versus dusting. I actually just add a little powdered milk and it works fine. But here the past couple of days (I have a bad cold..bleh) I have just been giving them salad and the bug burger and I expected to find a good deal of deaths but surprisingly I have had very few.

    I have also noted they like sweet things, banana, oranges and almost any type of berry being popular with them. But I try to not overdose them on sweet things or else they don't appear to want much else. I have tried lemon and wheat grass - both of which they will eat with gusto as well.

  9. #19
    Elite Member AdamL8's Avatar
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    Re: Your Dubia Colony

    Quote Originally Posted by jarich View Post
    While you are right, they can breed and live on dog or cat food, that really isnt the point, especially on a reptile forum. People can also use dog poop, hamburger and coffee grounds and roaches will live and breed on that diet. Again, they are adapted to low nutrient environments, so the decision of what to feed shouldnt be based on what simply keeps them going. Rather, the decision should be what is best to feed your roaches so that they breed readily and make good reptile food. Feeding them dog or cat food does not make them good reptile food (or even particularly healthy roaches for that matter).
    While those seem like extreme options, I do see the point you were trying to get across. Long term, It's a problem. Short term in a pinch if you can't find anything else I think it will be fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by jarich View Post
    Ya, it happens often, like in that thread you linked to, that information gets sort of clouded and passed along without much to back it up. I know that I have read that it does hinder reproduction and molting in crickets, but Ive never seen anything about it as relates to roaches. Now thats not to say that it isnt true, just that Ive never heard or read anything reputable to say so.

    However, either way Im not suggesting a super high calcium diet that would cause problems, even in crickets. I use about a 5% calcium dry diet, which would put it even lower in their total diet. (I feed fresh vegetables as well). Ive never had any issues with my roaches dying and they breed quite readily.
    Most of these type of things had an original basis in fact that gets lost or translated along the way. The way I view it, Why risk killing off some of your colony? Clearly the levels you use are perfectly acceptable but most people probably wouldn't know what is acceptable. I know that a while back I overdid it on the dry milk in a batch I made up and I did kill off an abnormal number of roaches. That may or may not have been entirely attributed to the calcium but in my mind it was so I made a mental note not to do that again.

    Quote Originally Posted by jarich View Post
    As for dusting, again Im not saying that it shouldnt be done. I think it should be done as an additional way of increasing the Ca:P ration. However its not as effective because it is greatly influenced by the type of powder used, the size of the insect (surface area:internal volume), how long before the insect is consumed, and the adherence factor of the particular insect. There have been numerous studies done, and gut loading has been shown to increase their calcium levels to a greater degree.
    Even if you do get more in from gut loading, Do you already get enough from dusting? Gut loading could be doing 120% of what's needed where dusting gives 100%. In addition, an only 5% calcium gut load wouldn't come close to a full dusting, don't you think? The studies that you mentioned must have been using a higher concentration than just 5% to be able to say that it was better to gut load the calcium than to dust it. Doing both will surely do nothing but help but 5% just seems so insignificant in comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by jarich View Post
    As for the mold, I have occasionally had it but rarely so and its never been an issue of mortality in my roaches. I feed quite a lot of squash to my roaches, and in the NY summers (very high humidity, much like you have, Im sure) that means there is a bit of mold if I overestimate. Ive not found it to be an issue though. I should probably look into why mold is always stated as a big problem for roaches. I know Ive heard it from lots of people, but never looked into it.
    I would also like to know what about the mold is supposedly deadly to these insects that eat anything and survive. It seems almost silly that mold could kill them but it's not something that anybody wants to accidentally test just in case. If you find anything out about this I'd love to hear it.
    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing."

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  10. #20
    Elite Member Darkbird's Avatar
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    Re: Your Dubia Colony

    Sorry, guess I should have said "ingredients in, roach chow out." I never meant that dog or cat food should be used exclusively, but it's an easy to get and inexpensive ingredient. I also use cat food some times, along with rolled oats from the feed store, and rabbit pellets, the powdered leftovers from my bags of rodent pellets, and a few other thing others have already mentioned. My comment was just really about the fact that powdered seems to get eaten much faster than pellets.

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