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Please Help Me Get My Dubia Colony Running Under WEIRD Conditions.

Discussion in 'Feeders' started by SpidaFly, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    They do sell light stands, or even clip on lamps, but you would have to be EXTREMELY careful that it not get bumped or tipped etc. due to fire hazard! I have a reptile room, the heat stays at an ambient temp of 82-85 daytime and 70's night time. so a heat pad underneath mine works fine.
    I know everyone says they use rubbermaid tubs, and I do too, but I started my colony out in an aquarium with a screen lid, you would be able to use a ceramic heat emitter and an undertank heater if you chose to go that route...at least until you got the colony established and figured out alternate heating options for your plastic tub.
     
  2. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    What kind of heating pad are you using, and does it have an auto shutoff?
     
  3. SpidaFly

    SpidaFly Elite Member

    Nah, no auto shutoff. One DID have an autoshutoff, but I took care of that with a soldering iron :p (pulled the pin off the ripple counter chip so it couldn't trigger the shutoff mechanism)

    I hate living in the desert, the AC battles the hot weather, and my reptile/bug heating stuff battles the AC. Vicious.
     
  4. SpidaFly

    SpidaFly Elite Member

    Alright, I think I might have it fixed.

    Pic 1: Start with two heating pads on a base of Reflectix to help keep from losing heat into the floor.

    Pic 2: Line the outside of the container with reflectix, 8"x8" hole for ventilation. Hot glue gun worked better than I thought it would.

    Pic 3: The starting colony is only 3 adult males, 7 adult females, and 90 mixed size... so I'm keeping only a few egg crates in there so they can get near each other. I'm also borrowing MLD's idea, and I've got a little gladware with many holes drilled in the top full of wet eco earth.

    Right now the temps appear to be in the high 80s/low 90s - and that's just about right! I'll see how it goes when the temps plummet tonight. That's chopped up tangerine and broken green beans down there, and water gel in the bowl. I'm not sure why they aren't going for it.

    The hardest part is going to be explaining it all to the in-laws. xD
     
  5. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    It looks great! Temps sound good, I'm sure they are eating, they are more active at night.
     
  6. SpidaFly

    SpidaFly Elite Member

    Humidity didn't "feel" right this morning so I decided change the strategy.

    Voila!

    Just hot glued some screen scraps to the inside. The opposite side has screen on it like that too. Pack wet eco earth in, and give that a try tonight!

    Found a dead young roach :( Still not seeing them on their food ever. I lay a egg carton ontop of the food in hopes that the close quarters might make them eat.
     
  7. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Why not just use water in the container? I would think that it would be easier to change the water then to change the wet eco earth, plus wouldn't the eco earth mold and be a breeding ground for bacteria if kept wet. I think that just plan old water that is changed weekly would be better, just my thoughts
     
  8. jarich

    jarich Elite Member

    The water is a drowning hazard, so I wouldnt go with that. Do be careful of the mold that can happen from the soil, mold is a BIG problem for roaches.

    Once the colony is established, and they start producing wastes, the humidity wont be as much of an issue either. Thats a really clean looking tub! Normally that would be a good thing, except with roaches. I know its brand new, and there is nothing you can do about that of course. Im sure you already know not to clean out your roach tub. The babies eat the waste of the adults so its good to keep it in there. Other than that your set up looks good. Increase the variety of the food you give them though. The more variety the better. Also, mix up a good dry food mix and add that. In some ways bugs are smarter than people, they eat what they are missing in their diet first. Giving them a good variety will allow them to eat accordingly and therefore make for a healthier feeder prey.
     
  9. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    do you provide them with a dry food as well as fresh?
     
  10. jarich

    jarich Elite Member

    Yep! Again, give them a lot of variety. There are different nutrients that you are making available with each food, so the more you give them, the better the feeder prey they are.
     
  11. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    There is no drowning problem if it's done correctly;
    This is a plastic ice cream container with small holes made with a soldering gun
    P4020001.jpg
     
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I beleive what he is referring to was a bowl of open water.
     
  13. SpidaFly

    SpidaFly Elite Member

    I plan to, but I haven't yet. So far I've been putting green bean, apple, tangerine, and mustard green in there. I will supply a dry food as soon as I find one similar to the one MLD posted.

    Well, here's my thinking: It's SILLY dry here. Now, I spent my whole life in the pacific northwest, where it's very humid/moist/etc. Here, I don't think I've even seen anything mold, because things dry out before they mold. I'm not saying things CAN'T mold of course, but... things do dry out that fast.

    Now, with the screen I have on there, my thinking is that there is a great deal of surface area to "radiate" humidity, and I buy eco earth in those 3-brick packages anyway... so every time I do a complete changeout of my AWD's eco earth, I'll change the roaches as well (every month ish is what I've had planned... my AWD is an exceptionally clean little guy!)

    It does feel pretty moist in there this morning, so that's a good sign. Only one roach on the food, none in the water dish, so... hmm.
     
  14. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Since you are having issues with the humidity and temperature, why not reduce the size of the opening in the top?
    And that stick on tape thermometer is not going to give you a good temperature reading.
     
  15. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I agree, you only need a 3" hole to vent the enclosure. Make it as small as possible. This will keep humidity in.
     
  16. SpidaFly

    SpidaFly Elite Member

    Yeah, it's terrible. So is the analogue dial thing. In another one of those pictures I posted you can see I've got a digital probe one sitting up top, probe's down in one of the egg crates.

    Ah, ok. That would be one of my mistakes then... that hole is like 8"x8". I'll cut out some reflectix and cover that up and see what happens. Thanks!
     
  17. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Like Jarich said once you have a decent size colony producing waste, there will be lots of humidity.

    Now if someone will send me some Dubias so I can get another colony going. Sold mine off a few yrs back and now can't get any.
     
  18. jarich

    jarich Elite Member

    Ya, being Canadian can be a pain sometimes. There are some pretty restrictive laws regarding what we consider feeder prey up there.
     
  19. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Come on down and pick up as many as you need, I just gave a few hundred away, I wanted to give him more but he didn't want too many. lol
     
  20. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Not at $1.40 a litre for gas Michele :)
     

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