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Your Dubia Colony

Discussion in 'Feeders' started by AdamL8, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    I have never had much of an issue with mold being deadly. I always have a bit of it on the food by the time I change it out.
  2. jarich

    jarich Elite Member

    I guess my problem is that because the potential problems dog or cat food cause are not something people immediately see, they dont think about it. So recommending dog or cat food, or even mentioning it, makes it an easy and prevalent poor option for the reptile. Since its such a commonly recommended feed I see on forums all the time, I tend to go the opposite way and recommend it not be used, in the hopes that eventually people will see it as an option low down on the list rather than a first option. Id much rather recommend rodent chow even, as the protein content is much more in keeping with roaches than dog or cat food.

    Hmmmmmm Id have to disagree with that first statement wholeheartedly. ;) Most of that kind of stuff I find is rooted in someone who wasnt interpreting the facts well or simply regurgitating what they were told by an equally uninformed person.

    I dont consider the amount of calcium I feed a risk in any way, thats what I mean. Even at much higher amounts, there is still no evidence of it being an issue for roaches. It may not seem like it, but the difference between giving your roaches 5% or 10% total calcium is quite significant and would not be an easy mistake to make. It takes a fair bit just to get to the 5%.

    As for your powdered milk, I can absolutely say it was not the calcium that caused those deaths. Milk does not have an overwhelming amount of calcium in it; slightly less than 1% of powdered milk is calcium. So even if all the roaches ate was the powdered milk and nothing else, it wasnt the calcium that killed them. It was likely the lactose or other milk sugars that did it, as most non-mammals dont have the enzymes to digest lactose (including the reptile that will be eating those roaches gut loaded with milk). What makes you use powdered milk anyway? Thats something that seems to be more popular lately and I cant figure out why. If you continue, make sure you are actually using real powdered milk. The cheaper options that are called powdered milk 'drink', are not even just milk. They add in all kinds of cheaper crap like dairy whey, hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, and a whole host of preservatives. Again, not good stuff to be feeding your reptiles.

    Simply put, no; dusting doesnt do a good enough job. It helps, yes, but its so variable, even with the same powder, and just not enough, that it does not bring the calcium levels up to make the Ca:p ratio a good one. Even with gut loading, which again is consistently better at raising the Ca:p ratio, it still is just barely getting the base minimum. What the studies show is that an 8% gut load was the best one in bringing the insects up to a bare minimum healthy ratio. Remember most insects start out with a very poor Ca:p ratio; adult crickets, mealworms, roaches, etc all sit around 0.2-0.5 or even less. Youre looking for, at the very least, a 1 or preferably closer to 2. I figured that a 5% calcium diet was good enough when I also dusted, but again that is pretty much conjecture. Running tests are about $400 a pop, and unfortunately Ive seen no studies that dealt with what increase is gained by both gut loading and dusting together.

    I have heard from some people that when they let fresh fruit/veg mold, they got a higher numbers of deaths, but I just dont know if, or what, the scientific basis is for that. Ill let you know if I find anything.
  3. AdamL8

    AdamL8 Elite Member

    It's a case of out of site, out of mind, I suppose. Dog and cat food are too often mentioned that other options which aren't as readily available are hardly ever suggested because people just don't know any better. Nearly everybody who has started a colony is originally under the impression that these are the perfect options and usually don't look much in to it. Your way of looking at it is probably far more beneficial to the community. Discouraging its use entirely will help in the long run.

    The uninformed person had to get it from somebody else though. It's like the telephone game that everybody played when they were younger. The information starts off good and by the time it reaches the last person it's been distorted so much that it's not recognizable.

    It's another one of those things that just keeps getting passed around I guess. I stopped using it after the deaths but it's widely spread information and at a glance seems to make sense. Clearly, if you look below the surface it's ridiculous but once again, It doesn't seem like you need to look under the surface if you don't know any better.

    Good enough for me.

  4. TigerIvy

    TigerIvy Elite Member

    I do use some powdered milk because I have it available and I use it for us also. For my roaches I mix about a tablespoon to about 8 cups so highly doubt it is more then a filler (and yes its real milk - not mix drink) but in all honesty the baby cereal does contain calcium along with many other nutrients. But even then (at least in my case) they normally have fresh foods available to them - which are put in before I go to bed, removed in the morning. The fresh foods seem to be preferred to dry anyhow. I haven't had mold kill them but what I have found out (by accident) is the mold draws other insects and that is a messy situation.

    Rather then even depending on any milk product something I suggest to people who buy starter colonies and think about other foods that are high in calcium and other good stuff that is safe for their pet. Like whole wheat bread, Okra, papaya (which my BD also eat because its so high in calcium), grape leaves, kelp (with NOTHING added), rice (again just cooked rice - not awesome in calcium not poor either). Basically whatever is not toxic to my animals is fair game. Alot of people don't realize that even a good number of plants without pesticide can be eaten without issue by roaches.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013
  5. mayhmmaydn

    mayhmmaydn Elite Member

    If a majority of your die offs have been females and you have seen one with an ejected eggsack.. im thinking one of two things. How is your humidity and what else is going on in the room. is the bin getting messed with by any others? kids messing with it or pets crawling on it scaring the females? just a thought. May
  6. AdamL8

    AdamL8 Elite Member

    Humidity was perfectly fine at the time and nobody messes with the tub except me about once every two days. The die offs were only high during that specific time and have since gone back to normal at about a half dozen adults per month which could be from age since some of them should be reaching nearly 1 year. I think that back when this happened it was due to the bad food blend that I had used for a very short time.

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