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Looking to start a Dubia colony.

Their pretty hard to get ahold of here, and I managed to squidge about 20-30 of them from one of the local pet store owners, who is currently making his own culture, for this very same reason. We just cant seem to get ahold of them here.

I've read up a good deal on them the past week or two, I have a large plastic tub with a clip-down lid on it (and yes, I know the bad points of it, and I'll also throw in the bad points of using glass if you'd like. Seems its bad whatever you use. : / ) buuuutttt.... I was wondering if anyone has any general help they could give me making this culture grow?

I recognise its going to take a while. But I'm not feeding from them, and I definately have some males there. I can tell, even though they dont have wings yet.

Just now I have a small plastic tub lid, with some kitchen roll soaked in rainwater ontop of it for their moisture/water. This will soon be changed to a small yellow sponge which will be soaked in rainwater instead.

Dry food I have for them has, basically, been a flake of Malted Wheat cereal or something like that. They seem to like it. I've also tried oats soaked in water as the pet shop owner suggested, wiiitthhh, SOME success, not a lot, but I know their eating it. Any other suggestions?

Oh, for choice of moist food I've stuck a bit of carrot in there too. Their definately eating, because theres poo all over the place, but damn, its taking a while to see any growth or shedding occurring on this end. Anyway, any further advice or general care would be greatly appreciated. I feel I've read decently about them to keep them happy, I'm just scared crapless that I get mites or something. I goddamn HATE mites.

I'm also having trouble finding egg carton, of all things. Any suggestions where to get it? Because all the supermarkets here seem to do plastic egg cartons instead of the card. o_o Is there anything else better? Right now I'm using scrunched up kitchen roll. Simply because I need *something* for them to climb on. I know they prefer the carton, but I'm having a great difficulty finding it..
 

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For egg crates try local butchers as they sometimes sell eggs that come in them or a greasy spoon ( cafe ) , my local cafe saved some for me . I've now just got to put them to use , I've been using the bits you get in live food till now .
 

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The soaked sponge is a bad idea - It will be a breeding ground for bacteria, as will the soaked kitchen roll.

I use cheap, low calcium dry cat food, and various fruits/vegetables - They seem to love apples and oranges.
 

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Another good place to try is local restaurants, especially places like Jimmy Chungs and the like that use lots of eggs. That's how I got all of mine, they generously agreed to hold some egg cartons back for me instead of throwing them away. I have also heard that you can buy them very cheaply on the internet but I've never tried it.

For egg crates try local butchers as they sometimes sell eggs that come in them or a greasy spoon ( cafe ) , my local cafe saved some for me . I've now just got to put them to use , I've been using the bits you get in live food till now .
 

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I used to use potting compost (about 2-3" deep) which was kept damp. They burrow if you let them so in that case you wouldn't need egg cartons.

Food: I used to use dog biscuits and fruit/veg. They'll eat many things - I had success with tattie peelings, carrots, dried apricots, raisins, bran flakes, oats, sugar, beetle jelly, dog food etc etc.

Just think of it as a balanced diet - provide some moisture (fruit or bug gel), veg and some protein (biscuits or dog food) and you should cover all the bases. Considering a tin of dog food can be <50p and last for ages, they are quite cheap to maintain.

One other thing; if you do go down the dog food route with the compost, place a fine mesh over the ventilation holes otherwise phorid flies will get in and infest everywhere. Any that hatch from the compost can more easily be taken care of when container as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The soaked sponge is a bad idea - It will be a breeding ground for bacteria, as will the soaked kitchen roll.

I use cheap, low calcium dry cat food, and various fruits/vegetables - They seem to love apples and oranges.
I've recently realise that the sponge thing is going to be awkward in the aesthetic sense because Dubia arent very good climbers, and my intention was to put it in a shallow tub, which then soaked the water to the top where they could drink from it. So... yeah, dont think thats going to work if their bad climbers.

That said, we're breeding insects. At a concentrated level. The basic fact that the insect cultures smell is a telltale sign that theres some form of bacterial growth there, so nearly every single culture has some form of bacteria in it. I think the point is to practise good hygiene, and always wash your hands before handling anything in or around the colony, so you dont carry anything inside and leave it, perhaps?

But in a way, your right about both the kitchen roll and the sponge anyway. I recently read that they get most of their water from their food anyway, so maybe something moist more often, and their constantly on a very fibrous dry diet now too. : ) One or two of my cockroaches seem to absolutely adore wheat, as in, Malted Wheat flakes, all scrunched up. The new mealworm culture Ive also started goes nuts for them also!
 

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I used to use potting compost (about 2-3" deep) which was kept damp. They burrow if you let them so in that case you wouldn't need egg cartons.

Food: I used to use dog biscuits and fruit/veg. They'll eat many things - I had success with tattie peelings, carrots, dried apricots, raisins, bran flakes, oats, sugar, beetle jelly, dog food etc etc.

Just think of it as a balanced diet - provide some moisture (fruit or bug gel), veg and some protein (biscuits or dog food) and you should cover all the bases. Considering a tin of dog food can be <50p and last for ages, they are quite cheap to maintain.

One other thing; if you do go down the dog food route with the compost, place a fine mesh over the ventilation holes otherwise phorid flies will get in and infest everywhere. Any that hatch from the compost can more easily be taken care of when container as well.
I might definately be trying the bug gel at some point, having a substrate though, at least over the entire floor area of the colony... maybe not as much. Makes for some difficult cleaning and getting them out whenever their needed out, I think. But I've heard a lot of success with the gel, so I'm going to give that a try. : ) But yeah, a lot of people say having a substrate makes the colony a bitch to clean later. : (
 

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Try Poundland in the gardening bit, same stuff but a lot cheaper than some with reptile in front of the name. :2thumb:
Interesting. I was actually curious as to whether or not that was the same stuff or not, considering it may have contained... I dunno, plant fertilizer or something of the likes. But yes, good suggestion. : ) Just wasnt sure if it was really the exact same or not, to be safe. Might try it on a few test bugs just to see how I get on first.
 

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I have a milk bottle lid in our colonies with the gel in it, changed fairly often, about once a week, been using it for about a year now with no probs. :D

Would not use it for spiders though.
 

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I have a milk bottle lid in our colonies with the gel in it, changed fairly often, about once a week, been using it for about a year now with no probs. :D

Would not use it for spiders though.
Hmmm.

Would you use it for the feeder bugs being FED to spiders? ; D Haha.
 

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I might definately be trying the bug gel at some point, having a substrate though, at least over the entire floor area of the colony... maybe not as much. Makes for some difficult cleaning and getting them out whenever their needed out, I think. But I've heard a lot of success with the gel, so I'm going to give that a try. : ) But yeah, a lot of people say having a substrate makes the colony a bitch to clean later. : (
Fair enough - i've not had any hassles with substrate, it's just a case of getting the moisture right. Mould tends to grow on the surface so can be lifted off anyway. They seem to enjoy burrowing anyway.
 

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egg crates

what i do for my lobster roaches is use cardboard apple holders i work at a local co-op so ive got stacks of them. it might be worth going into your local produce section in a supermarket and n asking :2thumb:
p.s. heres a funny story, i got my lobster roaches from the reptile section at a local college. The tutor told me they were dubias lol.
 

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what i do for my lobster roaches is use cardboard apple holders i work at a local co-op so ive got stacks of them. it might be worth going into your local produce section in a supermarket and n asking :2thumb:
p.s. heres a funny story, i got my lobster roaches from the reptile section at a local college. The tutor told me they were dubias lol.
Lol DURRR? xD


GRB; yeah, I was thinking it might be better for the moisture level with some damp soil in it. I think its the mould I'd have a problem with, give me cockroaches or worms or anything, just don't give me a fungus to deal with, lol. : p Really I just spray it often and the room their being kept in is (not for the squeamish) my bedroom. (Dun dun duunn!)

My bedroom is always really warm and humid. Comes from the fact that I enjoy my plants a lot, so in the summer months my room resembles the amazon goddamned rainforest, haha. xD

There was a fun idea I thought I might try out, courtesy of this video -

YouTube - UPDATED: How I keep my roach colony

: p

... Minus the hinges and plexiglass on the egg cartons, as it will degrade really quickly, I think..
 
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