And this, children, is why thermostats were invented.
No, I did not do this. My roommate put an unregulated heat pad on the bottom of this bin, which one held dubia roaches. I guess she then put a towel below it. You know, to keep it from burning the carpet.
Everyone’s back in the 15 qt now, and it has some upgrades!
Now they have a gradient of substrates. The right is the humid end/corner, with more sphagnum moss and cypress mulch added to coconut coir and coconut husk. The sphagnum moss is mainly in the one corner, and lessens as it goes out and to the left. The cypress mulch is mixed into the substrate on the right end/middle, and also lessens as it goes left. The left side is going to be drier and less “woody”, with just coco coir and coco husk. They also have a mix of live oak leaf litter and a few broken magnolia leaves. I partially buried the cork bark too, with some overlap, so they have some nice pre-made hides. I noticed before that they loved congregating under the cork and digging under it, so I wanted to keep that in the upgrades. Already a couple have found their way under there.
Benefits of the changes:
- More organic matter in the substrate
- More variety and choice to the substrate
- Better defined humid/dry corners/ends, which will aid in moisture regulation and support of microfauna once I get them in
- Live oak leaves will decompose faster than the magnolia, and make for a better diet for the future cleaner crew
- In general much better support for microfauna with suitable leaf litter, humid corner, organic matter, and more hiding places
- Deeper substrate too, but I made sure the highest points are still far enough away from the top and ventilation holes. The beebs aren’t small enough to escape at all, but I do have one isopod and soon many more, so while unlikely I want to make sure they can’t escape either
- Included sturdy plastic lid as a proper food dish, to aid in keeping the enclosure more hygenic in case of food spoiling, and aids in easier feeding
- Also have water dechlorinator, to provide safer water
So I’m VERY pleased with the changes and honestly even though it looks plain, I know the beebs are going to like it. I’ve seen how much they burrow and love to hide and dig everywhere, so I feel like this is all beneficial. And if they redecorate a bit, especially when they grow more, it’s perfectly fine and expected.
Also I don’t think there’s much left to do now for their enclosure, but any critiques or potential improvements are appreciated! Like is it too cluttered, or is this enough? I guess that’s my main concern honestly, but most of the clutter is on the surface with the leaves, and they’re otherwise mostly digging, so I think this is good, but I’m very accepting of constructive feedback. :)
I have already tried to make this blog a reflection of my thoughts and an effort to show how cockroaches can be absolutely amazing animals. I try to be positive and honest and share everything that’s happening to these little friends, not only to show other people how wonderful they are, but in a way it’s very cathartic for me.
My mental health isn’t the greatest, but I’m working hard to get better, and somehow these little B. rothi have helped for sure. It has been a stressful ride getting them here though, and now with one of them extremely unlikely to make it, it’s been heartbreaking as well.
But for my own sake and this blog’s message, I think it best that I continue to strive for improvement and positivity. Things happen. This does NOT mean that we just say “it happens” and move on. No. I will improve, I will learn, and I will continue to try harder. I will make it up to the small and sick son and I will make it up to all of them.
Remaining positive, just today I ordered many things to improve the dig son’s lives…lots of nice things. Cypress mulch, sphagnum moss, and live oak leaf litter to improve the substrate and make it more suitable for the roaches and cleaner crew, and establish more variety and a better humidity gradient…some rabbit ear seed pods as accents and for the microfauna…water dechlorinator to make our city water safer for them…and soon four more Byrsotria rothi nymphs to join my current sons, small silver springtails to help keep their home fresh, and 12 mixed powdery blue isopods. I’ve already been blessed with one P. pruinosus “orange” as a freebie from Roach Crossing, who is doing very well, so the new “normal” powder blues should do well and help keep things cleaner and a little more lively.
So that’s something to look forward to I suppose. I’m trying at least. It’s been hard though. Life is hard and already I’ve failed one of my roaches. But I’m trying so damn hard and I’m learning and I’m doing all I can to improve and keep fighting.
Cockroaches are highly underrated animals. Madagascar hissers have complex social groups, fascinating communication, and studies suggest that they can even differentiate between individual humans (i.e. they don’t hiss defensively when picked up by someone that they know).
I love my three pet roachlings and would actually highly recommend Madagascar hissing cockroaches as a great low maintenance pet. They are easy to handle, fascinating to watch, and incredibly easy to care for. Plus they only live 2-5 years so they aren’t a hugely long term commitment.
I don’t think people talk about this nearly enough. What you
feed your feeders matters. Feeders transfer their nutrients into your reptile. Without
a proper diet, you’re essentially feeding your reptile bugs with no caloric or nutritional
value. Some commercial gut loads lack many essential nutrients and are full of
too many filler foods. Dry cat or dog food is too high in protein and can cause
uric acid build up, which can lead to gout in reptiles. Fruits and veggies tend
to be your best option when feeding. Not only are they rather high in moisture,
but they contain the essential nutrients that your feeders and reptiles need to stay healthy. Remember, you are what you eat, and this applies to your reptiles too! Reptiles fed bugs that were not gut loaded will not be healthy, you have to start with healthy and well fed and gut loaded insects.
Below are two recipes for gut loading I’ve found online. I’ve spent hours trying to find the source, but I’ve come up empty handed. I’ve personally made the first and had amazing results. The only issue is that it works very well and some of my geckos are growing and gaining weight very quickly. I moderate this by feeding less to compensate.