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 Post subject: Breeding Roaches
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:45 am 
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The following is an instruction sheet on how to maintain a colony of roaches as live food for your dragon and has been provided by one of our members Daniel Harkins.

Dubia Roach Care Sheet

Blaptica Dubia Roaches are an all-round great feeder roach species. Dubia Roaches have the softest exoskeleton of all other feeder Roaches making them an excellent food item for arachnids and small lizards. They are a live bearing species that cannot climb glass or smooth plastic, making them easy to work with. This species is sexually dimorphic; the adult males have full wings (But cannot fly) while the adult females have small wing stubs. Once the colony has established, it is recommended to use the extra males as feeders, leaving a ratio of one male to every three - four females.

Enclosure
For the enclosure, I use a 50L clear plastic storage tub with a lid. As the Roaches cannot climb a lid is not necessary but I would advise one if you have any other pets such as cats who could take an interest. You should place cardboard egg flats, tubes or cartons in the tub for the Roaches to hide. I stack them vertically so any debris will fall to the bottom of the tub. Some people recommend using a substrate such as bran or oats so the roaches can feed from it but this makes things harder when cleaning them out and attempting to pick out baby Dubia’s from the bran is a very hard task. Unlike crickets, a roach colony does not smell and can be kept clean with a little attention.

Feeding
Water should be supplied in the form of bug gel. You can buy the ready to use pots from pet shops or online but it’s much cheaper to buy the crystals and make your own. I buy mine from a supplier on eBay. All you need to make the crystals is an old glass jar and some cold water. Add half a teaspoon of the gel crystals to the jar and fill with cold water. Stir it well and place in the fridge for 20 minutes. Give the jar another good stir then leave for another 20 minutes. Place a shallow dish in the bottom of the tub with the gel. Using gel stops the smaller roaches from drowning and helps raise the humidity in the enclosure meaning misting is not needed.
Dubia’s should be fed on a high protein diet. You can purchase things such as bug grub or you can make your own. Crushed Cat biscuits, fish food and Weetabix mixed together with a little bee pollen and calcium powder make a great combination. Fresh fruit and veg must be offered at all times. Carrot, Apples and leafy salads are all OK. Remember that whatever the Roaches eat your herp will also eat. Make sure anything that doesn’t get eaten is removed every other day to stop mould forming as this can quickly kill off a colony.

Breeding
You should keep the roaches at a temperature of around 90f. This can be achieved using a standard heat matt attached to the side or the bottom of the tub. Many people say to have the heat mat cover only half the enclosures to allow the roaches a cool spot, but I have found that if the egg flats are stacked vertically they have plenty of height to escape the heat. I actually now keep my Colony in the airing cupboard. It’s very warm and nice and dark for the roaches to thrive. The warmer they are kept the faster they will breed and grow. If your adult Roaches are not producing young, then you are keeping the temperature too low. If they die during incomplete moults, then the humidity is too low. A female will give birth to anything up to 40-60 live at one go usually once or twice a month. From birth the roaches will take up to 3-6 months to become adult size and start reproducing themselves. Adults can reach up to around 2inches in length and if kept in ideal conditions can live up to two years. Once your colony has established its self I would recommend buying a few adults from a few different places to add different ‘bloodlines’ to the colony. Too much inbreeding over time will cause the roaches to grow smaller and slower


It is best to leave your colony to establish properly before starting to feed from them. I’d say around 4-6 months. This will allow for the females to start producing and by this time you will have a nice variety of different sizes depending on what you are planning on feeding them with.


I stack my egg crates vertically next to the heat mat and place some horizontally to hold the others in place. To contain their food I have used two old plastic tubs and cut openings in the top and the sides to allow easy access for the Roaches. You don’t have to use tubs for the greens or bran but it allows for easier cleaning.
I have drilled a few holes around the top of the tub and filled them using air vents purchased from eBay. I have also cut 4 holes into the lid and attached some wire mesh to the underside of the lid to allow for extra ventilation.




Things You Will Need
 50L Plastic Tub
 5-10 Egg Crates
 Heat Mat
 Thermostat – Using a thermostat is completely up to you.
 Gel Crystals - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/100g-dry-Wate ... 336f5af0d7
 Fresh fruit & vegetables
 Bug Grub – Very easy to make your own but if you’re lazy like me then I recommend buying this one - http://www.theroachhut.co.uk/#!vstc0=sh ... gallery0=6. I’ve brought a few in the past and the Roaches seem too much prefer this one.


The best place I have found for the Dubia Roaches are below. EBay and RFUK are also other good places to find bargains.
http://www.theroachhut.co.uk/
http://www.roachcolony.com/
http://www.rickslivefood.co.uk/vmchk.html

For a downloadable version of this including illustrations and additional nutritional information comparing assorted live foods please follow this link https://dl.dropbox.com/u/83688363/Dubia ... Sheet.docx

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding Roaches
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:22 am 
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Thanks for using this Rick.

If anyone wants the printout version of this with the pictures of how ive set mine up just PM me with your email address and name and ill shoot it over. I work 9am to 6pm so any requests will be answered in the evening :)

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding Roaches
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:52 am 
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Dunno about the work times - the only time I see him on Facebook is between 9.00 am and 6.00pm :lol:

Rick

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding Roaches
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:05 pm 
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Rick wrote:Dunno about the work times - the only time I see him on Facebook is between 9.00 am and 6.00pm :lol:

Rick



Ssshh Rick.. Lol. You'll get me into trouble.

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding Roaches
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 9:51 am 
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Thankyou Dan :)

This is brilliant..Saphira is eating loads of locust so going to try her on a pack of Dubias to see if she will swap. She doesn't seem the fussy type so fingers crossed, need to buy a few things and I'll be away.

Update... I've got a dubia starter colony on order from The Roach Hut and I've even got my homemade roach chow mixed and ready to go so getting set up was much easier than I thought it would be.

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding Roaches
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:53 am 
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Please note that Dan has updated this care sheet slightly including additional links. It's worth reading again and personally I would also download a copy as a handy reference guide.

Rick

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding Roaches
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:09 am 
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I have seen some colonys and starter colonys being sold on ebay , is this a good idea or would the colony stop through being moved ?

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding Roaches
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:41 am 
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Yeah starter colonies are good. They will take a little time to settle again once moved but it wont take them long if kept at the perfect temp.

I would definately recommend rickslivefood.co.uk for starter colonies. I have ordered hundreds and hundreds of roaches from him and never had one dead. Dont bother with the colony substrate as you dont need it but his roach chow is also good

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding Roaches
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:59 am 
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I have just brought a mini colony, it has 15 males and 15 females, and iam sure i have seen you say there should be more females than males so i have also just purchased another 10 females, is this a good enough ratio or should i get another 10 females?

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding Roaches
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:02 pm 
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That will be ok to start off with. Keep them nice and warm and well fed an they should start reproducing in no time. When I started my colony I would buy some more males and females every payday. I now have about 150 females and 75 males

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding Roaches
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:31 pm 
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I recieved my Roaches today ,this is what i excactly got

MINI COLONY

30 Adults ( 15 males + 15 females )
25 Large nymphs ( 20mm+)
50 Medium nymphs ( 8-20mm )
100 Small nymphs ( 5-8mm
Still waiting for the other 10 females i orderd

How disgusting are the adult ones!! they are massive!! even my son didnt wanna empty them lol, Anyway this is how i have them set up , i stacked about 6 egg crates vertical, the 2 little ones are what come with the adults, i have put some roach chow in which i got from Ricksfoods, the box does have a lid but i have not put air holes in it yet so they are on my kitchen table, when the hubby comes home he is going to remove a shelf from the airing cupboard and we will keep them in there, i will throw new food in every other day and clean gel every day, is this all corrrect?This is a 60l tub

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding Roaches
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:25 pm 
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Looks good. No need to change the gel daily. I add more in once they have eaten what was in there.

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding Roaches
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:36 pm 
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Have i got the box in a good enough position in the airing cupboard ?

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding Roaches
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:56 pm 
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Yeah looks good to me. Mines actually at the bottom coz that's the only place it would fit and they are still warm enough do having yours at the top is even better

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding Roaches
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:54 pm 
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Ok cool werent sure if i had to put them right on top of the boiler,we had to change the box they were in as the 60l would not fit so now they are in a 50l, anyway....not amused in the slightest!!!!,

Just came back from a lovely meal with my family , walk into the bathroom turn the light on and there is a big ass adult roach ready to scare the crap out of me , i screamed so loud my neghbour knocked on !!, we have also found a couple in our bedroom and the towels, we put them in the cupboard with no lid as `they do not climb` , i can assure you trhe lid is going straight on now!!

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