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 Dubia Roach Colony

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ClarkeReptiles
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PostSubject: Dubia Roach Colony   Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:19 pm

I started out with about 30 adults. I was having mold problems before I moved but after I moved, the mold just got worse. I lost a lot of adults but going through the tub today, I'm finding tons of babies and a few adults alive. I'm moving them to a new bin and I've decided to count each and every roach I put in the new bin just to see how many I have.

Are there any tips from those who breed these insects on how to keep the mold down?
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:33 pm

I've only been counting for a few minutes and already I'm up to 82 baby roaches, and I haven't even put a dent in the number I found. I hope to get a good colony going so I can support a few different species of lizard I'm hoping to get into breeding in the future.
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:37 pm

I've had a large colony going for around five years. The mold is from not enough air circulation. Cut out a large square in the top of the lid of the container and tape in some screen. That will give you enough air so that there is no mold.

Also, use gardening water crystals for their water. My colony is so large that I feed a couple of beardies, a pair of chameleons and still have enough to share with friends and sell starter colonies at the shows.
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:38 pm

I wouldn't say I'm a breeder since I've only produced a handful but I don't have a mold problem. I use a small petri dish and add a few drops of water everyday (I think water crystals would be a better alternative). I also remove any uneaten veggies within 24 hours and keep nothing but dry food in there 24/7. Other than that, there's just egg flats, paper towel rolls and roaches. If the humidity in the room is low when I get home, I'll give them a light misting.

Are you using substrate? Anything that's retaining moisture?
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:42 pm

And you can get the gardening water crystals from a gardening store? How expensive is it? I have some 1/2" screen left over from building some rat racks a few years ago. Will this be okay to use since these guys don't climb or fly?

And thanks for the info. Smile I might have to pick up some dubias from you soon.

I am not using any substrate, but the humidity in the house is usually around 40%.
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:55 pm

I buy mine online and get enough to make a wheelbarrow of gel. Of course, I only make about a gallon at a time but a large pack of the gardening crystals last me over a year.
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:58 pm

Where do you buy them online? I'd love to get some soon. I'm still counting out babies. I'm up to 120 babies and 14 adults (all female).

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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:04 pm

I don't know if I purchased mine here or not (I buy 10 lbs at a time so there are long times between orders). http://www.watercrystals.com/

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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:05 pm

Here's a good price on them:

http://www.aaronpauling.com/catalog/dry-goods/water-crystals-1-oz

Might as well order a pound or so and keep them on hand. 1 oz should make a gallon. 1/2'' screen is way too big. That sounds like wire mesh or chicken wire, not window screen. They hopefully won't make it up there but if they are, the screen is there as a last resort to keep them from getting out, otherwise you could just cut a hole and leave it open (don't do it!). I wrote a colony "how to" for my customers who want to set one up so I'll attach below:


A dubia colony is extremely easy to set up. I got one large Rubbermaid “extreme tough” or something like that container. It’s olive green and 36 gallons. We have a very large colony to feed all of our dragons so you could get something smaller but not too much as you still want the sides high (and definitely slick!). Get some foil heat tape ($4 at Home Depot) and tape a reptile heat pad to the bottom. Use a rheostat ($5-$12) to set the heat pad temp somewhere between low and medium. They are tropical so they need to the heat to survive and reproduce but it also means they will die if they get out so you don’t have to worry about any infestations. I used 2 small 2x2’s to prop the container up so the heat pad is not touching the ground. Now just cut out parts of the lid, attach some window screen over it, and you’re done. Total cost for everything including container, heat pad, rheostat, tape, etc should be $50 or less and you’ll never need to buy feeders on a regular basis again. Just mealworms, waxworms, etc every now and then as supplements. Most importantly, it gives you regular access to quality food so you’re dragons will never go hungry waiting and you know exactly what the feeders are being fed (called gutloading).

Care of the dubias is very easy. They don’t need any substrate, just some egg flats. The excrement is dry and doesn’t smell and the babies actually need it to thrive so you only need to clean out the enclosure once every few months. We buy a large bag of chicken feed at a local tractor/trailer store ($8-12) and it lasts us the better part of year. Throw some in every couple days for food. For water, we drop in carrots and also use water gel crystals. You can buy them online for about a $1 an ounce and one ounce should last you at least a month. They will eat just about anything. What you feed them goes straight into your dragons so it’s important to use quality food but that means your pet dragons are getting much better nutrition than any feeders you get the pet store.
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:27 pm

Well final count was around 15-20 adults (I lost track) and about 320 babies. I'll have to find some window screen and get some water crystals. For now I'm using carrots and other veggies for water.
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PostSubject: Roaches   Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:47 pm

I have a roach colony that has been going for 4 years. I try to provide cellular or honey comb card board sections to allow for ventilation. The container will also need to totally cleaned out at least 1-2 months. The ventilation dramatically cuts down on the moist, stagnate conditions of over crowding and humidity. Remove any uneaten food before it spoils.
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:12 pm

i dont really have any more advice than whats been given.... i just wanted to say these roaches are soooo neat. i love to watch them eat. ill thro some lettuce or oranges in and watch them devour them in a few minutes, its pretty cool. i even like to hold them Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:28 pm

The best way to keep mold down is to keep them relatively dry and have good air circulation.

I keep mine in large plastic tubs with no lid. Dubias can't climb or fly out of the tub so there's no need for a lid.

I keep them on a few different substrates as I'm still trying to decide which I like best. I currently have a bunch of adults I just separated into a tub with cypress mulch, and a ton of babies growing up in a tub full of corn cob bedding. I'm about to get a bunch of biotin powder and try that out- mealworms do absolutely phenomenal on it, and it's also a very good food source for gutloading so it's killing two birds with one stone... we will see how the roaches like it.
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:40 pm

And as far as feeding... I feed them all kinds of stuff. I figure a varied diet is the best way to make sure they are healthy. I toss in old lettuce that is a little too old for the tortoises, baby cereal, pieces of bread, old fruit, potatoes, I even tossed a fortune cookie in after I had some chinese food delivered to the building for my lunch Wink

They get most of their hydration from the leafy greens, but I toss some of that cricket water gel stuff in just in case.
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:11 pm

So far, the mold isn't a problem. I've left the lid off the tub for now until I can get screen. Right now they are happily munching on some orange slices which I will remove in a few hours. Thanks for all the advice everyone. Smile Hopefully I can get these guys going and reproducing soon. Smile I need more adults though.
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:14 pm

I have a colony for my bearded dragons Feed them dry kittin food with calcum/ d3 mixed in a blender to make it corse ground also fruit and veg.Also give them calcum water crystals i dont use substrates makes it to hard to cleanI just use the big egg crates. Have about 3000 an their still comming
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:51 pm

The only problem i have with dubia roaches is that they breed slooowly... so until you have a big colony going, be careful not to feed too many out!
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:57 am

They do breed slowly. I just picked up 20 adults to add to the group. I think during the next show I might pick up a bit more, perhaps start a new tub.
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:12 pm

Just because I have too much time on my hands, I recounted the roach colony now that its been a few weeks. I purchased 20 adults (but some of them died off) and now I'm up to 26 females and 12 males (too male heavy?) and I have 355 babies. So we are up 35 babies since the last time I counted. I've separated the babies from the adults (made sure the adult poo went with them) so now I can check when I have new babies in the adult bin. Smile

I plan on adding more adults to this colony soon (gotta wait for the paycheck). They eat up veggies like crazy and they absolutely devour oranges. I love these little guys. And I tried a few babies on my leo girl and she loved them. Smile Once I get all of my feeder colonies going I'll never have to buy her food again.
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:53 pm

I have a colony in a 10 gal aquarium that I started about three years ago. It took them about 6 months to take off but since that time they have been coming out of my ears. I had a few inches of soil and cork bark slabs for them to climb on. I feed them dry catfood along with apples, carrots, etc as a water source once a week. Just recently I cleaned the whole thing out and gave several hundred to a local store. This time I used one of those reptile bark brands (can't remember which one, it was an old bag that I had in the shed) as a substrate. They are great feeders for larger insectivorous lizards and amphibians. If you wanted to save some money just wait a few more months and you will have tons of them.
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:44 pm

Well I am planning on starting my own feeder business so this Dubia colony is going to keep growing. Smile When I have some money to spare I plan on adding a lot more to the colony.

How long does it take a nymph to grow from birth to adulthood?
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:40 pm

I'm not positive on that but I believe just few months. I would highly recommend adding at least 1000 mixed nymphs to the group. It'll be much cheaper than buying a lot of adults and they will turn to adults fast! Also, the females seem to reproduce more if they feel secure in a larger colony.

I bought a colony from Novice Keeper in the classifieds here to introduce some new blood to mine and it's a great deal with lots of large nymphs. I believe he has one left.
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:58 pm

If I had not just cleaned mine out you could have had a bunch from my colony. The next time I thin it out I will post a notice.
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:54 pm

I'm going to need a lot more dubia if I want to get this colony to where I want it. The largest nymph I have is probably --> _____ this long. Adults, from what I've seen, are around 10 for $1 which isn't bad, but if getting nymphs are a bit cheaper, I might go that route.

Now, I don't run any kind of heating on my dubia. They stay around 72-74 normally, though today the animal room has reached 78 (which is where I want it!). Would adding a heat pad speed up production? I have a few females that are looking particularly plump so I'm hoping to get more babies soon. How often does a female have babies?

Sorry, too many questions. lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:05 pm

If you want increased production you may consider adding a small heat pad. I had my colony in the cool/salamander room which usually does not get over 70 and I had a heat pad stuck on one side. I would often find the bulk of them congregated around that end. Since moving them to the new tank however I placed them up in the warm room with no additional heat.
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:06 pm

Yes, you absolutely want a heating pad! Your temps should be 85-90. It will greatly increase their reproductive rate. I would get a UTH or flexwatt, tape it to the bottom with heat foil tape, and use a rheostat to control it. I believe a female has around 30 babies, once a month. They all hatch out at once from the egg sac she carries but it should average out to about one a day.
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:14 pm

My girlfriend wont let me breed roaches in our apartment....-__- but we move into her moms house in a month until i leave for basic. I will begin breeding then:) they dnt make too much noise do they?? i have to keep it under wraps. but all this info is amazing you guys its like an hour of googling in this forum lol
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:05 am

They are very quiet. Sometimes at night you can here them scuttling around to reach food if you just dropped it in and are standing close to the bin. It can be a little disconcerting to hear the thousands of pairs of legs but there's definitely no loud chirping like crickets! One of their many advantages...
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:08 am

They are very very quiet. The only time I hear my roaches is when they are moving around after I just shifted their egg crate around to give them food.

My colony is really doing well. The nymphs are molting and getting bigger. Not including the nymphs I just bought, I have over 400 now. On Saturday I bought $4 worth of nymphs and I got one adult female in there, but my entire colony is well over 500 now. I need to get more though. If I ever plan on having my own feeder business 500 dubia is not going to cut it. lol!

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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:00 pm

Yeah, I love my dubias..... They are cool. I LOVE watching them eat, it's amazing. I put a big a** plate of lettuce (almost a entire head) and 4 oranges in there and it was completely gone when I checked back in a few hours. I like to hold them too Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:20 pm

Mine won't eat oranges, carrots or any veggies. They only eat dog food and rat feed.
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:50 pm

Mine wouldn't either..... I built a weird feeder dish for them that is also a hide so they can eat in peace, that worked right away. They immediately started to eat oranges as long as they weren't "out in the open"
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:01 pm

I haven't had the opportunity to start my own colony but I would love to. Does anyone here sell starter groups?
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:22 pm

I think Don does.
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:45 pm

If Don doesn't have any available , we do. Would you like all adults or some adults and a mixed bag of nymphs?
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:07 pm

How much do you charge for a bag of adults and nymphs mixed?
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:09 pm

$15-25 , depending on numbers
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:30 pm

Some adults and a mixed bag would be great. Although I'm not sure that I'm heading that way any time soon....
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:40 pm

Just send me a message if and when its will be do able for you.
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PostSubject: Re: Dubia Roach Colony   Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:45 pm

Yup, got plenty. If you are in the Chesterfield area and need some, I can put some together.

I keep my colony at 90 degrees. They breed like crazy.
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