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  1. #1
    Yep, It's official. Lost. Foschi Exotic Serpents's Avatar
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    Setting up a thriving Dubia colony..

    Blaptica Dubia Roaches are a tropical insect that breed easily in the proper conditions. Females give birth to between 20 and 40 live young a month. They do not stink, jump, climb or fly. They can not survive low temperatures, low humidity, and can not inter-breed with native roaches. They are a nutritious feeder for lizards, arachnids, or any other insect eating pet. They range in size from tiny 1/8 inch nymphs to 3 inch adults, so they can be fed to any age reptile, amphibian, or arachnid.

    You only need a few inexpensive things to get started.

    ~A large sterilite storage tub or Rubbermaid storage tub.
    ~6 to 8 egg flats. Easily ordered from a supplier.
    ~2 medium container lids like coffee can lids or old tupperware lids.
    ~A supply of roach chow (easily ordered from a supplier like the roach guy). They also like regualr old dog or cat food.
    ~At least 2-5 dry ounces of dry water crystals (2 oz makes 1 gallon of water drops).
    ~A 12in x 12in piece of screen. (the same screen that is used for windows).
    ~A dremel or multi purpose hand drill for cutting out a square of plastic in the lid of the large storage tub.
    ~Hot glue gun. (just a few $$ at any store like walmart).
    ~You also need to keep the tub in the reptile room or any room that is quite warm @ 80* plus. If this is not possible, you can use a piece of wired flexwatt or a small UTH. If a heat source is needed then you must control that heat source by using a thermostat like a herpstat.
    ~Last but not least, a starter supply of Dubia's. Try to get at least 4 adult females and 1 or 2 adult males. Then a bunch of nymphs to grow up. The more adult females you can aquire, the faster your colony will be established well enough to begin feeding from it. With only a few adult females, it will take months to establish a colony.


    Take your large storage tub and cut out hole in one end of the lid. About 11in x 11in. The hole only needs to be big enough to allow some ventilation in.
    The easiest way to attach the screen is by using a hot glue gun. Just run a line of hot glue around the top edge of the hole you just cut. Carefully place the screen down starting with one side. Smooth it down all the way around. You can hold a piece of cardboard against the opening of the hole on the underside of the tub lid to help prevent the screen from falling through until you have it secured all the way around with the glue.

    While that is drying you can place the UTH or flexwatt on the underside of the tub using a powerful tape like gorilla tape or aluminum tape. Place it on one side opposite the side the food and water will be kept to allow the Dubias a warm and a cool side.

    Some people just stand the egg flats upright (verticle) and line up as many as will fit in one end of the tub. Some stack them flat and then place this horizontal stack in one end of the tub. This way holds more heat in and allows the roaches layers of different temperatures to choose from. Either way you do it, its best to hot glue the egg flats together (alternate every other one so they do not slide into each other). Put a drop of glue on a few points where each egg flat sits on the other. Do one and then place another on top and glue that one. Etc etc, until you have a stack that fills the width of one end of the tub. You can place extra pieces of egg flat on top. You can use paper towel rolls in open areas etc..

    Most people do not use any type of bedding. It is not needed and makes the tub easier to clean. If no bedding is used, you should put a large enough layer of roach chow in the open end of the tub to be able to sink the water dish in it. Otherwise tiny babies will not be able to get in or out of the water droplets dish.

    I personally use eco earth as it contains its own colony of micro organisms to reduce the the amount of times I need to clean the tub each year. Plus it hold the high humidity these guys need to produce. If no bedding is used, humidity must be kept very high (at least 75% or more) in order for these guys to reproduce). The tub can be sprayed daily, a small humid hide full of moist eco earth or moss can also be used.

    Now you just put everything together and add your bugs! Remember these are tropical insects. They will not produce or even survive very long if the humidity and temperature are not high enough. Here is a quick picture of my first tub which contains about 400 Dubias so far. You will notice I also use drink flats from fast food places and I put them in between the egg flats if Im running low on them.


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  3. #2
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    Re: Setting up a thriving Dubia colony..

    Very good tutorial! They will be my next feeder project.

    Can they chew through the plastic screen? They say crickets can, but I have never had a problem with them....I guess if you feed them properly that maybe they won't take the time to chew through the screening.
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  4. #3
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    Re: Setting up a thriving Dubia colony..

    Nice write up, a couple of tips, I would use a colored bin because Blaptica Dubia dont like the light and thrive in the dark. I started with a colony of 175 and now have atleast 1000(probably more in the area of 1500). The trick to getting these guys to breed often is temperature, if you have your temps at 90 they'll breed like crazy. I dont use substrate(for easier cleaning) and have no problem with humidity. As long as you have a heat mat on, it will cause the gel water to evaporate and that keeps my humidity right. Great writeup
    1.0 Coton De Tuleur (Jake)
    1.0 Lava Corn snake (Molty)
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  5. #4
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    Re: Setting up a thriving Dubia colony..

    Male dubia DO fly.

    High humidity is a huge no no. Humidity= mold for food. Mold will kill dubia. They DO NOT need high humidity

    DO NOT SPRAY YOUR DUBIA.

    *sighs*
    Last edited by suzuki4life; 07-26-2010 at 03:28 AM.

  6. #5
    Yep, It's official. Lost. Foschi Exotic Serpents's Avatar
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    Re: Setting up a thriving Dubia colony..

    Not spray the dubia, mist the sides of the tub if the humidity is low. As for mold. if the food is kept in a shallow bowl it should not mold. The bedding im using actually resists mold like it would in any vivarium (frog or tropical invertibrate vivarium etc) When I upgrade to a larger tub I will not use bedding. This was a good jump-start for my colony. The warmer and more humid it is, the more they reproduce, the less chance there is of young ones dying from not being able to properly molt. They are tropical, not desert insects. As for the tub being clear, its kept in the closet in the snake room. Plenty dark with an ambient temp of at least 80/85 at all times and sometimes higher during the day. They cant chew through the screen. At least the roach breeder I talked to said they could not. As for males flying. IO have only seen them flutter to the ground if picked up. If they can actually gain some lift and distance thats news to me. It must be a rare occurance.


    http://www.theroachguy.com/caresheet.htm
    "Water should be supplied by water gel as it does not get stinky the way sponges will. Using water gel insures against immature roaches accidentally drowning. A dish of water gel also raises the humidity inside the enclosure so that misting the sides of the tanks is not necessary. Blaptica dubia are more tolerant of a lack of moisture, more so than most other species as evidenced by a lack of dying. However, these roaches prefer more moisture than many other species and consequently breed better."
    Last edited by Foschi Exotic Serpents; 07-26-2010 at 11:13 PM.

  7. #6
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    Re: Setting up a thriving Dubia colony..

    I don't use the gel things for water, I just feed fruits and veggies.

    I learned if you give lots of fruits when the tubs are still hot it makes all the egg cartons get soggy and takes like a week to dry out when on the heat.

    So I just feed lots of fruits, but take the tub off the heat pad to eat. When they are done eating, I put them back on the heat.

    I've never had males fly.

    Same with turk roaches, except they need more humidity for their egg cases to be able to hatch.

    I never thought of the drink holders!! Great idea!

  8. #7
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    Re: Setting up a thriving Dubia colony..

    A dish of water gel also raises the humidity inside the enclosure so that misting the sides of the tanks is not necessary.

  9. #8
    Registered User AkHerps's Avatar
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    Re: Setting up a thriving Dubia colony..

    You can spray them if you really want too, but yeah having a bowl of water gel would make it easier. But spraying isn't bad for them.

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    Foschi Exotic Serpents (07-27-2010)

  11. #9
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    Re: Setting up a thriving Dubia colony..

    Quote Originally Posted by AkHerps View Post
    I don't use the gel things for water, I just feed fruits and veggies.

    I learned if you give lots of fruits when the tubs are still hot it makes all the egg cartons get soggy and takes like a week to dry out when on the heat.

    So I just feed lots of fruits, but take the tub off the heat pad to eat. When they are done eating, I put them back on the heat.

    I've never had males fly.

    Same with turk roaches, except they need more humidity for their egg cases to be able to hatch.

    I never thought of the drink holders!! Great idea!
    In the past I used oranges for water.

    I have doubled my tubs and reduced roaches per tub and now use auto waters from ghann's for crickets.

    if you use a heat pad, just only heat the side the crates are on.

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    Re: Setting up a thriving Dubia colony..

    Quote Originally Posted by AkHerps View Post
    You can spray them if you really want too, but yeah having a bowl of water gel would make it easier. But spraying isn't bad for them.

    spraying with increase humidity to the point the egg crates will become moist. Then they can get moldy. It also encourages the roaches to eat your egg cartons.

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    Michelle.C (07-30-2010)

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