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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran Raptor's Avatar
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    Easy Cricket Breeding Guide

    Everyone says that crickets smell, are hard to breed, and are loud. I can agree with the last statement, but not the first two. I've tried several guides on how to breed crickets. They're all complex and require a lot of work. Half the time, they just plain don't work. Tired of my lack of luck, I threw together something. I caught wild crickets and put them in a critter keeper with food and a jar of soil to lay eggs in. What do you know, the things bred and I got tons of hatchlings. So, here's an altered version of what I did. I'm doing this set up right now, and I already have crickets laying less than two weeks in.

    Items:
    10 gal tank
    Mesh lid
    Cardboard egg crates
    Paper Towels
    Cricket food (I use nature zone's gel cricket bites and flukers cricket quencher with calcium)
    A lid (the lids that come with quicktrip cups are perfect)
    A small container filled with dirt (non fertilized)
    5 gal size UTH
    Crickets

    Clean out the 10 gal, put the paper towels in the bottom (two layers is good enough; it helps keep the crickets off the glass), and put the UTH under it. The UTH should not touch the glass. Ideally, there should be an area where the tank bottom is exposed to open air, so air flows under the tank. This prevents it from getting too hot and baking the crickets. Ideally, the paper towels should be warm to the touch. I put my UTH on the side where the egg crates are. Tear the egg crate into chunks and put it on one side, this makes plenty of hiding spots for the crickets. Put the small container with dirt beside the egg crates. Depending on the size of the container, you may need to put something in for the crickets to climb to get out. Eventually, the mature females will start laying their eggs in here. The soil needs to stay moist though.

    Put the food dish with food in the center of the tank, and add your crickets. Ideally, the temperature will need stay in the 70s for the crickets to remain healthy and breed. Eventually, you'll see tiny little crickets everywhere. Don't worry about taking the egg container out. If you keep everyone well fed, the cannibalism should stay at a minimum.

    Here's an example of my cricket set up:


    Over winter, I lost my fairly successful colony of store bought crickets and wild black crickets. I was growing my F1s, too. My room got too cold and they went belly up. I've restarted the colony and hope to add some store bought crickets to get everything going. The reason for this hybridization is that the store boughts tend to be quieter, but lack the size and hardiness of the wild crickets. I also recently put a under tank heater under my tank to raise the temperature of one side. A temperature at about 86F will cause the eggs to hatch faster, 13 days vs 26 at room temperature.

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  3. #2
    BPnet Veteran Raptor's Avatar
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    I found a decent way to get the crickets to hatch. I've been having issues with keeping the soil moist. The eggs would dry out, adding water would drown them, etc. So, I did something different.

    I took a standard small margarine container, 7.5 ounce size that comes in doubles, went and roughed up the outside and inside with some sandpaper, and added some semi sandy soil from outside. Then, I got some old fish air tubing and put that down to the bottom. Anytime the soil looks like it's getting a bit dry, I feel out a 12CC syringe, plug it into the tube and inject the water. The bottom stays wet and the moisture is drawn up to the top. So far, I'm getting some baby crickets.

    Additionally, if you're feeling nice, you can give your crickets treats. I've found that they absolutely love oranges. I'll also give them the dried out baby food that my gecko leaves which gives them a treat, but it's also filled with calcium and vitamins from the supplements. This unfortunately does cause fruit flies, but I don't notice any in my room since I have a tight mesh lid on the tank.

    Best suggestion I can give is this: experiment, because happy healthy feeders mean happy, healthy reptiles.

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  5. #3
    BPnet Veteran nachash's Avatar
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    Re: Easy Cricket Breeding Guide

    what we really need is genetically modified male crickets unable to makes sound. HAHAHAHA GMOs!!!!!!!!!!
    Ride the snake, ride the snake/ To the lake, the ancient lake, baby/ The snake is long, seven miles/ Ride the snake...he's old, and his skin is cold... (The End, The Doors)
    _____________________________________________________________________________
    Ball python 1.1 Leopard Gecko 1 Crested Gecko 1 African Side Neck Turtle 0.1 Giant Plated Lizard 1 Ribbon Snake 0.0.1 Corn Snake 0.0.1 Tiger Salamander 0.0.1 Metallic Pinktoe Tarantula 0.1 Black Lab/Pit Bull mix 1


  6. #4
    BPnet Veteran Raptor's Avatar
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    The male store bought crickets are quieter than the wild crickets. However, they're so bloody fragile. I've been hoping the two species will crossbreed and the results are fertile. One method I've found to curb the chirping is catching the males and trimming his wings.

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  7. #5
    BPnet Veteran nachash's Avatar
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    Re: Easy Cricket Breeding Guide

    dude? really, trimming the wings?
    I mean, alright. Some people don't empathize with bugs, so w/e. I try to.

    But from a practical point of view, damaging your crickets (no matter how insignificant seeming) is a great way to spread disease into your colony. They might also be less effective at breeding, since those sounds are meant to facilitate breeding.
    It's possible your experience has been different though
    Ride the snake, ride the snake/ To the lake, the ancient lake, baby/ The snake is long, seven miles/ Ride the snake...he's old, and his skin is cold... (The End, The Doors)
    _____________________________________________________________________________
    Ball python 1.1 Leopard Gecko 1 Crested Gecko 1 African Side Neck Turtle 0.1 Giant Plated Lizard 1 Ribbon Snake 0.0.1 Corn Snake 0.0.1 Tiger Salamander 0.0.1 Metallic Pinktoe Tarantula 0.1 Black Lab/Pit Bull mix 1


  8. #6
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    They're crickets..They'll eat one another alive given the chance. I can't say I've noticed any difference in the breeding, if anything, it forces an sort of evolution. The louder males can't attract the females, but the softer ones do. I also haven't noticed the males who get trimmed dying. They don't bleed any liquid, so I assume it doesn't harm them.

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  9. #7
    BPnet Veteran nachash's Avatar
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    Re: Easy Cricket Breeding Guide

    it could only cause evolution if you affected the breeding fitness of one genotype over another, causing a preferential trait to be more prolific. Trimming their wings doesn't affect their genes. I know they're crickets... they're like the worst and most annoying feeders for any herp. They have been the bane of my existence at times... But the Cricket in James and the Giant Peach used his wings like a violin... Dude you're stealing those crickets violins ... How will they serenade their womens?
    Ride the snake, ride the snake/ To the lake, the ancient lake, baby/ The snake is long, seven miles/ Ride the snake...he's old, and his skin is cold... (The End, The Doors)
    _____________________________________________________________________________
    Ball python 1.1 Leopard Gecko 1 Crested Gecko 1 African Side Neck Turtle 0.1 Giant Plated Lizard 1 Ribbon Snake 0.0.1 Corn Snake 0.0.1 Tiger Salamander 0.0.1 Metallic Pinktoe Tarantula 0.1 Black Lab/Pit Bull mix 1


  10. #8
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    ..You misunderstood what I said..Loud crickets can't attract the females, therefore, the don't breed and spread their genes. The softer males can still attract the females, therefore, they breed and spread their genes. Selective breeding, of a sort.

    I also found that movie annoying.

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  11. #9
    BPnet Veteran nachash's Avatar
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    Re: Easy Cricket Breeding Guide

    it's possible, as long as those behavior traits can be reinforced with subsequent generations. You might be able to do it, breed the silent cricket....
    Unless they all mobilize to through off the shackles of your cricket tyranny
    Ride the snake, ride the snake/ To the lake, the ancient lake, baby/ The snake is long, seven miles/ Ride the snake...he's old, and his skin is cold... (The End, The Doors)
    _____________________________________________________________________________
    Ball python 1.1 Leopard Gecko 1 Crested Gecko 1 African Side Neck Turtle 0.1 Giant Plated Lizard 1 Ribbon Snake 0.0.1 Corn Snake 0.0.1 Tiger Salamander 0.0.1 Metallic Pinktoe Tarantula 0.1 Black Lab/Pit Bull mix 1


  12. #10
    BPnet Veteran Raptor's Avatar
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    They'd starve to death before they'd be able to get out of the tank.

    1.0 Western Slender Glass Lizard; Logos
    0.1 Charcoal Cornsnake; Morana
    1.0 Golden Gecko; Smoothie
    1.1 African Plated Lizard; Cypher and Nara

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