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Keeping Crickets.

m0lsx

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
I know I'm late on this but what about meal worms and super worms?

I keep mealworms for my slings & I occasionally buy some waxworms for something different, but most of my T's will not touch meal or wax worms.
 

Jess S

Well-Known Member
I keep mealworms for my slings & I occasionally buy some waxworms for something different, but most of my T's will not touch meal or wax worms.
Most of mine won't either. If I let them go really hungry maybe they would. Lol. Nah..I wouldn't!

Mealworns do have their plus points. Good nutrition and easy to feed to slings, easy to segment if needed (I had to cut a medium cricket up the other day and the exo was surprisingly tough). They keep for ages in the fridge.
 

Colorado Ts

New Member
I know I'm late on this but what about meal worms and super worms? Easy to keep, no smell, and cheap. I live in an apartment complex that doesn't allow us to raise "pests". Meaning no roaches, no crickets, and even the worms are pushing it. To keep up variety, I go buy feeders and gut load them the night before.

Anyone else have issues with raising feeders in their home?
I don't know that I would call it issues. I do raise 2 types of roaches for the spiders; I keep B. lateralis (Redd Runners) and B. dubia (Dubia Roaches)...both of them are great feeders and fairly easy to raise. The Dubias tend to play dead, and then are ignored by the Tarantula; while the red runners NEVER play dead anmd are my preferred feeders for my larger tarantulas.

At the moment I'm feeding some small to medium crickets to several slings that I'm raising.
 

m0lsx

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Mealworns do have their plus points. Good nutrition and easy to feed to slings.
That is why I keep mealworms. They are incredibly cheap, so I simply dead head some & then drop one in each of my slings enclosure every third day.

What I do is feed one day. Remove what is left the next & then feed again on the third. And as meal worms are so cheap to keep, it costs me nothing but a bit of time. It also means I take the lid off & check my slings every day.
 

Jess S

Well-Known Member
I don't know that I would call it issues. I do raise 2 types of roaches for the spiders; I keep B. lateralis (Redd Runners) and B. dubia (Dubia Roaches)...both of them are great feeders and fairly easy to raise. The Dubias tend to play dead, and then are ignored by the Tarantula; while the red runners NEVER play dead anmd are my preferred feeders for my larger tarantulas.

At the moment I'm feeding some small to medium crickets to several slings that I'm raising.
I'm considering trying the B.lateralis. Can you share any tips for keeping them? Do they breed easily?
 

Jess S

Well-Known Member
That is why I keep mealworms. They are incredibly cheap, so I simply dead head some & then drop one in each of my slings enclosure every third day.

What I do is feed one day. Remove what is left the next & then feed again on the third. And as meal worms are so cheap to keep, it costs me nothing but a bit of time. It also means I take the lid off & check my slings every day.
I have a similar system with the slings plus the tiny water dishes evaporate so quickly, I usually have to do watering as well. I normally do it late at night when they are active and about. I get a lot of enjoyment from checking on the slings. I'm really fond of all of them though obviously I've got my favourites. That routine every night is one of the things I really enjoy about keeping them.
 

m0lsx

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
I have a similar system with the slings plus the tiny water dishes evaporate so quickly, I usually have to do watering as well. I normally do it late at night when they are active and about.
It is one of my evening jobs & I normally put a small ball of sphagnum moss in with my slings & then trickle some water onto it on feed days.
 

Jess S

Well-Known Member
It is one of my evening jobs & I normally put a small ball of sphagnum moss in with my slings & then trickle some water onto it on feed days.
I must get around to investing in some spagnum sometime. It'll be handy to have especially if I decide to branch out into more moisture dependant species!
 

Colorado Ts

New Member
I'm considering trying the B.lateralis. Can you share any tips for keeping them? Do they breed easily?
I have found that the species, B. lateralis is a very reliable durable species to use as a feeder. The roaches are half the size of a B. dubia, but they do mature to breeding size much faster. It took me 3 months to get my B. lateralis colony off the ground and producing at its current level.

I had a few issues and problems to solve along the way.

A lot of people will keep their roach colonies in a bare container without substrate, however, winters in my area are very dry and the roaches were having difficulty surviving moult, I was getting higher than expected deaths. I put 2 inches of coco fibre in my colony container, which allows me to periodically add water as needed to maintain a higher humidity within the colony. Once I started doing this, my incidental deaths during moulting went away. And the colony began growing.

You may not need to do this in your region, but it has made a noticeable difference for me.

The Red Runners and dubia roaches, both, have high temperature requirements for their life cycles. I use an adjustable reptile heating pad set under under my colony enclosure. This allows me to maintain areas within the enclosure at a temperature of 90 degrees +/-. This temperature is needed for the roaches to productively breed and reproduce, less then 90 degrees and there is no breeding taking place and the colony stops growing. This spring, I'll be building a large box out of Styrofoam sheeting and using a temperature regulator to maintain better uniform temperatures throughout the colony, not just in certain areas. The box will be large enough to hold both the B. lateralis colony and the B. dubia colony. This insulated box will save energy costs for heating the colonies and improve breeding efficiency. Residual heat loss from the colony will act as a space heater and be used to warm my tarantula room. Heat loss from my temperature regulated "sling cabinet" is currently warming my tarantula room as well.

I check my colonies daily to ensure that food is being consumed and that there is enough water crystals for the colony. I feed the roaches a mixture of both low protein pond fish food pellets and high protein flake food, along with stalk lettuce and orange slices. They will strip the lettuce leaves to a single vein in one night and completely hollow out the orange slices in about 2 days. Since I started feeding oranges, the colony has grown noticeable larger, much more than expected. I don't know what it is or why, but feeding oranges to the roach colony seems to promote breeding and is having a positive impact on my colony.

I am currently working on a recipe to create a gelatin based feed for the roaches...it would be a dry mix that I would add hot water too and let it setup in the fridge to produce a solidified gelatin feed block for the roaches. I then cut off a chunks as needed and put these into the colony to both feed and water the roaches. A gelatin based feed would provide all their nutritional requirements and water requirements in one material, making colony maintenance easier.

To develop my recipe, I'm first going to divide the colony into 4 separate colonies, in 4 separate containers. When I divide the colony, I'll base the division on weight, an equal amount of weight in roaches into each colony. I'll then take 1 of the 4 colonies and maintain it as a control colony; running it under the same feeding conditions as I do now. The other colonies will be fed different gelatin recipe formulas. I'll then clean and weigh each colony every 2 months. Based on the weight of each colony over time, I can then establish whether the colonies are growing at the same rate (meaning that the food recipe is having no impact compared to my current conditions), or whether one is out performing the other in growth. Compared to my Control Colony: higher weights mean better growth and more breeding, while lower weights mean that I'm actually hurting the colonies with my food recipes.

At present I can purchase 9 pounds of feed ingredients for $15.00. Then once I've finished experimenting and developed a recipe formula, I'll reduce costs by 70% by purchasing my ingredients in bulk. I currently have student aides that grind up my raw material feed ingredients and following the Thanksgiving break, we're now working on how much water and how much mixture is needed to form a uniform gelatin block.

I'll feed a recipe for 2 months, then clean the colony and collect data by weighing the growth of my control colony against my experimental colonies, I should be able to determine if my formulations are better and more nutritious, as compared to what I'm feeding right now.

After 2 months, I collect weight data on each colony, then develop a new set of recipes to test over the next 2 months. In a year I should be done...I should reach a point where I'm happy and content with my results and I'll have a final recipe.

That is where I'm at in the present. I hope that this information was helpful.
 
Last edited:

THETGUY

Member
Yeah, all the dubias do is burrow, and my T is afraid of the tongs, so I've been feeding crickets. I get one of those bug boxes that have like 30 crickets in them, put that in a critter keeper, and feed Fluker's cricket food. I ordered some red runners which my T was eating when I first got it (Near Not Tarantulas sent a few with my order). I couldn't find any stores by me that had the red runners, so I had to order them online.
The bug boxes are a scam. The ones I buy only have 10 crickets.
 

THETGUY

Member
I know I'm late on this but what about meal worms and super worms? Easy to keep, no smell, and cheap. I live in an apartment complex that doesn't allow us to raise "pests". Meaning no roaches, no crickets, and even the worms are pushing it. To keep up variety, I go buy feeders and gut load them the night before.

Anyone else have issues with raising feeders in their home?
Superworms and mealworms breed relatively quickly, but they bury. If the Tarantula doen't get it, it could bury, and be a problem to your tarantula.
 

Crax

Member
Premium Member
Superworms and mealworms breed relatively quickly, but they bury. If the Tarantula doen't get it, it could bury, and be a problem to your tarantula.
I know... o_O I also segment everything for my slings and would never leave live prey in any enclosure.

The problem is, my apartment complex doesn't allow me to raise crickets, cockroaches, and flies. I push the rules a bit by keeping meal worms and super worms. Pests escape and cost the complex a bit of money if they begin to infest.

Was wondering if anyone had the same restrictions as I do.

PS: Meal worms don't breed and neither do super worms. You need them to pupate and grow into beetles.
 

Crax

Member
Premium Member
I have found that the species, B. lateralis is a very reliable durable species to use as a feeder. The roaches are half the size of a B. dubia, but they do mature to breeding size much faster. It took me 3 months to get my B. lateralis colony off the ground and producing at its current level.

I had a few issues and problems to solve along the way.

A lot of people will keep their roach colonies in a bare container without substrate, however, winters in my area are very dry and the roaches were having difficulty surviving moult, I was getting higher than expected deaths. I put 2 inches of coco fibre in my colony container, which allows me to periodically add water as needed to maintain a higher humidity within the colony. Once I started doing this, my incidental deaths during moulting went away. And the colony began growing.

You may not need to do this in your region, but it has made a noticeable difference for me.

The Red Runners and dubia roaches, both, have high temperature requirements for their life cycles. I use an adjustable reptile heating pad set under under my colony enclosure. This allows me to maintain areas within the enclosure at a temperature of 90 degrees +/-. This temperature is needed for the roaches to productively breed and reproduce, less then 90 degrees and there is no breeding taking place and the colony stops growing. This spring, I'll be building a large box out of Styrofoam sheeting and using a temperature regulator to maintain better uniform temperatures throughout the colony, not just in certain areas. The box will be large enough to hold both the B. lateralis colony and the B. dubia colony. This insulated box will save energy costs for heating the colonies and improve breeding efficiency. Residual heat loss from the colony will act as a space heater and be used to warm my tarantula room. Heat loss from my temperature regulated "sling cabinet" is currently warming my tarantula room as well.

I check my colonies daily to ensure that food is being consumed and that there is enough water crystals for the colony. I feed the roaches a mixture of both low protein pond fish food pellets and high protein flake food, along with stalk lettuce and orange slices. They will strip the lettuce leaves to a single vein in one night and completely hollow out the orange slices in about 2 days. Since I started feeding oranges, the colony has grown noticeable larger, much more than expected. I don't know what it is or why, but feeding oranges to the roach colony seems to promote breeding and is having a positive impact on my colony.

I am currently working on a recipe to create a gelatin based feed for the roaches...it would be a dry mix that I would add hot water too and let it setup in the fridge to produce a solidified gelatin feed block for the roaches. I then cut off a chunks as needed and put these into the colony to both feed and water the roaches. A gelatin based feed would provide all their nutritional requirements and water requirements in one material, making colony maintenance easier.

To develop my recipe, I'm first going to divide the colony into 4 separate colonies, in 4 separate containers. When I divide the colony, I'll base the division on weight, an equal amount of weight in roaches into each colony. I'll then take 1 of the 4 colonies and maintain it as a control colony; running it under the same feeding conditions as I do now. The other colonies will be fed different gelatin recipe formulas. I'll then clean and weigh each colony every 2 months. Based on the weight of each colony over time, I can then establish whether the colonies are growing at the same rate (meaning that the food recipe is having no impact compared to my current conditions), or whether one is out performing the other in growth. Compared to my Control Colony: higher weights mean better growth and more breeding, while lower weights mean that I'm actually hurting the colonies with my food recipes.

At present I can purchase 9 pounds of feed ingredients for $15.00. Then once I've finished experimenting and developed a recipe formula, I'll reduce costs by 70% by purchasing my ingredients in bulk. I currently have student aides that grind up my raw material feed ingredients and following the Thanksgiving break, we're now working on how much water and how much mixture is needed to form a uniform gelatin block.

I'll feed a recipe for 2 months, then clean the colony and collect data by weighing the growth of my control colony against my experimental colonies, I should be able to determine if my formulations are better and more nutritious, as compared to what I'm feeding right now.

After 2 months, I collect weight data on each colony, then develop a new set of recipes to test over the next 2 months. In a year I should be done...I should reach a point where I'm happy and content with my results and I'll have a final recipe.

That is where I'm at in the present. I hope that this information was helpful.

If I ever move out and get my own house, this is exactly what I'm doing. This is awesome!
 
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