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Thread: Cricket questions

  1. #1

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    Hi Everyone

    I was wondering if anyone could give me any tips on housing live crickets for food for my Scorpions?

    I'm kind of tired so if you are gooley eyed because of my unclear question, what i mean is how do I keep them alive?

    Simple questons such as:

    What kind of tank should I have the crickets in?

    What do I feed them?

    How should I give them water?

    Do I use substrate?

    How and when do they reproduce?

    Thanks
    Lenny

  2. #2

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    many people who keep crickets as feeders often use this method:

    get an extra 5 gallon or 10 gallon tank (deonding on how many crickets. if you order bulk sizes, use correct size of tank)

    line the bottom of the tank with about 1 inch of oatmeal if you do not plan on breeding (provides extra food and controls odor.)

    Place plenty of egg cartons and/or paper towel tubes as hiding places.

    Place a dish of moist cotton balls for water (change weekly. Keep damp)

    As for food, offer (in a shallow dish), a variety of greens, etc to "gutload" the crickets for your 'pions.


    If you would like to breed:

    Females are the adult crickets with the long "spear" coming out of their rear-ends. THey use those to insert eggs into soil. Get a mix of those and the winged ones without the 'spears'. place them in a similar tank as above but instead of oatmeal substarte, use damp (not too wet or too dry) mulch or coco-soil as a substrate. They will lay eggs in it. Keep tank at room temp. and babies should appear quite soon.
    Taproot, Anti-Flag, The Casualties, Alkaline Trio, Eleventeen, Deadsy, AFI...what's not to love?

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the info..

    I was also wondering if it was true that crickets also lay there eggs in the moist cotton balls??

    Edit: Can I use other substrates other then mulch or coco-soil?

  4. #4

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    i have never heard of crickets laying eggs in cotton balls, but any other substrate that stays moist will do. sand is good, but heavy
    Taproot, Anti-Flag, The Casualties, Alkaline Trio, Eleventeen, Deadsy, AFI...what's not to love?

  5. #5
    Kalid
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    Here's the method I use, just as another example with slightly different items.

    Setup
    Originally I purchased two rubbermaid tubs (14x16x10 inches high).

    Note: I've successfully kept 500 1/2" to adult sized crickets and 1000 smaller crickets in this size. The higher the sides the less likely the crickets will just jump out of the top when opened. I also prefer plastic to glass for its light weight (easier to clean) and that I can drop it occationally and not have to replace it, or have 500-1000 crickets loose!

    Cut a square hole near the top, on each side and duct taped metal window screen over the hole from the inside. (Any screen used MUST be metal, crickets will chew out of most plastic).

    Gathered up various plastic deli cup type containers. Anything plastic, that the crickets could easily climb in and out of. Since I have various sizes of crickets, I needed several different sized containers. Be creative! These I use to hold food and moisture.


    Gutloading
    There are quite a few views on what is best, but this is just an example of items I use.

    In one of the plastic cups I have put "turkey grower" (crushed and pelleted forms), dry baby cereal(flakes), rabbit pellets(with and without dried vegetables), and fish flakes.

    Usually two, maybe three of the above items at a time, mixed together. It just depended on what I had on had at the time. Currently I'm using "turkey grower" pellets and dry baby cereal and experimentings with putting the pellets through a food processor first.

    In another plastic "cup", I've tried moist cotton balls, coco-soil, apples, and potatoes. I found the cotton balls molded or meldewed in a couple days, the coco-soil took about a month to mildew/mold, but the apples/potatoes were usually eaten and replaced long before they grew anything icky on them.

    I've seen apples and potatoes suggested as food & drink for crickets many many places and it seems like a pretty acceptable method. Oranges and citrus in general is usually avoided.

    ALWAYS provide some sort of "drink", or you will have mass die off! The crickets *will* canabalize if they don't have anything to drink.

    Substrate
    At first I used nothing, this worked well until I ordered my first batch of 1000, then I couldn't replenish food fast enough.

    I then switched to rabbit pellets and that worked very well until I moved my cricket container and the rabbit pellets mildewed faster then I could replace it!

    Currently I'm using the "turkey grower" pellets as they don't mildew in my conditions, if I use substrate at all. I found that depending on the size of the crickets I am housing sometimes any substrate is a hinderance to getting the crickets out.

    Other Notes
    Since I buy in bulk, I use the eggcrate they come with, if you need to buy eggcrate separately you can get a rather large amount online (Just recently found a company, so this is new to me)

    An easy method to get crickets out of the container *and* give them extra hide places is to drop a few toilet paper rolls in the tank (Not the whole roll, just the little cardboard tube that is left when you finish a roll). This is why I don't use a moist substrate over the entire base of the cricket tub.

    For really small crickets I use a small tub inside my main cricket tub with damp coco-soil to raise humidity and to give them another source of water. I'm not sure if this is necessary, but I've read about the mass die offs from pinhead crickets (from people who breed small amounts) that I am of the belief that these tiny ones need a lot of humidity and are too much hassle to try breeding crickets.

    If your interested in breeding crickets do a google search, there are a couple very comprehensive sites that do an excellent job in explaining tried and true methods.

    BTW, this may seem like a complicated method, but it is really quite simple. Once I have this set up its just a matter of adding crickets once a month or so and checking the food/water cups every few days or weeks.

    Kali

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