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  #1  
Old 10-05-2007, 10:36 AM
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Exclamation Too many crickets dying

I keep my crickets in 10 gal. tanks,
I clean the tanks every other day, as well as change
the water and food. They are in a stable dry warm room
78-82 degrees.

Lately, they've been dying off like crazy!
The only thing I've done differently in the last 6 months,
is change egg carton types (once a week I exchange
the old and give them new cartons) to recycled paper.
I've also started to use Virosan (Nolvasan) disinfectant solution.
I use it to clean all my feeder tanks from super worms to roaches.
Whan I clean, the frreders are in a seperate, clean tank.

All my other feeders are healthy. I'm losing several hundred
crickets a day. Some of the crickets are turning red
(If you want to see a picture, just ask). Most just look
black when they die. When we've recieved the crickets
the last few times, there have been a lot of gnats in with
the crickets, as well as a few spiders. Not sure if they have
anything to do with it. I called to place where I get my crickets,
and they said it was the solution, and that the solution will kill
chickens to. Has anyone herd of that before?

We would love some opinions on what you think.

Can gnats infest crickets?
Could the Nolvasan solution be causing the deaths?
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:55 AM
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The only thing I could think of would be the temps... Maybe they are too warm and as a result a number of them die. I think it goes like the warmer it is, thye will grow faster but have a faster rate of dying. If it is cold, but livable, they will grow slower, not die as fast, but over time, most will not reach adulthood. ANyway, something along those lines. Try playing with the temp some more...like during the days have it what it is, but at night maybe a 5-10 degree drop. ABout the solution.. Maybe..but prolly not. About the crickets being infested with mites n spiders... prolly the most probably answer. Specially if they told u they were infested...and htey're turning red. Some thing isnt right, I would personally change crickets breeders for a little bit; til they get theirs sorted out.
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:56 AM
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oh...and of course we want pics!
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:59 AM
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Smile Some thoughts.......

I use a 10% bleach with water solution. Cheap, easy and has never hurt anything I keep. Rinse after cleaning. The only thing that has ever caused cricket death with me is high humidity. A couple of times the egg crate that came with my order was damp. I should have thrown it out and used something else. I noticed that both those times I had a higher than normal death rate. The humidity was trapped in my keeping container. Another thought would be the source itself or the way they ship. I am in no way trying to diss your source, whoever they may be. Even the best sources can occasionally have problems though. Just some thoughts.........
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:15 AM
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I vote bacterial infection involving the source as well as your own setup.
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:30 AM
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Here's some pictures of the bottom of the tank,
after I removed the food water and egg cartons.
I just cleaned the tanks yesterday. I don't think
the temps are to high, the humidity in the room is
about 40%. I'm not sure if that's too hight or not...

The crickets are shipped over night in one box per
thousand with screen mesh on each side, egg cartons,
and potatoes. I throw out the egg cartons that come with
the crickets even though they look clean. I can't think what
I'm doing, but I hope wether It's me or the cricket company,
I can figure it out!! I've kept crickets for over two years...
Never had this problem before....

I'm going to throw out the rest iof the crickets and order
from somewhere else. If I still have the problem, or not,
I'll post. In the mean time, I'd love some more suggestions.


Note: The crickets that die with the red color, the red isn't
over the whole body, just the middle bottom. It's kinda hard
to see in these pictures, but I didn't want to pick through them.
They have a very strange, bad oder. Different than usual.



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  #7  
Old 10-10-2007, 09:02 AM
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Sorry if I missed something. Are you putting a thousand in a 10 gal tank? That maybe a bit overcrowded and pushing the livability to the edge where smaal changes in humidity and temps could have dramatic effects. Just a thought. I used to have dieoffs alot like this when I used smaller containers. I switched over to 20 gal plastic containers that have no lid and I have'nt had problems since. The sides of the containers are roughed with sandpaper from the bottom about 5" up. This leaves a smooth border all the way around the upper 1/2 of the container so the crix can only climb so high. With the sides and the egg crate the crix have plenty of room so as not to be overcrowded.
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Old 10-10-2007, 09:33 AM
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10gal is fine for that many crix, even more if you want... You just have to expand the area for them to live with egg slats. I dont see anything wrong with your care; I would guess that it is something to do with your Crix guy... I have a spread sheet at home of most of the main crix breeders with cost and such on them... Millbrook gave me the best price on crix, but a high shipping cost. The cricket factory gave me a crix cost a little more than millbrook, but a better shipping cost, that in the end made them the best pick for me. Also, I have been very happy with the crix and count from Dan... A free spider or two will come with the crix, but other than that they have been good for me... Buying in bulk of course. Shoot me a mail and I can send you that file if you like.
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Old 10-10-2007, 10:41 AM
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Hi you two =)

I went through a period of heavy die off when I was keeping my crickets in rubber tubs and found it was due to the high humidity levels in Maryland (lots of rain and humidity during summer heat). I decided to try a small screened chameleon cage to keep them in and it works wonderfully! I guess the ventilation of the screens, rather than glass or rubber, fixed my problems of high cricket die-offs.

I tried two different screens for the crickets - a small Fresh Air Habitat and a small 24 x 18 x 18 cage where there is a bottom door to slide out the bottom of the cage. The Fresh Air Habitat was easier to contain the crickets inside and I don't have problems of them jumping out when I open the door. To clean the cage, I use a spackling tool (a flat painting tool that fills up holes in walls - although I am sure there is another name for this tool lol) to clean the bottom of all dead crickets that may die and the mess gutloading leaves behind. Then I use a diluted bleach solution to clean the bottom. Periodically I will clean the screens as well by using a spray hose real good on the cage.

This solved my problems of high cricket die offs. It is also easier to catch the crickets as they love to climb to the top of the screen. I just take a plastic cup and scoop them in. Then on dusting days, I sprinkle the dust in the cup with them and shake. Very easy.

In Georgia I know the humidity problems as I lived in Atlanta. Isn't that where you are? If so, the screen cage for keeping your crickets might be perfect for you.

The mites and spiders? I'd suggest changing your supplier. Sounds like they have some issues and you definitely don't want mites on your chameleons.

Hope this helps!
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  #10  
Old 10-10-2007, 01:00 PM
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Are the dead crix sort of compacted in like a muck? We have our crickets in the tubs made for them that some cricket suppliers sell. you can easily make your own by scratching up the walls of a rubber maid tub (so the crickets to have more room to walk on) and having a secure screen lid. We don't give our crickets water instead we give them fruits (oranges etc.) and vegetables (romaine lettuce, potatoes etc.) that have a high moisture content. We have tried water before and had simliar problems that you have had (contaminated water=kills crickets) plus it can add extra humidity that is not wanted with crickets. if that dosen't work limit your water or vegetables and experiment with different amounts of dry food feeding (gut load); obviously the dryer the food the dryer the waste.


these are the tubs we use http://armstrongcricket.com/polyk.htm
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