Calcium supplement kills cricket colony!!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mpbm31, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. mpbm31

    mpbm31 Member

    I was wondering if anybody uses or had any problems with TetraFauna's ReptoCal? I purchased a 2.1oz bottle cause they were out of the zoomed reptocal that I usually use. After I shook the supplement onto the crickets and they all died within 3 hours, even the crickets that I put into the chameleon cages. As soon as I saw this I removed everything and cleaned throughly the cham cages and cricket tub. I went to the bait shop and bought 100 crickets. This time I didn't shake anything on them and the crickets were doing fine. I took a few crickets to set aside to do a test. I shook the tetrafauna reptocal on the 5 crickets, put them into a fresh non-used container and they died. I'm not speaking out against this company by no means at all. I will contact them and explain but I wanted you guys to know what happned in case someone has the same reptocal. I've been keeping a close eye on my chams and they seem to be doing fine so they might not have eaten any crickets but I'm keeping check.:confused::confused:
  2. Julirs

    Julirs New Member

    Whoa-you don't dust the crickets until you put them in the cham cage to feed them. Are you dusting them when you get them or something? And then you only dust lightly, if you are dusting correctly, it will not kill the crickets. If you dust too heavily, they cannot breathe.
  3. mpbm31

    mpbm31 Member

    I know how to dust crickets! This post isn't about dusting feeders or how to. I'm simply stating I had a problem with this supplement and was wondering if anybody else knows about any other problems.
  4. Lizardlover

    Lizardlover New Member

    You said "After I shook the supplement on the crickets they all died within 3 hours, even the ones I put in the chameleon cages". You are not supposed to dust crickets until you are just about to feed them, and if you put too much on them they WILL die, all you need is a little bit, they dont need to be ghostly white.
  5. mpbm31

    mpbm31 Member

    Nevermind! AGAIN I don't need dusting insructions. I've been dusting my crickets since I've had chams, which is about 2 years now and I've NEVER had problems until I used this supplement. The. Post is asking about if anybody has had problems with this supplement. Just never mind!
  6. txskunk

    txskunk New Member

    Easy Tonto, people just trying to help not chastise you... Maybe this suppliment is more potent and less need be applied it's just simply another way at looking at it, it's obvious no one not even you knows what's going on with this product so getting defensive isn't appropriate..... But try less and see.
  7. sdheli420

    sdheli420 Established Member

    im sure you know how to dust crickets ( its easier than shake n bake...just shake, no bake) but i have had a cheap store brand version do that too...i think its somthing about how they powder it..i know that the sticky tounges farm stuff i uses works great, any feeders that arent eaten seem to live fine after dusting and not beeing eatin( the berry flavor thing is weird to me tho, but im sure its better than a vitamin/pill flavor..
  8. Cainschams

    Cainschams New Member

    Maybe you should reword your post then. I read it the same way as others. The way it is worded sounds like you dust the crickets and put them in the cricket bin and not directly into the cage.

    Anyway, sounds like you should switch supplements if its killing them like that?
    lisa h likes this.
  9. summoner12

    summoner12 Avid Member

    I think you might be dusting too much....

    Check this out... Crickets breath through little holes in their abdomens called spiracles... imagine if I put you into a room full of very fine dust and you were breathing it all in... your lungs would start to fail if you were in there long enough..... This is most likely what happened do your crickets.

    Maybe the powder is a more refined powder and clogs up the spiracles on a cricket more easily?

    And... it isn't like dusting a cricket is normal for them and they should be living long healthy lives covered in powder. :rolleyes: Why are there crickets still alive in your cage after 3 hours? Sounds like you might be over feeding as well.... My chameleons eat their food when it's given to them because I don't over feed, this keeps them more healthy.
  10. sdheli420

    sdheli420 Established Member

    in my experience, ive never had crickets die from dusting..sounds like some iffy stuff..just imo..
  11. fluxlizard

    fluxlizard New Member

    there is a big difference in calcium brands. I've experienced what he is talking about with a couple of different brands. I think herp-care was a brand I used before that caused this problem. Some calcium is ground to a finer consistency and calcium comes from different sources, some of which stick to insects better than others. These brands stick much better to feeder insects for much longer, but end up suffocating/drying out the insect.

    It is something I have thought about when people are comparing the vit. d content of different brands- for example rep-cal with d3 vs minerall-i. It is true the miner-all has far less d3, but it is also true the product sticks to the feeder insect much better than rep-cal, delivering more calcium and therefore maybe(???) as much d3 as the rep-cal. That's a big maybe, I have no idea, but I notice that nobody seems to consider it when comparing the vit.d content of the products. If less of the product sticks to the insect, then less of the calcium and d3 are delivered to the chameleon.

    Sorry I know I've gone off on a tangent. Just wanted to put my 2cents in about having used products in the past that stuck so well to the feeder insects that it killed them after a few hours...

    edit- by the way, I believe tetrofaunas' product has phosphorous in it. The concept of keeping the ratio correct is sound, but in the real world insects (and salads) already have enough phosphorous to keep the ratio correct, so adding more via the supplement is not the greatest idea...
    #11 fluxlizard, Dec 12, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  12. lisa h

    lisa h New Member

    I read it the same way! To the OP, reword your post, and TAKE IT EASY! People are trying to help, but if you don't make yourself clear they can't. No need to freak out. OMG.
  13. txskunk

    txskunk New Member

    great information sounds like you now have something to go off of. I don't have chams but my I do have a gecko and I only dust no more than 5 crickets and let him go at two at a time so he wont have one hiding after they are gone i throw a few more in with no dust. but I would never leave a dusted cricket in that long.
  14. mpbm31

    mpbm31 Member

    Sorry guys I was pretty ill yesterday. I only do a light dusting on my feeders(not ghost white as some has assumed). I have some info on dusting I got from a breeder and its seemed to work and everything has been fine for the past several years.
    First of all I was afraid my colony had parasites so I threw out the old crickets and started fresh again. Thats when I got a fresh batch of crickets and dusted them with the Tetrafauna reptocal. I normally don't put the crickets that are freshly dusted into the cages but I did because it was feeding day and I forgot to throw in a few before I dusted.
    Anyway after starting over for the 3rd time I set aside a few crickets to test. I put 5 crickets in residue and it killed them. I'm calling them today and checking with the company to see what's up. I will let you guys know what I find out. Working in nephrology I've seen a lot of products in the medical field to have recalls due to incidents like this where powered formula's have problem. Oh well, that's what I do for a living is solve problems!
    Pennychameleon likes this.
  15. Psi

    Psi New Member

    You're dusting wrong.

    I'm not going to re-say what the others have already said in this thread.
  16. rushtk

    rushtk New Member


    I would like to thank everyone on this thread! My family and I are new bearded owners and have had ours since Dec. 23rd. The shop owners told us and even did it on the first bag of crickets to pour the reptocal into the bag and shake it around till they were all lightly white..... and 2 to 3 days later all dead. But that also explains why our beardie has grown from 5 inches to 9 and a half in a short time. Thank you for your sharing your knowledge!
    Pennychameleon likes this.
  17. JRchameleons

    JRchameleons New Member

    One thing I always remember when it comes to my husbandry is that just because one thing works, that doesn't mean something else won't work better. Just because you've done something for years and you haven't had problems till now, that doesn't mean there's not a better way to do it. You should only dust your crickets right before they are fed off.

    I suspect that whatever calcium supplement you were using before doesn't stick to the crickets as well, which makes it seem to me like most of the calcium powder probably comes off the crickets after a few days. That wastes your calcium and could result in deficiencies for your chams (which are not always visible).

    I believe that being open to new ideas and different ways of doing things is a very important part of being in the herp world.

    Edit: I just saw that you have a panther and two jacksonii. You're feeding dusted crickets to all of them? For the panther, he may not get enough calcium from dusting all the crickets once when you first get them. But for the jax, they actually may be getting too much. I'm sure you know that montane species like jacksonii are very sensitive to over-supplementation and their feeders should only be dusted once a week or less. I really think you should reevaluate your dusting schedule. Even though I'm sure your chams seem fine, that doesn't mean they won't thrive and be even more healthy with more appropriate supplement schedules.
    hinoco1225 likes this.
  18. JRchameleons

    JRchameleons New Member

    Agreed, calcium supps for lizards should be phosphorus-free.
  19. DekuScrub

    DekuScrub Avid Member

    in red was precisely what i was going to say. sounds like its more of a refined powder.


    i just looked it up.

    sounds like its got a lot of extra stuff for a calcium supplement.

    "Calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, calcium phosphate, calcium hydroxide, dried yeast, dehydrated alfalfa meal, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, choline chloride, inositorl, nicotinic acid, A-ocopherol acetate, D-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, thiamin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin A, palmitate, folic acid, biotin, cyanocobalamin."

    probably part of the reason its suffocating them.

    and dont get so defensive dude. everyone makes mistakes, we are here to help, we arent trolling you.


    oh god i just realized how old this thread was :p my bad
  20. millerman6401

    millerman6401 Member

    ive been using tetrafauna brand for months, never had 1 cricket die because of dustings as far as i know, i have a thing of expired reptocal with d3 sitting around for some reason and i agree that the tetrafauna is ground more fine but i think he should still call the company because if hes dusting right this shouldnt happen imo

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