Dubia Roach Colony?

Hana

New Member
Hello, I am new to the reptile world! I bought a veiled chameleon about 5 months ago. I am godmacked over the cost of Dubia Roaches so I decided to set up my own colony. I have included in their box hydration gel, and roach feeding powder that I bought at a pet store. I am not interested in putting in fresh vegetables because I am putting the colony in a place that I do not want to check on it everyday. I do however want to gut load these guys. I own a professional dehydrator that I use for feeding our family. I wondered what anyone's thoughts were on me dehydrating different fruits and veggies? Would the roaches eat it and how to best provide it to them? For instance...should I grind it up or just put the dehydrated fruit/veges in whole?
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
You have a few issues.

water crystals are not recommended due to a crystal becoming dehydrated, then getting stuck on a dubia leg, then rehydrating in the chameleon. Since lizards can not digest the crystal, the lizard has to try to pass the full size crystal. This can be a problem with juveniles and smaller species.


Generally you setup up dubia like a compost heap, once its going, with cleaner crew, you dont have to take out the old veg. Once the colony is big enough, its in goes table scraps from salad etc, and out comes dubia.

If you still dont want to do that, you can get your fresh veg, run it through your grinder, and fill ice cube trays with it, and just pop in a cube every few days.
 

Hana

New Member
You have a few issues.

water crystals are not recommended due to a crystal becoming dehydrated, then getting stuck on a dubia leg, then rehydrating in the chameleon. Since lizards can not digest the crystal, the lizard has to try to pass the full size crystal. This can be a problem with juveniles and smaller species.


Generally you setup up dubia like a compost heap, once its going, with cleaner crew, you dont have to take out the old veg. Once the colony is big enough, its in goes table scraps from salad etc, and out comes dubia.

If you still dont want to do that, you can get your fresh veg, run it through your grinder, and fill ice cube trays with it, and just pop in a cube every few days.
Thank you for your response! I have set this colony up really kinda guessing! I went on you tube and watched multiple videos people have posted on how to set one up. One said fill the bottom of the container with wheat bran to use as a "foundation" although he did not say why, it made me wonder, is this just to provide shelter or do the dubia eat this? Several other YouTubers said just leave the base without anything, just put the egg cartons in and the food, vegetables plate, humidity source. Some said humidity is important, another guy said it's not. I'm just really confused! I ordered the colony starter set from Josh's frogs and it came with a bag of "Coco Cradle" liter and no instructions about that the hack to do with that. They have a video and said dampen it and put it on the bottom of the box and mist it often. Some said use a heat source some did not even mention a heat source. Perhaps you could tell how you set up yours and what you recommend for me! I'm winging it at this point and do not have any friend who keep reptiles!
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you for your response! I have set this colony up really kinda guessing! I went on you tube and watched multiple videos people have posted on how to set one up. One said fill the bottom of the container with wheat bran to use as a "foundation" although he did not say why, it made me wonder, is this just to provide shelter or do the dubia eat this? Several other YouTubers said just leave the base without anything, just put the egg cartons in and the food, vegetables plate, humidity source. Some said humidity is important, another guy said it's not. I'm just really confused! I ordered the colony starter set from Josh's frogs and it came with a bag of "Coco Cradle" liter and no instructions about that the hack to do with that. They have a video and said dampen it and put it on the bottom of the box and mist it often. Some said use a heat source some did not even mention a heat source. Perhaps you could tell how you set up yours and what you recommend for me! I'm winging it at this point and do not have any friend who keep reptiles!

You need a "substrate" for the babies to hide in. Once you get a dry layer of frass you wont have a problem. But until then you need "something" on the bottom of the tub for them to grab onto and flip themselves over. Just about anything will work, coco fiber, peatmoss etc. just just needs to be a 1/4-1/2" thick, and not capable of molding.

You only need a heat source if you want them to 'breed like rabbits", as long as its 70f or above, they will breed. If its 65f, they will stop breeding.
 
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Hana

New Member
You need a "substrate" for the babies to hide in. Once you get a dry layer of frass you wont have a problem. But until then you need "something" on the bottom of the tub for them to grab onto and flip themselves over. Just about anything will work, coco fiber, peatmoss etc. just just needs to be a 1/4-1/2" thick, and not capable of molding.
so I think I will use the coco liter, do you recommend wetting it?
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
so I think I will use the coco liter, do you recommend wetting it?

I do not wet mine. As long as the little guys are shedding fine, you dont have to wet the media. You would only have to wet if it was the winter and very dry air.
 

BryanP

Established Member
Where are you guys getting your males? I am wanting to get a small colony started but am having trouble finding male/female pairs. I'm assuming that everything you buy as feeders are females since they dont have wings...
 

Hana

New Member
I ordered my colony set up kit from Josh's frogs. It included 100 lg, 100 med, 100 small, some "cleaner bugs" and the coco liter. I called them and they said they have no adult male/female pairs and that they are currently breeding to get some but it will be a few months. Apparent there is a dubia shortage. My local pet store used to get dubia in every week and they are having trouble even finding feeder size for the customers! Anyway... I bought my adult male/female pairs on topflightdubia.com
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Where are you guys getting your males? I am wanting to get a small colony started but am having trouble finding male/female pairs. I'm assuming that everything you buy as feeders are females since they dont have wings...

They dont get wings(male) or get shinny(female) till they are adults. No one is sexing them, and you cant make more of one vs the other via temps or something.
 

BryanP

Established Member
They dont get wings(male) or get shinny(female) till they are adults. No one is sexing them

I dont know why this made me laugh but it did. The thought of someone with a magnifying glass or something lifting up the dubias skirt lol... so funny but thank you for the explanation as I didnt know.

If you need some studs, i can send a few in the mail :)

If you're serious i could use a few adults of each size as my chameleon is eating medium size now.

I'll send you a DM later today.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
After a scant amount of reading on the interwebz, I learned that I could keep my roaches bioactively with dwarf white isopods and springtails in a soil substrate. As I hated having to clean the roach bin 🤢, I gave it a try and it’s been better than expected. My roaches were barely breeding for months until I made the switch and now I have baby roaches galore. I have discoids btw, but they are similar to dubia. An added bonus is any food waste is consumed by the clean up crew. I only check/feed my roaches 2-3 times a week.
 

Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome to the forum. From what I've read on a site Zoosnippets.com a ratio of 1/3 to 1/7 the one being male I have a 1/3 . Mine have not breed yet I believe my temps where to low. It also recommends humidity between 40/60 % but higher is OK but not above 80 .
 

John PDX

Member
Hi and welcome to the forum. From what I've read on a site Zoosnippets.com a ratio of 1/3 to 1/7 the one being male I have a 1/3 . Mine have not breed yet I believe my temps where to low. It also recommends humidity between 40/60 % but higher is OK but not above 80 .
they need to be above 85 deg to breed, preferably 90-95 deg
 

RyanBRZ

Avid Member
I would go easy on the temperature throttle once you start seeing new babies. I was in your shoes around 3 years ago and started a dubia colony for my single male panther juvenile. He was devouring tons of dubia nymphs and they are not cheap, so I thought why not set up a colony since they are a great staple feeder for the long run.

They quickly reproduced and I had wayyyy more roaches than I could use. This obviously leads to them going through more food, you need to clean more often, etc. If you're like me and have 1 chameleon, maybe leave the temperature in the breeding range for 6-8 months or so and then dial it back, or remove the heat entirely. You can always bring the temps back up when you see your colony running thinner. I've unloaded hundreds of roaches a few times at my local pet store, just to get them off my hands/out of my bin.
 

bbyoda

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have a discoid colony like @MissSkittles and a Surinam colony too. The colonies are bursting at the seams and I have helped people get their colonies started from mine. I have a mix of sphagnum moss and coco fiber for substrate. I keep it moistened with distilled water so that the roaches and the cleanup crew (isopods) stay hydrated. I put in fresh veggies every three days. Basically, I check the roaches on the same schedule as I feed my adult male Vieled. I keep my roaches in a mudroom and I live in Florida. They breed like rabbits in the summer and slow down in the winter. The only issue I had was phorid flies that would feed on dead roaches. This was before the isopods got really established. Now that's not an issue anymore because isopods keep things super clean. Substrate plus cleaner crew plus fresh veggies is definitely the way to go. I would hate to clean roach bins regularly. Yuck.
 
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