How to manage feeders: housing and maintenance vs. gutloading

#1
Hi everybody. I'm a newb - I keep one veiled male, about 4 mos. old (Pete), I've had him about 2 weeks. So far, so good. I think I've got a handle on things for the most part, but the feeder situation is challenging for me.

The feeders......I keep about 50 small crickets at a time in a keeper box (he gets about 8-10 a day), Dubias in another box and some superworms in the cup they came in. So far, buying all bugs from Petco but planning to start ordering online. I need more variety. This guy seems to prefer crickets so we'll have to work on that. Suggestions for good vendors?

Feeding mixture pureed and frozen in cubes [greens/fruits/beepollen/gelatine/Repashy Superload], plus fresh stuff. Not sure if its ok to feed this all the time? Do I need to add a dry mix for the crickets and roaches? How/what is best for the worms?

I wonder how you all handle maintenance feeding vs. gutloading 2-3 days prior to feeding. I'm hoping I can keep the bug housing minimal, but wondering if I need to move bugs I am gutloading into a separate container? Each species? Yikes! How do you all manage this?

Thanks in advance!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
#2
I do not have my gutloaded bugs in a separate container. I just don't have the room for it. I gutload all of mine each day I have them. Your gutload with frozen cube is great. Just make sure you are mixing up which vegi and fruit you use week to week. So no need to offer dry for the crickets and dubia. The superworms you can add fresh veg in on the top of the cup and replace each day. You can get bran for their bedding if it gets gross or moldy it has to be swapped out with new stuff. I order the mealworm bran that rainbowmealworms carries. The important thing with these guys is that you don't want to toss a few into a huge container because they will start to pupate. They need to feel each other to stay worms.

I also feed BSFL (Black soldier fly larvae) Rainbow calls these phoenix worms. You can actually pupate them into flies which the chams seem to love to hunt in their cage. I feed silkworms and hornworms but these grow fast so you may want to wait to order large amounts of these until your guy gets bigger. I buy hornworms from my local shop 2 at a time that way they dont get too large before I feed.
Hope this helps. Let us know what other questions you have. :)
Gutloading 101.jpeg
Basic Feeder pic.jpeg
 
#3
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your little guy. I use rainbowmealworms.com as well, great vendor! I do full time gut loading. I have a lot of different feeders and containers and I can't manage maintenance feedings and gut loading so I just always gut load everyone.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
#4
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your little guy. I use rainbowmealworms.com as well, great vendor! I do full time gut loading. I have a lot of different feeders and containers and I can't manage maintenance feedings and gut loading so I just always gut load everyone.
And she is veryyyyy knowledgeable about them! One of my go to people when I have feeder questions. :)
 
#5
I do not have my gutloaded bugs in a separate container. I just don't have the room for it. I gutload all of mine each day I have them. Your gutload with frozen cube is great. Just make sure you are mixing up which vegi and fruit you use week to week. So no need to offer dry for the crickets and dubia. The superworms you can add fresh veg in on the top of the cup and replace each day. You can get bran for their bedding if it gets gross or moldy it has to be swapped out with new stuff. I order the mealworm bran that rainbowmealworms carries. The important thing with these guys is that you don't want to toss a few into a huge container because they will start to pupate. They need to feel each other to stay worms.

I also feed BSFL (Black soldier fly larvae) Rainbow calls these phoenix worms. You can actually pupate them into flies which the chams seem to love to hunt in their cage. I feed silkworms and hornworms but these grow fast so you may want to wait to order large amounts of these until your guy gets bigger. I buy hornworms from my local shop 2 at a time that way they dont get too large before I feed.
Hope this helps. Let us know what other questions you have. :)
View attachment 228712 View attachment 228713
Thanks Beman! I had the top half of this chart but not the bottom - very helpful. Do you happen to know the origin of this chart? Also good to know about the space consideration for superworms. :)
 
#6
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your little guy. I use rainbowmealworms.com as well, great vendor! I do full time gut loading. I have a lot of different feeders and containers and I can't manage maintenance feedings and gut loading so I just always gut load everyone.
Thank you Rst_Cham! Very friendly and supportive forum :) Good to know I'm not alone in wanting to keep the bugs as streamlined as possible...wondered if I was just an overwhelmed newb! (yass)
 
#9
If you want to you can just put what you plan to feed off in the morning in a ventilated deli cup with some of your fresh or frozen gut load. Then just feed your other feeders dry gut load and carrots until they got into the deli cup for their last meal.
Ah, ok. I assume you cannot combine crickets, dubias and worms in the same cup, right? Thank you
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
#11
Okay, I must admit, I'm pretty proud of my set up for my bugs/feeders... I have around 16 roach colonies, superworms, snails, d gigantea stickbugs, and 7 isopod colonies. And it costs me about $3 a week to feed them.

Im lucky enough to have a old cement basement room with a door on it to keep all the bins. I have a heater in there to manage temperatures. Once a week I go in there, mist down/add water for the bugs that need moisture, add leaf litter if necessary, and throw in large organic carrots which are cheap. Once a month I give them a nice mixture of proteins like seeds/nuts/etc. They also get all vegetable/fruit scraps.

I keep smaller feeder bins upstairs in the cham room. I have an airtight bin for climbers and flyers, a bin for snails and isopods, and a bin for non climbers and flyers. I only keep several dozen max of mixed sizes and species in each. I line the bottom with high quality dry gutload mixes, spirulina, bee pollen, etc, and add fresh cubes of blended ingredients, along with fresh produce. They are basically getting a wide variety of high quality ingredients at all times. The feeders usually last about 2 months before I refill the bins. Since I'm not feeding a lot at a time, this makes the good gutloading ingredients last very long(I've had the same bag of bug buffet for like a year now stored in the freezer). It also helps me make sure the feeders I'm feeding off are full of the good stuff I'm using. And I believe that feeding them these ingredients over time makes them more nutritious overall.
 
#14
Btw I keep superworms in with my non climbers to be fed off. I also have a main colony of supers downstairs kept by themselves.
When you say "colonies" - are they breeding? Or do you keep them from breeding by not providing the required conditions? From what I've read, breeding gets a lot more complicated? (I'm asking about all your bugs, not just the supers) Thanks!
 
#15
Okay, I must admit, I'm pretty proud of my set up for my bugs/feeders... I have around 16 roach colonies, superworms, snails, d gigantea stickbugs, and 7 isopod colonies. And it costs me about $3 a week to feed them.

Im lucky enough to have a old cement basement room with a door on it to keep all the bins. I have a heater in there to manage temperatures. Once a week I go in there, mist down/add water for the bugs that need moisture, add leaf litter if necessary, and throw in large organic carrots which are cheap. Once a month I give them a nice mixture of proteins like seeds/nuts/etc. They also get all vegetable/fruit scraps.

I keep smaller feeder bins upstairs in the cham room. I have an airtight bin for climbers and flyers, a bin for snails and isopods, and a bin for non climbers and flyers. I only keep several dozen max of mixed sizes and species in each. I line the bottom with high quality dry gutload mixes, spirulina, bee pollen, etc, and add fresh cubes of blended ingredients, along with fresh produce. They are basically getting a wide variety of high quality ingredients at all times. The feeders usually last about 2 months before I refill the bins. Since I'm not feeding a lot at a time, this makes the good gutloading ingredients last very long(I've had the same bag of bug buffet for like a year now stored in the freezer). It also helps me make sure the feeders I'm feeding off are full of the good stuff I'm using. And I believe that feeding them these ingredients over time makes them more nutritious overall.
Very helpful, thanks!
Would you be willing to provide a detailed list of all the kinds of bugs you feed? Each type of isopod, snail, etc? (And, are you feeding just chameleons, or other reptiles as well?) This would be really valuable info when perusing the feeder websites.
Thanks again!
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
#16
Very helpful, thanks!
Would you be willing to provide a detailed list of all the kinds of bugs you feed? Each type of isopod, snail, etc? (And, are you feeding just chameleons, or other reptiles as well?) This would be really valuable info when perusing the feeder websites.
Thanks again!
Sure gimme a little. Out with the family atm. But yes I do breed them all. Some are slower than others. I only feed one reptile atm, but hoping that changes in the future. I will also have stuff available for sale and possible trades in the future once I see which colonies have a lot extra.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
#17
I don't have all the scientific names on hand so I'm going to be lazy and just list off most of them by their regular names.

Roaches:
Giant cave roach
Peppered roach
Dubia
Orangehead
Ivoryhead
B. fusca
Discoids
Craniifer(deaths head)
Gyna lurida(yellow porc)
Gyna caffrorum
Gyna centurio
Surinam
Green banana roach(panchlora nivea)
Giant green banana roach
Regular hissers
Halloween hissers

Isopods:
Giant canyon(p dilatatus)
Spanish orange (porcellio scaber)
Zebra (Armadillidium maculatum)
Dwarf white (Trichorhina tomentosa)
Dwarf purple (Isopoda sp)
Powdery blue (porcellionides pruinosis)
Powdery orange
Porcellio 'sevilla'
 
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#18
always learning! I really love the bug part of the hobby. I didn't see it coming but here I am, enjoying bug keeping and breeding now. Crazy!
Seeing as you seem to be the one to go to about bugs, I just ordered the bug sample pack from rainbowmealworms, I was just wondering if there is anything specific I need to know about keeping the various feeders alive and well? I know dubia and crickets are pretty straight forward, but wasnt sure if any of the others have specific needs apart from gut loading?
 
#19
Seeing as you seem to be the one to go to about bugs, I just ordered the bug sample pack from rainbowmealworms, I was just wondering if there is anything specific I need to know about keeping the various feeders alive and well? I know dubia and crickets are pretty straight forward, but wasnt sure if any of the others have specific needs apart from gut loading?
Your hornworms will grow quick. Leave them at 60-65* to slow down their growth. The phoenix worms or "BSFL" can also be stored at these temps. Hornworms eat hornworm food. Repashy "Superhorn" is what I use. Not sure if BSFL will gutload on bug burger or fresh veggies but I assume they would. My cham had no interest in BSFL. To small, but your baby will love them no doubt.
 
#20
Your hornworms will grow quick. Leave them at 60-65* to slow down their growth. The phoenix worms or "BSFL" can also be stored at these temps. Hornworms eat hornworm food. Repashy "Superhorn" is what I use. Not sure if BSFL will gutload on bug burger or fresh veggies but I assume they would. My cham had no interest in BSFL. To small, but your baby will love them no doubt.
I found that BSFL really like cubes of homemade then frozen gutload. Makes them really easy to do. They certainly seem to go for that much better than fresh veggies or bug burger etc.

If you sit and think about it, we are all quite mad with the lengths we go to with feeders. It shows we all want the best for our charges though.
 
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