Bioactive Dubia Colony

I finally had a chance to set up a bioactive dubia roach colony. I started with 35 females and 5 males and it seems at least 1 female already has an ootheca (similar to an egg except the mothers give live birth and they only have one ootheca which has many babies). The goal of this colony is both to experiment and see if it will work and to hopefully cut down on how many dubias I have to buy. I started with a large tub that I found and cut some ventilation holes in the side and covered them with screen. I then added substrate and attached a heat pad on the side set for 88* during the day and 77* at night. As you can see from the pictures the dubias are trying to get closer to the heat which is why most are on the edge. The female away from the edge is thermoregulating her ootheca which is why she’s away from the heat. I have egg crates coming in a few days and I’ll plant a pothos in the colony soon.

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What are they for?

I guess I forgot to add that. Dubia roaches are some of the best feeders for geckos and lizards and I’m going to use them to feed my leopard geckos and every once in a while my crested geckos.

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Cool, good idea on breeding them yourself so you don’t have to buy os many.

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I’d never thought to make a bioactive dubia colony! That’s awesome- please give updates, I’m very interested to see how it goes.

My dubia colony has totally exploded, and it is a pain in the butt to clean (I’m disabled). What works for me is to do periodic ‘harvests,’ where I go through and collect every food-sized nymph as I transfer the rest to a new tub. Then I have a smaller, easier- to work with mini-tub where I keep juvies, and then an itty-bitty one where I gutload nymphs before feeding.

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I doubt the production with a bioactive setup will be anywhere near as high but that’s one of the reasons why I started with so many females. I’m planning to do the same ‘harvests’, I’m going to take a plastic cup and shift all of the substrate and catch as many nymphs as I can. Then I’ll transfer them to a deli cup and then pick out the right number of males and females and move them to another cup which I’ll feed out of for the next week. I also don’t want to develop allergies to dubias (which I think I already have some) and if it’s a bioactive I shouldn’t need to ever clean it out and if I do it would only be about monthly. Who knows, if this turns out to produce very well maybe you could switch to bioactive.

Edit: Based on calculations I should get just over 1000 nymphs per 2 months just from the original females.

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You might be surprised just how productive they can be in this kind of setup. Do yourself, and them, a favour and add some good, high-quality leaf litter.
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Based on everything I have learned, this is pretty much inevitable with dubia. I hope you do not like crab/lobster/shrimp/crayfish
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Trust me, you will still have to clean it, it will just be less often. If you can get hold of some, add dermestids and buffalo beetles, they will help keep it a bit cleaner

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Thank you, I’ll have to add some when I get home.

Hopefully it either minimizes the effects or at least lengthens the time before I get severe allergies. At least I don’t like any of those except as pets (the crabs and shrimp at least).

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You are lucky, I am no longer able to eat them and that is a nightmare for a foodie like me :sob: :sob:

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(The vegetarian in the background chuckles softly. :wink:)

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Why did you choose Dubia roaches vs discoid roaches? Only curious. Dubia are illegal where We are so just wondering why those if you had the other as an option.

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The chuckling vegetarian in the background is missing out on some truly exquisite culinary delights :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
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It is going to be different for different people. For me, dubia were a bit more resilient and breed a little faster. They nymphs are smaller so they can be a better feeder for smaller species. They also tend to be a bit softer, exoskeleton-wise

Now that the only thing I am feeding roaches to is a tarantula, my sp. Ivory colony is more than sufficient though

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The exoskeleton is the reason we don’t feed discoids. Most of our geckos can’t handle it. Thanks for the input

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But obviously if one was going to go for a monitor, the discoid it to be fine right?

I think it’s a really good idea.

I set up a dubia colony last year, I’ve not used much as I’ve let them establish. They are certainly good breeders. I’m hoping to use them as my main source of insects this year. I will be using them for my crested geckos.

I put in some spring tails and they seem to do well at cleaning up as long as it’s on or near the floor, just means when I’m searching for the nympths, I move the poop down.

I never thought to put plants in there though!

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The main reason I chose dubias was because of their availability and I didn’t need them shipped in. I also chose them because of their quick reproduction and surplus of information online. Discoids would also be a small risk because I’ve used dubias for a while and I know they work good and my geckos eat them. I don’t want to start a colony of roaches if I’m not 100% positive my geckos will eat them and I have a use for them.

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Update:

I was on vacation and when I got back some (140!) egg flats were delivered. I added a few to the colony and that should add more space for them and also help my “harvests” be more effective. I gave them a piece of apple, sweet potato, and carrot. When I got back the carrot was virtually untouched and the apple and potato were gone. I also saw two roaches on their back, dead. I assume that they fell on their back, couldn’t get up, and died. And I found a few babies! It seems that the colony should work good since I already have some babies and can see and find them fairly easily.

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Update

When I checked my colony I noticed that most of the dubias were directly on the side and very few were in the egg cartons, I increased the temperature from 88* to 94*. I’m not sure how high a dangerous level is though. @mblaney, what temperature do you keep your colony at? When I checked later there were a lot less dubias there and they were in the egg crates. With the large ones out of the way I saw a ton of babies, the picture below just shows one spot, the whole side was like that and I assume there were more in the egg crates. After the picture I added some more leaf litter and some along the sides. Since many dubias were dying and I saw an abandoned egg sac (too low humidity) I misted the enclosure and I’m going to mist it 2-3 times per week.

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I keep mine at warm-ish room temp, but they are near to the heater when it is used. I’m actually worried about whether or not mine will survive how hot it gets in my apartment in the summer. I only have one room that is sometimes air conditioned, and I definitely don’t want the dubia in my bedroom, heh. Thank goodness I’ll be moving sometime soon!

One of the tubs I use has several little vents cut, and one has only one vent- I’ve found it got way too humid when I tried one with no vents cut. I don’t know how vents could affect the temperature. Mine do have a pretty giant pile of water crystals, that might be helping to keep it humid.

I’ll go see if I can snag some temps with my ancient temp gun.

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Ok, just checked, and right now my whole dubia colony is at 72℉. My dubia mostly stay in their egg crate, but they come out to browse the buffet as needed.

I’m not sure why your guys could be dying. Are they around any chemicals, especially insecticides you might be using for the house or your mammal pets?

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