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Q: Cannibalizing in Red Runners
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Red Runners [Original Colony]

  I bought a smaller group of red runners to start a colony with, and when they first arrived everything was fine. However more and more I have been seeing dead bodies half eaten by the other roaches strewn about the floor of the tank. 

  I heard they do this is they have a lack of protein in their diet, however the staple of the diet I'm giving them has 15.5% crude protein within it. (Alfalfa rabbit pellets). They also every few days get some carrot slices, fruits, oats, four or five pieces of cat food pellets (just to see what they would prefer at the time), and crested gecko leftovers from the geckos. I wanted to give them a varied diet to try to curb any feeding problems and see what they liked to eat the most. They are eating some of the rabbit food pellets, pretty much all of the cat food pellets which I'm worried about because I heard that they have too much protein for them, but obviously they aren't getting enough protein from the other foodsincuding the alfalfa rabbit pellets that were at 15.5% crude protein if they are cannibalizing eachother still.

They always have a water dish available, there is a heat pad running up along the side of the tank because for a short time I had trouble overheating them when it was on the bottom of the tank. I am planning on making more ventilation within the enclosure, though they seem to be okay for now. I am worried about a build up of gases at some point so good ventilation being made and scavenged from my other screen stuff is all in the works for now. A part from the cannibalizing I've not seen any other odd behaviors from the runners. They hide and scitter around normally with no slowness or strange walking. Females are laying tons of ooths but so far I have not seen any hatch so that might be a problem.

   Does anyone successfully keep a medium sized colony of these guys? Cause I would love to know what you are feeding them, what your tank conditions are, what the tank/enclosure even is, heating, and what diet you feed them.

  I only have a few left now so I'll probably have to start over and buy more again, however I really need this colony because the majority of my animals prefer these to the dubia and madagascar hisser roaches. The tarantula in particular doesn't want to touch much of anything dubia sized and up, but when she's fed smaller dubia they never moved around enough to make her think "oh prey yum." and attack.

Points: 150
Topics: Feeding , Digestive , Caging
Tags: Food, Protein, Redrunners, Roach, Roaches, Turkistanred
Administrative: Show/Hide

Accepted Answer 5/27/2018 11:03:27 PM


I'm not sure what the answer to your cannibalism issue would be but I've been keeping red runners for several years now. Mine are kept in 18 gallon storage totes. I cut a hole in the lid and glued screen over it. They are kept in my 80 degree reptile room with no additional heat. I feed my own propietary blend which is ground into a powder. Water crystals for water. I find that higher ambient humidity seems to help with ooths hatching. I hardly had any ooths hatch over winter but now they are gaining ground again. I don't use any kind of substrate for them (I know some people do) but provide plenty of egg crate for cover. 

Member Comment 5/28/2018 2:38:11 AM


Also, ooths can be collected and placed in a container with moist paper towel or other media and hatched separately.

Author Comment 5/28/2018 1:54:01 PM


Yea I took out a bunch of ooths but I tought our 60% humidity would be enough for them. I'll try the moist paper towel after this ^-^ thank you for that.

Yeah all I've got in there is the water dish with gravel in it to keep babies from drowning. It worked well with my other two colonies of dubia and hissers when I first tried it. They also have the three separate food dishes at the moment while I see what they eat the most of. Lastly are the egg crates, and no substrate.

So they won't chew through glue? I was worried about that while I've been thinking of ventilation design ideas. I want some ventilation near the bottom as well as the top of the enclosure.

Butt yeah the only thing different really from what I'm hearing you are working with is maybe the food, cause I'm not sure what your blend is made of, and the size of the container. I only started with 25-30 adults and had them in a Sterilite tote. One end filled up with egg crate and a small space left for the food and water dishes.

Member Comment 6/1/2018 7:55:36 PM


When I kept red runners, I used to feed Bug Burger, MS2 chow, and Pro Gutload (rotated through various diets). Also have to make sure the chow/eaterwisn't getting wiped out too quickly so there's enough to go around.

Author Comment 6/7/2018 3:21:26 AM


I'll probably check the bug burger and gutload out. Though you would think that they would like fresh fruits and vedgies instead of the pellets I tried. Still nothing and more found eaten in parts all over the floor. I think there are only a few left now. Once I figure out whhat they like to eat (the last few I have) then maybe I'll have to get more once the vetilation is fixed in the new enclosure.

Author Comment 8/16/2018 3:07:46 PM


So update on these. The ooths are now hatching and I've got tons of babies, and while the babies don't seem to be cannibalizing the adults still do though more rarely now. They are in a much bigger enclosure now because I tried my ventilated enclosure but the screen I used was a tiny bit too big and the babies right after hatching were getting out. I watched them and saw babies who had freshly molted after hatching were unable to escape, but the freshly hatched ones were somehow able to squeeze through. So while the ventilation worked somewhat I now have to fix it before I can do anything else. Anyone have a good guage size for the holes in the wire mesh to keep them in with?

Author Comment 11/12/2018 8:04:01 PM


Another update on this. Most of the adults disappeared, but we had a ton of babies now. The babies have grown to become small adults, or maybe they are considered medium sized young? Not sure, but no more cannibalizing seems to be happening. They are in a much larger 29 gallon tank with just a screen lid to keep good air flow. This seems to work the best for me. They love love love their carrots for water and food, and will only nibble small amounts of other foods. They do seem to like orange slices well enough, but not as much as the carrots.

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