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How to Set up your own Cockroach Breeding Colony for Live Feed (pic warning)

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Hi guys,

Today i went about setting up my first dubia roach breeding colony. After seeing the live food

breeding facility at xian leng arowana farm in Malaysia, and how important they consider

roaches in their feeding regime, i knew i had to make one of my own.

If you didn't know, i LOVE feeding live food to my fish. nothing makes a predatorial fish happier

or healthier than live food. Course it's not financially possible for most to feed only on

live food, and pellets do have their value aswell. I do it more for the pleasure of the fish

than anything else.

What you will need:

1x large plastic container/bin with tight fitting lid

1 (or more)x healthy container of roaches from your local petshop

Many cardboard egg containers


Dog/cat/fish food

1x grinder or similar

Potatoes, carrots or similar

container lids or similar for food dishes

I went and got myself a cheap plastic container from Sam's warehouse thisafternoon. was about $9 for

the one i got. Ideally I would have preferred one that wasn't clear but I have just covered the bin with a towel so it stays dark.


While I was out I purchased two containers of roaches from my local petshop (pet centre west burleigh). I made sure to select the containers with the largest/healthiest/most roaches inside. You don't want to start out with unhealthy stock.

And some crickets cause my fish like them but they are quite dirty to keep myself.


Next I cut up a number of egg cartons and stacked them in there so the roaches have lots

of places to hide. I had tonnes lying around anyway.

(Cats starting to get interested)



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I also used packing tape to line the top of the bin. I heard that they struggle to climb on this so i thought what the heck why not.

I then ground up some dog and cat food till it became a powdery consistency.


Some potatoe slices for moisture


What tutorial wouldn't be complete without power tools?

I used my dads drill (ask permission first kiddies) to make air holes in the top of the bin. these

were very small holes as you don't want the babies escaping.


I also gave some of this food to my giant mealworm beetle colony. I keep these guys as pets moreso

than food. they dont seem to want to breed in crushed weetbix but i found that other

substrates contained mites which have killed my prior colonies. can anyone recommend what to use for these guys?


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I then put the food into the bin, took the bin into my room (parents aren't keen on these little guys)

and released them. they are pretty cool.



For now I will just let the colony establish and not feed any. When it is large enough for

me to harvest I will try to keep to males as females are much more valuable in your breeding programme.

these roaches have very little smell and are really nothing like the roaches we have in aus. cockroaches

in general are relatively clean especially in a setting like this. And fish love them!

Just replace your wet and dry food as often as you can, ensuring that no mould whatsoever forms as this

is a massive killer for your colony. I'm keeping this container on top of my heated 8x3x2 so it will stay

warm through winter, so try to keep them in a warm place or purchase a heater for them.

Hope you all liked this :D

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I think your jag would go nuts for these. It's a very small investment for such a large future gain too. Cost me about $30 all up but could easy be done for under $20. most of it people have lying around the house anyway!

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Good job Sarah,

I don't have ta bother, I got Cockys every where, free.

The wife wants to get the house sprayed, but i'm to scared what'll happen to my tank.

Guess we'll have ta meet in the middle, somehow. :cool:

But yeah, good idea, never thought about feeding cockys to da fish.


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Thanks Mackayman, when i told my mum i was going to breed roaches she went on a rant on why i dont just

stay up at night and catch the ones we have here! I'd never let anyone spray near my fish, your right with that.

I'd rather live with bugs than kill ma fish. dubia roaches are very very different to australian roaches though. smaller and rounder,

as well as not being able to fly. I happily held them without being scared of em like i would with wild roaches.

Floppy i'm not sure with that one. Be good to have a look. I do know xian leng feeds their brooders primarily on roaches

and they are a major arowana farm. Let us know if you find any info on the nutritional value. I'm trying to breed giant mealworms

also but have just got slack with finding the right substrate. I think they need something softer to lay in.

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mealworms, layer your container with alternate layers of newspaper and bran, a few inches thick. moisten slightly, add a small amount of vegy scrapes when they have finished the last lot.

we had a mealworm colony going for nearly 2 years before it became overun with damm fruitflies..yuk.

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i bred heaps for my dragons, if you have trouble with them getting out use vasoline or you can buy this from the herp shop "Fluon ADI" its not cheap, but will last you years, about $30.00, you paint it around the top and only need to re-paint it when it gets rubbed off, can last for months,

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hey brendan,

most breeders actually feed their feeders high nutritional n protein packed food to boost the roaches and insects they feed, i have read, the roaches body is similar to shrimp, not sure i cut n paste this response from another forum

A roach's nutritional value is likely to depend on which species and what they've been eating. I and many other chameleon keepers use the Blaptica dubia, also known as "orange spotted roach" or " Guyana spotted cockroach". They are easy to raise and can be gutloaded with many different food sources leaving them fairly high in nutritional value. You'll want to use more than one feeder to add additional nutritional variety to their diet.


lots to read page 80-81 i fink was a good one

Edited by raycam01_au
cause i felt like it
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Look up DIY 'gutload' tutorials on youtube, I remember watching one that showed how to make your own

feed to fill them full of max nutrition. I wonder if we could come up with one that suited fish more than reptiles?

What's nutritionally good for fish that cockroaches, crickets and mealworm beetles would eat?

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entire peices of paper , layed flat alt layers with a small amount of bran...

we had our to feed a pet frog, and many birds, so once its going maybe 20-30 worms a day, it was a biggish container 50 x 40 x 40cm

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After seeing the live food breeding facility at xian leng arowana farm in Malaysia, and how important they consider

roaches in their feeding regime, i knew i had to make one of my own

8x3x2, perfect for arowana

Breeding roaches since they're considered perfect food for arowanas

Coincidence? I don't think so


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