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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:35 pm 
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Hi
My wife and I are fairly new to keeping millipedes, at the moment we've got them in a XL Faunarium with about 2-3cm of Spider Life as a substrate, along with Cork bark and some moss on top.

The issue we're facing is keeping humidity up, I don't want to flood the substrate with excessive spraying but it always seems very dry, I think the Faunariums are just too well ventilated for them, so might have to look for a better container.

I do fancy something like one of the Exo Terra Glass Terrarium 45x45x45cm, will that be big enough for a couple of the African Giant Train's as well as a few of the smaller species like the Texan Gold, the Silver Red stripe etc.

As for 'decoration', are there any issues with live plants?, I know I don't want any of the Floor-Cover type grass plants since they like to burrow.

Any other hints would be good too :)

Thanks

evaD


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:49 pm 
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From your discription, I would say the first thing to do is add a lot more substrate! If you want to keep A. gigas, you will want the substrate to be MUCH deeper. Aim for about 15cm deep as a minimum. When it comes to substrate, deeper is better!! I use "Eco Earth" which is ground coconut husks. Mix with large amounts of shredded hardwood leaves, and top with moss. The eco earth holds a lot of water which will help to keep humidity levels higher. If your house has very low humidity coupled with high tank ventilation, you may have to spray the substrate down quite often. Since I live in a rather dry desert region, I keep my tanks in an enclosed cabinit.

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There are many live plants you can use. But any that are planted in the substrate will most likely be uprooted in short order. You could try "air plants" and place them on the above ground decorations.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:06 pm 
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I don't keep a gigas but I'd agreed that you need much deeper substrate - this should help retain the moisture as well, I spray mine at least once a day, and with no additional heating the top of the substrate still dries out quite fast, but you can see that it's moist underneath that.

The other thing you could try is to reduce the ventilation, or as you're looking at different tanks maybe that issue will sort itself out.

Plants wise, everything I've put in with my Spirostreptidae has either been trampled to death or has died, to the point where I'm now considering artifical plants, and I really didn't want to use them. The only thing that seems to survive is moss, and that's hit and miss.

Plant wise, the other thing to watch out for is pesticides, there are a couple of threads on here about that.

If you're new to millipedes (the ones I have are my first) keep an eye on their behaviour and you'll see what they like in their tank, and you can add stuff accordingly - my male loves to climb, so I've put in extra climbing opportunities for him as time's gone on, and he seems quite happy.

I also read somewhere that if they're underground a lot, that can be a clue that the humidity is too low, but I'd assume that varies from species to species, and sometimes mine stay underground for weeks on end, for no apparent reason!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:17 pm 
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Thanks for the hints, I've just got a quick query about keeping the tank warm with that much substrate?

I'll buy some more and see about a different container for them, the faunarium I've got will only hold a maximum of 10cm before it reaches the side vents.
May be time for a Really Useful Box, not as pretty but definitely deeper.

What containers do you recommend for them, even an glass vivarium only has about 15cm before the doors.

I'm loathed to use some of the plastic fish tanks while they're deep, they don't have a lot of floor space, and moving them around when they're full of substrate could prove interesting :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:56 pm 
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Not sure if you can see the photo clearly enough. But I use glass fish tanks. They are cheap and readily available in my area. The third shelf from the top has 3 10 gallon tanks with the right tank housing 6 adult and 8 immature A. gigas. The shelf above that has 2 5.5 gallon and 2 2.5 gallon tanks. I use metal mesh lids which provides way too much ventilation. However, keeping all the tanks in the cabinit reduces air flow and the substrate does not dry out very fast. I spray the substrate once a week.

Don't add heat to your set-up. Most millipede species are just fine at room temp. Too much heat will kill. The substrate will give off some extra heat as the organic components rot.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:03 pm 
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You could step the substrate, deeper at the back away from the doors, put some bark or a log across to dam it, like a step - I do that sometimes to give two levels, or a slope so it's a bit more varied.

Temperature wise, from what I've read about a. gigas, they're quite a forgiving species, but I guess it depends on the temperatures where you are, I keep my Spirostreptidae at room temps and they seem quite happy, I think 20-22c is good for most species, but I only worry if things look like they're dropping towards 18c.

There are a couple of good books out on millis, I have one by Shura Sigling, and Orin also has a book out, which I've yet to buy :oops:

I've got mine in a cheap glass tank from pets at home that i picked up on offer, I had to make up a lid, but it's about 40cm tall, with no doors to worry about, I'd go bigger if I could to be honest but as usual it's a money thing.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:18 pm 
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I'm trying to avoid glass since they're going to be moved around a bit (they're on top of a stack of vivs so they get brought down to ground level to feed, water etc)

I'll browse the local staples for RUB's to see what takes my fancy :)

Can get a couple of vents for the lid if needed.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:07 pm 
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yeah, glass is a pain to move about, weighs a tonne and i'm terrified of it crackng! had to move everything into the lounge during a powercut so i could keep them warm, not much fun!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:44 pm 
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Got a 35l rub, 21"w x13"d x11"h so enough space for a good 4-5" substrate, £14 from hobbicraft so quite happy with that.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:41 pm 
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Cool - Get some photo's up once they're settled!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:21 pm 
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The main reson I use glass tanks is that they don't scratch easily. The plastic tanks I have tried scratch very easily. Over time the plastic tanks "fog" quickly.


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