My first terrarium (18x18x18 millipede tank)
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:09 AM   #1
Cavedweller
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My first terrarium (18x18x18 millipede tank)


I haven't done anything like this before and I'm pretty nervous. Any advice would be appreciated

Forgive the shaky cellphone photo. I'll get better photos once I can borrow a camera. (The tank doesn't look quite as butt-ugly in person, and will hopefully improve as the plants grow)

It is currently occupied by 4 sexed pairs of Florida ivory millipedes (Chicobolus spinigerus) and 1 male glossy black pinkleg millipede (Dendrostreptus macracanthus).
Here is my very handsome pinkleg.

Hopefully the Florida ivories will breed sometime this year. I'm really hoping I can find some mates for the pinkleg someday, but it's a kinda hard species to find.

The temp is 70-75, with a 75 watt heatlamp that casts an ugly as sin red glow on everything. Fortunately I'll only have to use it a few months out of the year cause I live in Texas. I'm trying to keep the humidity in the 70-80% range, but it's a bit difficult with as much ventilation as I have. Hopefully the plants will help. I've got about 4 inches of ABG mix over a drainage layer of hydroton as substrate, with leaf litter on top of that. Lots of cork bark for the pinkleg to climb.

The plants just arrived today, and I really should have given them some time to take root, but I wanted to get the bugs into their tank right away, since the arboreal pinkleg kept trying to escape their temporary tank. I'm hoping it won't be too much of a problem since the pedes don't jump around like frogs.

I've got 3 baby tears, 2 creeping fig, and some sheet moss in there. The moss arrived looking a bit worse for the wear, but I'm hoping it will perk up. Also pretty sure I saw an ant after I put the plants in (they came from Josh's Frogs). I hope a single ant won't be too problematic.

The pinkleg and one of the florida ivories have been exploring, but the other ivories haven't come out of hiding yet.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:47 AM   #2
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more pix of the bugs! that is cool how long are they?
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:48 AM   #3
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The Florida ivories are about 3-4 inches long.

The pinkleg is about 6 inches.


Everyone's hiding in the tank right now. Hopefully the pinkleg will actually use all the climbing branches I put in there for him once he settles in. He kept climbing the underside of the temporary tank's lid, so I figured he wanted more climbing stuff.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:03 PM   #4
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I think this is the only insect build i've seen on this forum. High five to you! Although i'll let you keep the millipede, i'm not a big fan of creepy crawlies lol.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:04 AM   #5
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High five accepted! Yeah, I have to head to Arachnoboards to see much more stuff about bug care.

The sheet moss is looking awful, and I suspect it's gonna die off (though the millipedes are certainly enjoying nibbling on the dead bits). Fortunately, the baby tears seems to be doing really well, and the weeping fig seems fine too.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:13 AM   #6
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Yuck! I love them! Lol so creepy and awesome. How big a tank is that?

Sent from my phone, in the land of magical unicorns and rainbows!
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:25 AM   #7
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Hahaha. Thanks, I guess? I happen to think millipedes are utterly adorable, but even the good people (tarantula hoarders) of arachnoboards tend to get but people tend to get weirded out by all the legs.

The tank is 18 x 18 x 18 inches, about 24 gal I think. My arboreal pinkleg has been staying on the ground, while the burrowing Florida ivories have been climbing all the way to the top of the tank! I think I may have gotten a defective batch of bugs...
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:06 AM   #8
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lol....gotta love bugs, herps, and phibs, they all go against everything we are told about them. each and every one is an individual and they let us know it. i'm in the process of setting up a hissing cockroach viv. if figured i might as well keep some as pets since they will be feeding my frogs so well.....LOL

very cool 'pedes. and don't worry, the viv will look better once your plants grow in. no viv looks amazing from the start, they look amazing a year from now

to get your humidity up, block off some of the screen top with plexi or saran wrap, you may have to seal off some of the front vent as well to get it where you like it.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:40 AM   #9
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Absolutely. I'm not sure what "phibs" are, but I probably agree. I've never kept roaches (pretty sure my apartment manager would take issue with that), but I am especially fond of question mark and domino roaches. If I ever keep some that's probably what I'll get.

Alright, that makes me feel significantly less ashamed of my sorry tank. I'll definitely take take more pics and show it off once the plants fill in.

Yeah, the saran wrap sounds like a good idea. I'll do that tonight.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:44 AM   #10
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Sorry phibs=amphibians.....lol
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:12 AM   #11
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Oh, ok! I figured they went under herps. I haven't kept amphibians in several years. I absolutely adore salamanders, though. If I ever keep phibs again, I would probably go for axolotls.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:15 AM   #12
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they are very cool. i was actually considering getting a millipede before i decided on the roaches. i have an unhealty (as my wife says) obsession with madagascar, and since they are Mad. hissing cockroaches, it made sense...LOL

you millipedes are cool. i love the pink leg. how's their difficulty of care? what do they feed on?
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:05 AM   #13
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Is she less than thrilled about your roach collection? If so, I'm impressed that she tolerates it.

Thanks! I really hope the species becomes more common/popular. I've never kept either of these species before, but they're both considered pretty hardy I think. Millipedes are pretty low maintenance.

Most species have similar care (excluding special cases like desert-dwelling species). They like about 75% humidity, and they need a layer of dirt to burrow in. The pinkleg is arboreal so he's supposed to have some branches to climb on (though the ivories are using them much more).

They're somewhat social and prefer to be in close proximity to other millipedes, and you can generally mix species without issue (though they may eat each other's eggs).

They mostly eat rotten leaves/wood. They also appreciate soft fruits/vegetables. I've been feeding them apple lately, but I hear they LOVE cucumber. Cuttlebone and dry dog food are also considered good supplements.

A lot of species are basically pet holes. Mine are most active around midnight, but my preferred bedtime is 6 AM so this is less of a problem for me.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:55 PM   #14
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my wife supports my hobbies (sort of...lol) in here mind, out of sight, out of mind....lol

that's very cool that their care requirements are about the same as roaches. i may have to look into one or two of these fascinating little creatures
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:55 PM   #15
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If I were you I'd definitely get at least two! They seem to appreciate the company, judging by how much time they spend next to/on top of each other. They're easy to sex too, so you can usually ask dealers for a male/female pair.

Any idea what species you'd get? Florida ivories are hardy and supposed to be very easy to breed. And since they're so small you don't need a very big tank.
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