The keeping of cockroaches is fairly straightforward and requires minimal time and maintenance, especially when compared to
other small pets of similar size. The initial investment is the only part where any significant cost may be involved and
even here one is looking at well under fifty dollars. A regular fish type aquarium with a screen lid is more than adequate
and allows one to put a hardware type lamp on top to provide warmth. If the species kept is capable of climbing glass a two
inch thin band of vaseline smeared around the top effectively prevents excapes.
For substrate you can use anything from peat moss to potting soil or something as simple as paper towels. Most cockroaches
kept in the hobby are tropical in origin and need to be kept warm and ,ideally, humid. I actually do not mist my cages anymore
due to hard water spotting but breeding seems to not have been overly affected. Misting provides water for drinking and helps
keep the humidity up throughout the day. Saturation of the substrate should be avoided as it will inevitably cause problems
with mites and bacterial growth. Pieces of wood and the addition of egg cartons or papertowel rolls provide necessary hiding
places and a plant or two will definitely help create a more natural looking habitat for your cockroaches.
Though this will pretty much take care of itself there are still a few things you should know. First of all without adequate
warmth breeding will be sporadic at best and nymph growth will be delayed. Mating occurs with roaches end to end. Most of
the species in the hobby appear to have "live" births. Actually the egg case is kept within the female until moments
before birth. The egg case is expelled and the babies are born. The case is quickly eaten by the colony and newborn nymphs.
From birth onward nymphs are completely independent and eat the same food as the adults and require no special care. Most
reach adulthood within 6-9 months and begin breeding soon after. Most breeding in my colonies has occurred during the summer
months with the all around higher air temperature apparently needed to spur reproduction.
Everyone seems to have their own ideas and preferred way of keeping cockroaches but I have found that as long as they have
warmth, humidity and plenty of protein cockroaches are happy. I have included links to several sites describing cage setups
and general tips on keeping roaches.