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 Post subject: HELP millie going down
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 1:44 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:43 pm
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Location: Florida panhandle
Have a young AGB about 4yrs, almost had her in the freezer when I noticed her moving. Lives in a tank with about 20 others. I now have her in a critter keeper on a moist paper towel. room temp is about 80 (live in FL don't use the a/c) small amount food in there , stupid I know but it makes me feel better. Any other suggestions??


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 Post subject: Re: HELP millie going down
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 8:26 pm 
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Location: New Mexico
This is late coming, so I hope she pulled through! I probably would have favored moist natural substrate over a paper towel, but other than that I think you did what you could.

One thing I think can happen with millipedes kept in large groups is the can accidentally damage one another during molts. That may not be the case if you don't see any external damage.

Are you certain it's female? I'm starting to suspect males do not live as long as females. 4 years still would seem to be too short unless it was a few years old already when you got it.


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 Post subject: Re: HELP millie going down
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:38 pm 
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Location: Florida panhandle
nope, didn't make it. But I did NOT put one in the freezer after that, turns out it was just molting.... I had 2 or 3 die out of that tank right close together. :(. I found 2 more babies just this morning, as I was wetting down the substrate. Started to pull them, because the last one I found i never saw again, that I know of. However, I read your (Wade) advice to the other fellow about leaving them in there. so I guess I will leave them in there. Interesting that observation on the males, I will check on my deceased millies and see what sex they are. I am wondering if they lay one or two eggs at a time or a whole bunch together? First time I had babies I had A LOT. then as they grew they were varying sizes, so that points to eggs hatching at different times and not just one clutch. Its hard to figure out what is going on down there in that dirt!


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 Post subject: Re: HELP millie going down
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:58 pm 
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They lay eggs singly, but frequently (maybe several a day) during "laying season" which seems to be the winter months, so you usually see a range of sizes. I have a number of AGB babies right now that I first noticed back in March, the older ones are 2-3" long now but there are many still less than an inch. Having abundant rotten hardwood and leaves in the cage helps with the survival rate of babies.


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 Post subject: Re: HELP millie going down
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:54 pm 
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Location: Florida panhandle
would that be hardwood in logs as in hiding places? or hardwood mulch,chips,dust for food that increases survival rate?


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 Post subject: Re: HELP millie going down
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:36 am 
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Location: Prescott, Arizona
I dont know, but Im gonna guess both?

Wood chips would decay faster and provide food sooner than a chunk of wood but they might hide under a chunk of hardwood and eat decaying sections?

Wade?


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 Post subject: Re: HELP millie going down
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:56 pm 
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It's for food. Some millipedes (like the Narceus Sean is working with) eat this material primarily and need little else. Others, like AGB's, eat a wide variety of plant materials INCLUDING rotting wood and leaves. I don't know how important it is for adults (but I supply it anyway), but babies do better in my experience if there is a lot of wood and leaves in the substrate. Ideally, the wood should be crumbled up and mixed in. If it is too hard to be broken up, it may be too hard for the millipedes to eat. In the case of leaves, the best ones have ben on the ground decaying for a few months, fresh fallen ones still have a lot of tannins in them that will make them unappealing to millipedes at first.

Hardwood sawdust, chips and mulch may not be decayed enough to be of use right away, but if mixed into moist millipede substrate these materials break down and eventually become edible. I routinely throw in a few handfulls of aspen bedding when mixing millipede substrate, aspen is a hardwood and will eventually break down enough to be millipede food.

A large log they can hide under and feed off of can work, but it takes up a lot of room and sometimes millipedes can undermine it and get trapped or even crushed under it as it shifts. Millipedes can hide in the substrate so I don't usually provide hides. If I do it's something very lightweight, like a thin piece of cork or hardwood bark.

Another thing I like to add is powdered calcium (made for reptiles) I periodically lightly dust the surface of the substrate with this. I'm still not 100% sure this is necessary, but but many millipedes include calcium in the exoskeleton and if the babies need it I like for them to have it. It also probably helps keep the PH of the soil from dipping too low.

Wade


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 Post subject: Re: HELP millie going down
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:48 pm 
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Location: Florida panhandle
great, I have the hardwood sawdust to put in and will dust the substrate with calcium. what should the soil ph be?


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 Post subject: Re: HELP millie going down
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:04 am 
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I'm not certain if PH is important to millipedes; I know it matters in raising earthworms and since the food and conditions are simmilar for millipedes I am only speculating that low PH (a common side effect to decaying plant matter) might cause problems. Powdered calcium would bring it up, but I don't bother measuring it since I add the calcium anyway.

I only add the calcium once a month or so, and only a light dusting.

Wade


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