gwa84 gwa84
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  • Posted on: 3/4/2009 1:08
to LHG about praying mantids and plants #1
could you give me some of your worldly info on best set ups for chineas praying mantids and a good plant that would grow under aquarium plant grow tubes i have kept them befor but not sure i did the best i could ive got 4 juveniles coming to me soon and am planing a little breeding project
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longhairedgit longhairedgit
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  • Posted on: 3/4/2009 2:20
Re: to LHG about praying mantids and plants #2
That will be four seperate enclosures then. Vicious little swines they are. Very likely to kill and eat each other. I assume were talking about Tenodera aridifolia sinensis?

Keep em in something that would do for a green anole really, except no UV or direct basking needed. Go with misting over water bowls, or have a mini dripper. Humdiddity about 60-80 percent variable. Temps 75f ish. Regulate the humidity with good absorptive substrate, sometimes having the plants in a planter with compost, sand, coconut husk, a little gravel it the bottom for drainage and topped off with (preferably live) sphagnum kept moist will do most of that job for you.

Now low level light plants for vivaria are best and also ones that like it moist around the roots,so stuff like cacti succulents, yukka, dracaenas, snakeplants and beaucarnias are out, which leaves one of the hobbys mainstays - ficus benjamina, variagated or not the choice is yours, but an excellent plant and tough enough and multidirectional enough for lots of climbing space.Devils ivy, small specimens of cheeseplants, are also really good for structural climbing, and of course you can choose flowering plants for a splash of colour, though obviously pesticide free plants are very important. Lower level plants can be stuff like silver lace fern, spider plants are good at floor level, and philodendron have that classic tropical look. Peace lily's would work too, but if you want em to flower you'd have to put em in a window for a bit. Bearing in mind cricket damage its best to have plants that you can rotate to windowledges for recovery.

Given that crickets tend to chew almost any plant, though most arent fond of dieffenbachia, its also worth going for plastic ones, no shame in that. Vine- woods and can add structure if the real plants are short on horizontal stems. Some of the less fragile epiphytes are worth a go, and you can if you have the green thumb go for shade loving tropical orchids, which lets face it, can take a mantis tank from interesting to spectacular. Cork bark towers with that lot glue gunned on could look amazing.

This is a big insect, females a little larger than males 10-11cm and there has to be shedding room, so that needs space to be whatever is comfortable off ground, plus length of the insect, plus same again to get out of its skin. So youd be talking something about 40cm x40cm x20cm minimum really. A tall hex tank with a partition in the middle could work well. Or for ease of environment control, a narrow, tall, and long 40-55 gal aquarium with 3 seperators of aluminium finegrade mesh could be groovy (they can walk on it, thus increasing room to move). Less ventilation issues and more predictable humidity.

Breeding...hmmmm interesting times there. Largely biggest challenge being getting the male out in one piece, but aside from that very satisfying. I'm not positive but sometimes seeing a mate through mesh might get them introduced, but watch for them leg biting and trying to drag each other through.

Ootheca, one of my favourite words lol. Watching them build one is spectacular. Hatching day, you have to see that. After that a bit less fun , primarily because of the cannabalism, but hey, the dragon will take care of spares you dont want. Not that the mantids dont lol.
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gwa84 gwa84
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  • Posted on: 3/4/2009 21:11
Re: to LHG about praying mantids and plants #3
thanks bud ime kind of having a bad month at the moment and to top it all of drago the beardi gave up his fight with mbd and lack of apatite yesterday night i was going to put a post up but that just reminded me he had a good as possible life with me but you cant save them all aa mate dousnt stop you being well gutted when they just give up thou by the end i was force feeding pinkies and locusts just to get something dawn him but he had lost movement in his back end so i know their wasn't long i expected him to last the night to get to the vet in the morning but just didn't

i was looking at his empty viv and considering using it for the mantis all sectioned of with a sort of perspex boxes with good hight and i can make use of the thermostats and ceramic heater to keep it stable and the strip light fitting above the boxes for plant growth obviously changing the bulb if needed unless they are fine with the reptile tube do you think its possible to go paladeria with these guys i was thinking dwarf aquatic frogs maybe
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cathie cathie
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  • Posted on: 3/4/2009 21:22
Re: to LHG about praying mantids and plants #4
OH so sorry you lost your bearded dragon Post a picture RIP?
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gwa84 gwa84
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  • Posted on: 3/4/2009 23:45
Re: to LHG about praying mantids and plants #5
rip ya cheeky little fella you will be missed

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longhairedgit longhairedgit
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  • Posted on: 4/4/2009 9:05
Re: to LHG about praying mantids and plants #6
Yeah I know that feeling, I was given a 60 year old greek tortoise years ago, it had almost never seen the great outdoors or proper temperatures, I got as far with curing its MBD as ending its rear leg paralysis, even to the point he stood tall once for for the first time in 20 years. Got the shell rekeratinised, healed his sores, got the skin into good condition, got his beak growth and length normal and less brittle, even managed to get one eye to heal so it could see again, I even got him laid, lol. But it had severe septic arthritis in its joints because of the long term legacy of MBD, and one bout of that claimed its life. Once MBD has ever been allowed to become severe you rarely get to win, thats why I did all the big stickies in the inverts and reptiles section. Its nearly always those bad joints that get em in the end. I had a calotes that went for much the same reasons as yours I suspect, the agamids are some of the lizards that get the most advanced symptoms the quickest. If your not given a dragon with MBD half the time people have already made them morbidly obese or anorexic. Helping the ones with anorexia is a major challenge. I totally sympathise.

Rip little dragon.

If your ever of a mind to start a gain but with a more moist setup, try a female thai water dragon, they have a similar personality and put it this way - rarely anorexic, and more active. Great fun to watch them run on hind legs , and preen and do their skin in waterfalls and baths, and they run the length of a room to take food off you.I adored my little tatsu. Have to watch emn for nose rubbing, but they are easier to supplement than beardies and dont need the cage so hot either.Everyone wants iguanas and beardies but thai water dragons are little gems and at 3 foot, not too big to handle. Maybe not as showy as basilisks but much calmer and easier.
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gwa84 gwa84
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  • Posted on: 4/4/2009 13:35
Re: to LHG about praying mantids and plants #7
thanks cathie and LHG

them water dragons do look nice don't they but at the moment the way finances and my situation is going i cant really take eny more long term commitments on its been a year from hell for me and its hardly even started
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suey2 suey2
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  • Posted on: 4/4/2009 15:15
Re: to LHG about praying mantids and plants #8
Sorry you lost him, he looks really nice in the pic, like he's smiling
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longhairedgit longhairedgit
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  • Posted on: 5/4/2009 0:57
Re: to LHG about praying mantids and plants #9
Actually it shows doesnt it, GWA has already mentioned before how he and his dragon interacted and he was obviously very comfortable, happy, and allowed his freedoms. Even in the pose you can tell he's very comfy, even keen about the presence of the photographer, totally non-suboordinated pose, calm look, eager disposition. That dragon was very happy with his owner. Maybe his life was a little shorter than it could have been thanks to the damage done by another owner, but the dragon got some happy times with a natural reptile keeper, and thats a very good thing.
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longhairedgit longhairedgit
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  • Posted on: 23/4/2009 3:34
Re: to LHG about praying mantids and plants #10
Oh, I wouldnt go paludarium with mantids, the super high humidy will inhibit their breathing, plus they are supercarnivores for an insect, they can even eat small lizards, I wouldnt put them past catching a frog and eating it. They pretty much sit there all day passively hunting, if theres ever a way to get to the frog they will figure it out.
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