How to a) Keep crickets from escaping and B) Keep ants from eating them

S

sierra

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My chinese firebelly won't eat anything but crickets. Because he's little I have to feed him tiny crickets, and here's the problem. Because I don't like to go to the pet store every other day just to buy 30 cents of crickets, I usually buy about 30 (he eats a LOT) to hold him for four or five days. I just can't keep them in. I bought the Lees Cricket Keeper, and they all jumped out and died. I put them in a regular critter keeper, and fewer jumped out, but at least half did. Any containers out there that will hold the smallest of crickets.

Next, the ants. The ants love my crickets. They discovered them in my newt's cage some time ago and attacked them and him (he's recovered fine and is fat and healthy), and I've kept them out with vaseline all over the tank. I keep my cricket cage in a moat of water because I've long since learned that they're not safe by themselves. Now today I go in to feed him and find out that not only have all the crickets jumped out and drowned in the moat, but the ants have gotten INSIDE THE KEEPER. The keeper doesn't drift or touch the sides of the moat at all, and I've just thoroughly checked to make sure its completely surrounded by a half inch of water. How are they doing this? What do I do about it?
 
J

jennifer

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How small are the crickets? It's hard to keep the very tiny ones alive, no matter how well you treat them. One problem is that crickets like a warmer place to live than normal room temp. Be sure the crickets have a source of moisture and food to keep them alive.

I have no idea how ants could get across a moat of water - something must have been touching the edge. Also, if the crickets got out of the cage and into the moat, then the cage must be letting the crickets escape, and that's not good either.

The container I use to store crickets is a 1-quart plastic deli cup, or yogurt container. I cut a big round whole in the lid. When I put the lid in place, I put it down over top of a piece of cloth (like a square of cloth cut from an old sheet). This is very cricket-proof (they can't get out). The cloth-covered hole allows plenty of air in and out. If my description is unclear, I'll try to take a photo for you.
 

lipico

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I had problems with ants too. But i think ther don´t love the crickets, they love their eggs!
I´ve put the ice cream box where i separate cricket´s eggs behind the refrigeratos because its warm hot and the ants were in all the wall.
You could try to put some vaseline (petroleum jelly) so the ants can´t climb on it.
I use it inside my croaches´box and it helps a lot.

(sorry about the bad english guys)
 

Ed

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I use a ten gallon tank to house about 8,000 ten day old crickets at work. I used to use Fluon AD1 painted on the side of the tank but lately I've been using double sided tape and just replacing it as needed. The tank gives me enough space to gather up the crickets (paper towel rolls used as hides) and tap them into a container for feeding out (use the cut off top third of a 2-liter soda as a funnel to catch the crickets).

Ed
 

fishkeeper

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The ants are probably either floating across on debris or swimming across.

If you still want to do the moat a bit of soap or detergent in the water would stop that(and kill any ants that do still try) but I'd be wary of contaminating the crickets. Vaseline is probably easier though.
 

sammy4tbts

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Your Problem Solved?

Sierra, there haven't been any posts on this thread for a while so maybe the situation has improved, but I'll add my two-cents just in case.

I order 250 crickets at a time and they live in a standard size aquarium/terrarium tank. The sides are too high for them to escape. I bought a mesh cover for the tank so my cat won't jump in. I cut apart egg cartons (not the plasticy type) and set them on the bottom of the tank and the crickets live inside them like little huts. They huddle inside and this also makes it easy to feed my salamander; I just pick up one of the huts and shake it over the tiger's tank until a few crickets fall out. I usually buy 4 or 5 week old crickets, not the smallest ones, but sometimes they do reproduce and by the time I run out of the bigger ones, I have a whole new batch. Crickets will drown if there's water available to them, but you can buy gelled water for them. I buy cricket feed and also give them oatmeal, potato and fruit.

Where do the ants come from?
 

sammy4tbts

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sorry, posted twice.
 
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