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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About 7-8 months ago, I decided to start a cricket culture. I have red eyed tree frogs and hate wasting so much money on crickets at pet stores. My first culture went great. I cleaned it out and fed off the last of the crickets about a month and a half ago. It honestly never really smelled over the 6 months I had it. If you literally put your head in it, it kinda smelled like a hamster cage. But it wasn't disgusting. So I cleaned out the tub and started a new culture (started with 500 1/4inch just like the first time) a Month and a half ago. Within 2 weeks, it started smelling bad. It got so bad, that I had to remove all the crickets, vermiculite, egg cartons, & paper tubes & clean it again. There were a significant amount of dead ones under all the egg cartons, and I noticed small worms along the edges. I figured they might be cricket larvae? Anyways, I put the same crickets back in (only the living ones) but with everything else new. It was fine for a week...now it's gotten really smelly again.

The only thing I can think that would be making it smell so unbelievably bad are the massive amount of dead crickets and their gross rotting bodies. Yes their waste smells, but I hadn't had that problem in my last culture. Why does it smell so bad?? Why are so many dying? Has anyone else had these issues? Could they have a virus or disease they are all catching or something?

I don't have a garage or basement...the crickets kinda have to be in the main part of my house. If I can't get the smell under control, they have to go..and maybe the tree frogs too:(

More information on my culture (if this helps):
20ish gallon tub
2-3 inches of plain vermiculite in bottom of tub
2 large holes cut in lid with metal screening over the holes
4-5 large pieces of egg carton
5-6 paper towel tubes
2 large water/gel crystal bowls (I try to keep their water out of the vermiculite so mold doesn't start)
Plenty of dry cricket food
Some pieces of potato, lettuce, carrots (not so much that it's rotting tho)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't think my feed is calcium based...but I'll have to check with my supplier. He just sells zip locks full for $5. I will definitely keep that in mind, thanks! And the Dubia roaches.....I did try those once. But I was actually more grossed out by them than the crickets:( A few got out and I found them occasionally running around my house for months after. Mainly when it was hot & humid during the summer. Haven't seen any lately. But, it's true, they really didn't smell. Thanks for the advice, all:)
 
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