How To Set Up A Stick Insect Tank | exotic pets only (2023)

Do you want to buy a stick insect but are wondering where or how you will store it?

Know that this is the most important decision you will ever make regarding your future pet. Incorrect posture can drastically affect the quality of life of insects. In addition, it can lead to the spread of disease and make it impossible for stick insects to molt.

However, you can build an enclosure at home with nothing more than a wooden frame and some glass panes. It's not difficult for someone with good DIY skills to build a bug tank.

However, there are a number of factors that you should consider before proceeding.

In this guide we explain how to assemble a stick insect tank.

For more tips and information on keeping and caring for stick insects, see my eBook on Amazon.Click here(opens in a new tab).

How To Set Up A Stick Insect Tank | exotic pets only (1)

How big should a stick insect tank be?

Your first consideration is tank size. This is more important than you might think at first because it's not just about how much space your pets have to move around.

Stick insects also need a certain height to shed their skin properly. Each stick insect species requires a different amount of space depending on how large it is as a species.

For example, the Indian stick insect requires an estimated height of 18 inches to comfortably moult. But even then, it's always better to add at least a few inches more just to be safe.

But why is the molting process so crucial for a stick insect? Let's take a closer look at this phenomenon.

The skin shedding process is fundamental to the growth cycle of any stick insect. When they move, theyshed your entire outer layer of skin. This marks a new phase in the growth process, meaning that the stick insect grows slightly larger after each molt; the process will continue untilreach adulthood.

However, many people are unaware that stick insects are just subadult animals for most of their lives. After the final moult, they only survive as adults for three to six months. Typically, a stick insect will have gone through between six and nine instars before reaching adulthood. Now that you know a little more about the molting process, you should also know that if a stick insect is unable to molt, it could die.

Coupled with the height of the enclosure, this is important because stick insects will climb up and hang upside down on any object they find at the required height. It can be difficult for the hobby stick locust owner to understand how much space is needed to successfully complete the molting process. All I know is that it's a very delicate process.

Therefore, the actual size of the enclosure will depend on the needs and size of the particular stick insect species.

for example onethe fear of christinafrom North Americagrows to only half an inch long as an adult. So it makes sense that this species doesn't need the 18 inches that an Indian stick insect has to comfortably wriggle out every time.

So this is where good research comes in.

How To Set Up A Stick Insect Tank | exotic pets only (2)

Do you promote disease?

Now that we've talked about size, we need to talk about hygiene.

Did you know that the biggest threat to any stick insect colony is disease? Fungal infections are quite common due to the natural conditions most stick insects prefer. They feed on leaves that are not directly removed from the branch and prefer moist environments. All of these conditions can come together to create a breeding ground for disease.

So yes, the spread of disease is highly dependent on how well the enclosure is cleaned (regularly). Despite this, crowded conditions can also lead to the spread of fungal infections.

So don't be afraid to split up your colonies and set up another stick insect tank if you think the disease is spreading or is likely to spread in the near future.

Unfortunately, this is largely a matter of trial and error, especially for the novice stick insect owner. However, if you talk to other stick insect owners (think online forums, Q&A sites, etc.) you can get an idea of ​​how many there areerrors you might havein a single tank of a given size.

Do you have the right temperatures?

Regulating the temperature is one of the most important tasks when setting up a stick insect tank.

Different species prefer different temperatures and humidity levels. HePhobaeticus Kirbyifrom Borneo, for example, originates from tropical soil and therefore requires higher humidity than many stick insects native to colder climates. While some stick insect species can adapt, most are never perfectly adapted.

Another reason the stick insect needs the right temperature is to help it molt. If it is too cold or not enough moisture, the skin can become very tough, making skinning difficult and potentially damaging the stick insect in the process.

Again, it's all about research. Make sure you learn what your species needs.

It is also important to mention that if thetoo high a temperature changes the development of the insects. Warmer than normal temperatures will age your stick insect more quickly.

So how do you ensure your stick insect aquarium is at the right temperature?

Heat mats and heat lamps are your best friends. Additionally, if you have a glass tank, avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, especially during the hottest summer months.

You should have as much control over the conditions as possible.

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What does it take to build a stick insect cage?

We briefly talked about the need for heating mats and lights to regulate the temperature of your insect tank. Now let us give you a list of the materials you will need to start assembling your cage.

Madeira–The perfect frame for your cage is wood. Metal can be used, but metal makes the cage extremely heavy and difficult to move. In addition, it is more expensive and complicated to work with metal. We recommend a strong, hard wood to build your cage.

Acrylic– Plexiglas is a good choice if you want a material that will last a lifetime and not break. It is ideal for exotic insects that require high humidity. The only disadvantage of Plexiglas is that it is relatively expensive.

was– Conventional glass is the preferred choice of most stick insect owners. It's cheap and obviously allows for perfect vision. Plus, it's fairly easy to work with and gives stick insects the warmer conditions they need. However, remember that they cannot climb the glass.

insect net– Compensation is something you may not have thought of. Place it on your tank walls and your bugs will now have more places to climb. It should be considered essential in a glass case to promote good release.

These are the basic materials to start creating a closet. Now you need to start putting it together.

How to assemble a stick insect from scratch at home?

There are many different types of cages you can make, but the principle is always the same. It will be cuboid and you just need to find the right dimensions.

Setup shouldn't take more than an afternoon. There are many online resources for this, like this one atcraft room.

The real challenge is getting the conditions right. Conditions that are too hot or too cold affect the lifespan and quality of life of stick insects.

At the end of the day, if all of the above seems a bit overwhelming, you can buy a pre-made stick insect cage.

This would give you the benefit of speaking to an expert for advice and information. You'll also get help choosing the right type of cage for your particular stick insect.

If you've never had a stick insect before, we recommend purchasing a cage and speaking to a professional first. He or she will be able to enlighten you on a few things including the right type of cage, how often to clean it, how many stick insects you can comfortably fit together, etc.

Conclusion: are you ready to go?

With all this knowledge, you should have everything you need to start crafting a tank for your new stick insects.

Tip number one is to find out as much as you can about your species. Find out what they need to thrive, including conditions, how much space they need, and how to get along with other species nearby.

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