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Housing

The tank

  • Slaters need a glass tank 60 centimetres × 30 centimetres × 30 centimetres high with a wooden or steel lid, 70 percent of which is covered with plastic or steel insect mesh or shade cloth for ventilation.
  • On the base, provide friable soil 30–50 millimetres deep and mounded to assist drainage.
  • Provide a few rocks so that the slaters can climb off the soil and some places for them to hide. Pieces of rotten wood, bricks, or stones in layers will provide very thin spaces for slaters to creep into. Some species of slaters prefer to shelter in large groups and are attracted by other individuals, so their shelter should be large enough for this to occur.

Environment

  • A dark, well-ventilated part of the room away from sunlight is the best site for the slater enclosure.
  • Slaters can survive at room temperatures of 10–20°C, but they are not very tolerant of temperatures above this. The average should be 14–18°C.
  • Humidity levels are also important. These can vary from 50 to 70 percent, but the space under the shelter should be only slightly damp. You can obtain the correct humidity levels within the enclosure by misting every second day during dry weather and every fourth or fifth day in cool and/or damp weather. Once the enclosure is set up, the slaters will move into the areas that best suit their feeding or resting requirements.

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