I decided the opportunity and experience is too good to pass up so I pulled the trigger and purchased a pair of G. Goliatus. I'm excited to start up breeding large beetles again just as I did illegally when I was 11 years old (I didn't know better!). As if it weren't already a challenge I'm upping the ante and doing it covertly in a college dorm room (roommate is A-ok with it). I've read as much as I can on the topic and am left with some questions - especially helpful are answers that will help me optimize my setup for space and price. Sorry for such a lengthy post but I am sure at least some of you will have recommendations or answers. Thanks!!
1. I've read in Meier's guide "The Breeding/Rearing of Goliathus" that it is recommended that gravid females should be housed on a roughly 60/40 substrate of well-rotten deciduous hardwood (flake soil like) and organic potting soil; my problem here is I am not able to make my own flake soil and sufficiently filling a 50cm X 40cm X 60cm tub with purchased flake soil gets very pricey from what I've seen and mixing it with lots of peat or potting soil lowers its reusability value for my Rhinos and Stags.
I've thought of a few solutions but appreciate any recommendations. I could lower the ratio in favor of cheaper potting soil, I'd also like to ask for potting soil recommendations and if pearlite is safe for Goliathus, and check more frequently in hopes that I can quickly move eggs to more nutritious soil. The downside to this is the possibility of disturbing egg laying and preventing it by offering lower quality substrate.
I've seen others using smaller containers and some foreign breeders using far smaller containers than mentioned in Meier or Scarabs #78 - input on this would be great for me as saving space and FS would be great.
2. I have read recommendations in Scarabs #78 to change larvae substrate every 10 days - while this is doable I'd like to ask how to clean substrate in the hopes it can be reused; if at all possible. I have also seen in Daniel Ambuehl "Breeding Goliathus..." that Harink mentions he only swaps the substrate after he notices an increase in mites or droppings.
Already this forum has been so helpful! Thank you everyone! I'm sure I will have many more questions as I continue this project.