Hydrating Dubia Roaches with Pure Water

Hydrating Dubia Roaches with Pure Water

As enthusiasts in the world of reptile and amphibian care, we understand the profound impact a pet's diet can have on their overall health. Dubia roaches, a cornerstone in many reptile diets due to their protein richness, are not just about the nutrients they offer but also about how they're nurtured. Here, we explore why real water is not just a choice, but a necessity, for Dubia roaches and ultimately, for your pets.

The Water Crystal Controversy: Polyacrylamide Unveiled

Water crystals, while often marketed for their convenience, contain an active ingredient called polyacrylamide. This chemical, designed to absorb water, might not be as beneficial as one might think:

  1. Indigestibility: Polyacrylamide isn't easily digestible. When ingested by roaches, it takes up valuable space in their digestive system that should be reserved for nutrient-rich foods, fruits, or vegetables.
  2. FDA Restrictions: The FDA does not allow insects meant for human consumption to be fed water crystals. This restriction should give us pause and make us reconsider their use for our pets.
  3. Impact on Pets: Consumed in large quantities, these water crystals can clog a pet's digestive system. Given that roaches are a significant component of many reptiles' diets, we inadvertently introduce these non-digestible elements into our pets.
  4. Hinders Optimal Nutrition: With water crystals occupying space meant for nourishing food, Dubia roaches might not be as nutritionally rich as they should be.

The Power of Real Water

Using real water isn’t just about avoiding the potential pitfalls of water crystals:

  1. Natural Behavior: Real water encourages roaches to drink in a manner consistent with their natural habitat.
  2. Promotes Growth: Dubia roaches thrive and grow faster when given access to pure water.
  3. Enhanced Longevity: A better hydration source means roaches live longer, ensuring a consistent food supply for pets.
  4. Boosted Reproduction: If you're breeding Dubia roaches, real water enhances their reproductive rates, promising a steady population.
  5. Cost-Effective: With tap or filtered water, you sidestep the ongoing costs of water crystals.

Method 1: The Tile & Paper Towel Technique: This method is quite ingenious and simple. Here's what you need to do:


  1. Take a 6x6" tile and place a paper towel folded in half on top.
  2. Fill a cup halfway with water and place the tile on top.
  3. Carefully flip the entire setup, ensuring the cup is upside down. The magic here is that the water won't spill out, but the paper towel will wick it, offering an accessible water source for your Dubia roaches.


  • Provides a large surface area for roaches to drink from.
  • Low risk of drowning.
  • Easy to set up and requires minimal materials.

Method 2: The Gravel Jar Technique: This method adds a bit of flair to your roach habitat.

  1. Start by placing some aquarium gravel in a jar, then fill it with water.
  2. Set this jar inside a cricket waterer.
  3. Add more aquarium gravel around the rim, ensuring it's going over the water line to prevent the roaches from drowning.
  4. If needed, sand the outside of the cricket waterer. This will make it easier for the roaches to climb and access the water.


  • Can have a nice appearance with fancy aquarium gravel.
  • Multiple roaches can access the water simultaneously.
  • The gravel prevents drowning.

Method 3: The Lid Oasis: A straightforward and efficient method.

  1. Place either a sponge or aquarium gravel inside a jar lid filled with water.
  2. If the roaches are having difficulty climbing, consider sanding or scuffing the outside of the lid.


  • Versatile and uses readily available household items.
  • Safe with a low risk of drowning.
  • Suitable for smaller colonies.


At Better Than Crickets, our commitment lies in the health and well-being of both Dubia roaches and your cherished pets. By opting for real water over water crystals, you ensure a more nutritious, safe, and natural diet for your roaches, which translates to healthier food for your pets. The decision becomes clear: for the welfare of your pets and their food source, pure water is undeniably "Better Than Crystals!"

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