Tutorial#2- Choosing the Right Dermestidarium For You!
The type of Dermestidarium that you chose will depend on what you want to do with your Colony. If you are just looking to breed them to clean a few cleaner insect cages then less then 500+ would be good. This can easily be maintained in a small Kritter-Keeper with some substrate.
For those who want to keep them more as a hobby though it is recommended that you start out small, the Kritter-keeper I mentioned earlier works well for a small to medium sized colony. I currently have my Attagenus colony in one and they are doing well. But as the colony grows you may need a bigger Dermestidarium. Something like a 5 gallon aquarium works well. But you may have to add some barriers so they can't climb up the sealant used so the aquarium can hold water. Something like some clear packing tape works well. It is also recommended you add in an inch or so of bedding, this can be anything from some wheat bran, or something like wood chips. Wood chips require less overall maintence as you don't have to worry about it spoiling or other complications. Once the colony grows even more you can choose to split the population down the middle or keep them going into a bigger setup [such as a 10Gallon aquarium]. You will need to provide them a bigger home each time however, although colonies usually grow quite slow and you only need to move them once every 6-8 months depending on the population.
Now finally for those who want to do game heads [skulls] then a modified Freezer much like the ones in this thread on a different forum would work:
Since I don't know much about using Modified Freezers for Dermestid beetles, or using Dermestids for the art of skull cleaning I can't say too much here. All I know is from what I've read. Firstly here are a few things you'll need to do before you add any beetles:
1- Gut the entire freezer, no electrical wiring and such can be present, as beetles like to chew on them and can make a mess [remember the freezer isn't plugged in so there isn't any risk of fire]
2- Make absolute sure there are no holes at all. Expoxy the whole inside of the freezer, two to three coats is usually good. Make sure you allow it to airdry for at least 48 hrs before adding any beetles.
3- Add in a few inches of substrate, and some cardboard/styro-foam for them to pupate into.
4- Add in your beetles and feed them something like a piece of hot dog, just to get them ready to clean skulls.
Once that's done then you can skull clean, depending on the number of beetles you have, if you have less then 1500+ I would wait at least 3-5 months before cleaning any bear, or deer skulls. But that is for a different topic once I gain a little more knowledge in the Skull Cleaning Game.
Hope this gave you a run down on Dermestidariums, more tutorials on the way!