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 Prax's Isopods

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Praxibetelix
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PostSubject: Prax's Isopods   1/12/2017, 9:25 am

Well, here is our new isopod habitat. I will add hardwood leaves to it when it stops raining. We found 4 isopods in the substrate of the wheel bug's habitat!



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T.C.
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/12/2017, 10:40 am

Nice, be sure you keep that habitat real moist. They will dry out very easy. I lost about a 100 of them once when I first started keeping them because I forgot to moisturize it.
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/12/2017, 11:43 am

If you're keeping them in a Critter Keeper, you may want to cover part of the lid with plastic wrap to help keep moisture in. The hardwood leaves will go a long way, but you may also want to add some rotting wood or a couple pieces of bark for them to hide under. I think you have something in the genus Armadillidium, so they actually don't need it as moist as other isopod genera. Really wet will end up killing them, especially if there really isn't any ventilation. Kind of an odd balance you have to strike, but once you get the hang of it you'll have happy isopods and then probably dozens of little ones running around Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/12/2017, 11:50 am

pannaking22 wrote:
If you're keeping them in a Critter Keeper, you may want to cover part of the lid with plastic wrap to help keep moisture in. The hardwood leaves will go a long way, but you may also want to add some rotting wood or a couple pieces of bark for them to hide under. I think you have something in the genus Armadillidium, so they actually don't need it as moist as other isopod genera. Really wet will end up killing them, especially if there really isn't any ventilation. Kind of an odd balance you have to strike, but once you get the hang of it you'll have happy isopods and then probably dozens of little ones running around Smile

I like to use sand personally myself, as it holds moisture fairly well. I got a bunch of little ones running around in mine. However I am changing the habitat so the little white ones might get left behind. i am considering just taking the big ones out and as the little ones become more visible, i will move them into the new habitat as well.
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Hisserdude
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/12/2017, 12:37 pm

T.C. wrote:
pannaking22 wrote:
If you're keeping them in a Critter Keeper, you may want to cover part of the lid with plastic wrap to help keep moisture in. The hardwood leaves will go a long way, but you may also want to add some rotting wood or a couple pieces of bark for them to hide under. I think you have something in the genus Armadillidium, so they actually don't need it as moist as other isopod genera. Really wet will end up killing them, especially if there really isn't any ventilation. Kind of an odd balance you have to strike, but once you get the hang of it you'll have happy isopods and then probably dozens of little ones running around Smile

I like to use sand personally myself, as it holds moisture fairly well. I got a bunch of little ones running around in mine. However I am changing the habitat so the little white ones might get left behind. i am considering just taking the big ones out and as the little ones become more visible, i will move them into the new habitat as well.

Sand is really abrasive and can be harmful to invertebrates that aren't psammophiles, coconut fiber or potting soil are much better for isopods and also retain moisture well. Plus, sand is hard to dig through when wet, and many isopods enjoy digging.
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Hisserdude
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/12/2017, 12:39 pm

pannaking22 wrote:
I think you have something in the genus Armadillidium, so they actually don't need it as moist as other isopod genera.

Indeed, Armadillidium vulgare to be exact. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/12/2017, 1:11 pm

I mix in a little bit of sand with my isopod substrates, but the bulk of it is cocofiber, moss, and leaves/wood. There's only one species that I know of that seems to like sand, Alloniscus perconvexus, but that's because it's a beach dwelling species and it would probably still do fine without sand as long as it's provided a deep substrate.
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/12/2017, 1:13 pm

I have a lot of bark pieces and stuff for them to hide under. When i had dirt, they never dug into, which was really weird. They just hid under the bark. So I made it sand, and they appear fairly content. My dirt one had mold in it, and a pretty good amount, so i was hoping sand would control it some.
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/12/2017, 1:19 pm

pannaking22 wrote:
I mix in a little bit of sand with my isopod substrates, but the bulk of it is cocofiber, moss, and leaves/wood. There's only one species that I know of that seems to like sand, Alloniscus perconvexus, but that's because it's a beach dwelling species and it would probably still do fine without sand as long as it's provided a deep substrate.

A little mixed into other substrate is OK, but keeping them on purely sand could eventually result in problems. Alloniscus, Tylos, and Armadilloniscus are all genera that would probably enjoy a sandy substrate, but like you said, sand may not be essential to their health.
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/12/2017, 3:10 pm

We just suffered the loss of our wheel bug, that was her old enclosure. The substrate is organic peat moss for starting seeds in. The kind that comes in little pellets that you get wet and they puff up. It has a rich soil smell to it now, really nice and fertile. I will mix in another pellet later.

I still need to add in the silk leaves, they will help keep the peat moist. What I did for the wheel bug and her cricket food was turn on the faucet lightly and run it along one side of the enclosure. The bugs all got their moisture and it allowed the isopods to find, or run away from, the water. The plan is to do the same since it worked out. I did purchase a spray bottle so I can mist the top of the substrate from time to time.

Hoping that when we add in the hardwood leaves and maybe a piece of bark, they might breed. Three of them were so small when we found them this summer, they looked like rice. The lighter colored individual is the (I think) mature one. The three darker ones are the babies.
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/12/2017, 3:25 pm

I think if you give it a nice misting and add a couple spots for them to hide, that'll provide some nice humid retreats for them and it'll be easy to maintain an enclosure they'll thrive in Smile They're one of the more slow growing species, but they're lots of fun to watch grow.
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/12/2017, 4:13 pm

Do they eat their molts? I know the three have grown, but we never found their molts. That would have been fun to see, an empty rolly polly shell.
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/12/2017, 4:26 pm

Yes, they'll eat them to recycle the nutrients. It's not too uncommon to find a half molted isopod wandering around since they actually molt one half at a time. Neat to see!
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/12/2017, 6:29 pm

Okay, bark and silk leaves added, it looks a lot better!



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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/12/2017, 6:52 pm

There, that should work great. I personally am kind of exploring my options right with my Isopod's and seeing what works and what does not work.
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/12/2017, 7:22 pm

You'll want to give them some dead hardwood leaves too for them to eat. They love leaves and they get quite a bit of their nutrients from them.
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/12/2017, 7:33 pm

pannaking22 wrote:
You'll want to give them some dead hardwood leaves too for them to eat. They love leaves and they get quite a bit of their nutrients from them.

I have found they love fish flakes as well. As long as they are moist anyways.
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/12/2017, 7:52 pm

Fish flakes are always very popular when I drop them in.
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/12/2017, 9:33 pm

I have fish flakes. They seem to love the carrots! It's really gross outside right now, so I'm not going leaf hunting lol. They have had a diet of carrots and dead crickets since summer, I'm sure another week or so won't hurt them Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/13/2017, 6:02 pm

Carrots are what I use the most for my isopods and they're always well munched when I check again. And true, they've gone this long and seem to be doing very well!
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/17/2017, 8:13 pm

Under the bark pieces there is a whiteish-fuzzy mold growing. This is new since adding the bark. Is this something that I need to remove? Is it something they will eat?

I am worried they will die if the mold (or fungus) is bad for them.
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/17/2017, 11:05 pm

I had a few smaller habitats of them, and this mold you speak of was under my bark as well. I never removed it and they lived. However it can kill them, depending on the kind of mold. Isopod's are real good at cleaning up left over food, so it's not super common to find mold in their habitats from my experience, at least not mold from rotting left over's.
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/18/2017, 9:49 am

Okay, thanks TC! I will leave it for now, keep in under control, and if they die, we can start over this spring/summer with new catches and lesson learned!
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PostSubject: Re: Prax's Isopods   1/19/2017, 1:21 pm

Shouldn't cause too many issues for them as long as it doesn't spread too much. This is likely just a fungal bloom due to having something fresh added to the enclosure and the microbiome is readjusting to it. It should go away over time. You can also add springtails to your enclosure and they'll eat the mold.
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