Necessity of Leaves?

For everything isopod - breeding, keeping, and as clean up crews. Also known as pill bugs and rolly-pollies!
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AutumnFalls
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Necessity of Leaves?

Post by AutumnFalls » Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:07 pm

Hi guys. I unexpectedly got some new isopods. A person I'd talked to about a year ago was in town with some orange isopods. I kept them in smaller enclosure to give them more time to breed before transferring them into the hermit crab tank.They're in my main tank and seem to be doing well. But, I don't have any leaves in the tank. It's the middle of winter here and I can't gather any from my yard (they're insecticide etc free). Do they need leaves to eat if they have substrate, cholla wood, calcium, and leftover crab food? If so, I'll try to find some to buy.

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Motörcrab
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Re: Necessity of Leaves?

Post by Motörcrab » Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:47 pm

Leaf litter is great for Isopods and hermit crabs. Oak, Maple, Birch, Cattapa, Sea Grape and Burning Bush are all favorites in our tanks. We add a leaf or two every few days and they always get picked at.

If you click on the link in my profile there are a lot of crab food vendors that sell them. I know The Crabstreet Marketplace had Burning Bush in stock. We purchased some right before Christmas. Becauseofcrabs on Etsy also has an assortment for sale too.
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Re: Necessity of Leaves?

Post by AutumnFalls » Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:07 pm

Thanks. Unfortunately, since I'm in Canada, it's hard to order crab stuff online, especially if it's organic. Shipping is often super expensive and it's hard to ship organic material across the border. :( I'll still check the links out and look locally for leaf litter.

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Re: Necessity of Leaves?

Post by AutumnFalls » Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:18 pm

Instead of a new topic, I thought I'd ask here first. I ended up gathering some old, dead leaves from my backyard where I know there's no pesticides. I'm hoping to get a bunch of fresh ones come spring/summer and store them for next winter. My question is how should I store them?

Side question: what besides cuttlebone is a good source of calcium for isopods? I'm out of cuttlebone and don't want to risk going to the pet store. I'm not sure what calcium sources I have besides eggshells.

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Re: Necessity of Leaves?

Post by Xenocrab » Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:24 pm

Leaves and bark should be baked or frozen, we do both, to kill bugs, mites, etc before adding it to the tank if we collect from the outside. Cuttlebone can be bought at Walmart in the bird section. Our Dollar Stores have them too. Egg shells also are good for calcium. Oyster shells are good too. Some Walmarts carry bags of them in the pet section.
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Re: Necessity of Leaves?

Post by Links » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:38 pm

Hey y’all! I’ve been on the quest for leaves as well and finally (2 months ago) a trip to one local nutrition store had some new items I didn’t see before. The guy working thought we were crazy because I was going through all their jars scooping out small amounts. He asked what it all was for. We said hermit crabs. He gave us a funny look. He said no really. We said really! We are serious. He then said some people smoke some of that stuff. 😂 I guess he never believed me.

Anyway I found: spirulina, kelp powder, calendula flower, raspberry leaves, elderberry flowers and berries, rose hips, rose petals, dandelion leaves and root, hibiscus flowers and dulse leaf.

I still need: catappa (Indian almond leaves) which I just ordered online and burning bush leaves. I also just ordered bee pollen.

I’m on the right track. Thanks to you all here on HCA!

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Re: Necessity of Leaves?

Post by Motörcrab » Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:42 pm

Health food stores are the way to go for single ingredient items if they offer a bulk self serve area. It's a dimes to dollars comparison in price.

As for calcium's readily available at home. If you have bones from chicken or meats that have not been seasoned they would be safe. I personally would boil them in dechlorinated fresh water first. People do offer them raw. With the heat and humidity cooked bones would probably last longer than raw.
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Re: Necessity of Leaves?

Post by Links » Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:53 am

Hope I’m not veering too off topic. But on the subject of feeding bones I have actually taken some chicken legs but had a little bit of meat left on them and put them in a food processor or a coffee grinder and then I put them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer the crabs really seem to love that bone, marrow and meat

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Re: Necessity of Leaves?

Post by AutumnFalls » Thu Apr 16, 2020 5:21 pm

Xenocrab wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:24 pm
Leaves and bark should be baked or frozen, we do both, to kill bugs, mites, etc before adding it to the tank if we collect from the outside. Cuttlebone can be bought at Walmart in the bird section. Our Dollar Stores have them too. Egg shells also are good for calcium. Oyster shells are good too. Some Walmarts carry bags of them in the pet section.

Unfortunately, In at higher risk for the virus so until things calm down, I'm only going to stores I can walk to which means I'm limited to Superstore (a grocery store) or Dollarama. I haven't seen cuttlebone at either store but I'll take another look. I don't currently have chicken bones, but that is a valid option. I have a few oyster shells that I use for food dishes. Should I leave a few in the tank?

As for the leaves, how do you bake them without burning them?

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Re: Necessity of Leaves?

Post by Links » Fri Apr 17, 2020 5:17 am

Don’t quote me on this but I think baking them at 200°F for 10 min or so. Wood might need 30 min. Just as long as you get the heat through the material. I just soaked my oak leaves in dechlorinated water then microwaved them for 30 seconds or less which may not be correct.

I’ve also thought of taking my oyster shell “dish” and put it in a sock and pulverize it with a hammer on a concrete surface. Haven’t done it yet. Also I have noticed pieces broken on some of my other dishes they must’ve pinched off. And once I threw in a couple snail shells and looks like they’ve pinched at those as well.


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Re: Necessity of Leaves?

Post by CrabbyChelle628 » Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:51 pm

On the subject of Bark I just got some large chunks from my dad. How do I bake? And at what temp?Image


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Re: Necessity of Leaves?

Post by CrabbyChelle628 » Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:51 pm

Oak bark


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Re: Necessity of Leaves?

Post by CrabbyChelle628 » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:01 pm

AutumnFalls wrote:
Unfortunately, In at higher risk for the virus so until things calm down, I'm only going to stores I can walk to which means I'm limited to Superstore (a grocery store) or Dollarama. I haven't seen cuttlebone at either store but I'll take another look. I don't currently have chicken bones, but that is a valid option. I have a few oyster shells that I use for food dishes. Should I leave a few in the tank?

As for the leaves, how do you bake them without burning them?
What temp and how long?


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Re: Necessity of Leaves?

Post by Links » Tue Apr 21, 2020 5:55 am

I baked my driftwood at 200°F for 30 min. Bark wouldn’t take as long because it’s not as thick. But I didn’t bake my bark I just threw it in the tank. Maybe not very smart since I suppose there could be some insects or insect eggs that could lead to an unwanted outbreak or some pest that could affect the crabs (which I haven’t found any evidence of that happening to someone else). Ive also had bark with moss and I shook it up in a jar of water and rinsed several times then final rinsed with dechlorinated, then quarantined for 2 weeks before adding to the tank.

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