Is it necessary to have leaf litter in my isopods tank?

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DreaminginBlue
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Is it necessary to have leaf litter in my isopods tank?

Post by DreaminginBlue » Tue May 02, 2017 9:46 pm

I have a ten gallon I recently set up for isopods. It has about 3 inches of eco earth, a large piece of bark for them to hide under, and a bunch of terrarium moss. I had some oak leaves and twigs in there too, but they got moldy really fast so I had to take them out.
The isopods seemed to like the moss much better anyway, so can I just add more moss and ditch the oak leaves? I love that the moss doesn't mold and retains moisture well. If I absolutely need leaf litter, what can I do to keep it from molding so fast?
Thanks,
DIB

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Re: Is it necessary to have leaf litter in my isopods tank?

Post by GotButterflies » Tue May 02, 2017 10:12 pm

Weird- why is the leaf litter molding? Are you keeping their tank the right temperature?


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Re: Is it necessary to have leaf litter in my isopods tank?

Post by DreaminginBlue » Tue May 02, 2017 10:17 pm

It's just at room temp, so around what they had in my backyard. No heat source...
I spray once or twice a day for humidity but I'm not sure how necessary this is?
Also, I have a few sheets of Saran Wrap over the screen lid- could that be the problem?

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Re: Is it necessary to have leaf litter in my isopods tank?

Post by soilentgringa » Tue May 02, 2017 10:52 pm

DreaminginBlue wrote:It's just at room temp, so around what they had in my backyard. No heat source...
I spray once or twice a day for humidity but I'm not sure how necessary this is?
Also, I have a few sheets of Saran Wrap over the screen lid- could that be the problem?
It's a staple food source for them, so it's fairly important.

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Re: Is it necessary to have leaf litter in my isopods tank?

Post by DreaminginBlue » Tue May 02, 2017 11:02 pm

Okay. Is there anything I can do to keep it from getting moldy so fast? Should I bake it dry instead of just rinsing and freezing it before adding it to the tank?

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Re: Is it necessary to have leaf litter in my isopods tank?

Post by soilentgringa » Tue May 02, 2017 11:45 pm

DreaminginBlue wrote:Okay. Is there anything I can do to keep it from getting moldy so fast? Should I bake it dry instead of just rinsing and freezing it before adding it to the tank?
How often are you misting? They don't need to be misted every day.

I wouldn't bake them, no. I always just froze mine.

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Re: Is it necessary to have leaf litter in my isopods tank?

Post by soilentgringa » Tue May 02, 2017 11:46 pm

Also they will eat the mold so it really doesn't matter if the leaves get moldy.

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Re: Is it necessary to have leaf litter in my isopods tank?

Post by GotButterflies » Wed May 03, 2017 5:56 am

I would also check the temperature of the tank. I live in Florida- and because I run the air in my house, I bought a small heater for mine. They thrived until it had a lot of food mites and I didn't like that-


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Re: Is it necessary to have leaf litter in my isopods tank?

Post by DreaminginBlue » Wed May 03, 2017 8:20 am

Okay- I'll cut down on the misting. As for the temperature of the tank, it's hovering around room temperature in my house- which is currently 77 and is usually somewhere in the 70s, at the lowest maybe 68.
Also, how long does it take for them to breed?

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Re: Is it necessary to have leaf litter in my isopods tank?

Post by GotButterflies » Wed May 03, 2017 8:43 am

To each's own - but personally I think you should get your temp up a tad. The damp moss will make their cage cooler. They are breeding like crazy in my crabitats - and I keep those around 81-85. As far as the breeding, they will breed if you provide them with food, calcium and the right environment. Just be patient :)
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Re: Is it necessary to have leaf litter in my isopods tank?

Post by DreaminginBlue » Wed May 03, 2017 9:50 am

Oh, okay. I worried about heating the tank after reading that they don't like warm temperatures (I have A. Vulgare). Maybe I'll try that and see if it helps, I guess I was trying to keep the temperature consistent with what they'd have if they were still in the yard.
They have some pieces of cuttlebone I put on the sub, and I'll add more leaf litter as soon as I have a chance. I've heard it takes 2-4 weeks for them to start breeding. I've already seen some mating, so who knows when I'll have babies.

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Re: Is it necessary to have leaf litter in my isopods tank?

Post by soilentgringa » Wed May 03, 2017 2:22 pm

DreaminginBlue wrote:Oh, okay. I worried about heating the tank after reading that they don't like warm temperatures (I have A. Vulgare). Maybe I'll try that and see if it helps, I guess I was trying to keep the temperature consistent with what they'd have if they were still in the yard.
They have some pieces of cuttlebone I put on the sub, and I'll add more leaf litter as soon as I have a chance. I've heard it takes 2-4 weeks for them to start breeding. I've already seen some mating, so who knows when I'll have babies.
Armadillum vulgare can be housed at room temps.

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Re: Is it necessary to have leaf litter in my isopods tank?

Post by GotButterflies » Wed May 03, 2017 5:26 pm

I can't quote scientific names...lol! I have Powder Blues, Dalmations and the regular shiny isopods.


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Re: Is it necessary to have leaf litter in my isopods tank?

Post by DreaminginBlue » Thu May 04, 2017 7:51 pm

The ones I have are the regular shiny isopods, the kind that are all over here in California and in many other states... I almost ordered some fancy ones, like the orange or zebra ones, but decided agasint it and just caught some outside. It was way more fun, and my sister helped me... peeking under rocks and in the grass became an adventure, as we found a lot of other things we weren't looking for (i.e. slugs, snails, spiders, ants, mosquito-eaters, wasps (yikes), and ladybugs (the mere mention of these insects sends my sister screaming in the opposite direction :lol: ).
They seem to be doing well and I have a fresh batch of leaf litter in the freezer.
I'm thinking of taking the Saran Wrap off the lid to see if more airflow helps with the mold issue.
Thank you both, soilentgringa and GotButterflies, for your help.

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Re: Is it necessary to have leaf litter in my isopods tank?

Post by GotButterflies » Fri May 05, 2017 7:29 am

Awesome! Great! Just be patient! I love bugs too!


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