Isopod Questions

For everything isopod - breeding, keeping, and as clean up crews. Also known as pill bugs and rolly-pollies!
Post Reply
User avatar

Topic author
AutumnFalls
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:10 pm
Location: Canada

Isopod Questions

Post by AutumnFalls » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:53 pm

Hi guys, I recently got isopods and I'm a bit worried that I've killed them off already. :roll: The instructions I got from the reptile expo suggested using some leaf litter and just basically dumping them into the crap tank. Now, these are the Dwarf White Isopods so they're super hard to see in the tank. I can't tell if they're okay or not but either way I want to make sure they survive. So, on to questions.

1) Do I need to put out a water dish for them? (ie a small shell). I'm afraid my crabs will just dump it over.

2) I know they clean up old crab food but should I put anything special in for them?

3) Should I have kept them in their own tank for a while before moving them in with the crabs?

4) How can I tell if they're still alive?

5) Any other tips?

Thanks guys!

User avatar

GotButterflies
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 7083
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:56 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: Isopod Questions

Post by GotButterflies » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:02 pm

Hello :) I did GB for GotButterflies
AutumnFalls wrote:Hi guys, I recently got isopods and I'm a bit worried that I've killed them off already. :roll: The instructions I got from the reptile expo suggested using some leaf litter and just basically dumping them into the crap tank. Now, these are the Dwarf White Isopods so they're super hard to see in the tank. I can't tell if they're okay or not but either way I want to make sure they survive. So, on to questions.

GB: Leaf litter needs to also be pesticide and fertilizer free. They are JUST LIKE the crabs. Sensitive to these things! :) They also have modified gills and shed their exoskeleton.

1) Do I need to put out a water dish for them? (ie a small shell). I'm afraid my crabs will just dump it over.

GB: No. Isopods will drown in a water dish. They can get water from food you feed and water from the humidity of the tank. Mine do excellent via this way.

2) I know they clean up old crab food but should I put anything special in for them?

GB: They need calcium also.


3) Should I have kept them in their own tank for a while before moving them in with the crabs?

GB: Up to you - the benefit to this is building up a bunch of them before the crabs eat them, because if they can catch them then they will!

4) How can I tell if they're still alive?

GB: Isopods are mainly nocturnal - go in at night and look with a flashlight. :)

5) Any other tips?

GB: They love oak bark, cholla, cork bark, and moss. :) I recommend getting these! (Pesticide free of course!)

Thanks guys!
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com

User avatar

Topic author
AutumnFalls
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:10 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Isopod Questions

Post by AutumnFalls » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:39 am

Thanks for the tips! The leaf litter is safe for the crabs/isopods. :) If they have died off then I will build them up in an iso first but I really hope that they're okay. It sounds like I didn't mess things as badly as I'd feared. :banana: I have two pieces of cholla in there. I read on here recently that they like them when they're cut in half (to hide in). I might do that.

User avatar

GotButterflies
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 7083
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:56 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: Isopod Questions

Post by GotButterflies » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:44 pm

AutumnFalls wrote:Thanks for the tips! The leaf litter is safe for the crabs/isopods. :) If they have died off then I will build them up in an iso first but I really hope that they're okay. It sounds like I didn't mess things as badly as I'd feared. :banana: I have two pieces of cholla in there. I read on here recently that they like them when they're cut in half (to hide in). I might do that.

I'm sure they are fine! :) They usually need time to de-stress like the crabs do. :)

Edit: It is not necessary to cut the cholla - they like long pieces just fine!
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com

User avatar

Topic author
AutumnFalls
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:10 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Isopod Questions

Post by AutumnFalls » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:25 pm

I meant cut it in half so I had a half circle of wood for them to hide in/under. :) I have an extra that I don't need in the tank.

User avatar

GotButterflies
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 7083
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:56 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: Isopod Questions

Post by GotButterflies » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:59 pm

AutumnFalls wrote:I meant cut it in half so I had a half circle of wood for them to hide in/under. :) I have an extra that I don't need in the tank.
Not necessary - they can fit in the holes, and in the middle of it. All of my cholla is standing upright or at an angle, and they live in it just fine. Up to you though! :)
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com

User avatar

ciaraalston
Posts: 1184
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:33 am
Location: Louisiana

Re: Isopod Questions

Post by ciaraalston » Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:55 am

I added all of mine into a small tote and kept them in there for a week before adding some into the tank.
I only added roughly 50 or so into my tank, i kept the rest in the tote. It took a week or two before i could see them, and even now i barely catch glimpses of them running across the wood or something. They really love the dark.
In my tote, i have an inch or so of eco earth, a piece of oak bark, two pieces of cholla wood, leaf litter, moss, and a cuttlebone. I didnt cut the cholla wood, they fit thru the holes and hide out all inside of it. they literally cover it inside and out. then i have more than stay on the underside of the oak bark. The babies love the big leaf i put in there, they crawl all over it! i keep the tote in my cabinet above the snake tank. the warmth from the heat lamp is enough to keep them warm, and the doors on the cabinet stay shut so it's dark. i open the lid once or twice a day to give them air flow. i just can't help but peek in on them and watch them crawl around!! :hlol:
I add a small shell of food to the tote about once a week. That's how long it takes them to finish it off. but that's just me being extra. haha!

in the tank, they like to hide under the coconut hut of all things!! it's one a ordered off of amazon, and the majority of them are under there. the rest are under the mopani wood branch on the other side of the tank. i don't ever see any on the food dishes, but they might just be coming out at night while i'm at work. i do have scattered crushed oyster shells under the coconut hut and the mopani wood to make sure they get their calcium, just in case they aren't eating any of the crab foods. and i have leaf litter scattered everywhere.

i'm not sure if @GB mentioned it, but dont' feed them crushed egg shells, it will cut them all up. That's something she warned me about. i have some powdered calcium powder too, but they like the crushed oyster shells fine.

I overthought my isopods for weeks before getting them. then i realized it's actually really easy and i was just being overly worrysome. haha.
oh! they love carrots! someone, i forget who, posted a picture of them crawling all over a carrot stick and it was precious!
4 purple pinchers & 2 ecuadorians living a life of luxury in south west Louisiana.
Follow my hermit crab learning journey on instagram! @hermitcrabs_in_the_boot

Post Reply