I Need Help Starting With Isopods Help

Discussion in 'Our Other Pets' started by MileyMorkie, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. MileyMorkie

    MileyMorkieValued MemberMember

    Tell me what you know because I might want them. I do see some every once in a while around the garden.

    Will any container (not those mesh bug catcher ones) work?
    Are they good climbers?
    Will they be ok in a Koala brand gummy container? It's about a quart or something? It is a safe plastic.
    Should I grind up dry plants for them? I have a mortar and pestle. What do I feed to wild ones? Will wood, cotton, and dry plants work? How often to be fed? Can they go 2 weeks without food?
    Are some I guess the colour pallet of a tea or coffee bag? Tan rim, mocha centre. Do sowbugs have 7 legs or pillbugs?
    Will the co-exist with snails, worms, or springtails just fine?
    Can I put moss in their enclosure? Can I put some plants in the enclosure? Is clay (alkaline) soil ok?
    Do they need heat? I'm talking for wild ones not domestic. Calgary is dry and cool, we have no AC.
    Will some flat rocks be ok in the enclosure?
    Do they need water or just misting?
    Will pillbugs make noises that'll creep me out? Like buzzing, clicking, humming, or other odd sounds?
    Lighting? Sun? IR? UV? UVB? LED? Incandescent? Florescent? How often?

    I'm trying to become brave around more bugs. One kind my friend like is pillbugs. I find them semi interesting, I'm just trying to not be a chicken.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  2. Finatic005

    Finatic005Valued MemberMember

    No lighting necessary. Small 4 qt. sterilite container is good. Watch Aquarimax’s vids of pillbugs. I’m guessing it isn’t a Spanish variety so don’t make it according to a Spanish variety. No sounds. Can’t climb plastic, unless etched. Don’t use gummy container. Put organic non-pesticide oak or maple leaves in there, a generous layer too. Feed them organic lettuce (not iceburg lettuce) once a week. Easily 4 weeks without food, as long as there is organic wood and organic leaves. For wood I’d use organic aspen shavings. The ones that are coffee colored are young (juveniles). No cotton. 7 legs= one got ripped off. Yes they can coexist with those species. Moss is good, plants may get eaten. Clay is too tough. Use lugarti premium isopod substrate. As long as you have a heater in your house you are good. No heat mats, they will die. Rocks are good. Light listings only. No lighting just not dark. If it is out on a table that is sufficient. Again watch Aquariumax’s videos

    Make sure there isn’t too much air flow, it will dry out too quickly.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2019
  3. OP
    OP
    MileyMorkie

    MileyMorkieValued MemberMember

    I am a subscriber and frequent viewer of Aquariumax Pets.
    I like being resourceful, including using chopsticks as knitting needles. For wood, I'll just look for birch and aspen sticks. Across Alberta they keep saying something about pillbugs or sowbugs having 7 legs. I'm just not sure what I'll be catching is a pest or pillbug. About the gummy container it is empty but now I turned it into a fungus farm instead of a terrarium. Anyways I have wood shavings and dust around that I could use.
    My room's moisture and temperature are random. Not humid often but my room is almost always the coldest or hottest. I'll see what I can get done before getting them.

    I talk way too much when replying lol. I'll ask more later.

    I searched up "pillbugs and porcellio"... Porcellio are sowbugs. I feel kind of stupid now.
     
  4. Finatic005

    Finatic005Valued MemberMember

    It’s ok
     
  5. OP
    OP
    MileyMorkie

    MileyMorkieValued MemberMember

    Thanks.
    Ummm also I set up a small container last night. I'm trying to somewhat sneak the isopods into the house. I showed a video to my mom of a pillbug in a ball and unrolling she was like "OH HECK NO!" so yeah.

    I have some random coconut fibres or something from some planting thing. I also have Mayday tree leaves, strawberry leaves and stems, and some dry plants scattered around the front and backyard.
    For a calcium source will snail shells do the trick? Mainly ramshorn snail shells.
    Do I need solely oak and maple leaves? Oak trees are in my city but they are rare. Maples don't do well in zone 4a, I would have to collect some for the two weeks I'm in BC.
    I'm kind of confused by "organic", does just stuff in my yard count as organic?
    Woodlice are cubaris right?
    Will they take my OmegaOne mini colour enhancement pellets?
    How hardy are isopods to redneck/resourceful habitats?

    I mostly want to make sure I don't mess up.
     
  6. Finatic005

    Finatic005Valued MemberMember

    Boil eggs shells, and yes ramshorn should work. If you have a reptile you could sprinkle calcium on there veggies. It can be almost any leaf. And by organic I mean fertilizer and pesticide free. Idk what cubaris is lol. Any “organic” fish food will work. Isopods are extremely hardy. And remember- you have to replace the substrate once every one to two months...
     
  7. OP
    OP
    MileyMorkie

    MileyMorkieValued MemberMember

    We don't use any fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides because we are a bit lazy and it may harm our annual growing plants (roses, creeping jenny, Lilly of the Valley, or bleeding hearts). So I should be fine with that. I don't have a reptile or the calcium powder but I do have a special supplement powder for fish food that might be of some use. I might be keeping them for just a month but I'll have to see if it goes well. Thank you for all the help.
     
  8. happyscrub

    happyscrubValued MemberMember

    Don't grind up the plant matter. The plant matter gives them wet places to hide in. They need the humidity.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    MileyMorkie

    MileyMorkieValued MemberMember

    I'm aware they need humidity just wasn't sure to begin with. I mean grind up misc leaves and dead dry frogbit for feeding time.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    MileyMorkie

    MileyMorkieValued MemberMember

    I caught some isopods yesterday! They are sowbugs and are a medium small kind of size. I don't remember ever seeing pillbugs but we refer sowbugs as roly polies too. The variant I found had a beige skirt, brown-grey centre with yellow or white spots. These ones do not have a sheen or gloss captive ones have. They are the length of a wireless Logitech mouse USB plastic casing, or a MacBook charger head (the end that connects to the laptop).
    Does anyone know what species it is?
     
  11. OP
    OP
    MileyMorkie

    MileyMorkieValued MemberMember

    Update: the sowbugs/isopods survived 2 weeks of absolute neglect. I couldn't take the container housing the isopods into the house so I left it right near the back door. It was somewhat shaded and also did get some sun so mould never formed. I had made the container pretty moist as I knew they may or may not be cared for while in such an odd location. Because I was heading away for two weeks and that little 1 1/2 cup container may not make it and was supposed to be temporary, I was surprised to find them alive today. They love the dried up strawberry leaf litter. I am happy they lived through that but I feel like they are in an improper container along with being susceptible to be forgotten. Weather isn't an issue but I'd like my mom to agree to me keeping them before fall comes.

    I am going on a bit of a tangent because I need help trying to keep these crawlies alive. These are wild caught by me so drought and overwatering might not impact them as much. If you guys know anything I can do to increase their safety (minus releasing them), let me know.
     
  12. Fanatic

    FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    They need to fully enclosed in a secure container with a solid lid so they cannot escape, these things can climb on plastic or glass if there is anything on it (like dirt or sand) for them to grip onto. I use a medium sized rubbermaid storage tub with a locking lid. They will eat a variety of decaying wood, leaves, and other vegetation in the enclosure, you can supplement their diet with fresh carrots, apples, or any green vegetable at most, they are definitely not picky! They are able to eat the wood in their tank, so they will be fine without actual food for a while, but it is always a good idea to offer this to them.

    The enclosure must stay humid! They have to be constantly kept in a moist environment in order to breathe properly, or else they can quickly die. I mist mine down about once a week, that will vary for everyone depending on the size of the enclosure they are kept in, and what else you have in the tank that holds humidity. I recommend keeping them on a base substrate of organic naturally sourced dirt or garden potting soil without plant food in it. You may even use the expandable coconut fiber for reptiles called EcoEarth. They also benefit from having cholla wood, cork bark, tree bark and wood, and leaf litter from decaying leaves in their tank. The leaves are a must!

    They won't have any issue staying with springtails or worms, they'd probably be fine with a snail as well.

    The only time you'll need to use heat is if the temperature inside their tub drops below 75, from what I have observed they can tolerate a temperature up to 86 or more. They do not make any sounds whatsoever. Lighting isn't very important, they can be kept in the dark if you open the lid at least once per week, mine do fine with no light at all. Be sure to monitor them under direct sunlight, it can get hot very quickly and burn them out.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    MileyMorkie

    MileyMorkieValued MemberMember

    Good to know they aren't picky. My skirted high yellows have a preference for strawberry leaves (from the shrub), but I will try with other types of leaf litter too. I only misted mine before I captured the isopods, 2 weeks ago. I have moss in there to keep moisture and fungi at bey.

    I appreciate the help.

    @Fanatic @Finatic005 @happyscrub
    What isopods do you currently have? I'd love to know and see pictures of them too.
     
  14. Finatic005

    Finatic005Valued MemberMember

    I just have the wild most common species. I don’t really focus on them. I also have dwarf whites and a spirostreptus sp.1 or however you spell it. My spiro is abt 3-4 inches long and she is about 2 years old
     
  15. OP
    OP
    MileyMorkie

    MileyMorkieValued MemberMember

    Cool. I have wild common species too. I sort of figure mine to have certain looks similar to domestic ones. Dwarf whites are very nice (and popular), I wish I had some.
     
  16. Fanatic

    FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    I can't wait to see what you end up putting together, isopods are very neat. I have powder blues, skirted, and common wild.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    MileyMorkie

    MileyMorkieValued MemberMember

    Powder blue are very pretty, I like them a lot.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    MileyMorkie

    MileyMorkieValued MemberMember

    Also I meant to say this a while ago:
    I went to put some edibles in their enclosure before and found out I have manca! Why is it that when I don't try it works, when I try I fail so hard. Prehistoric crustaceans are so weird, this includes brine shrimp. I think wild isopods are less picky with enclosure size, heat, moisture, substrate, and lighting. I have a lot of work to do with my pets tomorrow.

    Quick questions; will isopods eat freeze dried bloodworms, and nail clippings? I know it is weird, I just feel like I can use them somewhere eventually. I'll keep you guys updated on the isopods and if I have anymore questions.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    MileyMorkie

    MileyMorkieValued MemberMember

    Update on them: I have added snails and slugs. Since I added them I've had a rising issue of fungus gnats. Mom won't assist me with their care via buying stuff and so springtails are out of the question currently. Here gnats are like flies, they are even found in houses. So the fact that it is almost a month in and now I'm having issues makes me worry that it's just going to get worse.

    Just some random things; I alway thought gnats looked like mini mosquitoes. Gnats have swarmed my room years ago when I was caring for two saplings. That gnat issue caused me fear of bringing in soil for plants, even though trying to be careful still got me bugs.
     
  20. Finatic005

    Finatic005Valued MemberMember

    Wild springtails are everywhere
     
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