5 Gallon Tank Just Set Up Pillbug Habitat!

Aqua 59
  • #1
Disclaimer: So I know that pillbugs are not technically insects (I think they are arachnids, or crustaceans), but this is the closest forum to that I could find.

Hello everyone, I just set up a new pillbug/sowbug habitat. It has some soil, caves, and plenty of lichens. I am going to add some little terrarium plants later today. There are some stacks of plywood near the chicken coops, and there are literally millions of pillbugs and sowbugs in between them, and that's where I collect them. I have a lot of regular ones, some big black pillbugs, some black pillbugs with yellow dots or rosy dots, and some sowbugs that are orange, yellow, red/orange mottled, or mixed-color mottled. No striped/zebra ones, but I have always been hoping for some. I'll post some pictures soon. Any ideas for decorating the tank with native (I live close to Raleigh, NC, zone 7) plants that are easy to find and that are unique? Thank you!
 
skilletlicker
  • #2
Will they be fish food? I was thinking of adding some to my little indoor wormery for that reason.
 
Aqua 59
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
No- they are not fish food. I have only very small, minnow-sized fishes that would not be able to eat them. These pillbugs/sowbugs are going to be for breeding purposes, and I have some spare tanks for special breeding. If I breed a bunch of very rare orange ones, I will get a strain of them. And once the strain if perfected I can sell them.
 
TheeLadyG
  • #4
ooh I LOVE pillbugs! I have learned people call them different things all over the place... pillbug, sow bug, potatobug, rolypoly, rollies, doodle bugs... apparently their real name is "wood lice" but they're land-dwelling isopods! Pretty much every other variety of them lives in the ocean. We'd always try to find the ones that were really steely blue... and the ones that have a pattern on them. ^_^

If you dig isopods check out the Giant Isopod on a google search... you're welcome... hehe...
 
Aqua 59
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Thanks! Once I plant it I'll share some pictures.
 
skilletlicker
  • #6
No- they are not fish food. I have only very small, minnow-sized fishes that would not be able to eat them. These pillbugs/sowbugs are going to be for breeding purposes, and I have some spare tanks for special breeding. If I breed a bunch of very rare orange ones, I will get a strain of them. And once the strain if perfected I can sell them.
Almost sounds like I offended you by suggesting the possibility. Meant no offense but, if somebody happened to have extra common variety roly-polyies they might be able to sell them on Craigs List or even EBay as fish food.

Updated alternate food for koi and Goldfish calls them:
...little balls [of] natural proteins and trace elements, good for scales and colouration.
 
Aqua 59
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I'm not offended. I might try selling some as feeders- thank you for the suggestion!
 
Fanatic
  • #8
(I think they are arachnids, or crustaceans)

They are actually isopods, which are closely related to the crustacean
I have three million of them!
Here's their home

IMG_3133.JPG
 
Aqua 59
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
That is so neat! It looks great. Can you feed them to hermit crabs? I would like to have some in my crabitat. The ones I have are wild, would they spread disease to my crabs?
 
Fanatic
  • #10
That is so neat! It looks great. Can you feed them to hermit crabs? I would like to have some in my crabitat. The ones I have are wild, would they spread disease to my crabs?

Yes! They are scavengers in my crabitat
If you collect wild, they have to be free from pesticides, but if they aren't, keep them alone in their own tank and allow them to reproduce around three new generations.
 
Aqua 59
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Here's the pillbug terrarium- the lighting and camera tint make it look funny. I might add some white LED lights so it looks more like a forest.
 

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MockingJay
  • #12
I know this thread is a little older, but would you have any tips for pillbug care? Ive brought some in from outside and am keeping them with my common garden snail at the moment in a 1 gal.
 
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