Hi there! This is my first actual thread so apologies if this isn’t the right place to ask, just let me know if so!
I’ve been looking into adding isopods as a clean up crew for my corn snakes. I’ve always loved isopods (before I even liked snakes!) so using them to help out when I miss a few flakes of poop seems like the best of both worlds!
I’ve gotten some conflicting info regarding which isopods would be best for corn snakes. I’m planning on adding them to the enclosure of a yearling, hatchling, and full-grown who’s known for being a bit… Lazy. None of them are scaleless, I’d be a bit nervous about introducing isopods to a scaleless corn snake due to some horror stories I’ve heard about soft-bodied geckos. And I can only imagine the disasters that would come about if those geckos were terrestrial like corn snakes are!
So I guess my question is, which species do you guys think would be best? Currently my thoughts are on zebras after hearing that all porcellio species can be pretty aggressive predators and having been recommended the zebra species. I initially heard porcellio scabers might be good for their hardiness but they’re one of the species that I’ve heard to be the most aggressive so I don’t know how I feel about them, but I did see some resources recommend them while others argued against it vehemently.
Currently I have my corn snakes in pretty dry setups with humid hides, but I do plan on changing that for isopods if I get some, of course. I live in southern California though so it remains to be seen how often I’ll have to mist down the enclosures. Basically, drier is better, but I think I can go a little more moist than giant canyon isopods lol
Thanks for any advice on the subject, I’d love some general advice for them too! I’m not currently planning on using springtails because I live in an apartment so I do expect to need to do substrate changes from time to time. (Sorry, somehow my fat fingers hit send too early lol)
Personally I’d use dwarf whites, since they’re very small. They’re also great breeders so will clean up mess well!
Avoid dairy cows, they are a bit too protein-hungry and could cause problems. Zebras sound good since they can be kept drier. Dwarf whites also sound good. What kind of substrate do you have them on?
I would recommend either Armadillidium maculatum (Zebra), Armadillidium vulgare or Oniscus aesellus. We breed all of these species and they make a great clean up crew, while also not being too protein hungry.
I currently have them on Aspen, but I know that’s a horrible substrate for isopods so I’m planning on changing my substrate! Not really sure what kind of substrate would be both cost-effective and best for them just yet, I know there’s quite a few premade bioactive soil mixtures and I’m hoping for something along those lines but maybe hand-mixed to save some money! I’ve heard dwarf whites need it more moist than zebras, do you think they’d be able to handle desert room ambience? Of course I’ll spray down the cages a few times every day though! Also, dwarf whites can’t be mixed with other cultures, right? I heard they might eat the eggs of existing colonies.
@ everyone else, thanks so much for the recommendations too, I really appreciate it!
Just remember that corn snakes do not need it extremely humid. 60% humidity is max what I would recommend, and even then 50% is better. You especially don’t want the soil that they are on to be moist either.
I’m not sure on substrate but dwarf whites are hardy and I would expect them to survive, zebras would likely thrive.
Dwarf whites like it moist or dryer. We have some in vivs where very moist and others more dry. Brilliant isopods and are booming in a couple of ours.
I have dairy cows in all my new vivs recently done up, and they’re in with the fat tails too. So They’re also hardy!
We also have giant oranges and tropical greys.