Isopod substrates

What substrate does everyone use for their isopods? Do you use the same one for all of your species or does it vary species to species? If you make it homemade what do you add into it? And for species that benefit from limestone what source do you use?limestone rocks? pelleted limestone?

And of course some isopod pics for fun!


I make my own using a mix of different substrates
I use:
2 parts Biodude substrate (any kind) or ABG mix as your base.
2 parts soaked wood pellets (used for smoking meats)
2 parts hardwood (oak) leaves
1 part sphagnum moss
1 part limestone (pelleted, or your preference)
1 part decaying hardwood (aka. Gold wood, air-wood) (Optional)

  • +hides (Cork bark)/moist sphagnum on one side, extra leaf litter, etc.

I use the same ingredients for all my isopods (even limestone), just in a different ratio. If I am using the substrate for a Giant Porcellio, I will use less sphagnum and more limestone and decaying wood, etc.


Philoscia sp. Thai? That is a gorgeous isopod. :slight_smile:

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I’d like to use the bio dude or abg but I feel like it would get really expensive really fast. Do you have somewhere that you get it for a good price or do you just pay full price? I assume I’d be worth it either way.

Yes that’s what it is! I find them super interesting, since they display sexual dimorphism. Only the males have that coloration, the females are all brown!


You could definitely make ABG yourself for pretty cheap, I just use Biodude because I already have it on hand constantly. I buy it at full price. Also, you can use a bit lower ratio of ABG/overall substrate and replace it with organic potting soil. Most of the important parts are the ingredients we add separate of the ABG or Biodude.

Biodude substrate does get very expensive very fast. I never use it by itself and always generously mix it with coco coir or ABG when doing bioactives. It does have some great supplemental ingredients to it for vivariums, though.

Yep! Philoscia Thai is one of my favorites that I totally wish I had. It is awesome that they are dimorphic, just wish they had long uropods too. :slight_smile:


Ill have to try out some different mixes for mine and see what they all like!

They would look super cool with long uropods, maybe it can be line bred in haha


I use the Lugarti Isopod & Millipede substrate. It costs about $8 to fill a 6 qt tub. Sometimes I’ll add limestone (Espoma organic limestone), leaves, and/or cork bark pieces in the substrate.

Ok cool I’ll look into that one too! Thank you!

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