Ducks have drastically stopped in price these days, you can easily find a 10+ count for around $90-100. But if you want to start really cheap i suggest pruinosis “Powder Orange” or “oreo” at about $10-20 for 10-30 ct depending.
Thanks for the kind words. Lots and lots of patience to get those fancy photos
So pardon me if this is a dumb question but do you have to purchase actual prepackaged bio active substrate to keep the isopods alive in a set up? Especially if there is plenty of edibles provided in the enclosure? I have a couple of small tubs that I am experimenting with so I was just curious…….
In two of my enclosures I’m using Josh’s Frogs isopod substrate but i don’t recommend it. I don’t like it very much. It’s basically just a bunch of wood chips with a sprinkle of dirt. In my other one I’m using eco earth with sphagnam moss and leaf litter mixed in. I think the isopods really like that one better and it looks much nicer too. They are really able to burrow in it as opposed to the Josh’s frogs substrate where they just stay in the little sphagnam moss pit they have. I do really want to switch them all to eco earth but i don’t even know if it’s possible to get all of the isopods, especially babies, out of one and into the other so I’d probably lose some. I might try it soon though.
It’s really just up to personal opinion. You can choose whatever you think will suit you best. Good luck!
Edit: Forgot to say that the springtails definitely enjoy the eco earth more. I see them everywhere in the eco earth and i never see them in the Josh’s frogs.
Thank you so much! I too tried Josh’s Frogs substrate and I didn’t like it either so now I have Eco Earth and Repti Soil which I too like a whole lot better! (I also tried The Bio Dude and didn’t like it very much either……). My springtails have shipped and hopefully my isos will ship soon as well!).
No, definitely not. I think that’s more a millipede thing? For my isopods, I use my own mix that I just eyeball. I use ~ 50% compost, 40% Exo Terra’s Jungle Earth, 5% Worm castings, 3% dry sphagnum moss, 1% ‘oyster shell’ ground limestone, 1% ground horticultural charcoal (all organic where applicable). I also mix in powdered calcium carbonate.
I vary the ratios a bit from deepest layer of substrate to topmost. I’ve also noticed that deeper substrate levels, paired with a small false bottom, work better for more sensitive species than shallow enclosures.
I avoid mixing wood chips/pellets or rotten wood into the substrate mix, as I’ve had a ton of mold issues with mid to high humidity species when I do that. I just put rotten wood and whatnot on top of the substrate. I also don’t use Eco Earth, but just because they can’t really eat it (there’s nothing wrong with having it), so it doesn’t serve a purpose other than to make the substrate less dense, which I use the Jungle Earth for.
But as part of the setup, you have to have a substantial area for a ‘hydration station,’ as I’ve heard Russ from Aquarimax refer to it. The % of surface area of the isopod enclosure that should be covered by damp sphagnum moss needed will vary according to species.
@baby_yoda , Wally Kern of Supreme Gecko put out a video on Youtube that describes the same method I use when I need to swap in fresh substrate. You can also buy Iso-pads, I think on ebay and maybe etsy, from Cuddly Crawlers. They use veggies to help attract isopods for easy removal or feeding.
I should look and see if there are any previous threads with isopod substrate! But I have to get some sleep.
Oh wow! Thank you so very much for the detailed information! I will definitely be able to work with this! Have a blessed day!
Well, I did it, I ordered a starter kit from Rubber Ducky!
They’re not too far from me so instead of shipping I’m going to pick them up today! I’ll try to post some pictures later.
Excited to see them! I hope you enjoy them as much as i and many others do!
Oh my word they are so much cuter in person!
I drilled 9 tiny holes in the lid, does that look like enough ventilation?
The substrate mix they came with seems very alive and healthy, so that’s cool! I hope I can get these guys thriving.
Not that I recommend this for others or for reptile enclosures, but since my isopods are just for fun and I was already okay with mixing wild and CBB isopods…I straight up used outside dirt Clay soil, sandy soil, gravel → mix! Then I added some fallen branches and maple/magnolia/oak leaves.
I picked cheap, hardy isopods that I’m okay with naturalizing and maintaining themselves, so they could probably survive a bomb. But if you spend money for duckies or something, I wouldn’t risk the parasite potential. I did accidentally get some springtails from my outside dirt so that’s a plus though!
This picture shows what i do for ventilation pretty well. I just drill some holes along the side. Depending on the species you might want to do more or less but with panda kings what you have is probably fine, especially if you’re opening it every so often to mist them.
Edit: this is my panda king tub. Also if anyone more knowledgeable on isopods wants to correct me on anything go for it lol. I’m still learning
Hmmmmm. I live in a subdivision and there are some new houses going up across the road so……. Thank you so very much for the tip/idea! I got my springtails today!!! I am only investing in the hardy isopods and spring tails for now. No duckies for me yet! Lol!
When I add ventilation to an enclosure I’m making, I put it mostly at one end, opposite the hydration station. That way the isopods will be able to pick their own microclimates. Cross-ventilation is supposed to be best according to some folks. That said, there are a zillion different ways to successfully keep isopods, so just because one person does things one way doesn’t mean other ways are wrong.
I do highly recommend using chiffon over any ventilation if you are concerned about possible mancae escapes or fungus gnats getting in (though I’ve found this to be pretty unavoidable). I tried window screen but the gaps were too wide.
I also vary the amount of ventilation according to the species I’m keeping in the enclosure, if that species is super sensitive. Let me see if I can find some pics on my phone that show various ventilation schemes I’ve used… Hmm, I only have pics from my older enclosures. I’ll try and remember to take some pics of my newer ones, but in the meantime, here are some earlier ones:
Ok, here’s one of my more recently made enclosures:
inside lid, outside lid, upper dry-side corners
edit: I keep meaning to post about my adventures experimenting with isopod enclosures and species, but I’m waaaayy behind on my terrarium hardscaping plans for some species I plan to get.
SAME, I’ve used open holes, screen mesh, and fine mesh and I swear the gnats just spawn in once pillbugs are detected, I genuinely have no idea how they keep getting in and making more!
Oh wow, those are all gorgeous! I especially love the Ember Bees, as well as the Thai Spikeys.
I gotta jump on the isopod bandwagon one of these days.
Beware! They’re like potato chips or french fries- almost impossible to only have one!
So…kinda like snakes and spiders (of which I already have several, with plans to get more)?
… I’m gonna need a bigger house.
Same, dude, same! I’m at 21 leopard geckos and counting.