What Isopods for a tiger salamander tank?

Working on gathering supplies to make my salamander tank bioactive but im not sure what isopods to use. Its more towards a moist enviornment but i have trouble with dry patches. So a hardy species would be prefered. If possible I’d prefer a species with a color that contrast to the substrait (eco earth).

Also how many would you recomend i get to have a healthy colony?

They will be with 2 salamanders in a 40gal breeder tank and about 1/3 of it is a water feature. There is usually 2 to 3 inches of substrate (eco earth and spagna moss mix) i will also be adding springtails and maybe earth worms as well.

Any other tips people could recommend to have the most successfull bioactive tank?


Eco earth isn’t a good substrate for isopods. Get some dead hardwood leaves and bake them in your oven for 45 minutes at 250-300 degrees then mix a whole bunch into the substrate and on top. I would also add forest floor or reptibark. If you haven’t put the eco earth in yet I would go out and buy some organic topsoil and mix in the other “ingredients” besides the eco earth.

50% topsoil (preferably over the eco earth)
20% reptibark or forest floor
20% crushed up leaves
10% moss
Then cover the top of the substrate with more leaves
I would also have 4+ inches of substrate for tiger salamanders

If you use this mix I would say that the Porcellionides pruinosus or Pocellio scaber would be the best bet


This is fantastic advice ill definitely be going this route for the new substrait. Would you happen to have a recomendation for how many isopods i should get? Would 50 be enough?


That would be perfect! A lot of times people will put 10-20 in that size enclosure but it takes some time to get enough to really keep up with the waste load but starting with 50 you won’t even have to wait. I would probably say that the prorcellionides pruinosus as they are less likely to get eaten as they are smaller and faster. I would also get are large batch of tropical springtails as they clean up any mold and are the cleanup crew for the cleanup crew.

Also are your tigers CBB? do you plan to breed them? Sorry for being kinda nosy I just absolutely love tiger salamanders!


What is a CBB tiger salamander? I do have a male and female They’ve been together a few years now but seeing as the female is at least 17 years old and the male maybe 3ish I’ve seen no signs of breeding.

Springtale are definatly on the list, ive been cursed with white mold in my tank no matter how much i clean it. Should i have a drainage layer for the tank. I have one now but with that new substrait will it be needed?


CBB (captive bred and born)means that an animal was born and bred in captivity. And yes I would use the a drainage layer about 2- 3 inches thick along with the 4 or more inches of substrate should keep humidity perfect without the substrate being sopping wet.


Mine are not captive bred unfortunatly. The 17yo female I took in when i was a child that didn’t know any better and by the time i learned release wasn’t possible. The male is a rescue he’s got a damaged leg from some predator attack and couldn’t be released.
I was warry of babies i didn’t want them but my female bubba is probably well past her prime for breeding at this stage.

I’ve got the funds now so im wanting to give them the most natural enviornment i can. Both are very healthy but i want to keep my female for many years yet to come.


If you are looking for a bulletproof, fast growing plant I would recommend pothos. Also I 100% understand about them being wild caught. My salamander (a northern slimy salamander) also had an injury to his leg.


Pothos were going to be my go to plant! I really wanted a boston fern but i know ferns as too touchy.

Right now they are in a temp tank while i deep clean the big one and gather everything. I want to give all the bugs about a week to aclimate and then return my babies.

Ooo a norther slimy salamander those guys are super cool! Let me see if i can find a picture of at least my female. My male is pretty shy.


This is Bubba my 17yo femal female, the most wierdly photogenyic creature i own.

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Welcome to the community @nimineth! So glad you found us in time for your project! Your salamanders are so cool! Congratulations for keeping your female healthy to be able to live 17 years! It looks like Logan @logar has given you some great advice on your new set up!

Your pictures are great! And we love pictures here so don’t hesitate to post more any time!


Oh wow! I haven’t ever seen a tiger salamander that looks quite like that! I think she is probably the most beautiful tiger I have ever see! Now I kinda hope that they breed so I can snatch up one of the babies :rofl:
Also tiger can easily live 30+ and I think I remember hearing of one live past 40 so I wouldn’t be to surprised if she can still breed.

Eggroll my salamander when I first got him. He has healed perfectly. Do you have any other animals/plans to get more.

remember that we will always be happy to answer any questions you have! Hope to continue seeing you around here

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Im a one woman rescue basically so i got a bunch of animals. cats dogs sugar gliders and a leopard gecko. Most of which were rescues. My bubba being the oldest of them all and will most likely out live them all too! (If i ever find eggs you’ll be the first to know!)

I want my own gecko room one day just full of different species. I fell in love with them after i had to give myself a crash corse on leopard geckos to save one that had been heavily mistreated. I’d never had a reptile before and within a day i had a very sick one in my care.

Though the dream species would be a leachie!(And/or a legless lizard because those are a close second species)

Thank you so much for the advice and suggestions it was super helpful and ill make sure to show of thier new and improved home when its done!

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