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Isopods?!

This is a discussion on Isopods?! within the Food, Feeders, Live, Frozen, Culturing, etc forums, part of the General Topics category; So people use these isopods to clean there tanks correct? Also if a frog were to eat one is it ...

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    Greg
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    Default Isopods?!

    So people use these isopods to clean there tanks correct? Also if a frog were to eat one is it safe for the frog? Is there certain species that are better other species to have? Wild caught Isopods (rollie pollies is what I'm use to calling them), is it okay to put inside tanks as long as you know it didn't live in pesticides or herbicides? and does the size of the isopod matter? I'm new to these cleaning bugs and I wanna make sure my information is correct! If anyone could get back to me I would greatly appreciate it! Any other comments and concerns are welcomed too!

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    Default Re: Isopods?!

    Yes, wild caught isopods are perfectly fine as long as they are harvested from a location that you are 100% confident is safe. The size does not matter either; they all feed on decaying organic matter, fungi, etc. You'll most frequently find them in and around decaying wood that has been laying in the woods, usually in areas that stays fairly damp or wood that almost always stays saturated (they do have gills and require a high moisture content in the environment to thrive).

    Isopods are crustaceans, so they differ a bit from the other arthropods we are used to feeding our reptiles. Similarly, they have a shell composed heavely of chitin, but if eaten they can provide a variety of unique micronutrients that would otherwise not be obtained from your traditional feeder insect. I wouldn't advocate feeding them as a primary food source, but if your herp happens to munch on one that is cruising around the viv it shouldn't be an issue.
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    Default Re: Isopods?!

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffreH View Post
    Yes, wild caught isopods are perfectly fine as long as they are harvested from a location that you are 100% confident is safe. The size does not matter either; they all feed on decaying organic matter, fungi, etc. You'll most frequently find them in and around decaying wood that has been laying in the woods, usually in areas that stays fairly damp or wood that almost always stays saturated (they do have gills and require a high moisture content in the environment to thrive).

    Isopods are crustaceans, so they differ a bit from the other arthropods we are used to feeding our reptiles. Similarly, they have a shell composed heavely of chitin, but if eaten they can provide a variety of unique micronutrients that would otherwise not be obtained from your traditional feeder insect. I wouldn't advocate feeding them as a primary food source, but if your herp happens to munch on one that is cruising around the viv it shouldn't be an issue.
    Thank you very much for all the information Jeff! I want to start a colony of them, Would you happen to know a easy way to do it and what it requires?
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    Default Re: Isopods?!

    No problem = )

    They are incredibly easy to breed - I honestly had them producing in a small sterilite with pretty minimal care kept on some moist soil and some rotting wood. They'll eat a wide variety of decaying and organic matter.

    For best results: keep them somewhat moist. Use a potting soil substrate with no fertilizers, spray them daily, and keep some pieces of rotting wood and/or egg flat in there with them to hide in and under and to munch on. Feed them salad items; they'll readily consume a wide variety of greens and veggies, fruits, etc. It also seems like oak leaves are universally good items to add to almost any feeder regimen. I started adding oak leaves to a variety of my roach colonies and used it with isopods as well and they would nibble on them.
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    Default Re: Isopods?!

    Just curious, if you had wood in your tank would they eat that too?
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    Default Re: Isopods?!

    I've never noticed any kind of substantial damage the rotting wood even with large amounts of them in a very small space - I think they actually feed on fungi that may be starting on it or bits that have decayed to a point where they are very, very soft. I wouldn't be concerned at all about wood structures in the vivarium with them = ) I probably made them seem like termites or something by saying they "munch" when in reality it just more of a hiding and moisture resevoir that also serves as a place where food may grow.
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    Default Re: Isopods?!

    I raise them also, and like Jeff said they are super easy to raise. My toads and frogs won't eat them. If they grab one they spit it out when it rolls up.
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    Default Re: Isopods?!

    I've been debating on adding these to my Viv or Springtails. Would you say the Wood Louse is better than Springtails or to they equally serve the same purpose?

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    Default Re: Isopods?!

    For me it's the same. The springtails do die off if the tank gets to dry, they like 100% humidity. Like I said they won't eat the pill bugs, but they seem to enjoy the hunt.
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    Default Re: Isopods?!

    You could always try both if you have room for a couple of 6qt sterilite bins to decide which works better for you (or use both together)- The isopods you can obtain locally in the woods, breed them, and keep a constant supply on hand with minimal needs for free and replenish those in the vivaria as necessary. Springtails will cost for an inital culture but are effortless to raise and you can have an infinite supply within a month's time if you move them into a shoebox bin with soil and their starting media and sprinkle some yeast, fish flakes or some other grain based product on them every now and then.

    But then again, not everyone likes to keep a variety of random invertebrates. I like to keep a heated rack system at the ready for all my buggies :3 *snorts*
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    Default Re: Isopods?!

    I'm right there with ya. The "guest" room has turned into the bug room. Dubias, turkish, pillbugs, earthworms and once in a great while crickets, butter worms or silk worms.
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffreH View Post
    You could always try both if you have room for a couple of 6qt sterilite bins to decide which works better for you (or use both together)- The isopods you can obtain locally in the woods, breed them, and keep a constant supply on hand with minimal needs for free and replenish those in the vivaria as necessary. Springtails will cost for an inital culture but are effortless to raise and you can have an infinite supply within a month's time if you move them into a shoebox bin with soil and their starting media and sprinkle some yeast, fish flakes or some other grain based product on them every now and then.

    But then again, not everyone likes to keep a variety of random invertebrates. I like to keep a heated rack system at the ready for all my buggies :3 *snorts*
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    Default Re: Isopods?!

    I have some springs (i've only had them for a little over a week), what i've been doing is every couple of days i flood the container they came in (from Josh's frogs they come in a plastic container) and pour the water in with whatever springs go with it.
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    Default Re: Isopods?!

    Quote Originally Posted by kueluck View Post
    I'm right there with ya. The "guest" room has turned into the bug room. Dubias, turkish, pillbugs, earthworms and once in a great while crickets, butter worms or silk worms.
    How often is it okay to feed frogs butter and silk worms?
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    Default Re: Isopods?!

    Butter worms I would give once a week as a treat, silk worms are very good for amphibians and reptiles and can be given more often. Here's a link for worm comparison Silkworms - The Benefits of feeding your reptile and pet the silkworm The silkworms you do not refrigerate so you need to make sure you order enough worm food or have an ample supply of mulberry leaves for them.
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    Default Re: Isopods?!

    That's a good article Gail, sums em up really nice and has a nice little nutrional comparison = )

    In addition, Silkworms contain an enzyme serrapeptase which has been linked to reduced inflammation and arterial plaque amonst a variety of other benefits. Cheri Smith actually examined the effects of silkworms as a feeder an serrapeptase on some rescue bearded dragons and the results were phenominal. I will link you to the article when I can get the site functioning again.

    If you can get eggs from the right supplier, you can actually refrigerate the eggs for storage and pull them out as you need them. They aren't painfully difficult to breed if you have a high enough demand for them and a lot of mouths to feed, but you may be able to find eggs from a wholesaler capable of being refrigerated. The only downside to this is I don't think they have an infiinite shelf life, and you would have to rear babies up ahead of time who can only eat the finest of fresh new mulberry leaves or chow due to their small mandibles.
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    Default Re: Isopods?!

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffreH View Post
    That's a good article Gail, sums em up really nice and has a nice little nutrional comparison = )

    In addition, Silkworms contain an enzyme serrapeptase which has been linked to reduced inflammation and arterial plaque amonst a variety of other benefits. Cheri Smith actually examined the effects of silkworms as a feeder an serrapeptase on some rescue bearded dragons and the results were phenominal. I will link you to the article when I can get the site functioning again.

    If you can get eggs from the right supplier, you can actually refrigerate the eggs for storage and pull them out as you need them. They aren't painfully difficult to breed if you have a high enough demand for them and a lot of mouths to feed, but you may be able to find eggs from a wholesaler capable of being refrigerated. The only downside to this is I don't think they have an infiinite shelf life, and you would have to rear babies up ahead of time who can only eat the finest of fresh new mulberry leaves or chow due to their small mandibles.
    I've always wanted to get some silks, but they're expensive. More so than Hornworms, but no where near as large.

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    Default Re: Isopods?!

    They are a little cheaper to raise though; it is disturbing how much a single hornworm can consume...particularly as it approaches it's final instars lol. It's actually nice raising silkworms in the late spring and summer because mulberry is abundant around where I live, which cuts down on chow costs.

    The most economical strategy would be to be to buy a bulk quanitity of dry chow [or harvest leaves, if possible], and the worms or eggs separate (particularly eggs). The premade cups are very convenient, but they are very expensive. But again, unless you are feeding a large quanitity of insects these are always very expensive feeders.
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    Default Re: Isopods?!

    Thank you all for the great information. This thread really helped me a lot and answered my question again thank you guys =)
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    Default Re: Isopods?!

    Here's where we get the silk worms Mulberry Farms - Silkworms and other premium feeder insects and they do get big, but like you said, nothing like horn worms. They creep me out!
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    Default Re: Isopods?!

    I drove about an hour to a herp only pet store yesterday and seen they had butter worms. The lady said 12 or 15 came in a container for $5.30. I decided to buy a container. I was pretty surprised how little they were, but then again I never seen butter worms before. When I got home I was eager to feed my little guys to see if they would take them. As usual my tomato frog took them no problem she is such an aggressive eater she has almost gotten my finger quite a few times! My pacman didn't even bother trying one. He used to be such a good eater too now he is like skiddish around me and won't feed from my tongs anymore =( My american toads also took them no problem. There was some pretty tiny ones in the container so I gave my new green tree frog a go to see if he/she would eat one which he/she did not. I also gave my baby leopard geckos each one and They seemed to really enjoy them also. From what I counted I only got around 8 worms my container a little disappointed. I'm just happy I gave my frogs some variety. I have really been working on providing a larger food choice. These passed 3 weeks I have been feeding my little guys earth worms, crickets, horn worms, and now butter worms. I don't mess with mealworms for the simple fact I hear they can chew through the inside of my frogs and No deal Howie am I going to take that chance. The pet store also carried dubia roaches too for $1.25 which I thought wasn't too bad. I pay a dollar per hornworm so i'm pretty use to it =) I wanted to get my tomato frog one because I knew she would eat it no problem, but they all seem too big.
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