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Isopod Cleanup Crews in Roach Colonies

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I have used the Spanish Orange Isopods in Millipede and Tarantula cages with great success. I tend to overfeed my roaches which can cause other critters (mites, gnats, etc) to pop up from time to time in my colonies. I recently added a few Trichorhina tomentosa (dwarf white isopods) to one of my colonies and they seem to be doing a great job at cleaning up any leftovers that the roaches aren't eating. I choose the T. tomentosa because they are much smaller than the Spanish Orange Isopods... I doubt they'd mess with the roach nymphs but why take chances... these dwarf guys are tiny...

I'd love to hear Orin's & Matt's ideas on using these guys...what do y'all think... should it be safe? I know the easiest answer is to just not overfeed but my oddball workschedule keeps me away for so long sometimes that I tend to "spoil" the animals when I'm home and before I leave town...

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I have used the Spanish Orange Isopods in Millipede and Tarantula cages with great success. I tend to overfeed my roaches which can cause other critters (mites, gnats, etc) to pop up from time to time in my colonies. I recently added a few Trichorhina tomentosa (dwarf white isopods) to one of my colonies and they seem to be doing a great job at cleaning up any leftovers that the roaches aren't eating. I choose the T. tomentosa because they are much smaller than the Spanish Orange Isopods... I doubt they'd mess with the roach nymphs but why take chances... these dwarf guys are tiny...

I'd love to hear Orin's & Matt's ideas on using these guys...what do y'all think... should it be safe? I know the easiest answer is to just not overfeed but my oddball workschedule keeps me away for so long sometimes that I tend to "spoil" the animals when I'm home and before I leave town...

I can easily get dozens of these (the bland, blue-ish silver version) from outside, and have always found them interesting but they've never successfully established themselves. Also i am concerned i don't want to bring any potential parasites they may have on them with me to my colonies. How damp should i keep them?

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The ones people keep are usually from captive cultures that are accustomed to indoor conditions. The ones outdoors can be much harder to establish. They can't survive with no moisture but do fine as long as an area of the cage is damp.

They can be somewhat helpful but they should be avoided in Polyphagid cages since they compete for the rotted leaves.

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UPDATE: So far everything seems fine. I've used both the Spanish orange isopods in a few cages and the dwarf white isopods in other cages. I took Orin's advice and didn't put them in any of the Polyphagid cages .... they sems to be helping somewhat with cleaning up extra food.

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White dwarf isopods are parthenogenetic... if you keep them dark, humid and warm, they reproduce like rabbits...

thanks, the reason that i asked is because i am thinking about adding the dwarf or the orange isopods into my B. giganteous tank. I wanted a species that i can easily control. i noticed that orange isopods produce pretty fast too. i am going to add the dwarf isopods to the tanks tho. If they get out of control i can dry out the tank and kill most of them if I need to.

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UPDATE 1/8/08:

I was just going through my Ornate Velvet roach cage to see if any of the egg cases have hatched and noticed that one of the egg cases under the food dish was busted open (no roach nymphs in the cage)...there were a ton of both the Orange Isopods & Dwarf White isopods under the dish 9and all through the substrate)... There's no proof that it was them.... there were multiple other untouched egg cases within the cage...

To be on the safe side I moved the Orante Velvet roaches to a new cage w/o isopods...moved the egg cases also to the new cage...

I still have isopods in multiple cages... haven't noticed any problems...this just kinda caught me off guard today because I've been waiting on these egg cases to hatch for some time.

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Hi Graham,

2 of mine just hatched about a week ago. It takes them about 4 months to hatch. i noticed that some also dried out, so try to give a little moister too.

good luck

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