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Nathant

A Few Questions (Beginner)

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Hello! I am currently keeping 3 different species of Isopods in the same aquarium (which I am planning on changing real soon) I have a few beginner questions:

1. If provided all they need, do Isopods mate year round or only certain months in captivity?

2. What is a good moisture and temperature for Philoscia muscorum, Porcellio scaber and Oniscus asselus? (Those are all the species I am keeping)

3. Is wood shavings an ok substrate to use in place of coconut fiber? (That is what I'm using, planning on coco fiber soon)

4. Is providing wet cotton balls ok for producing moisture and humidity? Mine seem to love them, but I'm planning on getting a spray bottle to distribute water evenly.

5. Are there any must-needs in their diet? All I have been feeding is oats and sugar water. The sugar water is less popular but they swarm the oats.

6. Does the type of wood matter for hiding places? Should I perhaps wet it to make it look desirable too?

Thank you for any help. Here is my setup BTW, planning on some changes like seperating species and new substrate, and perhaps any suggestions from you guys. :)

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1. Pretty sure they mate year round.

2. The substrate of those three should be kept pretty moist, and room temps work fine for all isopods in the hobby, temps in the 80s or higher can be harmful to some of them.

3. Wood shavings may be OK provided they aren't from pine or some other conifer that has harmful residual oils, however I'd go with something more similar to soil, like coconut fiber.

4. No, just cotton balls won't work, isopods abhor low moisture, and most will dry up rapidly if the whole substrate is not kept moist at all times. Some genera are tolerant of some dryness, Armadillidium for example, but even they do poorly without moist areas in the enclosure.

5. Dead hardwood leaves are a must for isopods if you ever want them to breed, and they are an important source of nutrients for them as well. Anything else is supplemental.

6. Not at all, if there are enough leaves in the enclosure you don't even need wood for them to hide under, I don't use wood hides in most of my isopods enclosures. 

Hope this helps! :)

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2 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

1. Pretty sure they mate year round.

2. The substrate of those three should be kept pretty moist, and room temps work fine for all isopods in the hobby, temps in the 80s or higher can be harmful to some of them.

3. Wood shavings may be OK provided they aren't from pine or some other conifer that has harmful residual oils, however I'd go with something more similar to soil, like coconut fiber.

4. No, just cotton balls won't work, isopods abhor low moisture, and most will dry up rapidly if the whole substrate is not kept moist at all times. Some genera are tolerant of some dryness, Armadillidium for example, but even they do poorly without moist areas in the enclosure.

5. Dead hardwood leaves are a must for isopods if you ever want them to breed, and they are an important source of nutrients for them as well. Anything else is supplemental.

6. Not at all, if there are enough leaves in the enclosure you don't even need wood for them to hide under, I don't use wood hides in most of my isopods enclosures. 

Hope this helps! :)

Helps a lot, thanks! I knew at the beginning that you didn't need wood hides, but I do it more for viewing and attractiveness. As for moisture, I need to get a spray bottle or something to keep up the moisture and so it's even. Thanks once again!

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Another thing, P.moscorum are very hard to breed. Here's some advice that I got on captive conditions from a keeper who did a lot better with them that the vast majority of keeps do. "They need lots lots of leaves. I kept the lid on them with very little air flow. They seem to need high humidity while not being wet. I think a high humidity about 70% with just the right air flow is the secret." He also said "they seem to prefer well shaded areas near some kind of water or a low area that stays moist" in the wild.

I wish you luck with breeding this tough species!:)

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7 hours ago, All About Insects said:

Another thing, P.moscorum are very hard to breed. Here's some advice that I got on captive conditions from a keeper who did a lot better with them that the vast majority of keeps do. "They need lots lots of leaves. I kept the lid on them with very little air flow. They seem to need high humidity while not being wet. I think a high humidity about 70% with just the right air flow is the secret." He also said "they seem to prefer well shaded areas near some kind of water or a low area that stays moist" in the wild.

I wish you luck with breeding this tough species!:)

Oh, I never knew that was a tough species! I live right next to a brook with a good number of trees, no wonder why I only find them in my yard. They are very common under my rocks with leaves slipped under them, and when the dirt is damp. Thank you and noted!

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14 hours ago, Nathant said:

Oh, I never knew that was a tough species! I live right next to a brook with a good number of trees, no wonder why I only find them in my yard. They are very common under my rocks with leaves slipped under them, and when the dirt is damp. Thank you and noted!

Yeah, I didn't know either until I read Orin's book "Pillbugs and Other Isopods". No problem, happy to pass along any info I can!:)

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As a couple extra notes, the wood shavings will likely mold very quickly if kept perpetually wet, which may or may not be an issue for the isopods. I keep pieces of bark/wood in my enclosures for everyone to hide under because it makes it easy to do a quick check on them and because it's something else they will undoubtedly chew on lol. 

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4 hours ago, pannaking22 said:

As a couple extra notes, the wood shavings will likely mold very quickly if kept perpetually wet, which may or may not be an issue for the isopods. I keep pieces of bark/wood in my enclosures for everyone to hide under because it makes it easy to do a quick check on them and because it's something else they will undoubtedly chew on lol. 

 I have no problem currently with mold, but I will agree I'm in need of a better substrate.

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