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Thread: Which isopods?

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    Default Which isopods?


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    I recently picked up a pair of Phelsuma grandis from Julie Bergman, both Blue Blood, to try my hand at breeding. The last time I had these and some standingi was about 40 years ago. The thing then was to have the enclosure as sterile, small and simple as possible to facilitate keeping it clean, newspaper and one small sansivera. Not very enriching.

    This time I used an ExoTerra 18x24x36" enclosure, cork bark background, biosoil with charcoal and drainage layers, variety of plants, bamboo, Mist King, Arcadia T5 lights. I have added dwarf white isopods and springtails to the tank, springtails are doing well, haven't seen a single isopod since I added them. I'll add 100 more next week. However, since they burrow into the substrate and a lot of the poop is on the leaves of the plants at the bottom of the enclosure (large bromeliad, large bird's nest fern, several pothos plants, and selaginella that died out), I don't think the dwarf whites climb up on the plants to scavenge.

    I'm looking for something that climbs instead of burrows, will go after the stuff on the plants, is small enough that it is less likely to be eaten, wouldn't cause any problems if the geckos eat them, and wouldn't become a pest. I've sort of narrowed it down to either powder orange or powder blue. Their exoskeleton appears to be less hard and hopefully less chitinous than the Armadillidium sp, and they are pretty active and climb. The orange appear more active, and are more attractive to me, but the blue will probably be less noticeable to the geckos when crawling around and therefore less likely to be eaten.

    Thoughts and experiences?
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    Pruinosis are great consumers of lizard poop. They climb, but may not be very effective at cleaning leaves. However they do reproduce quickly. They also will consume any wood decor, such as driftwood, from the inside out. They may also annoy your geckos. Unless your geckos eat them, you will probably find it necessary to remove the isopod on a weekly basis, to prevent the enclosure from being overrun with them.
    Frankly, I’d rather just skip the isopod and remove the poop myself.
    Dwarf whites and springtails are the better choice, in my opinion.

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    Thanks, I'll see how it goes once I add 100 more dwarf white isopods. I have a thick cork back board and two vertical cork tubes, one of which is filled with orchid bark and a little sphagnum moss and holds a vanilla orchid vine that I hope will vine up one side, the other cork tube branches off to one side and holds three different orchids. It would be a major pain if the cork tubes were eaten.

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    If you want to know whether the isopods are there, take out a big spoonful of the substrate, put it in a bowl and take a good look. I got some white isopods maybe 10 years ago which have now populated all of my enclosures. I have tried orange isopods and (really cool looking) zebra striped isopods and only the white ones were durable.

    Aliza

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