Isopod count?

For everything isopod - breeding, keeping, and as clean up crews. Also known as pill bugs and rolly-pollies!
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ciaraalston
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Isopod count?

Post by ciaraalston » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:58 pm

Hey y'all! I've been pretty quiet lately, we've had a lot on our plates!
My crabs are doing great!! My E just came up from a long molt, I still have 2 PPs down and 2 up! They're all over the place partying in the tank lol.
I'm wondering how y'all handle isopods? How many is too many? I'm seeing them pretty often in the tank, they're everywhere. When should I be worried they're "overtaking the tank"?? I don't see them on the food bowls, just on the worm castings dish and all over the wood. There's lots of babies though! What do y'all think?
For those that don't know, it's a 55 gallon tank with 5 crabs. 4 pps and 1 e.

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Xenocrab
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Re: Isopod count?

Post by Xenocrab » Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:04 pm

Ha ha ha! Good luck! Our isopods infested our tanks. They are annoying. They eat all the foods and aggivate the crabs. My husband dumps them in a tote and we will release them when it's warm out. They are everywhere! They reproduce by the hundreds every day. It's an understatement to say they are out of control.

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Motörcrab
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Re: Isopod count?

Post by Motörcrab » Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:35 pm

I had them all over my 75 G. To the point if I would flip a piece of bark 4X5 piece of oak bark over there were close to 100. If you would pick up a piece of cholla wood 25-50 would drop to the substrate and scatter. I was catching several in the food dishes all the time, more if it was something they really liked.

I ended up moving a bunch into a makeshift tote. It's not to the guidelines of totes for Isopods I have read on here but they still seem to be doing quite well. I added damp moss, cholla, cuttlebone, and some bark. When I change out the crabs food they get whats left. There are a lot in there and a pile of babies too so they are doing quite well.

I finally took action when I saw an Isopod or twi crawling on the back of my one crab. I could tell he wasn't happy about it. I deemed I had too many when I would stare at a 5" x 5" area in my tank and would loose count of isopods in 10 seconds. Usually because they would be running all over and couldn't keep track. I believe for every one you see there are probably 50-100 that you don't. I'd say if you think you have too many you probably do.

I set up quick tote and pulled whatever I knew they hid in, on, and under and pulled that stuff out of my tank and banged the "pods" off into the tote. After I "cleaned house" their numbers have seemed to remain stable inside of the 75 G. I also probably have more in the tote than the tank.

Xeno's daughter bearded dragon Gor Gor will run all over his cage devouring "pods"! I'm sure just about anything will. Well everything except Fluffy Xeno's tarantula she won't go after them at all.
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LandFishh
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Re: Isopod count?

Post by LandFishh » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:59 pm

What you say about the bearded dragon reminds me of an AntsCanada (Cool ant farm utuber) episode/series of a farm/terrarium that was made that is self sustaining (except for having to spray them). It housed a colony of trapjaw ants. The ants would bury their food in their nest, but since the trapjaw ants are predators that feed on smaller bugs such as springtails, they didn't actually eat the food that was fed to them by their owner. They were farming the springtails by eating them as they ate the food they buried. (I know. Long process.) What a great example of symbiosis! If only we could add predators to the crabitat that aren't big enough to scare hermies. I bet there's something out there to reduce the population of isopods, such as a predator, that is compatible with the hermit crabs.
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Re: Isopod count?

Post by AwesomeHermit » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:09 pm

Motörcrab wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:35 pm
To the point if I would flip a piece of bark 4X5 piece of oak bark over there were close to 100. If you would pick up a piece of cholla wood 25-50 would drop to the substrate and scatter.
That sounds scary if you wouldn't expect the isopods lol
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ciaraalston
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Re: Isopod count?

Post by ciaraalston » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:12 pm

Mine is pretty crowded! If you pick up the cork bark log, there's A LOT of them running around! But i haven't seen them crawling on the hermits and it doesn't look like they're a bother yet if that makes sense?

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Re: Isopod count?

Post by Motörcrab » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:40 am

Based on what you are saying with what you are seeing I believe you are on the verge of a possible infestation. I would probably pull your Cholla, and barks to clean them (tap and shake the pieces) into a tote. If you thin the population out too much in your tank you can always add them back in at a later date.
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hermiwormi
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Re: Isopod count?

Post by hermiwormi » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:47 am

I don't know if my crabs are keeping the ones I've added in check, but there are fewer in my tank and I've even caught a crab picking at and eating an isopod.

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Re: Isopod count?

Post by aussieJJDude » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:23 pm

hermiwormi wrote:I don't know if my crabs are keeping the ones I've added in check, but there are fewer in my tank and I've even caught a crab picking at and eating an isopod.

5 PPs: Koa, Moja, Siam, Chella, and Ozark
Back in the day, I had isopods with hermies. I also noted hunting behaviour, where a crab actively stalked an isopod to eat.

It was increadibly funny to watch, and was something I've never noticed others commenting about...

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Re: Isopod count?

Post by Motörcrab » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:28 pm

I believe I had that same problem. Although I think my Isopods were hunting the crabs. I have never seen my crabs go after Isopods. Maybe when the find them in the food dish or climbing on Cholla where the hide.

I bet that would be funny watching them hunt. For some reason I just pictured a crab chasing an isopod inside a wheel. Both are running but no one is getting anywhere. Like something out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon!
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Re: Isopod count?

Post by Xenocrab » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:45 pm

The isopods in my 30 has drastically decreased. Idk if they died or if the crabs ate them. I see the tiny sand sized babies, but no adult isopods.

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Re: Isopod count?

Post by ciaraalston » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:58 pm

Mine could care less about anything. They hate people, they hate isopods, they hate everything.

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Re: Isopod count?

Post by odelayheehoo » Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:06 pm

I am overrun with these things in my tank, and it has gotten so bad recently that I am thinking that I may have to target them out of my tank by using a small vacuum. They breed extremely fast!

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Re: Isopod count?

Post by GotButterflies » Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:18 pm

Hello everyone :) First of all - PLEASE DO NOT RELEASE ISOPODS UNLESS YOU KNOW THAT THE SPECIES YOU HAVE ARE NATIVE IN YOUR AREA. It would be better to contact pet stores in your area to see if they are interested in your area - or list an ad on Craigslist - many people actually use them as feeders :)

Why do you think I give them away???!!!! LOL!!! :hlol: My tanks are constantly overrun with them. Yes, they are great at cleaning up the poop - but they breed like crazy!!!!!! I've never understood how people say they keep themselves in check. Absolutely nonsense to me. I also have a large tote set up. I take cholla and cork bark out of my tank and knock it into the storage tote. I do this once a week when I do my water changes. Sigh....it's a never ending battle...
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