Adding Isopods to Main Tank

For everything isopod - breeding, keeping, and as clean up crews. Also known as pill bugs and rolly-pollies!
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AwesomeHermit
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Adding Isopods to Main Tank

Post by AwesomeHermit » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:45 pm

I am planning to add isopods to my tank after my next deep clean. Question is, is it required to change substrate every now and then? Another question, how much substrate would I need to add to the tank at first to make it settle down to about 8 inches?
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GotButterflies
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Re: Adding Isopods to Main Tank

Post by GotButterflies » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:12 pm

Are you sure that you want to add isopods? :hlol: I only love not cleaning up poop! They are a huge hassle! Mine overpopulate like crazy!!

Do you mean how many inches should you add to make it settle to 8"? If that is the case, then I would add 10-11"
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Re: Adding Isopods to Main Tank

Post by curlysister » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:14 pm

You don't actually have to deep clean and change substrate. I have had my crabs for 8 1/2 years and have never thrown out the substrate. I have just added more when I upgraded tanks or when it settled and I needed more depth.
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Re: Adding Isopods to Main Tank

Post by GotButterflies » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:40 pm

I'm sorry, I suppose I forgot to address that part of your question - great catch Curlysister!

I've never changed my substrate either! I've just added to it.

The only reason you would need to change substrate is if you had a bacterial bloom.
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Re: Adding Isopods to Main Tank

Post by odelayheehoo » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:21 am

I thought that I might as well post my input on this question as well.

I added some wild isopods to my tank that I collected around my yard (they were kept separate for about a month) that I wanted to put into my crabitat.

Now I have over a thousand crawling all over the place, they wedge themselves in the cracks of the cork bark, crawl inside of the barnacles, and munch down on the cuttlebone. They are almost impossible to stop from breeding, unless you manually remove them from the tanks you will wind up with too many too handle.

I have also observed that the crabs don't like them when they are out so often, they refuse to touch the ground if an isopod group gathers around near them, they also flick their legs and pinchers around when one crawls up onto them.

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Re: Adding Isopods to Main Tank

Post by GotButterflies » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:46 pm

odelayheehoo wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:21 am
I thought that I might as well post my input on this question as well.

I added some wild isopods to my tank that I collected around my yard (they were kept separate for about a month) that I wanted to put into my crabitat.

Now I have over a thousand crawling all over the place, they wedge themselves in the cracks of the cork bark, crawl inside of the barnacles, and munch down on the cuttlebone. They are almost impossible to stop from breeding, unless you manually remove them from the tanks you will wind up with too many too handle.

I have also observed that the crabs don't like them when they are out so often, they refuse to touch the ground if an isopod group gathers around near them, they also flick their legs and pinchers around when one crawls up onto them.
I warned you!!! :hlol: LOL - you still don't have to change the substrate. So what I do, is I have a container near me when I do my weekly water changes. During that time I also do a huge straightening of my tanks. At this time, I take out leaf litter, knock cork bark that I have into the container, and take out cholla pieces I have and knock them into my container. Then, I put them into a larger isopod container I have. Since yours are obtained from the wild, you can release them. I cannot. Mine are difernet species.
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Re: Adding Isopods to Main Tank

Post by The Crab Maid » Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:47 pm

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Re: Adding Isopods to Main Tank

Post by Motörcrab » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:21 pm

We had ours overpopulate rather quickly as well. We went from maybe 200 in our 75 gallon tank to thousands.It seemed like a great idea at first and quickly escalated. It got to the point when I tried to count them in a 6" X 6" area of the tank I couldn't because there were so many. When I would lift a piece of wood hundreds would scatter everywhere! I believe they would devour most of the food I put out before the crabs had a chance to eat.

Like GotButterfiles said you need to keep them in check every week. buy putting them in their own tote.

When I had to redo my tank because of a bacterial bloom several months ago I saved what isopods I could and put them in their own tote. They are still thriving in that tote and am still debating what I want to to do with them. I considered putting some back in the tank but don't want to go through the overpopulation fiasco again.

I'd also like to clearly note. If your isopods were not collected locally they can not be released into the wild. Since they may not be native to your area they may not have natural predators and cause a huge environmental impact possibly disrupting the natural food chain. It could create something similar to Florida's current python problem, but with isopods.
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Re: Adding Isopods to Main Tank

Post by GotButterflies » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:05 pm

Pelagic wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:47 pm
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OH MY GOSH>>>>>I LOVE THIS!!!!! :hlol:
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Re: Adding Isopods to Main Tank

Post by PinchersAndShells » Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:56 pm

I’ve noticed that Armadillidium species (the kind that curl into a ball) reproduce a lot slower than Porcellio and Porcellionides species (the kinds that don’t curl up). I added 10 babies last year and they haven’t taken over yet. I’m only now starting to see them every so often. :)
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Re: Adding Isopods to Main Tank

Post by AwesomeHermit » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:44 am

Since Isopods are cute in my opinion and seem fun to keep, would I be able to just add a few males to my main tank, not necessarily to cleaning, but to make my tank more interesting? Also, would they be able to escape
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Re: Adding Isopods to Main Tank

Post by PinchersAndShells » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:35 pm

AwesomeHermit wrote:Since Isopods are cute in my opinion and seem fun to keep, would I be able to just add a few males to my main tank, not necessarily to cleaning, but to make my tank more interesting? Also, would they be able to escape
If you can take the time to sex them you definitely could! You have to flip them over and look at their “bellies”.
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They can’t climb smooth surfaces so there’s not much of an opportunity for them to escape, unless you give them one. They also need some degree of humidity to survive so unless you have rotting wood in your house I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Image


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Re: Adding Isopods to Main Tank

Post by AwesomeHermit » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:58 pm

I’ve looked around for 30 minutes. Found a spider with babies on its back, wolf spiders, rare slugs I’ve never been before, 2 ant colonies trying to hide their brood... and no isopods :roll:
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Re: Adding Isopods to Main Tank

Post by AwesomeHermit » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:17 am

I got insanely lucky and found just one pregnant isopod.
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Re: Adding Isopods to Main Tank

Post by GotButterflies » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:37 pm

Just a reminder you would want to breed a couple of generations of a wild one BEFORE adding to your tank. You don't know what they have been exposed to.
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