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  1. #1
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    Wondering about isopods

    So I'm going to an expo on the 18th and I want to try to get some isopods that would be a good clean up crew for a bioactive for my ball pythons. At first I'm going to keep the isopods separate from my ball pythons, until I figure out their care/needs fully. I've been looking up information on isopods and they seem really cool. I'm just not sure what species I should look out for. I'm thinking powdered blue's or dwarf whites. I just want an easy to care for clean up crew. I would love to get something with a bit of color or different sizes but from what I've read/looked up, I can't figure out what species or morph to get and if any are harmful to ball pythons. Now I know I'm going to be limited based off what's actually there but does anyone have any species recommendations or anything I should look out for? On the flip side, is there a species I should avoid?

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  2. #2
    Registered User Erie_herps's Avatar
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    If you want a good clean up crew I would recommend dwarf whites and springtails. They both reproduce extremely quickly, can tolerate extreme conditions, and help clean up. I would try to avoid drier species like zebra isopods, slower reproducing species like Cubaris sp. (though I don't think you'd get those for a ball python), or species that could harm your snake like dairy cows. For display isopods powder (blue and orange) isopods are cool but you can't usually have those and the dwarf whites as the dwarf whites will outcompete most other species.

  3. #3
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    Re: Wondering about isopods

    Quote Originally Posted by Erie_herps View Post
    If you want a good clean up crew I would recommend dwarf whites and springtails. They both reproduce extremely quickly, can tolerate extreme conditions, and help clean up. I would try to avoid drier species like zebra isopods, slower reproducing species like Cubaris sp. (though I don't think you'd get those for a ball python), or species that could harm your snake like dairy cows. For display isopods powder (blue and orange) isopods are cool but you can't usually have those and the dwarf whites as the dwarf whites will outcompete most other species.
    Are dairy cows the only species that you know of that can harm my snake? When researching they're the big species I could find that people say don't use. I don't think I'll get anything dairy cow size or bigger as I've heard bigger isopods might damage snakes but if you have more experience with this please let me know.

    Also do you happen to know if dwarf purples would work/ maybe compete well with dwarf whites? Honestly I'm just curious what kinds of colors I can get together. I feel like it'd be a little boring with just white springtails and white isopods. If that's what I have to do for my snake/what's available to me then I will but I'm just looking at all the options.

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  4. #4
    Registered User Erie_herps's Avatar
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    Dairy cows are the only ones I know of because they reproduce extremely fast and are extremely food motivated. If you wanted to try other large species you could likely make it work if you also fed them, give them items to eat in the substrate, etc. Dwarf purples are much smaller but you might be able to house both (I don't remember reading anything about housing both together). When I set up a crested gecko tank I virtually never saw them. If you keep different species of isopods together one will often outcompete the other (so I wouldn't recommend using dwarf whites/purples if you also want colorful isopods). For colors I would recommend using different color morphs of Porcellionides pruinosus (blue powder, orange powder, wild type, oreo crumble, etc).

  5. #5
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    Re: Wondering about isopods

    Quote Originally Posted by Erie_herps View Post
    Dairy cows are the only ones I know of because they reproduce extremely fast and are extremely food motivated. If you wanted to try other large species you could likely make it work if you also fed them, give them items to eat in the substrate, etc. Dwarf purples are much smaller but you might be able to house both (I don't remember reading anything about housing both together). When I set up a crested gecko tank I virtually never saw them. If you keep different species of isopods together one will often outcompete the other (so I wouldn't recommend using dwarf whites/purples if you also want colorful isopods). For colors I would recommend using different color morphs of Porcellionides pruinosus (blue powder, orange powder, wild type, oreo crumble, etc).
    Makes sense. Thank you so much for your insight. I was thinking about Porcellionides pruinosus so maybe I should try that species.

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    Erie_herps (12-15-2021)

  7. #6
    Registered User plateOfFlan's Avatar
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    Re: Wondering about isopods

    I keep some armadillidium in their own little tank and feed them snake sheds and leftover feeders and debris from the tarantulas (plus table scraps) - recently I had some ants come into the apartment and get into the isopod tank. I was really upset, convinced the poor little things would be overrun but was shocked to find they'd simply killed and eaten every ant that came in to steal their apple slices. Before this incident I would've scoffed at the idea of isopods harming or harassing a snake but they're a lot more capable of handling themselves than I thought!

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to plateOfFlan For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (12-19-2021),Erie_herps (12-15-2021)

  9. #7
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    Re: Wondering about isopods

    So I'm so excited and happy with my early Christmas present to myself lol. I got some powder blues and some powder oranges as well as some springtails. For now I put the blues, oranges, and some springtails into a 7 quart container. Since I know the orange is a recessive gene I was thinking about getting another container to keep just them but for now I figure I'll see how they mix and when I notice less orange I'll remove a couple and start a new culture of just the oranges.

    On a side note, how much is too many springtails? I put a decent amount in the 7 quart but I feel like I didn't even make a dent in the culture I bought. What do I do with so many springtails? Lol I didn't think I'd have this problem this quickly.

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    Erie_herps (12-22-2021)

  11. #8
    Registered User Erie_herps's Avatar
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    I don't think it's possible to add too many springtails. I always add as many as possible and I think it sometimes prevents the inevitable fruit fly/fungus gnat population. You could also try making your own charcoal springtail colony.

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