thegeckogal replied to your post “Hello Tser! I'm in the process of researching a bioactive enclosure...”
@tser Do you have any more tips for starting an arid bioactive enclosure? I just switched my leopard over to the Biodude's Terra Sahara and have a seperate cage for my Powder Blue isopod culture. Is 1 month enough to culture those isopods before adding to the tank?
I have a few posts on arid bioactives and general bioactive setup stuff:
Different arid CUC: http://tser.tumblr.com/post/175388745299/what-do-you-think-about-darkling-beetles-as-a-leo
This contains information on humid refuges for an arid bioactive: http://tser.tumblr.com/post/173603305204/hey-there-im-trying-to-make-a-bioactive
Basic Stuff to know: http://tser.tumblr.com/post/167149163824/bioactive-stuff-no-one-told-you-about (applies to all bioactive enclosures)
For the isopods it’s going to depend! Powder blues are great breeders, and very hardy and prolific. However, if you got baby powder blues to start with it’s going to take a long time before they grow up and start breeding.
Porcellio species don’t start breeding until six to nine months after they’re born, and Armadillidium may not reach reproductive age until they’re 18 months old! I believe Porcellionides (like powder blues) are likely to be closer to the former. This is one reason the dwarf white and purple species are so popular; they breed at three months old. In addition, Armadillidium species often only have babies once a year (but a large female may have almost a hundred babies at a time!), while the dwarf species reproduce many times per year (and Trichorhina tomentosa is parthenogenic).
So, if you started with adult Powder Blue isopods a month might be plenty to start them reproducing. With many prolific species, you usually end up with a gravid female or a few in an adult starter culture, which means you may have babies within weeks (the female may hold eggs in her marsupium -- pouch formed by plates on her underside -- for weeks or months depending on the species, though; I don’t know how long powder blues hold them).
However, if you started with baby isopods then a month is not going to be long enough for them to grow and be populous enough to take care of the waste produced by your gecko. In addition it depends on how many adults you have, especially if your gecko is likely to eat some of them. Lots of leaf litter will help them hide.
My suggestion would be to add in some other CUC in addition, such as lesser mealworms, which reproduce pretty quickly, and to start at least one additional culture of isopods so that you can add in more as needed. I also recommend springs even in arid enclosures, especially during setup while everything’s settling in. Eventually they’ll probably only survive in the humid refuges in your enclosure.
In the meantime while your isopods grow up and your CUC grows in, you’ll just need to do more chores in the enclosure (as I mentioned in the “Bioactive Stuff” post).
Regarding Terra Sahara, let me know how you like it. Some people seem to like it, and others find it isn’t fast enough draining, but I’ve heard mixing it with some additional inorganic material can help with that.
Kinda infodumped on isopod reproduction there. Hahahaha.
Hello, all! I found a disturbing lack of isopod related discords, so i decided to create my own! It is called Isopod Keeping, and we welcome all to join and share pictures of your beautiful crustacean children! All species welcome!
Some powdery blue isopods (Porcellionides pruinosus) and (I'm sure there are a few there somewhere) some large white springtails (Folsomia candida) chow down on some CUC food in my crested gecko enclosure.
here are all the pics showing the steps to building kiwi’s bioactive tank!! 🦎 took me 3 months! the backing is made up of expanding foam, silicone, coco fiber, cork bark, natural moss, and coco fiber plant pots that i cut in half lengthwise!
i made the vines out of natural jute rope, silicone, moss, and coco fiber! he’s also got a little coconut hide in there, lots of branches, and a wooden bridge!
for CUC i’ve got dairy cow and powder blue isopods, springtails, and morio beetles!
Hi there i don’t know if you know anything about bio active terrariums but you know about isopods so I thought it was worth asking, I’m working on my first bio active home for a Crested gecko and I’ve seen dwarf white isopods recommended as a clean up crew however I like dairy cow isopods do you think they’d work as well or do you know any other kinds that would work? Have a great day :)
I keep 4 established bioactives currently! Some of the Porcellio species can get a bit “munchy” for protein. It can be a risk for smaller reptiles. Also, the dairy cows are so large the crested may eat them!I use orange powder isopods in with a few snakes, and my geckos, but the gecko viv needs replenishment often because they get eaten. Thankfully, orange powders are incredibly prolific and I always have a huge supply of them from their own separate culture. So, it’s like a cleaning crew and diet variation in one!I also use Montenegro isopods in a snake viv, and they do great.But as far as cleaning crews for a crested gecko, the dwarf whites will be your best bet at being peaceful and avoiding predation. Or, try the powder blue (or orange) isopods if you can replenish them often from a separate culture.
mochi’s bioactive tank is done!!! 💚 i added substrate, plants, and the clean up crew today. i’ve got morio beetles, blue powder isopods, dairy cow isopods, zebra isopods, and white springtails in there! mochi moves in tomorrow, i wanted everything to get settled and let the humidity lower a bit before he gets introduced!