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Questions about Isopods / springtails seeding

Discussion in 'Insects, Other Invertebrates & Arthropods' started by Selmartillery, Oct 12, 2019 at 2:28 PM.

  1. Selmartillery

    Selmartillery Arachnopeon Active Member

    Hi everyone !
    It is my first post here (Ive been reading a lot here though)
    Im new to the hobby and my first sling G. Pulchripes is on the way !

    Ive already set up my terra which is a nano exo terra wide.

    I wanted to make it Bioactive but I have some questions lingering.

    So I ordered springtails (a 500 ml box) and dwarf white tropical Isopods (no idea how much)
    I will most likely culture them to have some back up CUC just in case they run out.

    What I understood is that my T might eat my Isopods as she is only 3/4 of an inch. Which I dont mind they are supposed to make good feeders. That being said I will most likely cut in half the portion, seed one half and cultivate the other half.

    For cultivating Isopods :

    1) Can I maintain them in a mix of plantation soil (exo terra) and sphagnum moss ? With some leaves ?

    2) What should I give them to eat ? Do dry cat food works like for red runners ? (I wouldnt think so though)

    3) at which temperature do they thrive ? I am going to store them under my kitchen skin in a small tupperware. I chose this spot because it is a warm spot and usually humid but not too much as I never had mold problems.

    4) at what lenght my T will begin to just ognore them ?

    For the springtails I will basically do the same, cut in half the portion Ill get, seed one half and cultivate the other.

    5) how to seed a population of springtails in a already set up tank ? And around how many of those will it be optimal seeding given the size of the tank and the amount of substrate ?

    6) Can they dig through plantation soil (which I pressed a bit, it seems really compact) to reach every corner of the tank ? I didnt mix it with moss, I put moss on the top of it and leaves. If I need to re-do the whole setup I would rather know It now before the sling arrives.

    7) for them not to die off quickly should I add some food in the terra like rice ?

    8) How long will they take to colonise the whole tank and how long will they take to build up a self sustained colony ?

    8) for cultivating Ive seen that they tend to be kept in charcoal and water. I have extra soil an moss I was considering housing them in it with proper moisture. Would it do ?

    9) how much food, and types of food in the hole will be optimal for both species to thrive in the terra ?

    Here is the link to the setup I made :
    Terra G. Pulchripes https://imgur.com/gallery/A8hBoRi

    Here is a list of the items put in (all sanitized properly even double sanitized for the ones I bought in reptile shops -u never know-)
    Substrate : plantation soil exo terra and amazonas moss (not sanitized by me though)
    Items : two small pieces of cork bark, leaf litter (back yard ones), nano mangrove root, slate pebbles (very light), 3 heavy pebbles which I secured on the cork bark for preventing falls or collapsing in the burrows, small but sturdy branch.

    There u go.
    Some of u will say that the terra is really huge for a 3/4 sling. Here is not where lays the debate. I have plenty of free time to track the lil creeper inside and whatnot.

    Thanks in advance for ur precious help
  2. Polenth

    Polenth Arachnoknight Active Member

    I wouldn't use woodlice here. First, there's the issue of them snacking on moulting animals. You don't want them "cleaning up" your spider. Second, you'd have to add food for them, which is the reverse of cleaning up.

    To keep the woodlice colony, crunch up some dead leaves and mix it in the substrate. Offer them vegetables. They like a bit of protein, so cat food will do (though not as popular as fish food in my experience), but not as their sole diet. It's an extra on top of the plant foods. Dwarf whites are fairly tolerant of temperature, but won't cope with cold winter temperatures. They prefer to stay in/on the soil rather than climb.

    Springtails are great. They're not dangerous and they'll clean up odds and ends of feeders, without needing other food. But they will die off as you dry it out for the adult, so I wouldn't keep this as your main springtail colony.

    Both will grow in numbers quickly from a single animal.
  3. Selmartillery

    Selmartillery Arachnopeon Active Member

    Ive read concerns about isopods munching and a lot of debates in here. But no one has actually stated that their T has been munched. I dont really know if it is a myth or a reality.
    Also I guess it it were actually real maybe sling would be more at risk than adult ones (I know people keeping both springtails isopods in their adult T enclosure whithout having ever had a problem)
    For sure when it grows to a juvie almost adult T the terra would be dryer and theres good isopods for dry environment that would do the trick instead of dwarf whities and springtails.

    So what makes u say theyd be dangerous ? Did u witness such a thing ?
  4. EulersK

    EulersK Arachnonomicon Staff Member

    I feed my isopods by cutting a dubia in half and dropping it in the colony. They begin eating it long before it stops kicking. That's evidence enough for me to not use them in an enclosure.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. Polenth

    Polenth Arachnoknight Active Member

    I haven't witnessed it, because I've seen too much in my woodlice colonies to consider it unless it's somewhere that can take the loss (my cockroach colony is the only one with woodlice and it's too soon to see if that was a good idea). You never have to worry about overpopulation in a woodlice colony, because they'll just eat each other. Their mouthparts are strong enough to open up a hardened exoskeleton. That's only likely to happen with slow moving animals (and other woodlice), but it does demonstrate that it's not a good idea to assume that they only eat soft dead things. I love my woodlice, but I don't trust them.

    However, you don't have to go far in the forum to find people who did trust their woodlice and had animals eaten. Tarantulas are rarer because few tarantulas are kept in the right conditions for woodlice, and most of the wetter ones with woodlice have been arboreal setups (dwarf whites are in the soil and the tarantula up high, so there's less risk). You're in a similar boat, because no woodlice will take it as dry as your adult spider will need.

    The issue is it's fine until it's not. A small woodlice colony might be well fed enough to not really care about the free food. But when it goes wrong, it goes wrong too quickly to stop. It might all work out fine for you this time, then you'll try it again with another spiderling and they're gone.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Selmartillery

    Selmartillery Arachnopeon Active Member

    Okay you convinced me. No isopods with my T.

    Now its a sling being a Grammostola itll take years for it to mature into a an adult. As a juvie ish almost adult thr substrate will be way dryer than now so... is ther any CUC worth using in such an environment ?

    And about the other questions I had like for the springtails will they be able to dig through dense substrate to get to all the parts of the terra ? Should I air it a bit ? Or just redo my subsrate incorporatij moss in it ?

    Can I keep them in soil and moss ?
  7. The Grym Reaper

    The Grym Reaper Arachnoreaper Arachnosupporter

    A bioactive setup is pretty much pointless for this species seeing as they requite dry substrate from 2" whereas springtails/isopods require moist substrate to survive.

    You got plenty of free time to track it around your house? Because it will most probably escape from that.

    Even if it doesn't escape, such a large enclosure will have a negative impact on its behaviour, appetite, and growth rate.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. I cant see springtails having a problem finding a way into the dirt. And idk why soil and moss would be a problem so its probaby fine except i think someone else already said it but the substrate might be too dry for them to live so bioactive might not be your best bet
  9. Selmartillery

    Selmartillery Arachnopeon Active Member

    I made sure there was no way she could escape. Ill double proof it when it comes but theres really no way. But im curious as why you would think that.

    And actually about behavior. This has actually not been proven at all. The only real downside is tracking you critter INSIDE and feeding (linked to tracking it)
    But as I said its not a debate.

    And I know its basically pointless because of the fact the need a dry enclosure as juvies already. Well itll take her a year at least to reach 2 or 3 inches and I wanted to try the bioactive setup (I intend to get a few arboreals sometime next spring) and get te mechanics for my future reptiles too. I had two snakes that I gave, never gone bioactive now that I have more finacial stability and not wandering aroud city to city, country to country I will get back to my herp hobby which I love.
  10. Selmartillery

    Selmartillery Arachnopeon Active Member

    Oh and also it is really not impossible to make a dry bioactive. The lower layers can be moist and have pockets of moist. You just need a good depth and the upper layer on the dry side but not arid. Tropical isopods will die for sure but springtails can live in that environment usually pretty well. And there are some species of isopods (non tropical) that can thrive in a dryer habitat (I just look in my back yard theres a lot of them even in summer and Im living in a very dry area of switzerland)