Help Me Pick What to Keep!

JoP

Arachnosquire
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Aug 26, 2017
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102
Hi all,

I have a beautiful 35 gallon bioactive vivarium, and I'm trying to decide what live animal(s) to keep in it. The vivarium is live planted, with a bioactive microecosystem already set up (springtails, isopods, etc.). It's designed to keep high humidity (glass enclosure, minimal ventilation, MistKing automated mister set up, etc.), and it mimics a tropical rainforest/'forest floor" ecosystem. The viv is both tall and long, so it's easy to adapt as needed for either an arboreal or ground-dwelling animal.

I've previously had dart frogs, but I'm considering whether there might be inverts that would thrive in this setup. Asian Forest Scorpions immediately come to mind, as do Emperors (although that might require adding a heater to the vivarium). I'm researching potential options, so if you have any suggestions, please share them!

One note - I'd prefer to avoid centipedes, as the enclosure would be difficult to escape-proof to the degree that a pede would require. Also not much of an Old World T keeper, so I'll avoid those too.

Thanks!
 

LizardStudent

Arachnosquire
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Aug 16, 2020
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112
If you don't mind more secretive/fossorial animals, I highly recommend considering putting a salamander or a few in there. It sounds similar to what I have my yellow spotted in, and she is a treasure to me :)-sighting her is very limited though, but that makes it all the more special when I do see her. I've also heard that tiger salamanders are more interactive with their keepers than some of the other mole salamanders
 

goliathusdavid

Arachnobaron
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I would agree on salamanders. Frankly, I haven't found bioactive set ups to be hugely effective with most inverts. The only few species I could think of for a bioactive tropical vivarium like this were some of the Florida millipedes (Narceus species, Anadenobolus monilcornis, Trigoniulus corallinus etc.) but they are extremely picky about substrate and don't do well with isopods.
 

Edan bandoot

Arachnobaron
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461
Salamanders, crabs or the basic detritivores (isopods, millipedes, springtails, opiliones, psuedoscorpions)

I'm a bit of a sucker for microfauna lol
 

isopodgeek

Arachnosquire
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Jan 21, 2021
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126
That sounds really cool! Can you please post picture of the set up?

As far as inverts go, honestly, I don't know what would work. Most isopod species(with a few exceptions) love protein. Due to this, they will snack on any molting invertebrate. (I just tossed my Fishing Spider to some isopods who mauled it during its molt.

The bottom line, isopods don't mix well with other inverts.

Maybe get something else that would benefit from a bioactive set up. What are the dimensions of the enclosure? This could help determine what species can happily live in there. Can you provide a picture of the setup?
 

Smotzer

Arachnoking
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The isopods really draw down any ground dwelling invertebrate options, if they were even suitable for the environment.
 

Snailientologist

Arachnosquire
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Sep 26, 2020
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I haven't experienced or heard of any problems between isopods and large adult land snails, but that large a tank might be overkill.
 

goliathusdavid

Arachnobaron
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I haven't experienced or heard of any problems between isopods and large adult land snails, but that large a tank might be overkill.
I have not heard of problems between land snails and isopods either, but would not be surprised if there were some. I don't know of any keepers who have tried to keep them together, especially since they don't often co habitate in nature. Also there is the difficulty of acquiring "large land snails" and the *small* matter of legality even with non-land snails...
 

LizardStudent

Arachnosquire
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112
I haven't experienced or heard of any problems between isopods and large adult land snails, but that large a tank might be overkill.
I keep my land snail who is maybe 2 inches in diameter with isopods and have never encountered any problems. I have also kept smaller land snails with them without issue. For that matter, I've kept isopods with several of my millipedes and have never encountered any issues with this, all I do is make sure that there is plenty of food for all and they leave my millipedes in peace. I have yet to experience my pods snacking on any of my molting invertebrates, whether it be millipedes or scorpions, however I would never put isopods with slings or babies just to be safe, only with sizable established critters. Also some varieties seem to have a more ravenous appetite than others so this could be taken into consideration as well
 

Snailientologist

Arachnosquire
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Also there is the difficulty of acquiring "large land snails" and the *small* matter of legality even with non-land snails...
Sorry for any confusion. I know I said "large" but I guess I really meant medium. I was trying to say that the tinier species would not work. I was also talking about snails native to this person's state. In my area that's mainly cepaea nemoralis, which I have observed sharing habitat with isopods. I kept them with isopods for about a year with no visible affect on the snails. I was in no way suggesting going against the law, but I really need to work on being more specific.
 

goliathusdavid

Arachnobaron
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I keep my land snail who is maybe 2 inches in diameter with isopods and have never encountered any problems. I have also kept smaller land snails with them without issue. For that matter, I've kept isopods with several of my millipedes and have never encountered any issues with this, all I do is make sure that there is plenty of food for all and they leave my millipedes in peace. I have yet to experience my pods snacking on any of my molting invertebrates, whether it be millipedes or scorpions, however I would never put isopods with slings or babies just to be safe, only with sizable established critters. Also some varieties seem to have a more ravenous appetite than others so this could be taken into consideration as well
You may not have noticed any issues with keeping isopods and millipedes together because the primary issue that comes up is with breeding. It is fairly well established that isopods will eat millipede eggs, and possibly babies, regardless of how much food you are providing. They are simply too good a source of protein to let go. But, if the OP is not seeking to breed their millipedes, then such a setup could theoretically work. Personally, just not a fan of bioactive invert tanks (with one or two exceptions). And really take issue with those bioactives that combine organisms that would never interact with each other in ANY natural habitat.
Sorry for any confusion. I know I said "large" but I guess I really meant medium. I was trying to say that the tinier species would not work. I was also talking about snails native to this person's state. In my area that's mainly cepaea nemoralis, which I have observed sharing habitat with isopods. I kept them with isopods for about a year with no visible affect on the snails. I was in no way suggesting going against the law, but I really need to work on being more specific.
Ah, I gotcha. Thank you for the clarification! Yes, that could work. While we are on the subject of gastropods I would also say that Limax maximus are a ton of fun. You will, however, NEVER be able to use that enclosure again given the amount of slime output. Still fun to work with though :rofl:
 

scolopendra277

Arachnoknight
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May 22, 2020
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174
That sounds really cool! Can you please post picture of the set up?

As far as inverts go, honestly, I don't know what would work. Most isopod species(with a few exceptions) love protein. Due to this, they will snack on any molting invertebrate. (I just tossed my Fishing Spider to some isopods who mauled it during its molt.

The bottom line, isopods don't mix well with other inverts.

Maybe get something else that would benefit from a bioactive set up. What are the dimensions of the enclosure? This could help determine what species can happily live in there. Can you provide a picture of the setup?
you can keep isopods with ants and the isopods can't really do much to them. the only thing is that the isopods may be slain.
 

goliathusdavid

Arachnobaron
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What about African Giant Milipedes?
AGBs are quite difficult to source in the US, require USDA permits, have specific substrate requirements, and I don't think they would do well with isopods. I love AGBs, they're one of my dream inverts, but they don't belong in a bioactive tank.
 

Matts inverts

Arachnolord
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Jan 17, 2021
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Where are you in the country like what state. I would recommend stick bugs or jungle nymphs, they only eat the food you put in there, you could get a permit for an exotic or collect native/ invasive. They love humidity and breed really easily so you could also make some extra cash and they stay off the ground so the isopods won’t mess with them. You can also add greenhouse millipedes to add more tank friends
 

Matts inverts

Arachnolord
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I mean they only eat lettuce, oak, rose, and ivy. I think they are fun to hold. They don’t mess with other plants in the tank
 

goliathusdavid

Arachnobaron
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Correct me if I'm wrong but don't all phasmids require a containment facility to qualify for a permit?
Essentially, yes. There are very few ways to keep them legally, as they are a high risk species. Some introduced Phasmids can be kept without one in California and a couple other states (though there are still stringent safety protocols) but ALL exotic phasmids are going to require at least a two door containment facility. I know maybe 3 individuals who are able to meet the safety protocols for legally keeping exotics within a home, and all of them are associated with institutions.
Additionally, a 35 gallon tank is a really poor set up for most phasmids. their eggs would be isopod fodder, they would never encounter millipedes, and they don't generally do well in bioactives.
 
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