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Old 08-14-2019, 05:48 AM
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Default Missing Isopods

I am setting up a bioactive vivarium for a Crested Gacko I plan to get. I added about 30 isopods (that I dug up from my yard). Most of them immediately climbied up the background, and for the next day or so I observed a few of them there. After that I have not seen any of them. I've dug through the substrate quite a bit, and put some potato slices on the substrate hoping to then find them underneath, but nothing. The day after I put them in, I saw one crawling on the table outside the vivarium, so it must have escaped. There are a couple small gaps where the door doesn't fit completely tight, so I suppose one could squeeze out if it was really trying. The humidity in the enclosure is pretty high, I spray at least twice a day and according to my hygrometer it fluctuates between about 80%-99%.

So my questions are:

1) Is it common for isopods to try and "escape" their enclosure if it is not super tightly sealed?

2) Does the fact that I don't see any in there indicate that they actually escaped, or is it more likely that they are just hidden deep in the substrate where my moderate digging wouldn't find them?


Last edited by Crestieguy; 08-14-2019 at 05:50 AM.
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:51 AM
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Default Re: Missing Isopods

I don't have them.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: Missing Isopods

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crestieguy View Post
I am setting up a bioactive vivarium for a Crested Gacko I plan to get. I added about 30 isopods (that I dug up from my yard). Most of them immediately climbied up the background, and for the next day or so I observed a few of them there. After that I have not seen any of them. I've dug through the substrate quite a bit, and put some potato slices on the substrate hoping to then find them underneath, but nothing. The day after I put them in, I saw one crawling on the table outside the vivarium, so it must have escaped. There are a couple small gaps where the door doesn't fit completely tight, so I suppose one could squeeze out if it was really trying. The humidity in the enclosure is pretty high, I spray at least twice a day and according to my hygrometer it fluctuates between about 80%-99%.



So my questions are:



1) Is it common for isopods to try and "escape" their enclosure if it is not super tightly sealed?



2) Does the fact that I don't see any in there indicate that they actually escaped, or is it more likely that they are just hidden deep in the substrate where my moderate digging wouldn't find them?



1) yes , they will try to escape by exploring around the enclosure

2) it's more likely that most of them are still in the tank than escaped.

As a side note: people usually avoid using local wild caught Isopods as there are risks of disease carrying and Isopods having a heavy metal content from what they eat. Usually people would use captive bred tropical isopods
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:02 PM
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Default Re: Missing Isopods

Are you seriously trying to account for isopods in a planted vivarium?

They can hide and be anywhere. You may never see one in 10 years and there could be hundreds in there.
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: Missing Isopods

I don't see the isos I put in my tanks very often at all, but I see them enough to know they are still in there years after I put them in. However, you said that you went outside and collected some isos. I don't know where you live, but if you are in the US, there is only a small portion of the US that has temp/humidity conditions even vaguely similar to the conditions in a viv. I guess there is a chance that the probably-temperate isopods you found outside don't like the tropical conditions inside the viv. I am just speculating, though. I don't even know if all the kinds of isopods that I keep are tropical. It would provide an explanation for why they headed to the top of the tank. I have never seen this when I introduce isopods.

On a different note, I want to talk about your vertical conversion. Is that just screen wrapped around some egg crate as a vent and then siliconed into the top? If so, that's pretty brilliant. I have never seen that before. Soooooo much easier than making wee screens. Also, what are the three little dots on either side of the top of the glass? Finally, is that some sort of clear hinge at the bottom? Where did you get that? I assume that the glass opens vertically from the top?

Best of luck,

Mark
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Old 08-14-2019, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: Missing Isopods

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philsuma View Post
Are you seriously trying to account for isopods in a planted vivarium?

They can hide and be anywhere. You may never see one in 10 years and there could be hundreds in there.
Yes the question was serious -- maybe I should have mentioned that I am new to keeping reptiles and bioactive. It's not like I was taking a headcount, but when I put a lot of them in the enclosure, and never saw ANY even when digging for them and putting out food, AND saw one outside the enclosure that had escaped, I had to wonder -- hence the question. In contrast, all I have to do is lift up a leaf and I see lots of springtails, which are much harder to see and could hide more easily (yes, I know there are exponentially more of them)

Anyhow, I feel better now knowing that it is not unusual for isopods to be well hidden, and that they probably haven't all escaped.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Missing Isopods

I seeded my tank with purple isos weeks before my frogs were introduced. Seeded again after. 25 or so each time and have never seen any of them. Except for one that I accidentally squished when closing my glass door. I HAVE however since introduced ZEBRA isos . Much bigger than the dwarf cultures I had put in previously. I see at least one ZEBRA every other day. At LEAST. Maybe the others hide better. Maybe the ZEBRAS are bolder. Maybe it's just easier to see them because of the size difference. Are you feeding them?
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: Missing Isopods

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Originally Posted by Do_Gon View Post
I seeded my tank with purple isos weeks before my frogs were introduced. Seeded again after. 25 or so each time and have never seen any of them. Except for one that I accidentally squished when closing my glass door. I HAVE however since introduced ZEBRA isos . Much bigger than the dwarf cultures I had put in previously. I see at least one ZEBRA every other day. At LEAST. Maybe the others hide better. Maybe the ZEBRAS are bolder. Maybe it's just easier to see them because of the size difference. Are you feeding them?
Yes, I put in some cucumber and potato slices -- I have seen springtails all over the food, but no isopods. Based on the comments from you and others, it sounds like its pretty normal for them to keep out of sight, and reassured me that not seeing them doesn't mean they escaped. Thanks!
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Missing Isopods

Quote:
Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
I don't see the isos I put in my tanks very often at all, but I see them enough to know they are still in there years after I put them in. However, you said that you went outside and collected some isos. I don't know where you live, but if you are in the US, there is only a small portion of the US that has temp/humidity conditions even vaguely similar to the conditions in a viv. I guess there is a chance that the probably-temperate isopods you found outside don't like the tropical conditions inside the viv. I am just speculating, though. I don't even know if all the kinds of isopods that I keep are tropical. It would provide an explanation for why they headed to the top of the tank. I have never seen this when I introduce isopods.

On a different note, I want to talk about your vertical conversion. Is that just screen wrapped around some egg crate as a vent and then siliconed into the top? If so, that's pretty brilliant. I have never seen that before. Soooooo much easier than making wee screens. Also, what are the three little dots on either side of the top of the glass? Finally, is that some sort of clear hinge at the bottom? Where did you get that? I assume that the glass opens vertically from the top?

Best of luck,

Mark

Thanks!! Regarding the viv setup:
  • Yes that is screen hot-glued to eggcrate. Originally I had a plexiglass piece there with holes drilled in it, but found it was keeping humidity in TOO well (hygrometer would stay stuck at 99%). I added the eggcrate/screen, and also a blower fan for intake in the back, and now it brings the humidty down to about 80% in about 8 hours after spraying. The starting point for this enclosure was a discarded aquarium that had broken bottom glass, which I found had the unexpected benefit of allowing me to insert the fan and the hygrometer/thermometer probe through the back where the glass had been (see pictures)
    .
  • The glass (actually plexiglass) door opens from the top as you said, the hinge at the bottom was made by spreading a thin layer clear silicone along the seam between the fixed piece of plexiglass on the bottom and the door (see pic). If you Google "living hinge" you will find a lot of info on them. I am extremely happy that I went with the living hinge approach -- it has held up amazingly well so far.
    .
  • The dots are neodymium magnets, which hold the door closed. Each one is hot-glued to the outside of the door, and a matching one is siliconed to the backside of the aquarium from, right behind it. With six of them the door is held closed pretty solidly -- but I will probably add an additional safety latch once I get my gecko.
    .
  • PICTURES: https://imgur.com/a/OU5pjut
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: Missing Isopods

Couple of Zebras getting busy and Winky getting an eyeful. 2019-08-14_03-30-23.jpg
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: Missing Isopods

I can agree with the zebras being bold! I am culturing them currently and they are ALWAYS at least 5 visible on top of the substrate.

But then I seeded my viv with 50 dwarf whites and a handful of other large iso’s And have only seen one crawling around.

They are there!
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