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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I am putting isopods into my Viv, and immediately they ran towards the edges and got into the cracks in my Cork Background panel (lucky reptile cork background).... this has me thinking, will they eventually start eating it? This is siliconed to 3 walls of my viv, so if they did noticeably damage it... I would have to rip out my entire planted tank to redo it!!

Any insight would be appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Isopods primarily eat decaying matter, so they wouldn't be that interested in eating your background unless it's decaying.
I do have plenty of plants, and leaf litter in there, I can always sprinkle some isopod food into the leaf litter if that might help keep them away from my background?
Because of its design, I think there will be hundreds of cracks and tunnels running through my background that they could end up running around in. In hindsight maybe wasn't the best idea, but it looks so good :/
 

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I had a green anole vivarium stocked with temperate isopods. They munched on my plants too. Once their numbers got up, they actually started to become problematic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What species were these? Mine are tropical grey woodlice.

Did you guys also have plenty of leaf litter in there, or was the plants the only organic thing in there?
 

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If by chance the isopods are pruinosis, yes they will eat cork, driftwood, and nearly anything else. They will also reproduce to the point that you will have to remove them frequently.
 

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The isopods that I housed in the viv were locally harvested. I'm not sure of the exact species. This was a Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis) (also locally collected) enclosure that I had set up with plenty of leaf litter as well some basic (non tropical) live plants. The problem began after their numbers increased substantially. It's not like they decimated all of the plants over night. However, they did prefer certain plants over others. The plants that they found tasty showed obvious signs of damage. After I began noticing leaves missing and foliage being eaten, I was curious as to what was happening. I decided to pay close attention and did begin to observe the isopods munching the plants. I did offer other food items, but some of my plants seemed to be more appealing than the foods I offered them.

Don't let my little story deter you from adding isopods to your viv. I've never had any tropical isopod varieties ever touch my plants in my tropical vivs. They are a very common and beneficial addition to a bioactive enclosure; adding them to your viv is a good thing!

In short....No....your background will not get destroyed by isopods. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The main reason I worry is I think these Grey Isopods might be a touch on the big side for my frogs... I'm not as concerned with the dwarf white for example as I know my frogs will eat them whenever they are seen, but I'm not sure if they would help keep the greys numbers down
 

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What species were these? Mine are tropical grey woodlice.

Did you guys also have plenty of leaf litter in there, or was the plants the only organic thing in there?
I thought I had plenty of stuff for them to munch on...but...I guess not. I'm not too sure the species though, whatever the gray ones from my yard are. They produced pretty quickly, and have totally ignored my water traps. Lettuce seems to capture their attention well though. I recently picked up some dwarf whites....they're crazy tiny! Sadly I don't ever see them unless I move stuff around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I thought I had plenty of stuff for them to munch on...but...I guess not. I'm not too sure the species though, whatever the gray ones from my yard are. They produced pretty quickly, and have totally ignored my water traps. Lettuce seems to capture their attention well though. I recently picked up some dwarf whites....they're crazy tiny! Sadly I don't ever see them unless I move stuff around.
Do you think the dwarf whites are as bad as the grey ones for eating things they aren't meant to?
I have a culture of both, so I will use whichever one is least likely to make me sad in the future lol
 

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Do you think the dwarf whites are as bad as the grey ones for eating things they aren't meant to?
I have a culture of both, so I will use whichever one is least likely to make me sad in the future lol
From what little I've seen of my newly added whites, which hasn't been alot, they don't seem to munch on anything alive.
 

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They like to feel like they are safe from predation, usually by squeezing into dark gaps where they feel something pressing against their exoskeleton in multiple contact points. For example somewhere where something is touching their underside, backside and can be touched via the full range of motion of their antenna all at once. When dropped into the vivarium they felt exposed and ran for the dark cracks where their instincts tell them that they are safe from predators. They should move into the leaf litter when their gills feel dry, when the vivarium is dark or when they become hungry enough to leave the cork to find food.
 
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