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Culturing Isopods - cheat sheet
Philsuma Wrote:Well...crowded is a blessing and won't need "fixed". When you have crowded....ya harvest and make sale or trade cultures for friends and reptile show vending.

Very true, keep em packed, you will find that production goes through the roof
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Great advice guys, Smile
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Here's my "Master Cultures" for isopods - little grey plastic boxes on the floor near the springtail cx with the red lid


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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Anyone have Optimal Temperature data for keeping / culturing ?

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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Being tropical, 76-80 would likely be an ideal temp for increased metabolism and breeding. My cultures stay at about 72-76 with fantastic results in breeding. Little to no light is also a huge benefit as many species prefer and likely only reproduce in dark conditions. Longer periods would equal more time they will likely reproduce, increasing production.

My temperate cultures are also kept at this temp, but im not seeing results as of yet.
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Just made some scrambled eggs....shells are going into all the cultures.

Another good use for culturing compost bins !

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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Egg shells !!!! GREAT source of Calcium for Isopods and then transfers over to the frogs. Cuticle and exoskeleton - much better than gutload.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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I'm still very much liking my 'soil' / ABG type substrate for iso's and springs.

Anyone think charcoal only or cardboard strips work really well ?

I like a 'medium size' culture container for springtails but a smaller one for isopods.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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I'm using a non-vented FF cup and using damp shredded corrugation/hand shredded live oak leaves and things are coming along nicely with dwarf greys. Feeding fish flakes 2x's a week. Started with only 5 now I have close to 30. With the corrugation and leaves in a couple months you're supposed to have just "soil" left when they're done munching on everything. I can see some soil starting to build up in the culture.

Just got some dwarf purples in recently and trying the same method, but in a larger container since this starter culture had a lot more to start with, since it seems to work for me.
1.0.6 D. Leucomelas
0.0.2 D. Azureus
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Hi fishguy, curious how long did it take to go from 5 to 30?
In central NY

R. Imitator 'Cainarachi Valley' 2.3.0
R. Imitator 'Cainarachi Valley' Froglets 8 and counting.
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Over a month. Maybe 5-6 weeks
1.0.6 D. Leucomelas
0.0.2 D. Azureus
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Is it safe for me to to just collect a bunch of isopods from my yard to start a culture with? I live in upstate new York, and Im not sure what species they are exactly but they look like dwarf greys
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I would buy 'Tropical Isopods' from another hobbyist and here's why:

1. Your 'wild' Iso's are not going to be suited to the humid 'jungle-like' environment of an indoor dart frog vivarium. They most likely evolved to actually need a winter dormancy period. They may do 'ok' for you, but will most likely not thrive and produce the larger amounts of young that the tropical 'hobby' Isopods do.

2. You are less likely to introduce some hitchhikers, or even Chytrid by buying 'hobby' raised Isopods.

3.You are supporting the hobby / helping fellow hobbyists.

...some thoughts.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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I'm feeding sliced turnips to all my isopods. A slice 1/4 inch thick will last for about two weeks or so. Works great. Also with Halloween coming up you can save pumpkin scrapes.
Garrick H.
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Is the "bug burger" a complete diet?

Would I be better off with something else? Or adding variety?

I searched and found about 1000 different options, kind of a lot to process....
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"Snow flake" Isopods, yo ?>

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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I've never seen an Isopod eating any live plant. I've only seen them climbing on a live plant, once....once.

I think they are detritivores and not 'set-up' to eat live plant tissue. Holes in plants are almost always slugs or snails.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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I got about 4 cultures when i started my viv. i used (2)- 1 dwarf white, the other 1 dwarf purple. (5-6 weeks ago)

The other 2 containers, one of each, went into a plastic storage container with ABG mix, i keep it damp but not wet, i have fed them Repashy Bug Burger.

I don't see them often, i am sure they hide when i turn the lights on in the basement/lowest level. i have put two squares of corrugated cardboard in there, about 2x2 inches. i pick these up when i check the cultures, and i never see any isopods on them.

I have searched thru it and i will see them in there, but i am not seeing very many. how long does it take for the cultures to start producing a lot more isopods, and i wonder why my cardboard is not attracting them. i am cooking eggs tomorrow and i plan to add an eggshell to the substrate for them. I don't have a cucumber in the house, and i forgot to grab one at the market.

My cultures are kept in a finished basement at about 68 degrees. It is mostly dark with the lights off. is it the temperature that is keeping them from taking off? i really cannot increase the temps, and it's ok if that is the reason they are not reproducing quickly.

all of my isopod cultures came in an ABG type mix. when i need to grab a bunch, i'm not sure how to do it. they are very well hidden in the substrate.
1.0.0 husband
1.1.0 horses
2.3.0 dogs
0.0.2 Gray tree frogs
0.3.0 Azureus
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The 'bloom and boom' of various isopod species is wide, varied and probably more dependent on temperature, Humidity and nutrient factors than most (all) of us hobbyist will ever know. Some people cx them in 'smaller' containers and feel like the bugs can 'find each other' easier and quicker.

Safe to say, unlike our little buddies - the fruit flies...isopods can take months before you have a 'boom'.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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I am still fairly new, only 2.5 years with darts, but I'll tell you how I have such a great supply of isopods! I only bought them once, when I was starting, over 2 years ago. I bought 1 culture of them with a mail order of supplies. I have seeded all my vivs. I have 2 small grow out tanks (12x12x18), and about 3 or 4 months ago I emptied them of frogs--the babies had grown up, and I moved them to larger vivs. I was going to tear the small vivs apart and re-do. (They were looking a bit "messy", and I love to build vivs.) However, I noticed how many isos were in them, and decided not to mess with them! I have lots of leaf litter in all my vivs, and all I have to do is pick up a few leaves, turn them over, and wow! Tons of isos! I just drop a few leaves full of isos in my other vivs every so often, and they really keep going. I don't feed the isos, per se, just mist the vivs as usual. I had frogs in there for over 2 years, so the residual calcium, vitamins, and frog waste must be enough to keep them going. Think I will add some egg shell tomorrow, now that I'm thinking of it!
P. Terribilis orange, R. Imitator Cainarachi Valley, D. Leucomelas, D. Auratus, D. Azureus, P. vittatus, D. cobalts, D.Oyapok, Bombina Orientalis
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