Springtails.

Byron18

Member
I have a veiled Cham and just made her terrarium bio active. I put spring tails and rolly pollies( or wood lice) into her substrate. They have leaf litter. When she’s poos it goes to the bottom of the tank and I can see the springtails on the poo. How long does it take the excrement to decompose?
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
It depends on your horde. Some can pick up a scoop of compost and have a huge amount of rolly pollies, others only get a few. It takes about 3 days for the "scout" rolly polly to find the poo, and then its gone a few days later once they start swarming.
 

iMi

Established Member
Quick questions... are the rally polly's same as the common ones found outside in the midwest?

Just curious...
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Quick questions... are the rally polly's same as the common ones found outside in the midwest?

Just curious...
There are many different species. Some of them can be found locally, most of them cannot.
 
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Byron18

Member
It depends on your horde. Some can pick up a scoop of compost and have a huge amount of rolly pollies, others only get a few. It takes about 3 days for the "scout" rolly polly to find the poo, and then its gone a few days later once they start swarming.
I got a few rolleis,about 10-15 maybe, and quite afew springtails and I see the springtails on the poo but it’s not really decomposing although there is no mould like fluff if you don’t clean it for a while. Do I need more rollies?
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I got a few rolleis,about 10-15 maybe, and quite afew springtails and I see the springtails on the poo but it’s not really decomposing although there is no mould like fluff if you don’t clean it for a while. Do I need more rollies?
What size enclosure are they in?
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
I got a few rolleis,about 10-15 maybe, and quite afew springtails and I see the springtails on the poo but it’s not really decomposing although there is no mould like fluff if you don’t clean it for a while. Do I need more rollies?
They will breed like rabbits. I started with 10-20 i found under a log (score for finding all at once) in a small plastic container, with leaf litter and some bran. A month later i had a sea of little white babies.

rolly baby.jpg
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Does it matter on the size?
No, I'm just asking for no reason at all. Of course it matters. Which is why I asked lol. The reason being, that bigger enclosures need significantly more isopods to cover all of the space. So 15 isopods might be enough for a small enclosure, but a 2x bigger cage would need twice as many to maintain the right ratio of isopods per square inch.
 

Byron18

Member
No, I'm just asking for no reason at all. Of course it matters. Which is why I asked lol. The reason being, that bigger enclosures need significantly more isopods to cover all of the space. So 15 isopods might be enough for a small enclosure, but a 2x bigger cage would need twice as many to maintain the right ratio of isopods per square inch.
1) no need to be rude.
2) the excrement only covers about 3square inches so do I need a lot for the whole enclosure. I have exo terra small x-tall. I ordered some tropical grey wood lice from amazon, would it matter if I got some from outside wnd put them in my tank?
 

Chameleon Mike

Chameleon Enthusiast
1) no need to be rude.
2) the excrement only covers about 3square inches so do I need a lot for the whole enclosure. I have exo terra small x-tall. I ordered some tropical grey wood lice from amazon, would it matter if I got some from outside wnd put them in my tank?
I'm just getting started with my bio active setups but from what I researched 15-20 isopods will not cut it for most enclosures. However the isopods will reproduce and you will have plenty in a few months.
To answer your question, yes you can add isopods from outside. The problem with that is you run into the risk of mites or unhealthy isopods that can kill them all or get them sick.
I would try using what you have and see how they do. I think once they find the fecies they will eat it and move on to the next.
I bought the dwarf gray isopods myself and I was told they reproduce slowly. You may want to add some dwarf white ones which reproduce a lot quicker.
You can get them at the All Animal Expo in Wheaton Illinois. That's where I get mine from.
 

Highway61

Avid Member
I'm a newbie just getting started and setting up a bioactive enclosure in a 2x2x4 Reptibreeze so I'm trying to read up on most of what will involve that. I don't have a cham or any springtails or isopods but I am curious that when I do get them, will the cham eat the isopods? If so, is that good or bad? Also, if the clean up crews breed like rabbits, how do folks deal with that? Thanks! -Rob
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm a newbie just getting started and setting up a bioactive enclosure in a 2x2x4 Reptibreeze so I'm trying to read up on most of what will involve that. I don't have a cham or any springtails or isopods but I am curious that when I do get them, will the cham eat the isopods? If so, is that good or bad? Also, if the clean up crews breed like rabbits, how do folks deal with that? Thanks! -Rob
Chams tend to enjoy isopods, but I've never seen mine eat them in an enclosure because the isopods stay in the substrate or hiding mostly during the day. It doesn't really matter one way or another. The clean up crews will generally breed to cover the amount of waste being produced. My isopods and millipedes will get rid of any cham poop overnight.
 

Highway61

Avid Member
Thanks for the info James, it all makes sense.

Since the cleanup crews are contained in screen enclosures, are the any concerns that they escape and infest the house? When I google springtail and isopods, all of the top hits are for exterminaters in my area, lol
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for the info James, it all makes sense.

Since the cleanup crews are contained in screen enclosures, are the any concerns that they escape and infest the house? When I google springtail and isopods, all of the top hits are for exterminaters in my area, lol
Nope, they stick to the humid substrate. Some wonder at night, but they shouldn't leave the enclosure. Even if they did they'd end up dying. I've never heard of isopods infesting maybe if you live in a damp house made of dirt, leaves, and rotting wood lol.
 

Calypratus

Established Member
A couple of isopods escaped once in my old house and they hung out under the sink for months before we realized they were there. Glad I moved out, it was super creepy.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
A couple of isopods escaped once in my old house and they hung out under the sink for months before we realized they were there. Glad I moved out, it was super creepy.
Sure they weren't just local species? I find them in our basement here in the northeast. Gets humid... they cause no problems though.
 
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