Too Much Life?

Highway61

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have a 2x4x4 enclosure that I utilize a root pouch to be bioactive and its been as trouble free as possible (no smell and no cleaning, draining or replacing drain pans!) But every once in a while I'll take a looking glass at the top soil and have noticed a much more dense population of spingtails and isopods. I put them there originally 2 1/2 yrs ago and from the video, you can see they're flourishing. I love that my bio is teaming with life, just wondering if a burst in overpopulation of ST and Isos can be a problematic? Obvioulsy, only one cham if this enclosure so not sure if he can keep up with the demand of the bottom feeding clean up crews?




ETA a picture of the enclosure. My cham is of course hiding :p


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Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
That’s awesome. About 7 years ago I used to keep hermit crabs. I must have had some spring tails in my apartment because about once a year I would have a huge explosion of them in the huge tank I kept the hermit crabs in. The problems with that is that hermit crabs bury themselves to molt and they are very vulnerable while they do that and the springtails can actually attack them. I lost several hermit crabs to them. I was able to buy another little bug from a pest place that would eat the spring tails but I cant remember what it was. Anyway they should be fine with what you’re using them for.
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
I have a 2x4x4 enclosure that I utilize a root pouch to be bioactive and its been as trouble free as possible (no smell and no cleaning, draining or replacing drain pans!) But every once in a while I'll take a looking glass at the top soil and have noticed a much more dense population of spingtails and isopods. I put them there originally 2 1/2 yrs ago and from the video, you can see they're flourishing. I love that my bio is teaming with life, just wondering if a burst in overpopulation of ST and Isos can be a problematic? Obvioulsy, only one cham if this enclosure so not sure if he can keep up with the demand of the bottom feeding clean up crews?




ETA a picture of the enclosure. My cham is of course hiding :p


View attachment 309103

I love the set up. My next enclosure will definitely be bioactive
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
That’s awesome. About 7 years ago I used to keep hermit crabs. I must have had some spring tails in my apartment because about once a year I would have a huge explosion of them in the huge tank I kept the hermit crabs in. The problems with that is that hermit crabs bury themselves to molt and they are very vulnerable while they do that and the springtails can actually attack them. I lost several hermit crabs to them. I was able to buy another little bug from a pest place that would eat the spring tails but I cant remember what it was. Anyway they should be fine with what you’re using them for.
That's crazy! they must have been a different species of springtail or something else. I have had them swarming in more enclosures and bins than I can count and they never hurt anything. My snail bins have had dense blankets of springtails everywhere and they didn't hurt them(well, besides being annoying crawling on them). Roaches also molt and are equally vulnerable, but not even isopods bother them(only other roaches!🙁). If something dies you'll see them all over, I wonder if that's the case with the hermit crabs? Reminds me of aquariums, people freaking out on the poor bristleworms, meanwhile they're just cleaning up whatever died.
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
That's crazy! they must have been a different species of springtail or something else. I have had them swarming in more enclosures and bins than I can count and they never hurt anything. My snail bins have had dense blankets of springtails everywhere and they didn't hurt them(well, besides being annoying crawling on them). Roaches also molt and are equally vulnerable, but not even isopods bother them(only other roaches!🙁). If something dies you'll see them all over, I wonder if that's the case with the hermit crabs? Reminds me of aquariums, people freaking out on the poor bristleworms, meanwhile they're just cleaning up whatever died.
It’s possible that they just were cleaning up what died. Hermit crabs are very vulnerable when molting and they often die during a molt. I just seem to have less losses when the spring tails weren’t as bad.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
It’s possible that they just were cleaning up what died. Hermit crabs are very vulnerable when molting and they often die during a molt. I just seem to have less losses when the spring tails weren’t as bad.
That's what I'm thinking. They may have also stressed the crabs out, which they do with some sensitive species. They don't hurt them, just crawling all over bothers certain critters. Roaches get really soft when they molt too, some species of roach will eat each other sometimes when they molt even. I know crabs can struggle a lot during molts, I've been researching several species off and on for years now. Crustaceans are among my favorite inverts! Have you kept anything other than hermit crabs as far as crabs go?
 

Highway61

Chameleon Enthusiast
I love the set up. My next enclosure will definitely be bioactive

When you do you'll never deal with another smelly, dirty drain pan again. I have a Reptibreeze X-large substrate tray that sits underneath the root pouch and by trial and error I discovered that if I over mist, the excessive water that trickles through the soil can collect there and get a musty odor. But once you get your mistings dialed in it will won't be a problem again.

I'll readily admit that I'm far from an experienced cham keeper and so this is the only setup I've had since I started almost three years ago.
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
That's what I'm thinking. They may have also stressed the crabs out, which they do with some sensitive species. They don't hurt them, just crawling all over bothers certain critters. Roaches get really soft when they molt too, some species of roach will eat each other sometimes when they molt even. I know crabs can struggle a lot during molts, I've been researching several species off and on for years now. Crustaceans are among my favorite inverts! Have you kept anything other than hermit crabs as far as crabs go?
No, just the different species of hermit crabs. There’s several different species of land hermit crabs.
 
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