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Ascellus aquaticus

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I have some I've been playing with.  They are voracious on driftwood!  If your fish don't keep them well in check they can degrade your wood in a matter of weeks starting what amounts to an inverted Walsted-style tank whether you want one or not.  The fish live to eat them though!  I think they will be omitted from any new tanks of mine.

I know that @Biotope Biologist just put a larger species into one of his tanks.  It might be early for his long-term observations, but I;m sure by now he must have some thoughts.

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Mine are still settling in it seems. After their initial foray into exploring they are exclusively nocturnal. I don’t see them much anymore. 

I know that isopods are quite shy, it took my terrestrial ‘tangerines’ about a month or two before they were actively running around at all hours of the day, I’m hoping this is the case for the aquatic friends.


both my terrestrial and aquatic buddies have an appetite. To keep them off my plants I give them lettuce and pieces of sterile soft wood as well as stale fish food. I imagine repashy wood might be a great supplemental food source for them (It’s to expensive to be a main).


Ascellus aquaticus only breed after the female molts which is about once a month, so I imagine the colony will be a bit slower to take off than my terrestrial colony which are easily at about 60 strong now. 


Edited by Biotope Biologist
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You have a different species than aquaticus? I'm using aquaticus because that's what's around here. I haven't checked, but I have a feeling finding them online is going to be a bit difficult. Also, I'm sure they will probably be illegal to bring into the state 😕.....

Edited by Expectorating_Aubergine
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Yeah, the lab supply places I've looked at won't sell them to me because I'm in California, unfortunately. Luckily I have found some from a pond not too far from me. I have also kept the terrestrial varieties as cleanup crews in terrariums before. You aren't kidding about their appetites. The only plants I've seen them leave alone were pothos. I actually had to go out and get some of those Woodhouse hunting spiders (Dysdera crocata) to keep their numbers in check. I was planning on setting up a kind of leaf litter/drift wood only tank with floating plants for them. Maybe I'll get lucky and mine will get jumbo sized.......

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