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The T Lord 06-04-2009 11:07 PM

Lisa, didn't know you could use normal woodlice, will quarantine about 50 off tommorow, as i have 15 spiders atm lol.
Would a week be ok for quarantine?
i don't clean mine out fully, as mentioned, if you spot clean enough, rehousing will be before cleaning out fully.
HTH , John

garlicpickle 06-04-2009 11:16 PM

Poxicator told me about it, he uses the tropical woodlice but said I could use normal ones. He suggested 2 weeks for quarantine, but now I've got the springtails I'm not bothering with woodlice as they have a tendency to fall into the waterbowls and drown.

The T Lord 06-04-2009 11:17 PM

Two weeks it is then
Cheers BTW

Gaboon 07-04-2009 10:46 AM

Right, thanks for the replies everyone!!

Poxicator 07-04-2009 12:13 PM

You should quarantine them for 2 weeks as woodlice can harbour nitrates and other chemicals. This makes them good for the garden but not for eating. The British woodlice are much bigger than the tropical ones so they're more likely to get eaten but tarantula tend to avoid them. The tropical ones are white, as are the springtails, and these help to clean moulds and fungus plus they eat the bolus and will help clean up any food remains. Best of all they eat the mites eggs and compete for the same food as mites, only they're much faster at getting to the food! Woodlice near moisture to breathe so you often find them around the water bowl or in moistened substrate.
I have them in all my Psalmo, Pokie and Avic enclosures.
Very few will be eaten, although I have heard of people that use them to feed their tiny slings. But, if they're coming from the garden then its really not an issue if a few get eaten. They'll breed but I haven't noticed any getting out of hand, and I've been using them for about a year now. You're not likely to see many until you moisten the substrate.
To start a colony, get a cricket tub, fill with substrate (peat or coir), put some wood chips in, soak it and place old fruit or veg. I actually use the old fruit that the roaches don't eat, the mankier the better! You can keep a colony like this indefinitely.

Poxicator 07-04-2009 12:23 PM

Cleaning out the substrate is unnecessary unless you have serious issues eg. phorid flies. Spot clean the substrate, removing mould, bolus and any uneaten food. Clean the glass of poo. You shouldn't need any more than that, there's really no need. Some long time keepers have had the same substrate for over 5 years!
Most issues with flies and mites are cured by drying out the substrate completely, they simply can't live without moisture but tarantula can. But I recommend always providing a water bowl in dry enclosures.

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