The Giant Canyon
Large and in charge, these critters make a fantastic terrarium cleanup crew. They’re also one of the hardiest species on the market, so they’re a great choice for setups of all kinds.
Come with me on a journey through the Giant Canyon
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Giant Canyon Isopod: Size, Appearance, and Behaviour
Fully grown, the Giant Canyon
That said, in terms of raw size, the Giant Canyon
Oh, they’re stockier than the average
With a uniform muted brown (sometimes blueish) coloration, Giant Canyon Isopods are not the flashiest of
Their strong burrowing nature is arguably the final straw when it comes to pet suitability.
Nobody wants a pet that hides from them all day, right? But that trait does come in useful when trying to keep a steady
Plus, Giant Canyon Isopods are very hardy and adaptable.
They’re found all over Western Europe and have easily transitioned to North America.
So they’ll do well in a tropical terrarium, but they also like it on the dryer side. Making them one of the few cleanup crew options in an arid terrarium.
Essential Giant Canyon Isopod Care
Giant Canyon Isopods LOVE to burrow.
You’ll typically find the majority of your culture hanging out in the first few inches of substrate. So you’ll need a suitably tall container that can accommodate a deeper substrate for them (3-4 inches deep would be ideal, but a little more certainly can’t hurt).
A Tupperware box can work great; I’d opt for one of the more cube-like shapes than a standard shoebox fit. A little plastic takeout box isn’t going to cut it here, either.
If you’re taking the DIY approach, just make sure to drill some ventilation holes into the box.
Porcellio dilatatus isn’t particularly sensitive to ventilation requirements, but every
Drilling up around the top of the sides is best to provide airflow (while also being out of reach of any climbing isopods). I’d cover any holes with mesh or fabric just to be extra safe!
Habitat & Substrate
A healthy bioactive substrate mix should form the basis of any
That’s because Giant Canyon Isopods are heavy substrate feeders.
They make light work of any organic components in a substrate, so a high concentration of earthworm castings can really help here. It’s also an excellent material for them to burrow in – win-win.
Mix with sphagnum moss and orchid bark (plus coco coir if you need to bulk it out), and you have a solid
Of course, they’re not going to be enough to keep them satisfied. Maintaining a generous amount of leaf litter on the surface is essential, as a thriving colony will tear through it quickly.
Alder leaves were shown to be of particular benefit in a 1999 scientific study.
Finally, be sure to add some cork bark or other decaying softwoods in there. Though Giant Canyon Isopods typically spend their time beneath the substrate, they also enjoy hiding under the wood. Plus, it’s yet another solid food source for them.
Isopod Humidity & Temperature
The Giant Canyon
The standard room temperature should be absolutely fine. Just make sure you’re managing at least the minimum moisture/humidity levels for routine
They’ll do well in both tropical and arid conditions for bioactive setups. Naturally, they’ll do best in a moist environment, but they’ll also manage in a dry habitat (provided they have a wet area to retreat to). Some damp sphagnum moss is an easy way to provide this.
Porcellio dilatatus certainly has an appetite to match its size.
We’ve already covered that they’ll quickly take to eating their habitat, so it can be helpful to provide some additional food sources to keep them going a bit longer.
Thankfully, they’re not picky eaters.
You can feed them any vegetable scraps you may have in the kitchen. Just keep the portions small, so they can eat them all in one go (you don’t want anything molding over).
Giant Canyon Isopods will appreciate a healthy supply of protein and calcium too.
Crushed egg shells are a cheap and easy way to get them their calcium fix, and as for protein, fish food is a convenient solution.
With ample space and food, Giant Canyon Isopods can breed pretty quickly.
Though they can handle dryer environments, if you’re trying to establish a culture, you’re better off providing a good amount of moisture and humidity.
I’d always recommend maintaining a separate culture, even if you’re planning to seed a vivarium with these – just in case.
Where to Find Giant Canyon Isopods for Sale
Giant Canyon Isopods are an established bioactive vivarium species.
So these days, they’re pretty affordable and readily available online.
Personally, I recommend our partners over at Rubber Ducky Isopods. They’re so lovely, super transparent, and really care about their isopods (and customers!).
Securely shipped in a culture start-up system that contains: Organic Sphagnum Moss, RDI House Blend Superfood, and Sprinkled Oak Leaves.
From our partners, Rubber Ducky Isopods. (Shipping included).
That’s a Wrap
Okay, so the Giant Canyon
Are you a fan of Porcellio dilatatus? Let me know in the comments.