Buying Isopods Online: Everything You Need to Know

Isopods are the hottest new pet on the market, haven’t you heard?

These little bioactive beasties are on the up, and there’s never been a better time to get started in the isopod hobby. 

That said, with so many species to try and new varieties emerging – seemingly every day – it can be a little overwhelming at first.

In this guide, we’re going to cover everything you need to know to get started with isopods. Where to find the best starter isopods for sale (and the rarer/more advanced kinds), along with all the kit and information you’ll need to get started.

Let’s get to it.

panda king isopod

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How to Choose From the (Many) Isopods For Sale

People flock to isopods for different reasons, but there are generally two main drivers.

  1. To keep as pets – They’re cute and cool to look at; what more do you need?
  2. To use in a terrarium – Along with springtails, these bioactive critters are an excellent way to keep a terrarium healthy, vibrant, and clean (and they can be a potential tasty snack for reptiles and frogs).

Technically, the giant isopods from the sea are a food delicacy for humans too, but we’re not going there…

So naturally, what you want your isopods for is a good place to start. 

Pet Isopods

If you’re looking for a shiny new pet isopod species, you can go straight for the most aesthetic and unusual kinds.

Whichever catches your eye the most!

The Rubber Ducky Isopod is perhaps the cutest and most famous of all, but it’s also relatively rare and a little pricey.

rubber ducky isopod on cork bark
Perhaps not the best place to start… but it’s a fun challenge for the more experienced keeper.

Thankfully, even the likes of the common roly-poly bug Armadillidium has some cool varieties, e.g., Zebra Isopods or Clown Isopods – and they’re both very beginner-friendly.

Zebra isopods on cork bark
Zebra Isopods really do fit the brief.

Beyond that, lots of isopod species come with a variety of color morphs and mutations (like the Dalmatians or Koi), so there really is a lot of diversity to explore.

So many isopods, so little time.

Of course, you’ll need to tailor your isopod‘s environment to the needs of your chosen species, but if you’re keeping these as a pet in their own enclosure, this is pretty straightforward.

*Whichever you choose, I’d recommend sticking to just one type of isopod per enclosure. You might find the more dominant species (cough, Dairy Cow Isopods) might outcompete the others for food.

Which one sounds the most exciting to you?

๐Ÿ‘‰ Shop our hand-picked range of isopods for sale.

Bioactive Isopods for Terrariums

If you’re putting isopods to use in a terrarium, it’s much more important to be selective about your species choice.

Not every isopod species will make an effective bioactive cleaner, and you’ll need one that’s well-adapted for life in a warm and moist tropical environment. There’s also ventilation to consider, as some species won’t be able to handle closed terrariums with poor airflow.

Thankfully, there’s a range of tried-and-tested species in the vivarium hobby.

Here are a few to check out:

Tropical Terrariums

1. Dwarf White Isopods (Trichorhina tomentosa)

These tropical isopods are perhaps the staple terrarium/vivarium isopod. They’re super small, well-adapted for terrarium conditions, and they breed insanely fast. 

Did I mention they reproduce parthenogenetically (i.e., they can effectively clone themselves)?

dwarf white isopods on cork bark
No wonder Dwarf White Isopods are so easy to culture…

The Dwarf Purple Isopods (Trichoniscidae sp.) are a similarly good choice. Both are diligent terrarium cleaners, and due to their burrowing habit, they help to aerate the substrate too.

I’d recommend either one for an effective (albeit mostly hidden) clean-up crew.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Shop Dwarf White Isopods.

2. Spanish Orange and Lava Isopods (Porcellio scaber)

Here, we have a cornerstone vivarium species.

Porcellio scaber is one of the originals that formed the basis of the hobby. This is why, nowadays, this medium-sized isopod species comes in so many colors and varieties.

They’re so reliable and hardy that breeders have been able to go nuts with genetic combinations to produce some stunning new looks.

lava isopods on leaf
Lava Isopods are definitely my favorite morph though.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Shop Porcellio scaber Isopods.

3. Florida Fast Isopods (Atlantoscia floridana)

Florida Fast Isopods are a natural choice for super humid enclosures (like for dart frogs).

They’ll have no problem settling into a lovely tropical terrarium. Plus, as the name suggests, these speedy little critters are seriously fast and can easily keep up with cleaning duties.  

Though bigger than the Dwarf Whites and Purples, they’re still relatively small as far as isopods go. 

๐Ÿ‘‰ Shop Florida Fast Isopods.

Arid Terrariums

Being crustaceans, isopods need some moisture to survive.

So, in an arid setup, it’s not so much about finding desert-loving isopods (I don’t think they exist) but rather isopod species that are hardy and tolerant of dryer conditions.

That said, as long as you have a designated moist area in your terrarium, you can overcome some of these barriers. Even just a damp area under some wood or around a water feature can often be enough,

Here are some hardy species to consider:

  • Powder Orange Isopods (Porcellionides pruinosus) – These isopod all-rounders perform well in terrarium conditions of all kinds. They’re amongst the most adaptable of all isopod species and one of the few that can handle a true arid setup.
powder blue isopods on leaf
Powder Blue Isopods are just as good too!
  • Giant Canyon Isopods (Porcellio dilatatus) – These big beasties are well-adapted to dryer conditions, and they’ll serve as a great cleanup workhorse for your enclosure. 

Buying Isopods Online

For most people, online is the best place to buy isopods.

They’re still a relatively niche industry, and I’ve only ever known them to be stocked in specialist vivarium stores. I doubt searching “isopods for sale near me” is going to bring up many local options.

So, where do we start?

With a reputable breeder. One that understands the challenges associated with keeping (and shipping) live isopods. Plus, a wide variety of species is important, as let’s face it – that’s half the fun, right?

That’s why we’ve partnered with the expert team of isopod breeders from Rubber Ducky Isopods to offer our range of isopods directly on our store.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Shop our range of isopods for sale.

Need more specialist choices? Check out the extended range of exotic species over at Rubber Ducky Isopods.

That’s a Wrap!

Hopefully, this guide has helped you narrow down the giant list of isopods for sale. 

Have I missed your favorite species? 

Let me know in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Buying Isopods Online: Everything You Need to Know”

  1. I just want to say thank you for putting this information on the internet. I have read it over and over again and I think I’m ready to begin. I had a lot of questions and you guys seem to answer almost all of them. Thank you for your time and God bless.

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