Powder Blue Isopods Care & Use (Porcellionides pruinosus)

Much like their namesake color, Powder Blue Isopods are a classic choice for all homes and projects.

Seriously, whether you’re looking for a spirited new member of a bioactive cleanup crew, or you just want a cool new pet isopod – these can do it all.

With their soft metallic blue hues and turbo-speed movements, these little isopod engines work tirelessly to clean and recycle (and look good doing it).

What more could you ask for?

Learn how to care for this versatile species, and how to use them effectively in a bioactive terrarium/vivarium.

Powder Blue Isopods

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Powder Blue Isopods Size, Appearance and Behaviour

Powder Blue’ isopods are a small to medium sized species. 

They’ll typically grow up to just over 1cm (around 0.5′) in size, but these little pocket rockets are plenty active. Pop them in and watch them go!

Much like their Porcellionides pruinosus twins, the Powder Orange Isopods, these critters have a dusty texture to their carapace – ranging from a pale silver to a darker chrome color.

They really are lovely, and they’re not just for show.

Powder Blue Isopods are incredibly active feeders and breeders, which makes them a great bioactive choice and an excellent beginner species.

Let’s take a closer look at why.

Pros (and Cons) of Powder Blue Isopods

Porcellionides pruinosus have a great reputation in the industry, and continue to be one of the most popular isopod species.

Here’s why!

  • Adaptable – Powder Blue Isopods can easily handle most terrarium/vivarium conditions with no issues at all. So you can confidently choose this species for your next project.
  • Prolific – Let’s just say these little critters put their energy to good use… They are rapid breeders and they tend to have large broods, so you’ll have a thriving population in record time. 
  • Bioactive – These isopods have a voracious appetite, so they make excellent tank custodians. Munching on any decomposing organic material and keeping your enclosure clean and healthy.

> Convinced? Shop the Powder Blue Isopods here.

In terms of cons, there’s really one only one that’s important to note.

  • Delicate – Despite their hardy appearance, they’re actually a soft-bodied species. So they’re not the best isopod species for handling. If you’re looking for an isopod pet you can interact with a bit more, you might want to consider something like the Zebra Isopod instead.
Powder Blue Isopods
Powder Blue Isopods have some stunning metallic tones.

Powder Blue Isopod Care

Habitats – Isolated and/or Bioactive

You can keep Powder Blue Isopods in two ways.

Either in their own culture container or in a larger bioactive terrarium/vivarium – or both! 

Even for established terrariums, it’s often a good idea to have a separate culture going as a means to top-up your colony (or as a full backup if something goes wrong).

As medium sized isopods, you won’t need a huge container for their culture. But they do multiply rapidly, so be prepared to upscale or divide if you start off small.

I always like to recommend at least a shoebox sized container to start with. 

They’ll need plenty of ventilation, so unless you’re running with a dedicated isopod enclosure (like the one below from EZBotanicals) you’ll need to create some holes yourself. 

Isopod enclosure
Large Flat Acrylic Invertebrate Enclosure with Magnetic Locking Top. (Image Credit: EZBotanicals on Etsy).

When it comes to ventilation holes – as with most things – little and often is the best way. You’ll get better airflow with lots of little holes right around the container rather than one big hole. 

Terrariums and vivariums often have this built in with a partial lid or venting system.

Substrate

However you keep your Powder Blue Isopods, you’ll need a versatile bioactive substrate.

It must be able to retain moisture well (isopods absolutely cannot be allowed to dry out) and have some organic components to feed on.

In an isolated container, you can use a simple mix of coco coir, earthworm castings and sphagnum moss.

In a planted terrarium, you’ll be better off running with a variation of the classic ABG mix. This proprietary blend from the Atlanta Botanical Gardens is a tried-and-tested bioactive substrate.

That being said, I swap out some of their materials for more renewable versions (as mentioned in the bioactive substrate article linked above). 

On top of the substrate, you’ll always need a layer of sprinkled leaf litter. 

Leaf litter
Mixed Oak Leaf Litter like this is a solid choice. (Image Credit: EZBotanicals on Etsy)

This is the easiest way to provide their both their natural food and their environmental materials in one go!

> Shop leaf litter on Etsy.

Powder Blue Isopods Humidity and Temperature

A big part of what makes Powder Blue Isopods so adaptable is their ability to thrive in a wide range of temperature and humidity levels.

They really don’t need anything fancy here, a typical household temperature range of 70-80°F (21-27°C) is absolutely fine.

Unless you run a cold house… in which case you might want to pop your enclosure in the warmest spot.

Humidity is just as easy to achieve too. Provided you’re using a mostly closed container (which I’d recommend with these little jailbreakers) and you’re keeping the moisture levels up, it should be generating plenty of humidity.

Aim for above 50% for best results.

What do Powder Blue Isopods Eat?

In a bioactive setup, the naturally decaying organic matter (also known as detritus) should form the primary nutrition source, but there’s plenty more they’ll eat.

Powder Blue Isopods eat a diverse range of foods, and they have enormous appetites for their size.

They’ll happily consume just about any supplementary fruit or vegetable cuttings.

So, you can generally give them whatever comes out the kitchen. Though it’s better to go with small bits at a time so nothing goes to waste and spoils.

Vegetables are also preferable over fruit, as fruit can attract unwanted pests.

In an isolated culture, you’ll probably want to feed them a couple of times a week. But, in an established vivarium ecosystem they may need a lot less.

They’ll also need protein to stay strong and healthy. 

Fish flakes/pellets are a common and convenient choice, but Powder Blue Isopods will reportedly consume all manner of meat scraps too. 

> See my Guide to Isopod Food for more help.

Arguably the easiest way to feed isopods is with a dedicated isopod food blend. Something like this Isopod Super-Food Blend from the team at Rubber Ducky Isopods will keep your bioactive team fed and healthy.

Breeding Powder Blue Isopods 

Breeding Powder Blue Isopods is as simple as keeping them happy and warm.

Honestly, they’re such prolific breeders, you really just need to meet their basic care requirements and the rest will take care of itself.

Though they do breed faster at warmer temperatures, so turn up the thermostat a little for a boost! 

In a culture, it’ll probably be a matter of weeks, and you can expect an established terrarium colony to easily maintain itself.

Where to Find Powder Blue Isopods for Sale?

It’s never been easier to buy isopods online.

As a true isopod classic, Powder Blue Isopods are readily available.

> Grab a 10 Count Cup from XYZReptiles to get you started.

Over to You

Are you a fan of the Powder Blue Isopods? Do you have any care secrets to share?

Let us know in the comments below!

Or if you need more isopod inspiration, check out my article on 12+ Funky Types of Isopods to Collect (Species + Photos).

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