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.

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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 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 has a great reputation in the industry and continues 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 Powder Blue Isopods.

Powder Blue Isopods have some stunning metallic tones.

In terms of cons, there’s really 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 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 running 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.

They also love to hang out together, which is very cute.

For cultures, I always like to recommend at least a shoebox-sized container to start with. 

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. 

isopod bin setup
Like this one! With holes right the way around the top.

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

We recommend a loose-fitting lid for closed terrariums and opening regularly for air exchange/feeding.

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 to get started.

Whereas 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 recipe.

That being said, I swap out some of their materials for more renewable versions.

👉 Our terrarium substrate mix is similar to ABG but peat-free!

Then, on top of the substrate, you’ll always need a layer of sprinkled leaf litter. This is the easiest way to provide both their natural food and their environmental materials in one go!

You can grab a bag of leaf litter from our store too.

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.

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

Both leaf litter and carrots are appreciated as food!

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.

powder blue isopods eating a dried shrimp
My Powder Blue Isopods could not get enough of this dried shrimp…

Arguably, the easiest way to feed isopods is with a dedicated isopod food blend.

👉 This Isopod Super-Food Blend (developed by 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.

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!

For an alternative Porcellionides pruinosus color morph (that’s not powdery), why not check out our guide to Oreo Crumble Isopods and their care?

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

4 thoughts on “Powder Blue Isopods Care & Use (Porcellionides pruinosus)”

  1. You are amazing! Literally found everything I needed in this article❤️ I am upgrading my leopard girl to a 75 gallon tank and this was super helpful & I have placed an order for powder blues! Great read!

  2. I am considering adding isopods to an island paludarium. It has a stream that trickles through moss all over it, and some mold has begun to grow. Would isopods work, because there is no substrate, just rocks. It is also pretty small.

    1. Probably not in this case, isopods would likely be underequipped and exposed in that environment. Springtails would work nicely though!

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