Isopod Substrate

These products cannot ship by express mail, due to weight. They are offered with free shipping via Priority Mail, a 2-3 day service, only.

New pet isopod keepers consistently underestimate the importance of the substrate in their pets' tanks. A quality substrate is the single most important care factor in maintaining and growing your population of pet isopods. It is their primary food source. It is their shelter. It is their source for hydration. A good substrate provides all these things and any supplemental foods or products are just secondary.

Please review my Pet Isopod Care Sheet for more information and photos.

The most important ingredient in pet isopod substrate is small bits of decaying leaves from hardwood trees. These are best mixed into a base like compost soil and a bit of sand, the densities of which help to conserve moisture, provide stability and structure for burrowing species. Bits of wood from hardwood trees is also added.

Two options for purchase on this page:


1. This Composite Blend substrate provides ALL the necessary ingredients for pet isopods in a 3 pound blend of the following: dried leaves, compost soil, sand, and peat moss. $14 per three pound bag. Again, this is a COMPLETE habitat and food source. You don't need to offer any other foods unless you want to supplement your isopods with bits of protein-based pet foods (I like cichlid fish food pellets because they are tiny and disappear completely and quickly). Isopods will also enjoy little bits of fruits and vegetables.

2. The Composite & Hardwood Cup substrate option (3 lbs per shipment for $17) is essentially the same as the composite subtrate above but includes a 2 ounce cup of properly decayed oak wood (oak flake soil) in the form of slightly chunky sawdust. Sprinkle a third of the cup on the surface of the substrate every couple of months or as needed. These fine bits are more easily manipulated by isopods. Free Shipping.

All organic material continues to decay through a natural process of decomposition via mold which you may or may not see. If mold forms as the substrate encounters all the native spores in the new environment (tank), it may be spot cleaned. The substrate may need to be turned over a bit. After a month or so the micro-ecosystem in your cage should come into balance. If you already have a seasoned cage set up, adding smaller amounts of our substrate to the tank over time will help to keep the current ecosystem in balance, while providing new food material for your pets.

pet isopod substrate tank product
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  • Item #: bic798
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Price $14.00

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