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Are Rubber Ducky Isopods a good first pet?

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

At first glance, Rubber Ducky Isopods might be considered above a novice level keeper ability, because they do have certain requirements, but that does not mean they cannot be a good fist time Isopod. It will take some adjustments and learning but they are very feasible, even for a beginner.

Cubaris sp. Rubber Ducky require a good substrate (dirt) with steady humidity and an adequate amount of ventilation. These can both be achieved fairly easily but there are a few things to cover before acquiring your first Isopods and avoid a group crashing soon after acquiring them. So, take your time and get it right to help prevent losing such a cool Isopod.

How many should I get?

Most sellers start with five to six in a culture but it is possible to find 10-12 cultures for sale. So, decide how many you want, then you can determine accommodations from there.

Tank/tub size

Depending the quantity of Isopods you chose, they will need a minimum six quart tub or five gallon aquarium and a level of 1.5 - 2 inches of substrate (addressed in another blog post) on up to a 12-quart tub; Anything larger is unnecessary.

How do I maintain humidity?

Humidity is maintained by keeping a section of their new habitat moist. In most cases, this would be accomplished by keeping a corner or up to 1/4 of the container wet. You can overdo it, so it is best to gauge by the substrate's color. The substrate should be darker in color in a specific corner and gradually change and lighten as you look away from the corner. You can alternate corners or sides over time.

What about ventilation?

Ventilation is key for two reasons: One, it keeps the air from becoming stagnate which can lead to fungus or mold. Two, higher humidity can actually cause an Isopod to drown due to saturation of the gill.

Start by drilling a few small holes slowly on the top of your tub so you you don't crack the plastic. Let it sit for a few days and check the dampness of the substrate. If it seems like it is maintaining the dampness then you are good. If not, drill a few more holes and retest. For aquariums with screen lids you can place plastic over the screen in sections and test over a few days. In most cases, the plastic only needs to cover about 80%-90% of the screen to maintain the right humidity.

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