Creating the Ideal Habitat for Isopods

Whether you're keeping isopods for educational purposes or simply as pets, providing them with a suitable habitat is crucial for their well-being. Among the various considerations for an isopod enclosure, the choice of container and ventilation stands out as fundamental. I keep all of my isopods in gasket sealed containers, with a fine stainless steel mesh. Here's why:

Maintaining Controlled Environment

One of the primary reasons for using a gasket-sealed bin is to maintain a controlled environment within the enclosure. Isopods thrive in stable conditions with consistent humidity levels. A bin with a tight-fitting gasket helps regulate humidity by minimizing moisture loss, creating a microclimate that mimics their natural habitat. This is particularly important in regions with fluctuating environmental conditions or for species that require specific humidity levels to thrive.

Preventing Escapes and Intrusions

Isopods are remarkably skilled at escaping from their enclosures, especially if given the opportunity. If you keep any Porcellionides pruinosis you know exactly what I'm talking about. Using a bin with a gasket-sealed lid provides an added layer of security, reducing the risk of escapes. Additionally, incorporating fine mesh ventilation ensures adequate airflow while preventing the entry of unwanted pests, such as mites or fungus gnats, which can be a hassle to deal with. This combination helps maintain the integrity of the enclosure and safeguards the well-being of the inhabitants.

Materials I Use

I keep all of my isopods in weathertight gasket bins made by IRIS. The majority are kept in 19qt containers, but smaller species or new colonies start in 7qt bins. Some of my faster-breeding varieties, like Dairy Cows, occupy 44qt bins. To add the holes, I use a 2" hole saw drill bit. My holes only go on the dry side of the bin. I put 1 on each side across from each other on the long side of the bin, and one in the very front, also on the dry side. However, my Porcellio hoffmannseggii require additional ventilation, so I add two extra 2" holes on each side of their bin for improved cross ventilation. Once the holes are cut I screw in my Edwin Lopez vents (highly recommend) and I'm done. In the past, I have also used stainless steel mesh purchased from Amazon, cutting it to size and attaching it with hot glue, which works equally well but may not have the same aesthetic appeal.


In conclusion, using a gasket-sealed bin with fine mesh ventilation is very important for creating an optimal habitat for your isopod colony. By maintaining a controlled environment, preventing escapes and intrusions, these enclosures provide a secure and comfortable home for your isopods to thrive. Whether you're a seasoned enthusiast or new to keeping isopods, investing in quality enclosures is crucial for the health and well-being of your isopods.

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