First Isopod Temporary Terrarium

Michael Langerman
7 min readJan 18, 2022


Buy Isopods Locally on Craigslist:

Buy Isopods on Amazon (paid link):

I’ve been thinking about building an enclosure to keep together aquatic and terrestrial pets — a vivarium or more specifically a paludarium.

And… as it happens often, I found things happen along my way of thinking.

First, my best friend and wife brought me samples of moss from upstate New York on November 1st.

Here you can see a sample of Haircap moss.

Until I build a larger enclosure, I decide to keep it in this 16oz plastic container.

Let’s put some polymer foam on the bottom to make a base that can absorb excess water.

The moss with all the dirt that it comes with goes on top of the base.

I did not wash it — there could be some insects, worms, and who knows what else in this dirt.

We’ll see…

Poke needle sized holes in the cover of the container.

That should allow for atmospheric air circulation while reducing water evaporation.

Now let’s spray the moss with tap water — moss likes moister.

And cover the container.

We just made a temporary terrarium.

On November 10th, while I’ve been pondering about what critters to put in my future paludarium another thing comes along the way.

I found this isopod on a wall in a hallway in the building.

I had never kept isopods before.

Well, the temporary and yet vacant terrarium seems like a good starting place to learn about isopods.

Though, I know where to find wild isopods.

Well, let’s put this little fellow into my temporary terrarium.

I like the color of this isopod.

Let’s check if it may like a flake of cereal for a snack.

Isopods like moisture.

So, let’s spray it all with tap water.

And here it goes exploring its new home.

In the following weeks, I went to parks to see what critters I could find during late Autumn.

Warm seasons are the best time to look for critters.

Nevertheless, I found worms, slugs and… isopods.

You can see one of those adventures in a previously published video.

November 14th

I got 5 wild isopods from Crotona park in Bronx.

Let’s put them in the same temporary terrarium I already have an isopod in.

Here it is hiding under the dirt.

And here you can see isopods crawl on the stick that I picked up at the Crotona park.

The stick does not fit in the container…

So, let’s drop isopods in the container.

Hmm…there are only 4 isopods…

OK, now I can cut the stick into pieces to make it fit in the container.

And the fifth isopod was hiding in the bottle.

Here it goes.

Let’s spray some water and cover the container.

The next day, November 15th.

Isopods mostly crawl up to the surface when it’s dark.

Here you can see them trying to hide from the bright light of my camera.

The first isopod did not eat the cereal.

Let’s see if new isopods will like it.

Also, I give them a wilted cherry leaf.

Spray it to keep everything moist.

Always cover the container.

About a week later on November 16th.

I found another critter — a millipede crawling right here you can see it.

The millipede most likely has been hiding in the dirt from the very beginning.

Isopods only show up on the surface one or two at a time.

By November 25th it become obvious that my isopods don’t like cereal at all.

You can see mold growth and flakes get spoiled.

I will try to feed isopods with some different food from my kitchen.

Here is one isopod under the stick.

And the other isopods, hmm…

I see one digging in the dirt.

It’s hard to keep an eye on something hiding in the dirt.

I am going to move them all into a glass terrarium.

You will see it in the next video.

Have fun and happy terrariums :)