Oyster Shells are primarily made of calcium carbonate. They also contain small amounts of magnesium, sodium, copper iron, nickel, strontium and some micro-elements. These vital minerals are essential building blocks to the long term health of many isopods, hermit crabs, birds and a host of other animals.
Isopods like all arthropods, have an exoskeleton made of a chitin-protein matrix, which they shed often. Cellulose and calcium should be offered to your isopods so they can form their protective exoskeleton. Cellulose is found primarily in plant matter such as wood and leaves, which should be offered often. We use Oak Leaves for this purpose.
At Jungle Jewel Exotics we add oyster shells to all of our isopod colonies as a calcium supplement to their normal diet. The isopods will use their surprisingly powerful mandibles to break down the shells, and ingest them.
Simply add a couple pinches of oyster shells to your isopod colonies and watch them slowly devour the shells over time. Then just add some more as required.
You can also add oyster shells to your bioactive vivarium or terrarium to give your micro fauna the much needed minerals they need. Simply mix the shells into your existing substrate.
We also use oyster shell flakes in our signature Isopod Substrate, giving your starter cultures of isopods the essential minerals they need.