What is a CLEAN UP CREW?

What is a CLEAN UP CREW?

What is a clean up crew?

A clean up crew, or a CUC for short, is a component of a bioactive environment that includes isopods and springtails. It can also include other species such as earthworms, superworms, and beetles.

Isopods work to break down decaying wood and leaves and enrich the soil. They also consume animal waste and shed. There are hundreds of varieties of isopods and we are still learning about their unique needs and ideal environments. Some prefer more humid environments, while others thrive in arid setups.

Springtails eat mold and fungus are are arguably the most important part of a bioactive enclosure.

Earthworms aerate the substrate and consume waste and decaying matter. They also make a nice snack for many amphibians.

Beetles, such as blue death-feigning beetles, have large appetites and break down waste quickly. They also dig in substrate, helping to aerate the soil. They thrive in arid/semi-arid environments.


CUC need a place to hide, options include leaf litter, corkbark, waterbowls, and decor. We usually find ours under the water bowl as it is moist and dark.


Decaying leaves and wood provide food for your CUC, however, it may not provide enough nutrients for their numbers to grow to a large (and effective) population. Use specific food forumalted for CUC, such as our BioChow. It includes protein, calcium, and other nutrients to ensure they are healthy and breeding.

Back to blog