The water louse is a native freshwater crustacean. They are found in most freshwater enviroments in the UK including rivers, lakes, streams, ponds and ditches. They are detritus feeders that eat dead plants, dead insects and other organic matter they can also be fed fishfood, algae wafers or sinking pellets. They can be kept in both coldwater and tropical aquariums as well as ponds and would make an excellent addition to a wildlife pond. They can also be kept in the sponges of pond filters where they will eat sludge and waste. They are also a great natural food source for fish.
Water louse (Ascellus aquaticus)
The Water louse is very hardy and can survive a wide range of conditions that would kill most other invertebrates including pollution, changes in temperature, high/low ph and low oxygen. They are fast breeders and can colonise a new pond quite quickly, are very easy to breed and wont need any special care to do so . Each female can produce up to 50 young per month. Males are smaller than females and when breeding the male carries the female underneith him for up to a few weeks.