Proposed 10g Emersed Crypt terrarium - Cryptocorynes - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 04-26-2004, 12:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Proposed 10g Emersed Crypt terrarium

I have a friend whom I'm getting into planted aquariums, also gaining a liking for Crypts. While I was visiting these past few days, we found some Red-Backed Salamanders. Of course, she wanted to keep them as pets :P so we temporarily put them in a 6g Eclipse tank I just gave her.

We talked about it and heavily considered going with a simple 10g terrarium setup for some(2-3) salamanders. Going to go with all emersed aquatic plants, mostly crypts, but possibly swords, anubias, moss, etc... as well. Tank will be covered, probably a DIY plexi cover with a small grid of airholes - enough for the salamanders, but not too many to affect humidity in the tank.

Just a few main questions:

1. What would be the ideal substrate setup for this? I'm thinking gravel bottom (have a lot of flourite left over) with a small layer of peat & some good soil.

2. Lighting - Does emersed state use same light requirements, or would it be different?

Any other suggestions/criticisms would be appreciated.
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Old 04-26-2004, 03:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proposed 10g Emersed Crypt terrarium

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Originally Posted by Daemonfly
...

1. What would be the ideal substrate setup for this? I'm thinking gravel bottom (have a lot of flourite left over) with a small layer of peat & some good soil.

...
I'm concerned the Flourite may be a little too sharp for the delicate skin of the salamander? If they will be eating off the substrate, they may ingest some too. Used to see my chinese fire belly newts spitting gravel out until I covered the feeding area with pea size pebbles.
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Old 04-26-2004, 04:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Well, I figured the gravel would be the bottom layer, with a good layer of soil on top. Can easily change that to something like a pea-gravel
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Old 04-26-2004, 06:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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It might be a little difficult to keep the gravel and soil from mixing together too much with soil on top. I dont know much about salamanders but I think just a gravel cap over the flourite might work out a little better. Are you going to make into a sort of terrarium with swimming space for the salamanders?
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Old 04-26-2004, 02:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I beleive the Salamanders she has are terrestrial, and don't need a swimming area, just a small bowl/plate with water.

She has thought about going with semi aquatic ones if these don't pan out. If thats the case, then I can help her make a small water area divided off with some plexi siliconed in.

If anyone has a better suggestion for a substrate setup, just let me know I'm not really an emersed plant guy (yet).
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Old 04-26-2004, 03:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Hiya. ^_^ I'm that friend in question with the sallies. Daemonfly is right, red-backed salamanders are terrestrial, so they don't really need a swimming area (I've actually read that they can drown! o.o; ).

What they do need is a moist habitat and hiding places. I wanted to give them some plants to simulate a more natural living condition for them, and I figured some broad-leaved plants (swords or anubias I think could work) would give them good hiding places. I like wendtii (sp?) crypt plants and would like to try growing them in the salamander tank as well.

As daemonfly said, my main concern is trying to figure out what substrate would be acceptable for my plants AND for my salamanders? Right now my little sallie is hanging out on regular old gravel and he seems to be doing alright, but I'm eager to make him as comfortable as possible.

Thanks in advance for any advice you guys have about salamander housing. I've never kept a salamander before, so this'll be a learning experience for me.
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Old 04-26-2004, 04:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I figured I could use my "sources" to get her some of the more rare crypts from Singapore.



Now that I noticed the "On plant physiology & emersed culture" forum, if you guys want to move this there, thats fine.
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Old 04-26-2004, 05:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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As far as lighting goes, I would follow the same rules you would use for an aquarium. A small PC fixture over that tank would work perfectly.

If you want to do soil, I would make it a layer about an inch deep under about 2 inches of pea-sized gravel. Keep the tank filled about halfway up into the gravel, and you've got a nice wet habitat for Crypts and Swords without endangering the newts with the water. Most of the Crypt and Sword species develop extensive root systems anyway, so I doubt the surface being that far from the soil will hurt them too much.

Spray twice a day, keep it warm, and you've got yourself a nice place to enjoy your salamanders.
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Old 04-26-2004, 05:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for the advice, Error! Sounds like a suitable way of keeping them. I've been misting the little sallie a few times a day, and I have water that's under the gravel, but not above it, right now, and the salamander doesn't seem to mind it. I just need to get some dirt or peat moss now, and plants, of course.

I was wondering if any of you keep salamanders, what do you feed them aside from waxworms and pin-head crickets? The waxworms almost seem to be too big for my little guy.
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Old 05-03-2004, 07:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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I am just thinking that maybe the salamanders needs UV-lighting, as most lizards do. I am aware that salamanders are not lizards, but none the less, i think you should check it out.
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