04-06-2010, 03:45 PM
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sounds awesome. are those the fish you were already planning? if so, great minds think alike.
I would likeky stick with newts... I think most turtles grow to at least 8 inches across... I've seen snapping turtles at the LFS labelled that they only get to 8 inches, but I've also caught the exact same thing fishing... and they were like a foot across- I had to cut the line and let him keep the hook or he could've bit my finger clean off.
Newts would definately be awesome though... and if your tank was heavily planted the fish could spawn, with the baby fish acting as food for baby newts/salamanders if you decided to breed them.
I would definately research the newts/salamanders heavily- I know turtles will eat things bigger than their mouths by biting chunks off. Frogs generally eat things that will fit in their mouth. I don't know which would be more like a newt though.
Have you looked into snakes that swim? That could be cool too. I would only keep 1 reptile/amphibian species...
and I know (reptiles, dunno about amphibians) would be fine with the water around 78 degrees (typical tropical water heater temperature) but they might need a basking lamp or heat rock...which could affect water temps obviously.
Will also definately need some kind of water movement to keep the water temps similiar throughout the tank, but a canister with inlet on one side and outlet on the opposite might be enough. If not, just put a airstone or something in to provide more water movement...
Airstone would decrease CO2 which might bother the plants a little bit but fish and your other thing would be more important... Just make sure it's a low-light tank, throw some snails, cories, and a single BN pleco (since sometimes they're aggressive towards their own kind) in to handle algae, and you're good. Maybe even some Otto's too.
If the snails go crazy, you'll always have room for a small pack of loaches. I've always wanted coolie loaches but all my tanks are too small.
Remember, the reptile/amphibian should be counted in as added bioload, probably double what a fish would. (since it will be using the bathroom in the water all the time)
I had an idea of screening off the area for the lizard so it can have a higher air temp... attach glass/plastic walls to it's landing, then cut a hole out of the middle... then you can have a light on that side and a fan over the fishes' water... *shrug*
Sounds like an awesome setup... but I agree that it would be more realistic to slant the substrate... Don't think of it as a slant, it can be more like an underwater cliff. (imagine a river- the water drops off in the middle.) You could build terraces to hold the gravel... Or just use the UGF plate vertical and cover it with java moss.
Good luck on your project- we want pics when you're done!