Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Michael 08-07-2006 11:47 AM

Starting a vivarium
Hi, does anyone know about starting a vivariam like the one CJ posted about?

What is the minimum tank size? What kinds of creatures can live together in it? What are the special considerations one may not think of if they've never done it before?

Can any fish live with newts? Frogs?

I like the idea of having things living above and below the water!


CJ 08-07-2006 12:33 PM

Allot will depend upon how much you want to spend. Chances are, no matter where you live, you can find interesting creatures to place in a Vivarium.

With mine, all I did was to use an old tank no one wanted (85 gal. 72"X16X15) and leave it lay on the stand it came with dropping the water down to 6-10" from the bottom (including substrate).

People will look at you like you're crazy when you begin, especially if you convert an existing tank. That is until nightfall when the moonlights and fogger come on and the Vivarium takes on a sort of primeval mood of lost days when the dinosaurs roamed... there I go again...

If the Moderators don't mind and they give me a small space, over the course of the next couple of weeks I could break open my CAD program (Rhinoceros 3D) and show you how to construct one from scratch, then do another from and existing tank.

Using a CAD program will allow me to demonstrate with pictures but not have to invest in any materials in order to show you how its done. Of course I can post some pictures of some of the materials I have laying around like Aquarium Silly-cone and some tools, but the CAD program has rendering engines for photo-realistic image creation...

It would take me a couple of weeks to do it in my spare time - I'm preparing to build a solar chimney in the back yard to relieve the electric bills.... but when I'm ready, I think the pictorial might be helpful.

While the purist will always use real plants, artificial plants work quite well unless the ground creatures you are interested in showing are exotic bugs which depend upon plants to live on.

firearies 08-22-2006 08:58 AM

Just remember to think about the future when frogs and newts and fish Oh my! get bigger. I know frogs will eat anything they can fit in their mouths. I have personally watched a taod eat a young garter snake. So if you have frogs make sure to get frogs that won't get too big and eat your salamanders or newts if you have them together. Even spotted frogs can get pretty big over time. Tree frogs would probably be a good idea. Fiddler crabs would probably be a good addition as they will help keep the vivarium clean, but there is always the probability of them injuring it's tank mates in self defense, real or imagined. Newts and fish could be kept together depending on the fish size. Having some smaller feeder fish could help protect them.

I think the best way to populate your vivarium is like you would your tank. Think about who will spend most of their time in the water, out of the water, on the upper layer of the tank (tree frogs). Then think about the feeding requirements. Decide whether you want everything to eat about the same thing or whether you don't mind the feeding several diff. foods for each diff. species. Sorry I started to ramble. I have stopped myself writing a pamplet as a response.

CJ 08-22-2006 10:15 AM

Feel free to ramble... ...thats the reason we exist.

Painted Turtles make another excellent choice as well. Foster&Smith has as Turtle Dock that floats on the water, yet stays affixed to a wall using two rods with suction cups. This allows the dock to move up and down with the water.

Starting a tank off by laying three inches (75mm) of African Cichlid Sand & Gravel as a substrate. It comes packed in water with all the good biologicals in a balanced formula. Your tank will be ready to go, just add water.

I recommend feeder guppies, and floating artificial plants packed densely. The guppies will breed and continue to provide feeding stock for your carnivores.

Radlations 12-31-2006 02:09 PM

do NOT keep newts+frogs+anything you dont want to die with a aquatic turtle

Frogs have been known to be ripped to pieces with turtle claws.

Its just a horrible site. Dont keep anything you dont want to lose with a turtle unless it is at least 2 times its size and doesnt have any limbs that can fit in the turtle's mouth.

otis07 02-16-2007 07:19 PM

in general, no. it shouldn't be attempted by beginners or even ametures (i.e. someone who has never kept these animals), i have around 30 reptiles and amphibians and i have yet to mix any species. some good choices are newts- marbleds, fire bellied, oregon, paddle tailed are just a few. some good starter frogs that do well in heavily planted tanks are fire bellied toads, green treefrogs, small treefrogs, and bombia species. reptiles usually don't do well cause of their size and their UVB requirements which means you can't use a glass top. good luck and feel free to ask more questions!

Firebelly girrl 02-25-2007 09:53 PM

You should check out my post about my firebellies, i have little fish that live in the water, and the toxins from the toads dont seem to bother them since the filters running, and the toads are fun too! intersting little guys!

otis07 02-26-2007 02:38 PM

your point?
just cause they don't die immediatly, look on any care sheet for FBT, they are toxic, which means other stuff will die if kept in the same cage for long enough. sure there are people that keep them together and are fine, but some arent, it's just not worth it.

Firebelly girrl 03-22-2007 04:42 PM

I know their toxic...? but when i have the filter running the water doesnt get toxic so the fish are fine. Theyve been in there for over a month now.

Zephyr 03-22-2007 07:09 PM

If you have a spare 10 gallon, go for a combo of african dwarf clawed frogs or african clawed frogs with floating frogs.

Claweds stay on the bottom, floaters stay on the top. :lol:

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