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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I'd post a pic of the 10 gallon salamander tank I am working on revamping. It's minimal with plants right now because the salamander tends to pull them up, but he'll be moving to a 40 gallon tank soon and seems happy with what he's got. He shares his tank with 2 fancy guppies. I run a tetra 10i (submersible) filter, and it feeds the waterfall for biological filtration. Even though the salamander is messy, the tank stays very clean with minimal care. I am working on replacing the light fixture, not sure yet what I'm going to be using. In the pictures I only have a standard aquarium bulb over the tank, and the plants currently in the tank seem to be fine this way.
The plants now in the tank are:
anubias nana
crypt. wendtii
teardrop rotala
microsword
I am including one of the pictures with the fogger running.



 

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:shock2: Nice vivarium, Dawn.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Blue... I took a few more pics today after adding the rest of the plants. It's done now, lol. I have decided not to invest anymore into it until I have the bigger tank ready.
Hope you like these too...


 

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he doesn't bother the guppies? looks great!

bri
 

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:shock2: Very nice.:thumbsup: Now I see the guppy in the first post. Gorgeous.:love:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
He's been fine with the guppys in there for almost 2 yrs now. I had, at one point, too many guppies in my other tank, couldn't get them seperated fast enough, so I decided to use them as feeders to get the population under control. I have bettas that will only eat guppy fry and live worms (they're fussy little girls), and I figured the salamander would appreciate some of the older adult females. He actually seemed to like the company. I see him swimming "with" the guppys from time to time. There are only 2 in there, a pretty pair that I'm hoping will breed, but in moderation of some kind, lol. The orange male is newer, but the female has been in there since I tried to feed her to him, almost 2 yrs ago. She had a few batches of fry, which she, herself quickly ate. I have a decent filter in that tank, and the bioload is so low because the salamander hand feeds, the waterfall is my primary filtration. I don't do much other than feed it and add water when it evaporates.

The water in that tank got dirty only once, from some plants I had added. I brought home some moss from a trip we'd taken up north. I figured the salamander was wild caught, so he'd appreciate it. I covered 2/3 of the tank with 2 different kinds, and he loved it. Then my light went out. Within 2 days the moss was about dead, and within a week it had sort of crumbled away into mud in the gravel. The water is always clear unless I stir it, and water quality is good. This is one of the easiest tanks I've ever set up. It's completely natural and dependent on me only for food and water. I do wipe the glass down from time to time because the salamander climbs around on it a lot. I rearrange this tank about once/yr. My Christmas gift to the salamander... he gets new plants, new rock formations, new lights. He's as spoiled as my kids, lol, and by far my easiest pet. I'll post pics if I get any fry from the guppys.
 

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Very cool tank and even cooler salamandar! I wish I could find aquatic species around here but they are all terrestrial or completely aquatic and don't come out of the water. Supposed to be some water dogs around but I have yet to find them except when I was a kid and the spot has long since been drained and filled.
What do you feed him?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
He's a yellow spotted salamander, and so far, all he'll eat is crickets. He hand feeds now, which makes him even more fun, and I take him out to play from time to time. I had 1 as a class pet in the 4th grade many many yrs ago. The neighbor kid found on in his grandpa's sump system, so he brought it to school. A couple of yrs later, my step father brought me 2 of them that he'd found at work. I had those 2 for 5 yrs, then my ex killed them (on purpose). One day a few yrs ago my kids heard me telling someone the story about my ex killing my beloved salamanders and how I've always wanted to keep them again. One day my kids show up with a bucket for me... a bit of water and this little guy sitting there looking up at me. The found him around their cousin's swimming pool, knew what it was, and decided it would be a nice gift for mom... they were right!
 

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We called them tiger salamanders in MI. When I worked as a lawn sprinkler tech we could catch about 20 a day. They enjoyed living in the little plastic valve boxes we used to cover the valves. I've kept several and mine would also enjoy large night crawlers.

What you need next in the bigger tank is an old fashioned mud puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Caferacermike
There is a difference between the tiger salamander and the yellow spotted salamander, though they do enjoy the same kind of environment... they are 2 different species.
I'll skip the mud puppy, I've taken care of those before, too... I prefer them after they morph. If I was going to do the mud puppy thing then I'd work with an axolotl. I wanted to set up a swamp type of habitat, with minimal water. To do mud puppy or axolotl would require compeltely aquatic situations, and I don't have the space for it right now.
I've tried feeding worms to my salamander, he simply won't eat anything but crickets. He's a strange fellow, but I love him.
 

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I do have a few questions if you don't mind. :wink:

I am just curious if you have a place that your sally can hide out of the water? I have never kept them but would really like to know if it is actually needed. What temperature do you keep the tank at and how? I saw that you said a 10 gallon is going to be too small for 2 sally. Is this just so they have room or for the idea of water quality and other functions of the tank?
What type of fogger are you using?

I do have alocal store I still need to go to and get some help but first hand is always a good thing. The more ideas and ways I see it done the better chance I have of making it works for me.
 

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Have you heard of (spelling out the way it sounds) Sal-ah-ma-nill-ah? :shock:

I love that it is beauitful and I would love to have one! :lol:
 

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Never heard of the species nor have I been able to find it but I do know that a lot of amphibians and reptiles can give you "salmonella" which can be a really nasty disease. If it is a species, would love to see a picture.

One other questions bettababy. I found a species online and couldn't get the name. It was in the category of those that keep their gills through their entire life and was completely white except for the orange/red in the gills. Any idea what the name of it is?

Is gonna be tough to get salamanders here as the state has made it almost completely illegal to sell any of them. Guess I will have to go on a scavenger hunt as soon as I find out which species are legal to possses.

Any chance it was Salamandra or Salamandrina?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
fish_4_all said:
I do have a few questions if you don't mind. :wink:

I am just curious if you have a place that your sally can hide out of the water? I have never kept them but would really like to know if it is actually needed. What temperature do you keep the tank at and how? I saw that you said a 10 gallon is going to be too small for 2 sally. Is this just so they have room or for the idea of water quality and other functions of the tank?
What type of fogger are you using?

I do have alocal store I still need to go to and get some help but first hand is always a good thing. The more ideas and ways I see it done the better chance I have of making it works for me. Never heard of the species nor have I been able to find it but I do know that a lot of amphibians and reptiles can give you "salmonella" which can be a really nasty disease. If it is a species, would love to see a picture.

One other questions bettababy. I found a species online and couldn't get the name. It was in the category of those that keep their gills through their entire life and was completely white except for the orange/red in the gills. Any idea what the name of it is?

Is gonna be tough to get salamanders here as the state has made it almost completely illegal to sell any of them. Guess I will have to go on a scavenger hunt as soon as I find out which species are legal to possses.

Any chance it was Salamandra or Salamandrina?
Ok, 1 at a time, lets see if I can get these all answered without forgetting anything, lol.
Yes, there is space for him to hide out of the water. He likes to climb through the plants on the rocks near the waterfall. When I created the waterfall I made sure the structure was stable as I built it up, and that part of it would remain dry and out of the water. Then I used plants with big leaves to hang over the rocks. They need places to hide both in and out of the water. When he gets his bigger tank he'll also have an area of dirt because they like to dig. It wasn't possible in this tank, so I'm offering everything else I can for him in the mean time. In their natural habitat they tunnel through the dirt and mud most of the time. The pair I had years ago used to tunnel in the dirt under their water dish, and if you lifted the dish you could see their tunnels and nesting area.

Because this is a wild caught, I keep the temp at room temp year round. It's important to try to keep some humidity in the tank, and for this reason I have the fogger and I keep a 1/2 of a glass top over the screen to trap moisture and still allow for good air circulation. They can't get too warm or they dry out/cook. On hot summer days they are known to bury down into the ground for cooler temps. Mid to lower 70's is as warm as I'd go for a native salamander. If it's captive bred, I'd check with the breeder to find out what kind of conditions would change, if any.

The size of the tank will make a big difference. Some species of salamander will get 8+ inches, this one will usually top out around 6 - 7, but I have seen tiger salamanders as big as 10 inches already. Typically, I wouldn't use less than a 40 gallon for 1... nothing less than 75 for 2 of them. These animals are canibilistic, so keep a watch if you keep more than one together, they MUST stay the same size. If one starts to outgrow the other, they MUST be seperated asap until they catch up in size. I like hand feeding because then I know both are getting enough food and usually will grow at the same pace. Water quality is also an issue, as ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate will burn the skin. Depending on how the tank is set up, if the water pool is made from a deep dish and set into the substrate/dry land, it's easy to remove once/day to clean the water. There are many ways to achieve this, but you'll want to keep the water clean. What I'm planning for my 40 gallon is to use the dish to offer the dirt part of the setup, so I can keep the water in the bottom of the tank for the guppys. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to build something or buy something. Again, many ways to accomplish this.
I'll have to check on the fogger for a make/model for you... I'll post this as soon as I get a chance.

As for mention of salmonella, it is a nasty disease, but... as long as the animal is kept very clean and people wash with soap and water, the fear of salmonella is not something of too much concern. This is usually one of the first things I stress when someone wants to buy a reptile or amphibian for a child's pet. Salmonella is found in the animal's waste, so clean means safe.

I'm going to post a pic, tell me if this is the animal you're talking about. This is called an axolotl. They are completely aquatic their entire lives, average about 8 inches full grown, and again, are canibalistic in nature, so size and space mean everything if keeping more than one. The smallest tank I'd work with for 1 is a 40 breeder so they have plenty of space to climb around and get exercise. They're dirty little things, so be forewarned there. Being the typical amphibian, they also tend to eat whatever fits into their mouths, from worms to fish... insects, insect larvae... Axolotls are cold water animals, so it will be important to keep their water temp between 65 - 70F. If you get an axolotl, be warned that it's the only animal going to be in the tank other than feeders. There isn't a fish or other amphibian that is compatible with them.
Here's a pic, tell me if this is what you were talking about...


 

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Thank you, that is it.

I did find the species, Taricha granulosa that is local to almost every lake around this area. Gonna have to research to find out about keeping them because they can either/both aquatic/terrestrial.

Will be fun once I get room to set up a tank and make a terrarium. Yours has given me some good ideas for my plans.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Taricha grunulosa is a newt, not a salamander, which will make a big difference. Here's a link that may be of some help to you. These are sweet little things, but again, can be carnivorous if different in size and/or crowded, so be careful about keeping more than one in a smaller size tank, they can get quite large. The most common name for them is the "Oregon newt" when looking in the pet trade, and are pretty easy to get in most places.
http://images.google.com/imgres?img...firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&sa=N

The big differences between newts and salamanders are to be noted if you're researching for a new pet. Newts are escape artitst, and while salamanders will also escape if given the opportunity, they are not as diligent at trying to find a way out, and not as good at accomplishing it. Newts will crawl out of anything they can fit their nose into.
Newts are also more reliant on water. Salamanders spend as much time on dry land as in the water, newts, however can't dry out or they die. Water quality is also a lot more touchy for the newts... they are even more sensitive to ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH levels in the water, and will quickly deveolp open sores. Rarely do the newts die from the sores, but more often it's the secondary infection that sets in quickly that usually kills them. Newts have a weaker immune system than salamanders.
Feeding can also differ. I've been able to teach salamanders to hand feed on other than live food when needed... not so with newts. The newts will rely on live foods entirely, which can be a bit harder to find and keep on hand. Salamanders offer a few easier feeding options, as most of them will eat the common earthworms and red worms, which can be kept in the fridge in soil for a longer period of time. Both should enjoy live crickets, which is one thing you may consider setting up a seperate tank for and ordering bulk online. I have found this to be much cheaper and more efficient for an animal who will nead a near constant supply on hand.
If you have more questions, let me know... I'll do my best to help.
Merry Christmas!
 

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what kind of options do you have for land critters in a vivarium?
Has anyone ever tried a saltwater vivarium? that would be so cool I think i would have a sea turtle in it.
 

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That would have to be one huge tank! Morte like a major aquarium for a sea turtle. They are deep sea feeders and spend almost all of their time at sea so might be quite difficult to manage.

A salt water vivarium, hmmmm. Hermit crab, red fiddler crab, there must be other ideas but I only know of them as local species that could live in a salt water vivarium habitat.
 
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