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Amphiuma Means

This is a discussion on Amphiuma Means within the Large Aquatic Salamanders (Hellbenders/Cryptobranchids, Necturus, Siren, etc.) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; I'm getting a two-toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma Means) on Tuesday, and will be working on the setup this week and over ...

Large Aquatic Salamanders (Hellbenders/Cryptobranchids, Necturus, Siren, etc.) This topic covers Cryptobranchids like the hellbender and Asian giant salamanders, as well as sirens, mud puppies, and amphiumas.

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Old 26th February 2014   #1 (permalink)
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Default Amphiuma Means

I'm getting a two-toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma Means) on Tuesday, and will be working on the setup this week and over the weekend.

Upon research, and just knowing their habitats pretty well, I want to replicate it as much as I can. I am avoiding an aquarium, as this animal will be used for education for my reptile society, and the only time he will be on display is at our events.

Literally, the setup will be under my bed, in a large plastic container with wheels (LARGE- VERY LARGE.) They are nocturnal and don't appreciate alot of light. So I think it will be a great place for him/her to be setup!

I want to use mud, leaves, etc- I will be doing 50-25% water changes every few days (I already do this with all the turtles/fish and my axolotl so it's no biggie) I MAY use a filter if it won't upset the Amphiuma. I also plan on having a small amount of heat. I will either use a German heat pad (I have successfully used this with a water snake I was fostering) under one side and plan to keep the water around 75-78 degrees during the day, and letting it drop to room temp (our house never gets below 68) at night. He will have a 5-6" deep area of water, and one side with mud and leaves to dig in. If you guys have kept Amphiumas before, what do you think of this setup?

My question is: what kind of 'mud' or 'leaf' substrate do you guys recommend? I don't want any pathogens, so I was wondering if there were places online I could get some, or local sources I could get some that would be safe to use.

Thanks!



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Old 4th March 2014   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Amphiuma Means

I would NOT use a heating pad otherwise you are going to cook your amphiuma,they live in warmer temps correct but you have to also remember they live at the bottoms where they aren't getting hit hard by warmth either and can escape. The bottom of their ponds and ditches can get to like 68-75,plus they will burrow in mud if needed cooler. Room temps should be fine.

Also as far as substrate goes,remember that when using something leaves they're going to eventually decay and you're going to be cleaning your water a lot more than normal. Being clean is going to be more important to an amphiuma than having dirty substrate to hide in. I mean unless you're going to put it in a tank to display (which you're using a tub) I don't see the point in them. You aren't going to be able to see him either,the mud/leaf litter is never going to settle because they're so active.

I don't use any substrate for mine,I have a bunch of plastic plant matts on the bottom and some floating ones on top as well. He burrows in-between,under or sometimes just sits on top looking like a silly fool.

Also as far as worrying about pathogens,chances are if you bought this amphiuma it is already going to be wild caught since nobody captive breeds them.



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Old 16th August 2016   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Amphiuma Means

Agreeing with the user above, heating would be a big no-no. Amphiuma have been known to survive in waters as cold as 40f. When water starts hitting high 70s & passing 80f do they start to stress. 75f is the absolute warmest I'd let my tank get. If you never let your house go under 68, ambient temperature should be fine.

In terms of cleanliness, even though you're keeping him in a presumably massive container, I would highly recommend adding a sponge filter. The more it can filter, the better. It'll make things a lot easier for you once those leaves you'll be using start to decompose. Plus unless you intend on feeding its meals individually with forceps, they're pretty messy about it on top of their ridiculous bioload. As well as burrowing in the mud, it'll keep the water looking better and make checking to make sure he hasn't escaped a breeze. Even adding some PVC tubing could help offset the burrowing.

For "mud" ada aquasoil would be fine, honestly. maybe even mixing with with sand and some gravel would be good. Though if you did want to add sand, i'd of course recommend a heavier one. The sand that National Geographic makes is surprisingly heavy and has not caused any diatom outbreaks for me (: . I found it gives them something to assist in shedding when digging around. Of course just avoid marine/reef geared supplies.

In terms of leaves, I'm not entirely sure what to recommend. Cypress "leaves" are probably your best bet. They make the water a little acidic and amphiuma have been found in cypress swamps. Most acidic leaves tend to be sharp pines which is obviously inadvisable. Just avoid leaves that are known to contain tannins, as they typically soften water. Sorry to say I have no idea where to buy these online (let alone in person), though honestly I'd just recommend using the previously mentioned PVC tubing for hiding as opposed to leaves. Or have very deep substrate for burrowing, your call.



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