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Plethodon Cinereus

This is a discussion on Plethodon Cinereus within the Plethodontids and Lungless Salamanders (Bolitoglossa, Eurycea, Plethodon, etc.) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; I have two Red Backed Salamanders, Sally and Lloyd. I was wondering how my tank set up is? Any other ...

Plethodontids and Lungless Salamanders (Bolitoglossa, Eurycea, Plethodon, etc.) The largest, and one of the most diverse groups of salamanders, these salamanders have all evolved to breathe solely through their skin and are found almost exclusively in North America.

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Old 20th May 2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default Plethodon Cinereus

I have two Red Backed Salamanders, Sally and Lloyd. I was wondering how my tank set up is? Any other advice is more than welcome. The Temperature is right around 68 degrees and the humidity is at about 75%. I have two 15w full spectrum daylight bulbs under the hood. However I am tentative to use them since after an hour the temperature gets to be over 70 degrees. I have been feeding them mostly crickets but some other small bugs came in with the moss. I have not confirmed if Lloyd is a male but I am fairly certain Sally is a female.

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The Tank
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Lloyd

unfortunately Sally was not out and about while I was taking pictures



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Old 20th May 2010   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plethodon Cinereus

They would certainly benefit from some bark for cover, leaf-litter, plants and pieces of wood. If you can make it look like a portion of forest floor, they´ll be happy.



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Old 20th May 2010   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plethodon Cinereus

They would also benefit from the bugs in leaf litter, etc. Males will have noticeably enlarged teeth and a mental gland in the breeding season. You may be able to see the gland on it now...



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Old 20th May 2010   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plethodon Cinereus

How long have you had them? Have you seen any aggressive behavior between the two of them? I have read they can be aggressive towards each other. In the wild I have never seen more than one ever visible at a time. Have wondering if the territorial issues are why they are not visible in groups.

How deep is your substrate? They like substrate they can burrow in. Also I would skip the light they dont need it. If anything then go out and get a regular old t8 or t12 flouroscent light from HD or Lowes. Less heat and will grow most plants. I would also see if you can get the temp lower. They prefer lower temps. Like low 60 with 70 being the upper range. Basement temps if you have one.



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Old 20th May 2010   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plethodon Cinereus

To give an example :

My cinereus group (12 sals) are kept in a 80 x 30 cm, with about 20 cm of a mix of leaf litter, sticks, bark pieces... I regularly add dead leaves to maintain the depth, and keep it wet.
Food is various (worms, woodlice, fruitflies and little wild fauna).
I've had them for 2 years till now, but I noticed aggressive behavior only for the first 2 months. Within a short time, the individuals seem to keep their own shelter.
When I visit them, I regularly see 3 or 4 of them during the day (with not too much light), but in the evening, I easily see most of them. After a first breeding season, they seem ready to start again this year.

I hope this will help.



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Old 21st May 2010   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plethodon Cinereus

I have only had them for a couple of weeks. I found them together in the wild, and I have seen no aggressive behavior between the two, so I am assuming they are the communal type. I read that they prefer temperatures anywhere from 60 to 68. The moss is about an inch thick.

It sounds like I need deeper substrate and more hiding places.

What should I do about mold? you can see it in the picture of Lloyd. I searched the forum and found some comments that said not to worry about mold, I just want to make sure.



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Old 21st May 2010   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plethodon Cinereus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis View Post
It sounds like I need deeper substrate and more hiding places.
You don't need a deep substrate for this species, they aren't really a burrowing type. One inch of soil will do just fine.

Quote:
What should I do about mold? you can see it in the picture of Lloyd. I searched the forum and found some comments that said not to worry about mold, I just want to make sure.
Add springtails! Not only do the springtails eat the mold but in return the P. cinereus will munch on the springtails.



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Old 22nd May 2010   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plethodon Cinereus

Thanks everyone I put a nice piece of bark in and the salamanders have been exploring its crevices ever since. I will be sure to buy some spring tails, I found 50 for 5 dollars is that a good deal? Also is it normal for the salamanders to kill a cricket but not eat it? I will be sure to update with new pictures when I finish redoing the tank.



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