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A few questions.

This is a discussion on A few questions. within the Newt and Salamander Help forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; Hi, just wanted to ask some questions and hopefully some experts could answer me. 1. I plan on getting some ...

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Old 11th March 2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default A few questions.

Hi, just wanted to ask some questions and hopefully some experts could answer me.

1. I plan on getting some Fire belly newts when i can find some in stores and i was wondering would sand be a good substrate and if so could anyone recommend me?

2. I want to put a lot of plants into the tank, but would the plants be able to flourish in just marine sand or would i need another layer of some other substrate?

3. If i have lets say; 5 Potted plants, would i still need a filter?

4. Does CO2 harm the newts in anyway? Does the CO2 really help the plants or would a 17 W fluorescent long be sufficient?

5. Would plants be able to flourish with a glass screen over the bulb or would i have to put the bulb over a screen top without a glass screen?

I know its a lot of questions, but i thought it'd be easier all into one thread rather than making 5.
PS. The tank is a 15 Gallon.

Thanks .



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Old 11th March 2009   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few questions.

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Originally Posted by Ruan View Post

1. I plan on getting some Fire belly newts when i can find some in stores and i was wondering would sand be a good substrate and if so could anyone recommend me?
Sand would be fine- just make sure it's childrens play sand and not marine or builders sand. I can't reccomend you to a store but most DIY stores or even a Toys'R'Us would have it. Make sure you thoroughly wash it all.
2. I want to put a lot of plants into the tank, but would the plants be able to flourish in just marine sand or would i need another layer of some other substrate?
Plants do fine in sand (again do NOT use marine sand or builders sand, they both contain salt and other stuff that isn't good for your newts). Only thing is if you want live plants be prepared for alot of work as they'll need sunlight which will cause alot of algae in the tank. It's up to you though, lots of people use live plants on here.

3. If i have lets say; 5 Potted plants, would i still need a filter?
Yes, unless you can do 20% water changes ever few days then I'd definately get a low-powered filter. They help alot in my experience.

4. Does CO2 harm the newts in anyway? Does the CO2 really help the plants or would a 17 W fluorescent long be sufficient?
The plants won't need any more CO2- I'm not sure what you mean by this. A flourescent would be sufficient but it would heat up the tank and newts don't like light very much. This is one of the problems with plants- they tend to confilct with the newts needs- which should be your top priority.
5. Would plants be able to flourish with a glass screen over the bulb or would i have to put the bulb over a screen top without a glass screen?
Either would most likely be fine, but again focus on the newts, they need an escape proof lid and personaly I'd be worried that bulb would heat up the water too much.

I know its a lot of questions, but i thought it'd be easier all into one thread rather than making 5.
PS. The tank is a 15 Gallon.

Thanks .
Hope this helps. My main concern is that you need to make everything suit the newts first; plants come second. If you feel that you can't make a suitable comprimise than I'd highly reccomend going with plastic plants, they can look as good if not better than live ones.



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Old 11th March 2009   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few questions.

Thanks for your answers .

Yes you're right the newts do come first and i'll make sure that'll be my top priority. Now would the plants be able to flourish with only the bulb, or would i need the sunlight too? The newts won't escape because i have a screen lid and my room's cold most of the time so i doubt the lights will heat up the tank.



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Old 11th March 2009   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few questions.

It depends on the plants you get, but you will most likely be fine with a flourescent bulb and some plant water conditioners/pellets



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Old 13th March 2009   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few questions.

Thanks Matt .
Does anyone know if Black Tahitian Moon Sand would be a good substrate? If not I'll just stick to play sand.



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Old 14th March 2009   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few questions.

I could be wrong here but if I remember correctly Black Tahitian Moon Sand is a marine type sand which may contain some salts and other marine minerals. Ask at the pet store if it would be good for a freshwater set up and see what they say. The reason most people suggest play sand is because typically it's cheaper then aquarium sand and still safe to use. But a good freshwater sand type would be fine for what your trying to do.

Also with the 17w fluorescent light if it's not a compact fluorescent then the temps will be fine. They will warm the tank but only slightly and if your good with electronics you can relocate the ballast farther away from the tank and cut as much as half of the heat out of the light. I have had fine results keeping plants healthy using a similar setup over both glass tops and screen tops.

Keep to low light species of plants though anything that loves full light will die. (Philadendrium and Bamboo both can grow in just water with a light)


About CO2 if your only going with a few plants then you will probably never need it. If you are planing on having a fully planted tank with 20+ underwater plants then you may need to think about getting a setup but you would also need to get a better lighting system to keep the plants alive. Also if you're pumping too much CO2 into a tank that the plants can't convert it to enough oxygen you run the risk of CO2 poisoning in any living animal in the tank.

And as stated before always plan on getting some sort of filter system setup.




Last edited by criminalhate; 14th March 2009 at 01:35. Reason: spelling
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Old 14th March 2009   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few questions.

Thanks.

I do plan on getting a filter, the Fluval U1. but now i might re-consider since i will be using sand as substrate.

Will sand cause the filter problems?



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Old 14th March 2009   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few questions.

I suspect plant food should not be used.
The filter should be fine with the sand..I have used the same type.



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