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Tank Concerns

This is a discussion on Tank Concerns within the Newt and Salamander Help forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; Update time: I finally named the third newt, who I believe is a male, Char. (As in charcoal.) However, he's ...

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Old 10th December 2013   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

Update time:

I finally named the third newt, who I believe is a male, Char. (As in charcoal.) However, he's been spending a lot less time in the water. Fig (the larger female), has been spending most of her time in the water, and Griffin still hasn't entered it.
I have a 16 x 16 cm piece of cork bark soaking in the bathroom, and it should be done releasing tannins tomorrow. Once it's in the tank, I'll be raising the water level a few inches.
I'll be getting a screen lid, water testing kit, and more plants (lutea and java ferns) once I get more money. (Probably around X-mas.)
With regard to the topic I made a few days ago, Hikari Sinking Carnivore Pellets, I could still use some help (ANYONE with experience with soft pelleted foods!), but I did manage to get Griffin to eat a quarter of a piece. She seems to be the most enthusiastic eater. Char also snapped at one, but it was too large and he regurgitated it.

On another note, I just heard one of them squeak for the first time!



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Old 11th December 2013   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

Hi, the fact that one of your newts still hasn't entered the water and the other is spending less time in it means that the tank still isn't providing the optimal conditions for them. remember these are wild caught animals that have a lot of recovery to do. Until they are fully aquatic, they will be a lot less hardy and will be susceptible to diseases.

Can you please show us a picture of your tank as it is?

I'd suggest filling up the tank mostly to the top right now. That will mean better water parameters. Also put the cork bark into your tank as well. The tannins will leech into your water but that's actually a good thing for your newts. You can get rid of the color with water changes when it stops leeching. Also lots of live plants are the most important requirement for this species. Were you able to harvest those wild plants? Try arranging that tank so that there are no spots where the newts can completely dry off, as this will help encourage them to go in the water.

As for those sinking pellets, I do have one newt that will ocassionally go for fish flakes (which I feed to my shrimp) but the others wont. It's really a matter of individual, but for newts live worms are still the best.



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Old 11th December 2013   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

Tank Concerns-image.jpg
Here's the tank as-is. I added the cork bark about half an hour ago, and 2.5 gallons of water has been added. I'll add more as soon as I get it. I didn't use those wild plants, but as I said, I'm planning to add more soon. Griffin does appear to readily eat the pellets, but I posted a topic about Fig, and I'm rather concerned that she may have some sores... I need someone else's opinion. With regard to the cork bark, should I weigh it down something if I need to keep it wet?

Edit: 6 inches deep and 70F.

Oh, and this isn't entirely relevant, but the employee who sold me these guys claimed that all their fire bellies were captive-bred locally.




Last edited by AfroNewtkeeper; 11th December 2013 at 01:54.
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Old 17th December 2013   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

More plants coming soon.
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Old 17th December 2013   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

Good job getting those plants, although you should have about 10-20 times more plant life in there to create an optimal environment. Also you might as well fill that tank up close to the top. That will give you much better water parameters.



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Old 18th December 2013   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

Water's about 9cm from the top, and is at about 15 gallons. I have another 2.5 gallons on hand if this isn't high enough. Is this about right or should I keep going?
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Old 18th December 2013   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

Can't add multiple pictures to a post on mobile. (And yes, that plant is uprooted on purpose. It wasn't getting enough light where it was.)
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Old 18th December 2013   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

That's a good depth, now just add more live plants when you can and you should have a great newt tank! Try and really fill up the tank.


Here's my tank a month or so ago. the plants are now growng to the top
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Old 26th December 2013   #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

Alright, I got another lutea, some java ferns (more plants to come soon), a screen lid, and a water testing kit.

pH - 7.6
Ammonia - approximately 0.25ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate - approximately 30ppm

Here's the tank with the new plants, but the water's still a bit cloudy.
What can I use to lower ammonia?

Merry Christmas, if you celebrate it!
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Old 26th December 2013   #30 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

Huuuhhh, let me guess, every one is telling you to add more plants? I didn't read the whole thread, but it seems like you are adding more and more plants. I had to do the same thing, and let me tell you, it takes a lot more plants than I thought it would. Basically what I have gathered is that your tank should be overflowing with plants. I am sorry to say, I think everybody will say for more plants, and I have to agree with them, because they are more experienced with this. And, in the end, I think that it is worth it. I had people tell me the same thing. Here is a pic of my current tank:



Click the image to open in full size.


This is it, and I still need to add a LOT more plants. So over time I would just gradually add more plants. That is what I am going to do. For now though, I think it looks great! Your perimeters look good too. I believe water changes can help keep the Ammonia down, not sure though. My ammonia is the same as yours, it isn't that bad. Just make sure you clean up extra food, so that it does not add to the ammonia.

Hope this helps! -Seth



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Old 26th December 2013   #31 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

Yeah, I definitely get that I need more plants.



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Old 26th December 2013   #32 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

Hmm... not seeing many planted java ferns- mostly rooted to rocks or logs. Does anyone else have it rooted into substrate, and/or do the roots have to be exposed?



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Old 26th December 2013   #33 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

Java fern won't do very well at all planted in the substrate, it needs to grow with it's roots exposed. All i do is tie it to pebbles or wood with fishing line to help it get hold, then a few weeks later remove the fishing line and it should be rooted in place!



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Old 26th December 2013   #34 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinadog View Post
Java fern won't do very well at all planted in the substrate, it needs to grow with it's roots exposed. All i do is tie it to pebbles or wood with fishing line to help it get hold, then a few weeks later remove the fishing line and it should be rooted in place!
Well, that explains why my java fern grows so slowly haha



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Old 26th December 2013   #35 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

Java ferns can even be grown without tying them to any substrate, just floating.

Keep adding plants, they will help regulate ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. I don´t see a light on the tank so make sure the plants are receiving enough light. Java fern may not need much but if you want plants to be effective biological filters, they need to be growing well and for that they need good lighting. Are you doing regular partial water changes?



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Old 26th December 2013   #36 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

Alright, I'll tie them to river rocks or something.

Quote:
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I don´t see a light on the tank so make sure the plants are receiving enough light. Java fern may not need much but if you want plants to be effective biological filters, they need to be growing well and for that they need good lighting. Are you doing regular partial water changes?
There's no light on the tank, but I have a 10watt bulb made specifically for plants hanging a few inches above the tank in one of those metal reptile lamps. I don't know the brand, but it doesn't generate heat. I haven't been doing water changes, seeing as I just finished filling the tank a week ago, but I'll start soon. 10% every week? 20% every two weeks?



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Old 26th December 2013   #37 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

I change about 10% every week as well as the the odd bit here and there when i've been cleaning the bottom with the syphon.



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Old 8th January 2014   #38 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

Been renovating for a bit. I finally anchored all the ferns to driftwood, although one piece still hasn't sunk. (Hence the rubber bands and the rock.) Recently got some java moss, micro sword, and two chain swords. The swords are off to the side in a bucket. I'm planning to plant the rest of the plants tomorrow.
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Old 10th January 2014   #39 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

Fully planted! I really like the way it turned out. (But I'll be doing extra water changes- some tannins were left in the driftwood.) Any idea how long it'll take for the java moss and the micro sword to spread around the aquarium?
Oh, and I was thinking of adding a few guppies. How should I go about introducing them? I know I need to keep them separated for a while.
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Old 10th January 2014   #40 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Concerns

Your tank is starting to look nice now, it looks a lot like mine did when i first set it up. I would leave things to settle for a few weeks and then look back at the picture in this thread, you'd be amazed how quickly the plants spread!

I think I would turn the pump down so there's less disturbance, H. orientalis are still water creatures and even the water movement from the air stone might make them restless. Once the plants start to take over you could turn it back up again and let the leaves diffuse the flow.

I don't know if a few guppies would do any harm but personally i wouldn't bother, in nature the newts would seek out water bodies where there was no fish, so adding guppies could undermine all the work you've done to de-stress and rehabilitate the newts after the importation etc.

I think it's about time you posted some nice pictures of your newts,they look to be gaining weight and growing their tails wide again, I bet it won't be long before they start laying eggs! :)



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