The longest running Amphibian Community on the Internet.

Tags Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Caudata.org Store


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; I set up this tank (20 gal) two weeks ago and have had three fire bellies in it since last ...

Newt and Salamander Help Got a problem? Ill newt? Basic questions? Ask about them here.

Like Tree13Likes


Reply

 

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 15th November 2013   #1 (permalink)
Member
 
AfroNewtkeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 18
Posts: 190
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: AfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledgeAfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledge
Default Tank Concerns

Tank Concerns-image.jpg
I set up this tank (20 gal) two weeks ago and have had three fire bellies in it since last Saturday. I just have a few questions about my setup:

There's an under-gravel filtration system running through the tank, and it's working well. Should the powerheads be above or below the water?
There are about 3 inches of gravel- is that too much for the filter to work properly?

I've read plenty of times about how newts may stick to land due to stress, and two of them appear to be doing so, but one entered the water the moment it was released in the tank, stayed under for a few days, and hasn't been in much since. I'm going to add an island of rocks on Saturday, but I'm wondering if something's up with the water. I live in Texas and the temperature in my house is usually 70-72 degrees fahrenheit.

When I add the rock island, I'm removing the cave and house decorations. The house seems somewhat dangerous anyways. (Plenty of small holes to get stuck in)



AfroNewtkeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th November 2013   #2 (permalink)
Site Contributor
 
Azhael's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 32
Posts: 6,645
Gallery Images: 19
Comments: 2
Rep: Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)
Default Re: Tank Concerns

Ok, here is the thing, gravel and mechanical filtration are not a good idea. I would strongly recommend that you get rid of the power head and all the gravel. If you want a substrate, very fine silica sand is a good choice, just make sure to not have more than an inch of it. Otherwise you can go barebottom which is by far the most practical option. These animals prefer still water and are stressed by currents, plus powerheads create heat, so you should substitute the powerhead by lots and lots....and lots....of live plants.

Your newts are not going in the water first of all because of all the terrible stress that they have suffered during the importation process and almost certainly at the shops, but also because your conditions are not suitable for them to go back to an aquatic life. The current and the open water are not what they want. Still water and thick masses of plants covering the area near the surface is what they like and is what will make them feel safe enough to venture into the water. Remember, your newts are VERY stressed and nothing short of optimal conditions is likely to aliviate that stress and allow them to adapt. You should make sure the tank cycles properly, although the large amounts of live plants will help maintain good conditions until that happens.
So, in short, you need a minimum of 10 gallons of water, but more is always better, no currents, temps below 20šC and huge amounts of live plants. Do that and your animals will at least have a chance to recover and adapt to captivity.

You can find more information about cycling, the needs of this species, etc, in the links in my signature. Read until your eyes are sore.



__________________
Please become acquainted with the forum rules.

Useful Links: Caudata Culture | Species Accounts | Care Articles | Newt and Salamander FAQs | Axolotl.org | Axolotl FAQs | Forum Functions.


Non Timetis Messor.
Azhael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th November 2013   #3 (permalink)
Member
 
AeonMapa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 232
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 1
Rep: AeonMapa has given good advice and informationAeonMapa has given good advice and informationAeonMapa has given good advice and information
Default Re: Tank Concerns

If your tank has only been running two weeks there's a good change it's still in the process of cycling. If you don't know what cycling is yet, learn right now. It's the first thing anyone should know before getting their first tank. The reason az said to remove the gravel is because a newt might swallow it and it will get stuck in their digestive system, possibly killing them. An undergravel filter isn't the best choice for these species either, rather tons of live plants an an airstone or sponge filter at most for filtration. Your tank is of adequate size, but is quite bare. These newts love lots of plant life, and no open spaces near the surface. They are probably staying out because the water conditions are still unstable, or it feels unsafe for them. Azhael explained the bad shape these newts are in, so they really need some TLC from you!

I know it's frustrating to have people tell you some of your brand new equipment is unsuitable, but proper research before buying a species can help you avoid this in the future.



AeonMapa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th November 2013   #4 (permalink)
Member
 
AfroNewtkeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 18
Posts: 190
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: AfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledgeAfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledge
Default Re: Tank Concerns

Sorry, I confused powerheads with filter cartridges- there's nothing mechanical in the tank. Does that change anything, or should I remove the system entirely? I'd be willing to have just the two airstones. (Almost all of this came with the tank, which wasn't expensive.) I have been considering sand, but I would have to gut the tank. I'll definitely be getting more plants.
I'll post updates tomorrow.



AfroNewtkeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th November 2013   #5 (permalink)
Site Contributor
 
Azhael's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 32
Posts: 6,645
Gallery Images: 19
Comments: 2
Rep: Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)
Default Re: Tank Concerns

It really pays off to gut your tank now rather than later on. I know it sucks but it is in your best interest and your newtīs.
The gravel is not just a potential hazard if ingested, it also traps huge amounts of debris and since you have such a thick layer of it, the deepest parts can become anoxic and anaerobic bacteria can flourish there. This can end up being very dangerous because of the toxic gases they produce.
I strongly suggest going with a bare bottom or a fine layer of sand. This will allow for easy cleaning and feeding.

If you have large amounts of plants, filtration is redundant. You simply donīt need it at all. How many gallons is your tank? If itīs 10 gallons or more, just fill it with water and plants and you should see changes in your newts behaviour right away.

Also important, make sure to have a 100% scape proof lid, preferably mesh to allow for adequate ventilation. Do water 20% water changes daily or every two days to keep nitrogen compounds at tolerable levels. It would be advisable to get a decent kit to measure ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. That will allow you to avoid the build up of this compounds which is very dangerous. It will also let you know when your tank finally cyles completely.



__________________
Please become acquainted with the forum rules.

Useful Links: Caudata Culture | Species Accounts | Care Articles | Newt and Salamander FAQs | Axolotl.org | Axolotl FAQs | Forum Functions.


Non Timetis Messor.
Azhael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th November 2013   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
AfroNewtkeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 18
Posts: 190
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: AfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledgeAfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledge
Default Re: Tank Concerns

Alright, I'll try to gut it today. Where should I keep the newts for the time being? A carrier filled with damp paper towels? When I'm out today I'll buy sand along with everything else. As for newt-proofing the lid, it's been taped down and the hole where the previous owner of the tank added a large filter has been covered in mesh. I still need to add tape around a hole where one of the airstone tubes comes out. A mesh lid isn't really an option at the moment, but if I find one, I'll get it.

Also, what do you think about the tree ornament I have in the tank? I don't think it poses a huge risk, but I wanted to get someone's opinion. The plastic leaves might be a bit hard, but I can't say. Here's a better picture:
Tank Concerns-1454819_254044114744378_304379240_n.jpg




Last edited by AfroNewtkeeper; 16th November 2013 at 16:33. Reason: Left something out.
AfroNewtkeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th November 2013   #7 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 81
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Aplestris has started on the right path
Default Re: Tank Concerns

Hey
I got my Chinese Fire Bellies a few months ago and they are doing well. To get them aquatic, first I left a part of land for the 'land preferring' ones to sit on but I raised the water level gradually until they were unable to get completely dry but would still not have to swim and they became aquatic (they hardly ever leave the water!)
The one on the left looks very skinny How's it going with feeding? And try to stop the temperature from going above 73 or 72 f, I added ice cubes slowly in the summer to regulate the temperature.
I completely agree with Azhael
A box with damp paper towels is fine (but I think it would be best not to use towels/tissues with ink on them) but I placed mine in a tub with shallow water and some of the plants from the tank for an hour or so when I cleaned their tank.
The plastic tree might be a bit rough on their feet but I admit I don't really know if it is safe or not for them. Is it made for aquatic tanks or just a decoration?
Good luck



Aplestris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th November 2013   #8 (permalink)
Member
 
AfroNewtkeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 18
Posts: 190
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: AfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledgeAfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledge
Default Re: Tank Concerns

This picture was taken the day I got them- they've been eating fairly well. And yes, the tree was made for aquariums.



AfroNewtkeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th November 2013   #9 (permalink)
Site Contributor
 
Azhael's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 32
Posts: 6,645
Gallery Images: 19
Comments: 2
Rep: Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)
Default Re: Tank Concerns

The plastic leaves seem a bit rough, certainly not the most suitable perching site for the newts. Unless you know that the decoration is completely safe for an aquatic environment, i would take it out. I understand itīs a matter of taste, but itīd be best to substitute it by live plants :P

You can keep the newts on a small container with moist paper towels, yes. I would advice you to keep them like that until not only you have changed the tank by taking the gravel and the filtration out but you have also filled the water with live plants.



__________________
Please become acquainted with the forum rules.

Useful Links: Caudata Culture | Species Accounts | Care Articles | Newt and Salamander FAQs | Axolotl.org | Axolotl FAQs | Forum Functions.


Non Timetis Messor.
Azhael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th November 2013   #10 (permalink)
Member
 
AfroNewtkeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 18
Posts: 190
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: AfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledgeAfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledge
Default Re: Tank Concerns

The tank's finished and the sand has been settling for about 5 hours now. The newts are spending the night in here and ate a total of 6 crickets. (Yes, I know they're not the best- I'm switching them to bloodworms soon.)
Tank Concerns-image.jpg



AfroNewtkeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th November 2013   #11 (permalink)
Site Contributor
 
Azhael's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 32
Posts: 6,645
Gallery Images: 19
Comments: 2
Rep: Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)
Default Re: Tank Concerns

Good that they ate.
Switch to earthworms, though, not bloodworms. Bloodworms are incomplete and make a terrible staple. If abused for long periods they can lead to severe nutritional deficiencies. Earthworms on the other hand are an excellent food and make a fantastic staple.

Before you put the newts back make sure to add a ridiculous amounts of live plants. Otherwise they are going to panic when they hit the water and try desperately to get out, but if there are open areas, they can actually drown.



__________________
Please become acquainted with the forum rules.

Useful Links: Caudata Culture | Species Accounts | Care Articles | Newt and Salamander FAQs | Axolotl.org | Axolotl FAQs | Forum Functions.


Non Timetis Messor.
Azhael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th November 2013   #12 (permalink)
Member
 
AfroNewtkeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 18
Posts: 190
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: AfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledgeAfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledge
Default Re: Tank Concerns

Tank Concerns-image.jpg
Tank Concerns-image_1.jpg

Here's a list of what happened:

•The newts were removed from the tank and all water was siphoned out.
•I removed the gravel and filter.
•Approx. 1 inch of CaribSea SuperNaturals sand was added. (I didn't use the "Bio-Magnet Clarifier" that came with it.)
•I added a large rock to provide an island, and propped a small rock underneath to create a cave.
•Two lutea plants were planted, and the floating plants I already owned were unbound and strewn across the tank. (They were previously tied with rubber bands at the base.)
•I siphoned about half of their water back into their tank and added a single airstone.
•I added a small flower pot as a hiding place, as well as a thermometer.
•After about 15 hours, the newts were introduced.

The water is still a bit clouded by sand, but they appear to enjoy the island.
I'll be newt-proofing the tank.




Last edited by AfroNewtkeeper; 17th November 2013 at 17:58.
AfroNewtkeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th November 2013   #13 (permalink)
Site Contributor
 
Azhael's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 32
Posts: 6,645
Gallery Images: 19
Comments: 2
Rep: Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)Azhael has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)
Default Re: Tank Concerns

You seem to have a bit too much sand. Keep it on the thin side, itīs always safer.
You are going to need about 10 times more plants, at least...you really want the entire top area to be covered on a thick layer of floating plants. Javamoss, Riccia, Hydrocotile, Elodea, Ceratophyllum, etc, are all very good for this purpose.
The newts wonīt enter the water the way the tank is set-up right now, even if water chemistry was kept at optimum levels. Keep adding plants and increasing the water volume. you want to end up using as much volume as possible. Also keep an eye on the parametres because as it is, that tank is likely to fluctuate fast.



__________________
Please become acquainted with the forum rules.

Useful Links: Caudata Culture | Species Accounts | Care Articles | Newt and Salamander FAQs | Axolotl.org | Axolotl FAQs | Forum Functions.


Non Timetis Messor.
Azhael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th November 2013   #14 (permalink)
Member
 
AfroNewtkeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 18
Posts: 190
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: AfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledgeAfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledge
Default Re: Tank Concerns

I might be able to find some wild Ceratophyllum, would that be safe?



AfroNewtkeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th November 2013   #15 (permalink)
Member
 
AfroNewtkeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 18
Posts: 190
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: AfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledgeAfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledge
Default Re: Tank Concerns

Another question: The tank is approximately 73 degrees Fahrenheit. If I use ice cubes to cool the water, how many should I add daily to 5 gallons?
I plan to add 5 more gallons of water to the tank as the newts grow accustomed, and add some native plants if I can clean them. I read something about dipping them in saltwater?

On a less important note, does anyone have any clever/quirky newt names they'd like to share? As far as I can tell, I have two females and one male.



AfroNewtkeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th November 2013   #16 (permalink)
Member
 
AeonMapa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 232
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 1
Rep: AeonMapa has given good advice and informationAeonMapa has given good advice and informationAeonMapa has given good advice and information
Default Re: Tank Concerns

I tend to name my newts based on their belly pattens :) Smiley face gets Smiley, 4 spots is 4 eyes. stripe like patterns is tiger :P

As for newt care, they will never grow accustomed to the water until they are willing to enter it. As it is, they will never enter the water in your current set up. They really do need lots and lots of live plants. And yes using wild plants is fine! Just do your research as you sterilize them first and there are many methods on the net for this. Usually a quick rinse in mild bleach or salt soloution then a thorough washing. Since they are wild you can easily harvest a whole lot as that's wht this species really needs.



AeonMapa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th November 2013   #17 (permalink)
Member
 
AfroNewtkeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 18
Posts: 190
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: AfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledgeAfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledge
Default Re: Tank Concerns

Heheh. Since my last update, I added some plants, but had to remove them because they turned out to be terrestrial. I left a small cluster in a pail to see if they can adapt. I added a small 10 watt UV light because the plants were wilting a bit. I'm worried about the two planted lutea but hopefully the light will help. I checked, and the light generates no additional heat, and it's on a timer to run daily from 10am to 3pm, then from 4pm to 9pm. (The tank is at a constant 69-71F) Two of the newts are almost fully aquatic now, only coming ashore occasionally at night. Only one, the smallest, hasn't entered- I think it could be recently metamorphosed. Anyways, they've been accepting 1-2 small cm long pieces of night crawler a day. Is this enough?

(I named one female Fig Newton (Fig for short) and the smallest female Griffin, on account of how she seems to guard her island.)



AfroNewtkeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th November 2013   #18 (permalink)
Member
 
AeonMapa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 232
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 1
Rep: AeonMapa has given good advice and informationAeonMapa has given good advice and informationAeonMapa has given good advice and information
Default Re: Tank Concerns

The newts are acting as they should and the little one should follow into the water in time. They are eating well but try and change your feeding schedule to more every other day. This is more suited to newts :)



AeonMapa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th November 2013   #19 (permalink)
Member
 
AfroNewtkeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 18
Posts: 190
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: AfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledgeAfroNewtkeeper has shown reliable knowledge
Default Re: Tank Concerns

Okay. So two pieces every other day?



AfroNewtkeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th November 2013   #20 (permalink)
Member
 
AeonMapa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 232
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 1
Rep: AeonMapa has given good advice and informationAeonMapa has given good advice and informationAeonMapa has given good advice and information
Default Re: Tank Concerns

I give mine as much as they will accept every 2nd or 3rd day :) Newts don't overeat like fish do, and will reject food when full, so just give them as much as they want. Newts getting fat isn't so much a case of too much food, but being fed fatty mammal meat



AeonMapa is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cork bark, filter, fire bellied newt, newbie, orientalis, pellet, plant, tank, water quality

LinkBack
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads

Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A few concerns for my Axie Delzoun Sick Axolotl? 13 31st December 2012 23:04
Feeding concerns dallasar Axolotl General Discussion 8 19th March 2011 23:16
Health concerns. majerah1 Newt and Salamander Help 6 8th November 2009 02:14
New terrestris concerns tony Fire Salamanders (Salamandra) 8 1st June 2006 10:35
Something that concerns shipping joseph General Discussion & News from Members 1 6th August 2004 16:04


All times are GMT. The time now is 20:39.