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Is my tank setup okay? (Open to suggestions!)

This is a discussion on Is my tank setup okay? (Open to suggestions!) within the Newt and Salamander Help forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; I recently bought some christmas moss online and an anubia plant. They seemed to really liven up my tank, so ...

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Old 13th September 2014   #1 (permalink)
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Question Is my tank setup okay? (Open to suggestions!)

I recently bought some christmas moss online and an anubia plant. They seemed to really liven up my tank, so I went out today and bought some some cherry hedges, and a few frogbit floaters. I also have 2 giant moss balls. Do you think it's a suitable environment? I'm thinking of buying some more plants in the future so any suggestions would be great!

I'm just focusing on the water quality for my newt. I didn't have that great of a setup before and I just wanted to amp up my game a bit for the little guy. Also should I add more water? I feel like my newt is a bit on the small side but he loves the water. I gave him a perch on the far left (log) to go on when he desires. He used it for a while but proceeded to enter the water more as I bought more plants.. Also the bottom is a bit bland, any ways to spice that up? Any tips would be great!


NOTE* I am housing my newt with 2 african dwarf frogs and there hasn't been any issues since I got them, but I plan on moving the frogs to a separate tank eventually so this is just a temporary home. I know they have different water temperatures so I'm looking around for a tank to buy.
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Old 13th September 2014   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my tank setup okay? (Open to suggestions!)

I would move the frogs into a separate container, even just plastic tub or container.
Why have gravel under the carpet, just seems like more work, and waste can build up under the carpet AND under the gravel now.
What specie of newt do you have and whats the temperature of your water?



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Old 13th September 2014   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my tank setup okay? (Open to suggestions!)

The reason I have gravel is for my plants. They need to root into something so I keep gravel under the reptile carpet to give them something to grow into. I have a firebelly newt and it stays around 20-21 degrees celsius. And I'm looking to transfer them soon I just have money as an issue right now and I know each frog needs at least a gallon of water so



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Old 13th September 2014   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my tank setup okay? (Open to suggestions!)

They can survive in plastic containers for a few days, substrate wise, personally, I would ditch the carpet and gravel and go sand bottomed or bare bottomed, if you want better water quality, as sand and bare bottom won't allow a buildup of waste resulting in bad water.
Assuming you mean Hypselotriton orientalis when you say 'fire belly newts' then I would add a lot more plants, and more water, mine never leave the water, but the tank is stocked full of plants. There are plenty of plants that dont require substrate such as Java fern, Java moss, Elodea/Anacharis, Hornwort, etc.
What are you feeding it as a staple?
And if you plan on purchasing any more in the future, I suggest you don't unless you find a breeder.



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Old 13th September 2014   #5 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: Is my tank setup okay? (Open to suggestions!)

Won't sand get into his mouth when he eats? I've heard a lot of bad things about impactions and sand, but if it isn't as bad as it seems, I will gladly switch to sand as it probably looks a hella lot nicer than a reptile carpet over some gravel! And any recommendations on which plants? As a staple I switch from newt pellets and frozen blood worms. I plan on only having one, my bigger plans are going onto a ball python eventually, but If i do get a second i'll keep that in mind :)



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Old 13th September 2014   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my tank setup okay? (Open to suggestions!)

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Won't sand get into his mouth when he eats? I've heard a lot of bad things about impactions and sand, but if it isn't as bad as it seems, I will gladly switch to sand as it probably looks a hella lot nicer than a reptile carpet over some gravel! And any recommendations on which plants? As a staple I switch from newt pellets and frozen blood worms. I plan on only having one, my bigger plans are going onto a ball python eventually, but If i do get a second i'll keep that in mind :)
Fine Sand is usually small enough to pass though them, and feeding in a dish or jar is always an option. Impaction can be a problem with gravel though. Just make sure the sand is very small, and is rinsed before being used.
The plants I use for H. orientalis are Hornwort, Java Fern, and Java Moss. I also have Elodea/Anacharis in some of my other tanks and it works well too.
For the staple I recommend switching to chopped earthworm/nightcrawler. Frozen Bloodworms are nutritionally incomplete, and pellets vary.



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Old 13th September 2014   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my tank setup okay? (Open to suggestions!)

Alright, I'm looking for a part time job soon so I'll try to get my hands on some sand. And is it possible to have a self-filtering tank if I get enough plants? Because I was thinking I could try to do that but filters have always been a good investment for me.

So what I got so far is:
  • add more water
  • add more plants
  • consider new staple diet
  • replace gravel with sand
I'm open for any other suggestions as well :)



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Old 13th September 2014   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is my tank setup okay? (Open to suggestions!)

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Originally Posted by discoverlight View Post
Alright, I'm looking for a part time job soon so I'll try to get my hands on some sand. And is it possible to have a self-filtering tank if I get enough plants? Because I was thinking I could try to do that but filters have always been a good investment for me.

So what I got so far is:
  • add more water
  • add more plants
  • consider new staple diet
  • replace gravel with sand
I'm open for any other suggestions as well :)
You can buy play sand at a hardware store for like 4$, just make sure you rinse it properly. With enough plants + daily water changes it should be fine without a filter. I recommend using a sponge filter though. None of my newt tanks have full on filters, just sponge filters, and they all do fine.



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