View Full Version : C.e.popei setup

20th December 2003, 17:16


20th December 2003, 19:39
Hi Tim,
I was just wondering how you setup your aquarium? I've tried to use wood before, and it always makes the water a very dirty color. Also wondering how you got the moss to grow on the wood pieces. What an incredible looking setup you've got for your little guys!


20th December 2003, 20:16
Hi Ryan,
You have to cook the wood before using it, it will draw out water soluble substances thus minimizing the extraction from the wood to the aquarium water. I don't know about the moss, doesn't it grow onto the wood if it survives the environment?


20th December 2003, 20:54
That is AWESOME!!!!!!!!

http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/sad.gif I want one just like it!

Do you have photos of your other tanks?

21st December 2003, 10:19
Is that the setup based on natural observations? - it looks a bit more complex than your other setups! How do you keep the water so crystal clear?
What filters do you use?

21st December 2003, 13:48
Hi Froggy, yes, it's been specifically set up to mimic their natural habitat. The sand, gravel, rocks, leaves and branches come from the exact same place as the newts do. But the really fine clayish substrate, which is found in their original habitat, was unfortunately sucked up by the sponge filter. I'll have to find a way to get around that. The tank has only just been set up.

In addition to the sponge filter in a rear corner of the tank, there's a small heater in there to prevent the temp from falling below 14C. The Egeria densa was added because the females are laying eggs.

Ryan, the driftwood in there has already been weathered to stop it leaching tannic acid into the water. The moss at the back of the tank, the main land area, is already stuck to some soil. The rest is just draped over the wood, and is of a kind that lasts a long time like that. I'll put up another pic soon to show what I mean.

22nd December 2003, 00:16
Hello Tim, I Was Wondering What Type Of Plant You Have As I Bought The Same Type On Saturday But I Have Forgotten The Name, Will My Newts Lay The Eggs On This Specific Type Of Plant?

22nd December 2003, 10:08
Tim,great pics.
1)How do you get a big piece of drift wood like that to stay in place?
2)Are the newts wild caught from the place you made your observations?
3)How many do you have in there? (i count 4)
Sorry for all the questions im just very qurious.

22nd December 2003, 11:17
Dean, the longish plants in there now are Egeria densa (for the newts to lay their eggs on), and the petite ones are Anubius nana, highly recommended for use in newt tanks as it does well even in low light conditions. Egeria densa is sometimes sold as Elodea densa or Anacharis densa.


When shopping for plants, just keep in mind that Cynops use their back legs to wrap leaves around their eggs, which are laid individually. So at least some of the plants you use should have small, soft leaves for breeding purposes http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/happy.gif

Mark, there are actually two big pieces of weathered driftwood in there. They "lock" together surprisingly well.

Yes, there are dozen or so WC newts in there that I brought back from where I made my observations -- except for two that were acquired separately but also come from the same place. Perhaps I'll post a pick of them at feeding time so they can be seen all at once http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/wink.gif

The soon-to-be rectified flaw with this setup is that my wife moved the rock and some plants into the feeding area I had reserved in the lefthand corner of the tank, so now care must be taken that the bloodworm doesn't drift into nooks and crannies where it can rot and foul the water.

By the way, this is the same bedside tank where some pretty steamy courtship/breeding followed up by egg-laying is going on http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/biggrin.gif



(Message edited by TJ on December 22, 2003)

22nd December 2003, 15:26
side view:http://www.caudata.org/forum/messages/7618/9917.jpg

22nd December 2003, 16:16
Here's an example of a branch taken from the natural habitat being put to good use.


With regard to what I was saying above about Cynops wrapping their eggs in leaves, Max Sparreboom, writing in Herpetological Journal, Vol. 5 (1995), seems to say something different. He says female popei he observed in the wild "did not wrap the leaves of grasses and plants around the eggs in the well-known Triturus fashion, but simply pressed the leaves or twigs against the egg with their hind feet." Well, this was what I meant anyway http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/lol.gif

And he goes on to say: "Eggs may be also deposited between dead leaves or occasionally on land near the water".

22nd December 2003, 20:30
The gold speckles kindas cmouflage it with the lichen.

22nd December 2003, 22:55
Hi Tim,
What exactly do you mean when you say the wood was weathered? How do you feed your Cynops, you said you had a specific area. One thing I found difficult with feeding newts was keeping the food in one place so that the worms did dig into the gravel never to be seen again. Once again you heave a beautiful setup, I'm a little envious of you.


24th December 2003, 02:25
I recommend you to feed Reptomin like floating food for them. They love to feed Reptomin like turtles.http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/lol.gif

28th December 2003, 14:51

28th December 2003, 17:25
Very nice setup Tim.
I use a lot of wood for my setups as well. To prevent wood from tinting the water you just have to put some aquarium active carbon in the filter and change it every two months.
Best wishes

20th August 2004, 14:11
Hey Tim!
Very nice setup!
Do the C.e.p spend alot of time out of the water?
Gr. Leo

21st August 2004, 20:13
Great setup Tim, fits your great pictures http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/happy.gif

<blockquote><hr size=0><!-quote-!><font size=1>Ryan Stauffer (Unregistered Guest) wrote on Saturday, December 20, 2003 - 19:39 : (#POST16739)</font>

&quot;Also wondering how you got the moss to grow on the wood pieces&quot;<!-/quote-!><hr size=0></blockquote>

There is not one kind of moss. There is a great range of different kinds of mosses. Some moss grows on stones, some on forest soil, some on wood, some on... You just have to find the right moss. Maybe it's out there in your garden.

21st August 2004, 20:52
Tim: Would you say the harvesting of the materials didn't damage the habitat to too much of an extent?

Thanks! Some cool ideas in that one!

10th November 2004, 19:58
I love it! How do you keep it so clean!?

11th November 2004, 16:34
You got me wondering about those decaying leaves Tim. They don't spoil the water to much? Or can you keep up by refreshing the water?

11th November 2004, 18:51
Doesn't the sand get syphoned?

17th November 2004, 07:16
Thanks for the complements, guys! I haven't seen this thread in about a year so I have to catch up...

Joei, I refresh the water about every two weeks, so acidity doesn't seem to be a problem, though I haven't measured it in a long, long time. If I don't refresh the water, the tank becomes dark with tannic acid since I'm not using a a charcoal filter (Yago, I prefer not to as the darkening of the water prompts me to make those water changes!). I don't suspect any problem with water quality as larvae thrive in this tank and the newts are healthy (and laying more eggs...). Most of the leaves eventually decayed to the extent that they broke up and have been siphoned out.

Mark, Much of the soil has disappeared as well, the fine particles having been collected in the sponge filter. The substrate doesn't normally get siphoned as I only ever siphon the upper part of the left side of the tank, where there is hardly any substrate. Also, I don't siphon the other "wilder" side of the tank as I use a motor siphon and I have to be able to see clearly to avoid sucking in any of the many larvae in this tank. I feed and siphon on the left, though I sometimes drop a single cube of frozen bloodworm cube on the right side for the larvae to find.

Joseph, a judgment as to whether I damaged the environment would be subjective. It would depend on how much a purist one is. For one, the environment there is already extensively damaged by human activities. I doubt my collection of a small quantity of sand and gravel, a few rocks, and some leaves and branches had any significant detrimental effects, but the opposite could easily be argued. One could even say I damaged the environment by setting foot there in the first place. And then by walking through the forest, trampling on vegetation, spreading all sorts of alien pathogens. Not to mention bringing some newts back with me! So yes, I would say I didn't damage the habitat "to too much of an extent" http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/wink.gif

By the way, the moss, the driftwood and the plants (mostly Egeria densa) in that tank are not from Okinawa. So it's just a semi-natural setup.

Leo, the dozen or so newts in there spend most of their time in the water but there are usually a few on land.

17th November 2004, 17:15
Hello Tim!

I have to say "BEAUTIFUL". This is my dream tank (or should I say my newts!). I use egeria densa also, plus bacopa. I have also put in some local plants. (I live in the Pacific Northwest and there are lots of mosses, and ferns, here to pick from.)

I love the natural settings - the best.

Thank you.

17th November 2004, 19:00
I also agree, I love it. There is no way I would ever be able to make that though, ha ha. Where do you live? Just curious, like what state?

17th November 2004, 21:00
Beautiful setup Tim. A veritable "newtopia!"

18th November 2004, 07:09
Thanks for all those kind words.

I guess I should post a new pic of that tank since the one at the top is from a year ago, and only a week or two after it was set up. It has a more "lived-in" look now. And an extended land area with more moss. I often find morphs on the moss (including one this morning), which I remove from the tank. It's less attractive now though as plastic strips are being used for egg deposition.

Mark, I live in Tokyo (but I'm originally from Colorado, where I see you live). Pamela, how lucky you are to live in the Great Northwest! That's where I'd like to eventually retire (in a place with lots of moss and ferns, smack in the middle of a Taricha migration path http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/biggrin.gif

I really, really like the look of fallen leaves in a tank, and it's perfectly natural from what I've seen of the habitat of C. ensicauda. In the limited confines of a tank, however, it's a question of newt tolerance for acidity and keeper vigilance for water quality. Perhaps I'll keep a record of pH fluctuation this time around and post the results!

18th November 2004, 14:18
Tim---wow! Hope you don't mind me using the setup as desktop wallpaper?http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/smile7.gif

18th November 2004, 18:52
Wow, you used to live in Colorado. Now you live in Japan, how is that working out for you. So you got the newts from Japan, or Colorado? I can't wait to see the updated pictures, that will be awesome!

19th November 2004, 01:20
That is an extremely nice setup. Very good imagination required for that. Good Job!

20th November 2004, 02:02
Thank you for the explanation Tim
I'm curious about how the tank looks now too http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/happy.gif