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zuccone
6th January 2004, 18:38
Hi all,

It's time for me to re organize my fire set up. It would be very kind if you could post some pics of your specific tank in order to give me some experts examples.

Thanks in advance.

mike
19th January 2004, 12:56
I'd also like to ask a question.
http://www.caudata.org/cc/species/Salamandra/Salamandra_sp.shtml
says:
"... as with most animals, the larger the vivarium the better.* A pair can be housed quite adequately in a 45 cm x 30 cm x 35 cm vivarium (18 x 12 x 14 inches).* A 60 cm x 30 cm x 35 cm vivarium would be better, though (24 x 12 x 12 inches)."
Do experienced keepers really feel that 60x30x30cm is viable long term for a pair?
Thnx,

john
19th January 2004, 14:15
Interesting question there Mike. I believe I quote (before the housing section) that adult fire salamanders have a range of about 60 square metres in the wild. I honestly think that 60x30x30 cm is viable for a pair (maybe slightly bigger for Salamandra s. salamandra) but I wouldn't necessarily keep them in such a small container myself. I've seen them kept in far smaller containers than that and breed annually. It's up to the keeper to provide them with decent living space, as is the case for all species.

mike
19th January 2004, 14:38
Many of my animals are kept permanently, "clinically" in plastic boxes measuring 56 x 40 x 17 cms (22 x 16 x 6 inches). These boxes are easily ventilated, and can be stacked or put in a rack system. A non-bleached kitchen paper towel,which is dampened, is used as a substrate, with cork bark hides placed on top of one another, to create humidity gradients.
I don't include a water bowl, as I have seen fire salamanders drowned in even the most shallow of containers. They take all the moisture they require from the substrate. It is simple to monitor when livefood is not eaten, and when the substrate needs replacing.
A naturalistic vivarium is obviously far more attractive, but to whom? I doubt that the inhabitants are any "happier" in such an enclosure. I have had bacterial problems in the past with such setups, as it is more difficult to know when to replace/clean the various substrates.
My salamanders certainly breed repeatedly for me, and "survive" for many years in these simply maintained boxes.

mike
19th January 2004, 16:59
I was hoping you'd answer Mike :-)
For breeding, do you keep pairs in 56x40x17cm boxes?
How often, on average, does the paper substrate need replacing, weekly, or more frequently?
Final question: winter temperature for breeding, 12C sufficient, or do they need to go lower than this?
Thanks,

mike
19th January 2004, 21:07
Yes Mike, I do keep pairs, or 1.2. of the smaller subspecies in these boxes. (Contico)
I replace the substrate weekly, but occasionally it is expedient to change sooner, i.e. when feeding heavily on earthworms.
(I have experimented with blue paper hand towel as a floor covering, and was amazed at how much urea was deposited by the animals!)
A winter temperature of 12C is ideal.
Best wishes,
Mike.

mike
20th January 2004, 05:59
Thanks. If I may - how much ventilation? A row of holes below the rim?

mike
20th January 2004, 10:12
The lid of the box is recessed for multiple stacking, and can be "peppered" with holes for adequate ventilation, whilst still being able to use the stacking facility.
These boxes can be bought from the Trade with 3 inch stainless steel gauzes fitted, five vents in the large box, and four in the medium Contico, which measures (40 x 11 x 17 cms (16 x 11 x 6 inches). This provides an excellent throughput of air. (I can aquire them at Trade prices, if you are interested please e-mail me privately).

mike
20th January 2004, 12:29
Thanks again. Now for a seemingly dumb question. Where do you get the unbleached paper towels from? Are these the brown hand towels, or are we talking kitchen roll here?

I'm sorta coming around to the idea of housing a pair (or possibly a trio) outdoors in a shady spot in a 30x16 inch plastic storage storage chest for the 5-7 warm months of the year and indoors (enclosed unheated porch) at ~12C for the rest of the time in a Contico type container (porch can get hot in summer).

mike
20th January 2004, 13:09
BOUNTY......not the bars, they're fattening, but the white quilted kitchen rolls.

They come in 6 packs, iv'e bought container-loads over the years. I should be entitled to shares in Procter & Gamble.http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/lol.gif

francesco
20th January 2004, 13:14
Hi Mike,
At what temperature do you keep your hibernating salamandras?

mike
20th January 2004, 13:37
Hi Francesco,
I try to keep them at between 5-12C.
They continue to feed, and even the alpine forms do well at these temperatures.

francesco
20th January 2004, 13:55
Is a salamander able to breed if kept at 12C for the winter period? I thought they needed lower temps to breed the next season (5C). Just so I know next year at what temps I have to hibernate mine. This year they are too young to breed even if temperature in my cellar doesn't get lower than 10C. So perhaps I don't need to place them in a colder place next winter.

mike
22nd January 2004, 10:41
I can only comment on what works for me Francesco. My Salamandra are housed in an outside brick building, where they receive seasonal natural lighting, and a temperature drop during the winter. The door is left open day and night, except in very inclement weather, so temperature is dependent on local conditions.
With global warming we have experienced a very mild winter in southern England this year, with very few cold snaps, very similar to last.
Changes of rainfall, length of day and temperature are some triggers for reproduction in wild salamanders. Environmental conditions: lighting (possibly spectrum) and photoperiod, temperature and humidity are closely linked to reproductive success, and obviously diet.