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View Full Version : Making an interesting mudpuppy exhibit...


kiley
2nd October 2005, 05:51
Hi there,

I volunteer at the ECHO center in Burlington Vermont. ECHO is an institution here dedicated to educating the public of the Ecology, Culture, History, and Opportunities for stewardship of the Lake Champlain Basin.

One aspect of the center is made up of animal exhibits, mostly fish and various herps, including Mudpuppies. While we have been caring for Mudpuppies here for quite some time and know how to care for the animals we are having problems making an interesting exhibit out of their aquarium. You see, while they are in a 55 gallon tank and have more than enough room to move around, they spend all of their time collected as a group underneath the rock shelter - they are visible but just not interesting in there. I understand that they will shy away from light and that in clear water they are primarily nocternal but there must be a way to get them out of the rocks and in the tank for people to see in action without adding to the stress of the animals.

I've wondered if using red lights, like those found in dark rooms, could be installed in place of the UV light. Such a setup might fool the Mudpuppies into thinking it's night and get them to roam about the exhibit for the public to see and marvell at. Have any of you ever heard of such a setup working? Do you have any other ideas to help me make an exhibit that is more interesting to the public than mudpuppies under a rock?

Thank you.


http://echovermont.org

erik
2nd October 2005, 14:47
Two ideas come to mind:

1)You could put them on a reverse photoperiod and use a dim red/blue light for observation.

2)You could have scheduled feedings. They will come out and roam around looking for the food, this might work best with things like chopped worms. Feeding small amounts will let you increase the frequency of the feedings.

kiley
3rd October 2005, 14:32
Thanks a bunch, the reverse photperiod sounds really promising.

The feeding may work too so I think that if the lighting method is successful it would make things much easier.