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Old 8th April 2009   #1
jplee3
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Default Duetto 50 or 100 and tank setup

Hey guys,

I'm ramping up on more research for my [mostly aquatic] newt tank. I'm either going to stock it with firebellied newts or spanish ribbed newts - I'm still debating on which ones I want in it.

In either case, I want to make sure I get it cycled before introducing anything into it. I'm leaning towards a submersible Duetto filter for my 20gal tank but I'm not sure if I should get a 50 or 100 (http://www.petco.com/Shop/Product.aspx?sku=180297). I hear both are great but that the 50 won't be sufficient for anything over 10gal. Of course, I'm not planning to fill my tank up to max capacity either, so would it be sufficient enough?

I was also planning to pickup some smooth stones (prob 1-2" in diameter) to line the bottom of the tank - will this introduce a hassle with live plants or cleaning versus using gravel or smaller rocks?? I'm also considering a couple of larger artifacts for hiding. Here's the items I'm on the lookout for:

stones to line the bottom of the tank:
http://www.petco.com/Shop/Product.aspx?sku=1092359
http://www.petco.com/Shop/Product.aspx?sku=1092375

larger objects to hide in and around:
http://www.petco.com/Shop/Product.aspx?sku=716278
http://www.petco.com/Shop/Product.aspx?sku=144860

Once I decide on which of those items I want, I'm going to start looking around for some live plants. And I'd probably need a decent light setup for the top of the tank too... not to mention a screen cover. This is really going to add up!!!

I've looked around here in the forums and there are *so* many options out there. I just wanted to hear/see what some of your guys' experiences are besides just looking at pictures (i.e. your processes for cycling the tank, the steps you took to set it up, etc). Thanks in advance!

p.s. also, in terms of cycling and testing the water, do you guys generally use those master test kits? If so, which test kit is the best or would be sufficient for testing all the levels?



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Old 8th April 2009   #2
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Default Re: Duetto 50 or 100 and tank setup

If you get Cynops orientalis, id advice you to consider not using a filter. These are still water animals that will be stressed if a strong current is forced on them. You can easily substitute the filter with lots of natural plants.
If you do use a filter, use one that creates a gentle current. Instead of using the potent one id use the smaller one, the less current it creates the better.

Anyway id encourage you to get Pleurodeles waltl, since these are CB, healthy, a lot hardier, and you wont have problems with them.

The links didnt work for me, but id advice you against using gravel or big stones as susbtrate because these trap a lot of waste.



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Old 8th April 2009   #3
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Default Re: Duetto 50 or 100 and tank setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by azhael View Post
If you get Cynops orientalis, id advice you to consider not using a filter. These are still water animals that will be stressed if a strong current is forced on them. You can easily substitute the filter with lots of natural plants.
If you do use a filter, use one that creates a gentle current. Instead of using the potent one id use the smaller one, the less current it creates the better.

Anyway id encourage you to get Pleurodeles waltl, since these are CB, healthy, a lot hardier, and you wont have problems with them.

The links didnt work for me, but id advice you against using gravel or big stones as susbtrate because these trap a lot of waste.

Thanks for the tips!!! I may end up getting the Duetto 50. For P.Waltl, what kind of substrate would you suggest? I've heard many people not using any and just putting large objects in for them to hide behind. What about sand? I'm assuming I'd need to have something if I have live plants, no?



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Old 8th April 2009   #4
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Default Re: Duetto 50 or 100 and tank setup

Sand works very well, just make sure you dont have a layer of sand deeper than 3-4 cm, as anaerobic conditions might appear, and they are a big problem.
No substrate at all is the easiest way. It makes both feeding and cleaning extremely easy, and much more efficient. But of course its not the prettiest set-up hehe.

There are some plants which do not need any substrate. Java moss, elodea, and even java fern and other plants grow very well just floating in the water. Anubias can be attached to stones or pieces of wood, therefore they dont need any sand, gravel, etc...
You can also keep some plants with the basket they are sold with in pet-stores...its not aesthetic, but it eliminates de need for a substrate.

If you go for the P.waltl, youll need a bigger tank, for this species grows quite large for a newt. You wont regret it though, because they are so easy to care for and so rewarding....



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Old 8th April 2009   #5
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Default Re: Duetto 50 or 100 and tank setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by azhael View Post
Sand works very well, just make sure you dont have a layer of sand deeper than 3-4 cm, as anaerobic conditions might appear, and they are a big problem.
No substrate at all is the easiest way. It makes both feeding and cleaning extremely easy, and much more efficient. But of course its not the prettiest set-up hehe.

There are some plants which do not need any substrate. Java moss, elodea, and even java fern and other plants grow very well just floating in the water. Anubias can be attached to stones or pieces of wood, therefore they dont need any sand, gravel, etc...
You can also keep some plants with the basket they are sold with in pet-stores...its not aesthetic, but it eliminates de need for a substrate.

If you go for the P.waltl, youll need a bigger tank, for this species grows quite large for a newt. You wont regret it though, because they are so easy to care for and so rewarding....

Thanks! Great tips. I have the chance to get three P.Waltls - you think my 20gal tank won't be big enough for them? It's 24"x12" - I forget how high - I want to say 16" though.



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Old 8th April 2009   #6
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Default Re: Duetto 50 or 100 and tank setup

Depending on what size they reach at adulthood it might be ok.
This species usually stays at about 15-20cm in captivity, but in the wild it can grow up to 30cm!
Wait to see what others tell you....im inclined to say it would be better to provide more space, just in case.

Also, check this link:
http://www.caudata.org/cc/species/Pl.../P_waltl.shtml



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Old 8th April 2009   #7
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Default Re: Duetto 50 or 100 and tank setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by azhael View Post
Depending on what size they reach at adulthood it might be ok.
This species usually stays at about 15-20cm in captivity, but in the wild it can grow up to 30cm!
Wait to see what others tell you....im inclined to say it would be better to provide more space, just in case.

Also, check this link:
http://www.caudata.org/cc/species/Pl.../P_waltl.shtml

Thanks! Also, if I were to put sand in it, is there a special/certain type of sand I should get? I'm assuming I can't just go to the beach and use that sand. I heard playground sand (from a home improvement store) might work. But what is recommended?



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Old 10th April 2009   #8
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Default Re: Duetto 50 or 100 and tank setup

Hey guys,

So I picked up a 50lb bag of playground sand from my local home improvement store (Home Depot). I put a good amount into a 5gal bucket (filled about 1/3 to almost 1/2 of the bucket) and started rinsing and emptying the 'dirty' water.

How many times should I do this? I've done it about 6-8 times already. I also cleaned out the aquarium inside with vinegar and rinsed it down well with water. The filter and other items are scheduled to arrive on Tuesday and I may pick up the newts on Saturday. The good thing is that they will come with a 10gal aquarium and such. Hopefully this will give me enough time to prep and cycle the 20gal before introducing them into it.

Would a 2" layer of sand on the bottom be too much for the aquarium? Should I go with less?



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Old 10th April 2009   #9
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Default Re: Duetto 50 or 100 and tank setup

Id say a little less would be more advisable.
In thick layers of sand, theres the problem of the possibility of anaerobic pockets being formed. The water doesnt flow, the oxygen becomes exhausted, and anaerobic bacteria flouriss.
A maximum of 3-4cm(1,5inches?) would be safer.

The sand needs to be throughly washed until the water is only slightly cloudy, or even better until theres no cloudinness at all(this usually requires lots of washing). After being put in the tank, it settles anyway.



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Old 10th April 2009   #10
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Default Re: Duetto 50 or 100 and tank setup

If you haven't already purchased the filter, I would suggest an alternative, the internal waterfall filter. The Duetto is a good filter, but it's a bit small for Pleurodeles (they are messy), and it's a lot more work to change the filter media, in comparison to the internal waterfall style which is much easier to maintain. Both types are inexpensive. And in both cases, pay careful attention to how you will get the electrical cord into the tank without leaving a crack for escape.
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Old 10th April 2009   #11
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Default Re: Duetto 50 or 100 and tank setup

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Originally Posted by Jennewt View Post
If you haven't already purchased the filter, I would suggest an alternative, the internal waterfall filter. The Duetto is a good filter, but it's a bit small for Pleurodeles (they are messy), and it's a lot more work to change the filter media, in comparison to the internal waterfall style which is much easier to maintain. Both types are inexpensive. And in both cases, pay careful attention to how you will get the electrical cord into the tank without leaving a crack for escape.


Thanks Jennewt! Actually, I might be getting a filter along with the newts, so that may be sufficient enough. If that works out then I can use the Duetto as a 'backup' or perhaps in another tank (actually, the person selling the P Waltls will throw in a 10gal tank too) for a California Newt that needs a new home - I plan on getting *all* the newts this Saturday so I'm hoping it'll all work out.



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