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Pacific Giant Salamanders (Dicamptodon) Found only in the Northwest of the United States of America, the (currently) 4 species of this genus are the largest and heaviest land-living salamanders in the world.

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Old 27th January 2016   #1
AquaticEngineer
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Default Replicating D. Tenebrosus Moving Water

So I guess I have it pretty easy as far as a visual reference to replicate since I've found them in the stream right next to my house.

Just curious if others have created a replica habitat for them before with fast moving chilled water?

Thinking of copying the design shown here on fluvals website for making a "river" aquarium but with the addition of a canister filter ran through a small chiller.

Thoughts? Comments? Tips from those who have done it?

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Old 27th January 2016   #2
Seth
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Default Re: Replicating D. Tenebrosus Moving Water

Hi,

Interesting idea. Seems like it could work well. I made a tank for Dicamptodon that i didn't end up using ( didn't get anything to put in it ) but i will add a (bad) picture of it. I had it in a internal filter rated for 40 gallons on it with a 170 GPH flow rate along with a bad HOB, but would have added another pump to the setup if i got any animals for the tank. It was in a unheated shed so cooling wasn't a problem. Just stacked rocks, terracotta pots, and some wood.
If i made it again i would put the tank outside, put a nice big pump on it, and try to recreate a plunge pool by either using a slanted glass pane ( with a gap underneath ) or a log. I will add a picture of the kind of plunge pool i am talking about below as well. The water goes over the top of the log then falls a bit, pushing out substrate creating a cavity underneath the log, which would be a potential egg deposit site.

Anyway that's a very cool idea with the glass pane and such. I think it would work quite well. Since you have access to their habitat i am sure you have a pretty good idea of how to setup the tank.
Let me know how it turns out!
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Old 28th January 2016   #3
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Default Replicating D. Tenebrosus Moving Water

I'm kind of stuck on what size tank and setup to use though

I'm really leaning towards doing a 22 long ADA glass tank with a canister filter and round river rocks with maybe a single submerged log like what I find them under in the creek. This setup would only be for them as aquatic juveniles.

I have an established semi aquatic riverbank vivarium that is wintering over on my porch that used to house my T.grans which I'll likely use for the giants when they morph.

Also found this very clever design online!
Click the image to open in full size.




Last edited by Chinadog; 28th January 2016 at 22:53. Reason: Tidy up.
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Old 29th January 2016   #4
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Default Re: Replicating D. Tenebrosus Moving Water

That is very clever! I have been looking into river designs for my Pachytriton and both of these ideas are great. With whatever method you choose I wish you the best of luck!

And thanks for posting these - I am very excited at trying especially the second one.

HJ



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Old 29th January 2016   #5
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Default Re: Replicating D. Tenebrosus Moving Water

My friend in grad school created a river-type aquarium for tailed frogs (from the same habitat as Dicamptodon). It was basically a long, thin tank (55 gallon, I think) with a series of glass or pvc panels siliconed in a sort of stair-step fashion so the water cascaded into each pool. It was powered by a pond pump, I think, and had rocks kind of stacked up so the animals could move up the pools if they wanted.

Here's a silly diagram (I didn't put the rocks in):
Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 29th January 2016   #6
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Default Re: Replicating D. Tenebrosus Moving Water

Quote:
I'm kind of stuck on what size tank and setup to use though
I would say it entirely depends on the number of animals you are going to put in it. I would also try and provide plenty of room for each individual, as they can be quite aggressive towards each other and are known to be cannibalistic. I once saw a larvae D. tenebrosus attempting to eat another larvae that was similar in size, it was quite ferocious.

Quote:
I'm really leaning towards doing a 22 long ADA glass tank with a canister filter and round river rocks with maybe a single submerged log like what I find them under in the creek. This setup would only be for them as aquatic juveniles.
Sounds like a good setup to me.



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Old 14th July 2018   #7
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Default Re: Replicating D. Tenebrosus Moving Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaticEngineer View Post
I'm kind of stuck on what size tank and setup to use though

I'm really leaning towards doing a 22 long ADA glass tank with a canister filter and round river rocks with maybe a single submerged log like what I find them under in the creek. This setup would only be for them as aquatic juveniles.

I have an established semi aquatic riverbank vivarium that is wintering over on my porch that used to house my T.grans which I'll likely use for the giants when they morph.

Also found this very clever design online!
Click the image to open in full size.
FYI to anyone reading this thread, Dicamptodon T. will not morph if they don't have anything to climb up on or something of the sort. This has been studied several times. See attached papers.
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Life History Variables of Dicamptodon Salamanders.pdf   Systematics of the salamander genus Dicamptodon_NussbaumRonaldA1972.pdf  



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