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Old 30th August 2010   #1
The Comish
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Default Is the enclosure proper

I have two small tiger salamanders in the 24" by 24" Vision cage. I have bed-a-beast substrate with moss on top. There is a small water dish so they can get in and out especially with the help of the decorative walkway next to it. I have a fan on top to keep it cool during the day and a fogger set for night time to moisten the soil and moss. This does raise the temp some as the humidity rises. With the heat it has been tought to keep the cage below 70, but checking the soil temps it usually is around 66 degrees. I rarely see one of the salamanders and the other one comes out when he is hungry and eats well. But his skin seems dry and the soil is sticking to him. He does not like being sprayed very much either. Can I do anything better to improve their living conditions? I just don't seem to have a good balance yet and I am concered with not seeing the other salamander, but I can find him if I dig around, but that disrupts everything...any comments are truly appreciate
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Old 30th August 2010   #2
Jan
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Default Re: Is the enclosure proper

Hi and welcome to the forum.

From a size perspective, your 24W x 24L inch terrarium provides an adequate surface area for 2 adult tiger sals. Substrate and temperature appear fine as well. Do not worry about coco-fiber sometimes adhering to the skin, it doesn't seem to affect the health of sals. The one thing you need to assure is that the terrarium has adequate ventillation that allows air circulation. A wire mesh top provides for this nicely. I can't determine from the picture if your set-up has this or if it is all glass enclosed. Without air ventillation, the environment becomes stagnant and especially with higher humidity, sets up a breeding ground for pathogens that can lead to disease in tigers.

In general, housing requirements for tiger salamanders include:
1. Cool temps in the low 70F, lower being preferable, terrarium not in direct sunlight.
2. Moist, not wet substrate at adequate depths to allow for burrowing and hides. Moisture retentive materials such as coco-fiber are good and can be used alone or mixed with other substrate materials such as top-soil without additives or other amphibian safe substrates.
3. Adequate ventilation. Humidity is not a concern, and with higher temps can lead to conditions that set-up disease potential.

I would not directly spray your salamanders. With the above conditions, they will have adequate moisture. When using coco-fiber, I use dechlorinated/deammoniated water or bottled spring water. I also use this to spray the substrate when it begins to dry out and use this water in water bowls.

Do not worry that the sals stay hidden as long as they eat well. This is what they do by nature as fossorial or 'mole' salamanders.

Any further questions, please continue to ask. There are many helpful folks on this forum that are willing to asist.



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Old 1st September 2010   #3
mytimemic
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Default Re: Is the enclosure proper

My tiger salamander is pretty active for spring & summer. She usually eats every day but will sometimes take a 2 or 3 day siesta. Although last year in late autumn, not long after we got her, she did worry me. She did a "semi" hibernation thing. She burrowed & slept for over a week. I freaked thinking she had died & dug her up. She was fine, ate well then went back to bed. At that point she settled into a 2 week cycle of waking to eat & going back to sleep. Once she stayed asleep for 3 weeks. Once again I freaked, dug her up & she was fine. Come spring she was up & perky. Now I don't worry if she is down for a few days & anticipate that we are going to repeat the same cycle this autumn & winter.



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Old 4th September 2010   #4
The Comish
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Default Re: Is the enclosure proper

Thanks for all the helpfull advice. Yes there is a screen opening on the top of the cage for ventilation. I added a Zoo Med sprayer to mist the enclosure during the day when we are not around to spray and so far seems to be helping in keeping the substrate from drying out. I also have a small computer type fan blowing down from the screen area to keep the air circulated. Helps with cooling and is not loud so it works fine. The only downfall is it seems to dry out the moss topping, so I am still trying to find the right balance. I an using dechlorinated/deammoniated water in the bowl, the sprayers, everything that puts water in the enclosure. It is out of the direct sunlight. Someone also told me about using a small fogger on a timer just to lay moisture over the substrate, they suggested a 15 min fog three or four times a day. Any thoughts or comments on the above is appreciated.




Last edited by The Comish; 4th September 2010 at 20:44.
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