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30 gal paludarium build with all native plants (VA) - planning on adding some Eastern newts soon

thecreepsandcrawls

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This is my first paludarium build since a 55 gal river tank I had as a teenager. I used pond grade spray foam, coco coir, bark, and silicone to make the "roots", backdrop, and structure for the soil well. The terrestrial element has a rotting log ecosystem with beetles and millipedes living below. All the plants were collected here in Virginia.

I'd like to add up to two efts and two adult Eastern newts. I welcome any feedback or suggestions to make this more inviting for them.
 

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MnGuy

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This is my first paludarium build since a 55 gal river tank I had as a teenager. I used pond grade spray foam, coco coir, bark, and silicone to make the "roots", backdrop, and structure for the soil well. The terrestrial element has a rotting log ecosystem with beetles and millipedes living below. All the plants were collected here in Virginia.

I'd like to add up to two efts and two adult Eastern newts. I welcome any feedback or suggestions to make this more inviting for them.

That looks great! I’ve never kept efts but from everything I’ve read they’re supposed to be kept in a terrestrial setup with access to shallow water. I’d be worried about keeping efts in that tank.

Good luck.
 

seandelevan

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I’d add some more floating plants like anacharis or dwarf Sagittarius if you want to plant some in the gravel...both native species.I find aquatic newts just don’t simply spend their days swimming back and forth but instead chill on or climbing on underwater vegetation. i think it makes them feel more secure.
 

thecreepsandcrawls

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I’d add some more floating plants like anacharis or dwarf Sagittarius if you want to plant some in the gravel...both native species.I find aquatic newts just don’t simply spend their days swimming back and forth but instead chill on or climbing on underwater vegetation. i think it makes them feel more secure.
Thanks! I added some more aquatic plants and they seem to enjoy lounging in them.
 

Cjbond

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This is my first paludarium build since a 55 gal river tank I had as a teenager. I used pond grade spray foam, coco coir, bark, and silicone to make the "roots", backdrop, and structure for the soil well. The terrestrial element has a rotting log ecosystem with beetles and millipedes living below. All the plants were collected here in Virginia.

I'd like to add up to two efts and two adult Eastern newts. I welcome any feedback or suggestions to make this more inviting for them.
Mind explaining the land portion and how you did that? Stacked rocks?
 

Audrey22

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Fro
That looks great! I’ve never kept efts but from everything I’ve read they’re supposed to be kept in a terrestrial setup with access to shallow water. I’d be worried about keeping efts in that tank.

Good luck.
Yes. From what I have read, efts can drown in the deeper water. You may be able to prevent prevent this by having a TON more plants and maybe ramp structures for them. But I think it would be more fun and less risk to build a second tank. Btw the tank looks super nice.
 
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    Dropping ammonia with rising nitrate and nitrite is good. It means the nitrifying bacteria is working. You just have to remove the nitrate from the water doing water changes. The level of nitrates is high and the nitrate is also high. The nitrite will be converted to nitrate using the beneficial bacteria and you can add them using quick start or allowing them to naturally grow in the tank. The latter option will take longer. The nitrate can be used by plants, so live plants can decrease the levels, but I would do a water change to get the nitrate at a level that is lower than 5 ppm. 5ppm of nitrate is natural and a good place.
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