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55 gallon Eastern newt tank

slowfoot

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I think it's time for my colony of Notophthalmus to live together... In our living room. So I've started setting up a new 55 gallon for them. It will be a pretty slow process, especially with my two daughters 'helping'.

This will be a riparium style tank, with plants growing out of the water. The newts don't often use the land, but I appreciate having it. Plus, I can't really fill the tank to full capacity for safety reasons.

Right now it looks like a murky swamp - driftwood soaking, and tank cycling - but I should be adding plants later this week.

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slowfoot

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I arranged the driftwood and planted some aquatics. The idea is to make it look like a snag at the edge of a pond. I might put a black background in. Just waiting for a shipment of some semi-aquatic plants for the planters. It will probably be a month or more before I can add the newts.
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sde

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Looking good so far! I like the idea of all the driftwood at the top to resemble a snag, it looks very realistic.
 

Coastal Groovin

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You need more plants. Brazilian elodea or the native stuff is perfect for them to lay eggs on.
 

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slowfoot

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You need more plants. Brazilian elodea or the native stuff is perfect for them to lay eggs on.

Thanks for the suggestion, but I really only keep elodea around when they are laying. Just not a big fan of it.

Don't worry - I'm going to let the plants grow in for a while and add a few more. I just don't like to rush things.
 

slowfoot

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Added the marginal plants - sweet flag, lizard tail, Cyperus helferi, Java fern, and Bolbitis. Most are in planters from Riparium Supply.

I'll probably have to add that elodea soon since all of my males are in breeding dress and I expect courtship to happen as soon as I let them be with the ladies. They will destroy the crypts with eggs if I let them.

Anyway, I think it's coming along. I just have to be patient and let the plants grow in. Already seeing tons of micro critters swimming around.

image.jpg
 

Chinadog

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Looks lovely already. :) I haven't really tried to use any marginal plants before, but having seen how nice they can look I'd like to give them a try when I build a tank for my T. verrucosus.
 

slowfoot

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I like them, too. The only issue really is you would need to keep the water level low enough to fit the plants and the lid. We can't really have the full 55 gallons, so it's not a problem. So now we have houseplants that I can't forget to water.

If you want to fill mostly to the top, the larger anubias make great newt landings. They will grow out of the water and my newts love to haul out on the bigger leaves.
 

Chinadog

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The tank I'm going to use is a 75 gallon corner tank, so there'll still be plenty of water,even if I don't fill it to the top. The tank is in our living room so will hopefully be a nice feature if I set it up along the same lines as yours.
 

morg

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Thats a great looking tank
I love eastern newts and would love to keep and breed these little newts again.
Problem is , when they are available here its generally pet shops selling wild caught, usually ill and diseased adults.
I wish Id never re homed the ones I used to have now
 

slowfoot

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Thats a great looking tank
I love eastern newts and would love to keep and breed these little newts again.
Problem is , when they are available here its generally pet shops selling wild caught, usually ill and diseased adults.
I wish Id never re homed the ones I used to have now

I like them, too. Probably my favorite newts I've kept.

I added the newts a bit early because the cycle finished early. I used a filter, rocks and driftwood from an established tank. The plants are growing in well. Except for the crypts, which are melting a bit.

For some reason, my ipad won't let me select the urls of my pictures, so I'll just link the album: http://www.caudata.org/forum/members/slowfoot-albums-55-gallon-tank.html

I always think the newts will be impressed with their new pad and act in some way that shows that... But, no, they just wanted food. Then they wanted more food.

And now the dudes want ladies :eek: So the females are all hiding up in the driftwood and planters, while the males patrol the water trying to grab anything that moves.

Here's a video of two males depositing spermatophores. There must have been a female nearby earlier, but she took off before the finish. You can sort of see two spermatophores to the left of the newts:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3C5xuWuG4J4&feature=youtube_gdata_player
 

slowfoot

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Things are growing in well. The females like to use the driftwood to escape the constantly patrolling males (I might have to remove them to give the ladies a break). Unfortunately, they are not the most graceful creatures out of the water. My husband calls them 'whale slugs' :eek:

image.jpg
 

slowfoot

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Things are growing in well. Newts seem to like it. I actually enjoy watching the plants grow.

image.jpg
 

Chinadog

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Looks lovely!
I know what you mean about watching the plants, I think time seems to speed up as we get older! :/
 

slowfoot

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Did the 'whale slugs' lay any eggs yet? They look a bit smaller now!

They haven't, but that's not unusual. I expect they'll start soon.

I actually removed 3 of the 4 males because of the constant harassment. I left one Casanova in with the ladies :eek: I'll let the other males have a turn again soon. I've just found that too many males really interferes with courtship and egg laying. Now the females can return to the water without immediately being grabbed.

I hope to raise a number of larvae this year. Although it seems like the newts only produce a lot of eggs when I'm not ready for them :confused:
 

slowfoot

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Just a little update. Plants are still growing. I just trimmed the guppy grass back because it was out of control. Crypts have quit melting and are growing new leaves. The only thing not growing is the wisteria :confused: maybe it's a bit too cold for it.

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