I never really clean the substrate other than siphoning away any obvious muck on the surface during water changes, its pretty much filled with root systems of the plants in there.
Between the snails, shrimp and not overfeeding there's very little that doesn't get broken down and eaten by something.
There's Greater Ramshorn snails and mostly Japonica shrimp that do a great job cleaning up dead leaves, Algae etc. There's some Cherry shrimp as well, but I won't bother with them after these are gone as the newts have learned how to catch and eat them quite easily.
The plants are Giant Vallis, Bacopa, Rotala, Marimo moss balls, another, smaller Vallis like plant and Anubias as far as I can remember. I keep meaning to update this thread with some recent pics when I have time, I'll try and do it over the weekend if I can.
One more question, I feed my newts blackworms/tubifex as a staple, is there any fear of them getting into the substrate and fouling it up? I kept a little bit of gravel with my H. orientalis for a while and this happened. The worms lived for quite a while in the gravel and would serve as a snack once in a while for the newts hunting them, but would eventually die and foul up the substrate. This could be because I didn't have any cleanup critters in there or any plants that were actually rooted in the substrate (I only had free floating elodea and java moss. Would a well established planted aquarium plus the critters take care of this for the most part?
For years I've had either Blackworms or Tubifex in some of my tanks and haven't had any issues. I think if the tank is properly maintained and clean, they are just another 'clean up critter' taking advantage of captive conditions.
Any further forward on the LED lighting yet?, my main tank is also a jewel tank and the lights give off a lot of heat. I cut vents in the lid to let air circulate better it doesn't do much for the heat but does allow some air circulation. Bare with me I'll post a picture , I have all my juvenile Tylototriton species in boxes on top of the tank they benefit from the heat when the light is on ,and seem to be doing well with the drop in temperature at night when the lights go off even though it's getting pretty cold at nights.
I have to keep an eye on it though I can't risk any loses
@sde, hi everybody I'm getting a tiger salamander coming from Katy Texas what are the shipping conditions that's okay to have them shipped to me in the state of Vermont it's just starting to get the temperature low above 45 but it may be too hot to ship him any thoughts or ideas on how to work this out
I currently have a 3 year old axolotl, he hasn't been eating for the past couple of weeks and has lost a lot of weight. Hedwig usually eats bloodworms and earthworms just fine but now he won't even stud it. I've done a water change to make his nitrate lower and his water is at a good temperature