I was just wondering how you setup your aquarium? I've tried to use wood before, and it always makes the water a very dirty color. Also wondering how you got the moss to grow on the wood pieces. What an incredible looking setup you've got for your little guys!
You have to cook the wood before using it, it will draw out water soluble substances thus minimizing the extraction from the wood to the aquarium water. I don't know about the moss, doesn't it grow onto the wood if it survives the environment?
Hi Froggy, yes, it's been specifically set up to mimic their natural habitat. The sand, gravel, rocks, leaves and branches come from the exact same place as the newts do. But the really fine clayish substrate, which is found in their original habitat, was unfortunately sucked up by the sponge filter. I'll have to find a way to get around that. The tank has only just been set up.
In addition to the sponge filter in a rear corner of the tank, there's a small heater in there to prevent the temp from falling below 14C. The Egeria densa was added because the females are laying eggs.
Ryan, the driftwood in there has already been weathered to stop it leaching tannic acid into the water. The moss at the back of the tank, the main land area, is already stuck to some soil. The rest is just draped over the wood, and is of a kind that lasts a long time like that. I'll put up another pic soon to show what I mean.
1)How do you get a big piece of drift wood like that to stay in place?
2)Are the newts wild caught from the place you made your observations?
3)How many do you have in there? (i count 4)
Sorry for all the questions im just very qurious.
Dean, the longish plants in there now are Egeria densa (for the newts to lay their eggs on), and the petite ones are Anubius nana, highly recommended for use in newt tanks as it does well even in low light conditions. Egeria densa is sometimes sold as Elodea densa or Anacharis densa.
When shopping for plants, just keep in mind that Cynops use their back legs to wrap leaves around their eggs, which are laid individually. So at least some of the plants you use should have small, soft leaves for breeding purposes
Mark, there are actually two big pieces of weathered driftwood in there. They "lock" together surprisingly well.
Yes, there are dozen or so WC newts in there that I brought back from where I made my observations -- except for two that were acquired separately but also come from the same place. Perhaps I'll post a pick of them at feeding time so they can be seen all at once
The soon-to-be rectified flaw with this setup is that my wife moved the rock and some plants into the feeding area I had reserved in the lefthand corner of the tank, so now care must be taken that the bloodworm doesn't drift into nooks and crannies where it can rot and foul the water.
By the way, this is the same bedside tank where some pretty steamy courtship/breeding followed up by egg-laying is going on
Here's an example of a branch taken from the natural habitat being put to good use.
With regard to what I was saying above about Cynops wrapping their eggs in leaves, Max Sparreboom, writing in Herpetological Journal, Vol. 5 (1995), seems to say something different. He says female popei he observed in the wild "did not wrap the leaves of grasses and plants around the eggs in the well-known Triturus fashion, but simply pressed the leaves or twigs against the egg with their hind feet." Well, this was what I meant anyway
And he goes on to say: "Eggs may be also deposited between dead leaves or occasionally on land near the water".
What exactly do you mean when you say the wood was weathered? How do you feed your Cynops, you said you had a specific area. One thing I found difficult with feeding newts was keeping the food in one place so that the worms did dig into the gravel never to be seen again. Once again you heave a beautiful setup, I'm a little envious of you.
Very nice setup Tim.
I use a lot of wood for my setups as well. To prevent wood from tinting the water you just have to put some aquarium active carbon in the filter and change it every two months.
<blockquote><hr size=0><!-quote-!><font size=1>Ryan Stauffer (Unregistered Guest) wrote on Saturday, December 20, 2003 - 19:39 :</font>
"Also wondering how you got the moss to grow on the wood pieces"<!-/quote-!><hr size=0></blockquote>
There is not one kind of moss. There is a great range of different kinds of mosses. Some moss grows on stones, some on forest soil, some on wood, some on... You just have to find the right moss. Maybe it's out there in your garden.
My axie is acting woerd he was a rescue as stated in a different post he got better and now seems to be deteriorating again...again all tank conditions are OK and as should be. He seems to have some black dapple like pattern under his bottom lip? Is that normal? And his two back feet have a little wierd growth? Almost? Tiny tiny tiny lump. His capillaries in his feathers also appear darker and more visible. Any help would be appreciated