Cynops ensicauda popei enclosure.

Ben Krysa

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It has been a very long time since I last posted here. Some of you may remember my gold dust newt tank. It is a 55 gallon tank that I have had running since 2014.
I have a 75 gallon tank that has been empty for a while and I have decided to make the move from the 55 gallon to the 75. My current tank is still quite stable but is plagued with black beard algae which has slowly been choking out my plants.
I plan on keeping many elements of the old tank and purging the dreaded algae.
In this thread I plan to document the transition from 55 to 75 gallon which will house my 6 adult gold dust newts and several Amano shrimp.
Included are photos from 2014 and last week respectively, with new photos being updated as the build progresses.
 

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JoshBA

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Very nice! I really like the island with the umbrella trees. I think I remember seeing your original post a while back - around that time I had a very similar enclosure in a 55-gal. C. e. popei is such a great species. I eventually transitioned to a mostly aquatic enclosure since they either stayed on land or in water all the time, and I wanted to simplify feeding. Have you had success in breeding them?

I'm sorry that you're plagued with algae. I've never really been able to proactively control filamentous algae outside of pulling it or just waiting for the invasion to pass... My suspicion is that some micronutrient (Fe?) eventually becomes depleted to levels that are tolerable to vascular plants but not to the algae, ending the outbreak. I've also experienced worse outbreaks with high light levels and low circulation, perhaps because algae is better able to match carbon fixation with macro/micronutrient acquisition due to it's higher surface area. But these are just speculations...
 

Ben Krysa

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Very nice! I really like the island with the umbrella trees. I think I remember seeing your original post a while back - around that time I had a very similar enclosure in a 55-gal. C. e. popei is such a great species. I eventually transitioned to a mostly aquatic enclosure since they either stayed on land or in water all the time, and I wanted to simplify feeding. Have you had success in breeding them?

I'm sorry that you're plagued with algae. I've never really been able to proactively control filamentous algae outside of pulling it or just waiting for the invasion to pass... My suspicion is that some micronutrient (Fe?) eventually becomes depleted to levels that are tolerable to vascular plants but not to the algae, ending the outbreak. I've also experienced worse outbreaks with high light levels and low circulation, perhaps because algae is better able to match carbon fixation with macro/micronutrient acquisition due to it's higher surface area. But these are just speculations...
Thanks for the reply.
My newts have reproduced before. They usually lay eggs several times a year.
I have only taken the time to raise the larvae a few times in the past. The newts typically eat any eggs that I do not remove.

I have kept Amano shrimp with my newts over the years which tends to help with most algae types but not black beard algae unfortunately. However I did recently get some shrimp from my local shop labeled "indo algae eating shimp" and the owner of the shop swears they eat black beard algae. I've got 6 of them in the new setup while it cycles. If they are as great as the claims, I'll buy another 6 to add to the algae patrol.
 

faebugz

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Is the new set up the one on the left? I love it, looks very bright.

Check out seachem flourish excel. Aquarists swear by it to deal with algae. I've used it, personally I find it to be pretty good, better than without it but not perfect. Good enough that I keep buying it, and it's good for your plants.

Better aeration will also help, not necessarily current though.

You might consider using hydrogen peroxide to spot treat any bad spots as you move things over. It can kill your bb, so don't use it on the filter and use max 1ml of 3% per 10 gallons of water/24hrs. If you don't have a filter, I would cut that dose in half just to be safe
 

Ben Krysa

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Tank update. August 17th 2021.
Hardware and planting is complete.
I've added a few algae eating shrimp and a beneficial bacteria starter culture from my established tank to help cycle the tank.
Going to keep a close eye on water parameters over the next week or two.
Once everything is stable and the plants are rooted, ill add the newts to their new home.

I'm pretty excited to have salvaged an acrylic skylight from my work and I'm currently doing some work to make it into a lid that will offer nice overhead viewing as well as offer additional vertical space for plant growth.
Is the new set up the one on the left? I love it, looks very bright.

Check out seachem flourish excel. Aquarists swear by it to deal with algae. I've used it, personally I find it to be pretty good, better than without it but not perfect. Good enough that I keep buying it, and it's good for your plants.

Better aeration will also help, not necessarily current though.

You might consider using hydrogen peroxide to spot treat any bad spots as you move things over. It can kill your bb, so don't use it on the filter and use max 1ml of 3% per 10 gallons of water/24hrs. If you don't have a filter, I would cut that dose in half just to be safe
Thanks for the reply.
Both of the photos in my first post are older. The one on the left is from 2014 and the one on the right is from about a month ago.(much darker and fewer plants due to the black beard algae)

I have heard that excel works good to control algae but does not deal with black beard algae well except when used in high doses.
I reused many of the original elements of the 55 gallon tank in the new 75 gallon setup. I used diluted hydrogen peroxide to clean everything I moved over to help minimize any algae from making it into the new setup.

Thanks for the tips. Photos coming soon of the new setup.
 

Ben Krysa

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Progress.
 

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John

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Thank you for sharing this. I think it's inspirational to see how other people approach these things.
 

faebugz

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Progress.
That looks awesome. Can't wait to see how it grows in. Is the hardscape natural, ie real rock and land-plants? I like the background too, makes it very tropical.

Given the large volume of water, is there a reason you aren't keeping fish as well? I'm not familiar with traditional amphibians since I mostly keep tropical fish + my axolotls, but unless you were trying to raise babies wouldn't the fish at worst become dinner?

Depending on the temps you run, they would potentially keep algae down as well
 

Ben Krysa

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That looks awesome. Can't wait to see how it grows in. Is the hardscape natural, ie real rock and land-plants? I like the background too, makes it very tropical.

Given the large volume of water, is there a reason you aren't keeping fish as well? I'm not familiar with traditional amphibians since I mostly keep tropical fish + my axolotls, but unless you were trying to raise babies wouldn't the fish at worst become dinner?

Depending on the temps you run, they would potentially keep algae down as well
Thank you very much. All the plants and rocks are natural. I choose not to keep fish with my newts because they would not typically be found together in the wild. Many newt and salamander species deliberately choose to inhabit bodies of water that do not have fish in them.
My newts do lay eggs a few times a year, although they themselves are more likely to eat the eggs than any small fish would be. I do know of people keeping zebra danios and white cloud minnows with newts without issue as these species do well in the cooler temperatures that the newts prefer.

As far as algae control, I typically employ Amano shrimp and other species of algae eating shrimp as they have been good tank mates for many years without issues and are a more natural combination with newts in my opinion.
 

Ben Krysa

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The tank is coming along nicely. My cycle is taking a bit longer than usual and I am getting nitrite readings a bit higher than I am comfortable with. I lost 2 shrimps during the initial sudden spike. I have been doing daily water changes and using seachem prime to detoxify the nitrite since. 0 ppm ammonia readings but about 2.5 ppm of nitrite. I'm quite certain things are only a few days away from finding balance.

As a side note, there were a few eggs on some of the plants transferred over from the old setup, and I have a larvae who has been growing quite steadily and feeding on the copepods that have been growing in the new tank.
 

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Ben Krysa

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My Cynops ensicauda popei setup has been very stable lately and so I have added my newts to their new home.
Their transition was super easy and they immediately resumed their typical behaviors. I'm very excited to finally have moved them in and can not wait to see how this tank matures.
 

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