Enclosures for small Plethodontids

eMax

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Central New York
Country
United States
Hi all,
How does everyone house their small Plethodontids? I have two B. attenuatus in a small, rather opaque tupperware. I would like to set them up in a tank with better clarity. I recently purchased a medium exo terra breeding box, but found that the ventilation gaps are big enough to allow fruit flies to get out, and the gaps around the feeding ports seem like they could be big enough to allow the salamanders to potentially escape. I have used no-see-um mesh on kritter keepers between the lid and the tank before, but didn't like that option very much, especially as it allowed these tanks to get quite dry between waterings. Is there a good commercial option that I'm overlooking? Something that is optically clear, airtight enough to prevent the escape of fruit flies, and that can be easily modified to provide a bit of ventilation? Thanks for the help!

-Eric
 

Otterwoman

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 13, 2006
Messages
6,620
Reaction score
86
Points
48
Location
Wappingers Falls, NY
Country
United States
Maybe a pretty clear type of rubbermaid container that you yourself poke tiny holes in?
I have used a 5 gallon with a regular metal mesh top that I sewed cheesecloth on to.
 

eMax

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Central New York
Country
United States
I haven't found any commercial rubbermaid-type container that is particularly optically clear. I have been using a translucent tupperware so far and it has been sufficient for seeing how moist the substrate is, but doesn't really allow viewing of the animals without opening the lid. Do you mean that you have used a typical 5-gallon glass tank with the screen lids? I suppose I could be overthinking it, and that is a simple solution. I just always thought that typical glass terrariums waste a lot of vertical space for salamanders, since they don't utilize a lot of vertical space. But 5-gallons aren't too tall and could be good for a small group of Batrachoseps or Eurycea.
 

Herpin Man

Active member
Joined
Oct 29, 2016
Messages
224
Reaction score
75
Points
28
Location
Red Wing, MN
Country
United States
The only Plethodontids I currently have are P. cinereus.
I keep them in a 20 gallon long planted tank, with lots of plants and hiding places.
Making the enclosure escape proof was the biggest challenge. These little guys can climb well and squeeze through a very tiny opening.
For a lid, I used a thick piece of melamine. I chose this material for its weight. I cut a large rectangular opening in the center and covered it with aluminum window screen, for ventilation, as well as to allow light in for the plants, which is supplied by an LED light on top. I also attached 1/2"x1" strips of wood on the underside of the lid, so that they drop alongside, and hold it in place. Finally, I placed weatherstripping (the round hollow kind, with adhesive on one side) on the rim of the tank. The lid sits on the weatherstripping, forming a tight seal, so the salamanders can't escape.
Melanogaster can squeeze through the window screen, but usually don't. I also feed hydei and bean beetles, and the lid contains them quite well.
 

eMax

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Central New York
Country
United States
Thanks for the reply, Herpin Man. That sounds like a pretty sturdy, foolproof setup. I was hoping that there might be a lightweight acrylic faunarium-type solution out there somewhere. I like that they can be stacked inside of one another when empty, and are lighter and less fragile than glass when moving them around. I might end up having to go with a glass tank anyway, but I'll probably try gluing plastic sheet to the screen lid of a kritter keeper or something first.
 

Herpin Man

Active member
Joined
Oct 29, 2016
Messages
224
Reaction score
75
Points
28
Location
Red Wing, MN
Country
United States
A Sterilite clear latch box might also work. I use them as grow out tanks for Mourning geckos, which are also escape artists. You would need to add ventilation, and you would definitely want to add weather stripping to the top, and weight down the lid.
 

Kansamander

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2018
Messages
37
Reaction score
4
Points
8
Location
Kansas, USA
Country
United States

Attachments

  • Airtight Container.JPG
    Airtight Container.JPG
    45.8 KB · Views: 304

eMax

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Central New York
Country
United States
Herpin Man - I use small food-grade latch boxes for some invertebrate species. They have a gasket in the lid, so they are airtight, but I also add some ventilation holes covered in no-see-um mesh to keep the bugs in. They're great for that purpose, but they are not as clear as a display-worthy kritter keeper or commercial terrarium. It's a good option, though, and I shouldn't discount it as a potential future option.

Kansamander - That's pretty similar to the container I described above, but yours is way more transparent. I'll have to look into that. Thanks for the tip!
 

taherman

Caudata.org Donor
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
391
Reaction score
33
Points
28
Location
Whitehouse, OH
Country
United States
I use mostly 10g tanks, and have glass cut to fit inside the frames. If you have a nice ~1-2" wide strip cut to butt against a loose pane about half the size of the tank, you can silicone it in place, and then silicone screen over the rest of the tank. I use suction cups as handles on the loose piece as the lid.
 

Attachments

  • glass tank lid.png
    glass tank lid.png
    4 MB · Views: 293

blufrgman25

New member
Joined
Dec 2, 2018
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Country
United States
I have P. Cinereus myself. I had them in a 10 gal fish tank with the metal screen lid you can buy for lizzards at petco. the cover proved to be very easy to escape from and I quickly lost 2 of them. I have since used clear plastic sandwhich wrap on the top that I duck taped down to a tight seal and have covered the edges with tape. No one has escaped yet!!! have you had luck with them eating the bean beatles? I would think they are too big and crunchy for these little guys? I have spring tails red wigglers and fruit flies but looking to expand the selection.
 

Herpin Man

Active member
Joined
Oct 29, 2016
Messages
224
Reaction score
75
Points
28
Location
Red Wing, MN
Country
United States
I feed my cinereus bean beetles- they eat them, no problem. I also feed them fruit flies and small crickets. Their tank has small isopods, which they also probably eat, and they will also eat small earthworms- avoid red wigglers.
They could also probably eat small dubia, but I have not offered any. My concern with dubia is that they could avoid predation, and grow to a large size, and be difficult to remove (it's a densely planted vivarium). I've had it happen before, in gecko enclosures.
 

eMax

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Central New York
Country
United States
Thanks, Tim - that looks great! I expect I could easily do something like this on a 5.5. I never thought of gluing screen directly to the tank frame.

I use mostly 10g tanks, and have glass cut to fit inside the frames. If you have a nice ~1-2" wide strip cut to butt against a loose pane about half the size of the tank, you can silicone it in place, and then silicone screen over the rest of the tank. I use suction cups as handles on the loose piece as the lid.
 

kamil

New member
Joined
Jun 24, 2017
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Charlotte, NC
Country
Germany
After some experiments I am now using Critter Cages from petco. These have a lid with mesh and can take cables (water pump for Desmognathus). I had too many escape from plastic containers before.
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • Chat Bot:
    liz. has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    liz. has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Jaeger:
    My axolotls were doing fine until the cycle int heir tank crashed. I currently have them tubbed and they wont stop shedding their slime coat, and my golden albino looks a little red, and his gills dont look too good. Theyre both flaoting and im keeping the tub at 18 degrees celsius and doing 100% water changes everyday, any help on anythingelse? can anyone help?
    +2
    Unlike
  • AkemiYousei:
    @Jaeger I would try to double up on Prime to combat the slime coat shed when doing the 100% water changes. Also, if it's bad, might want to consider a tea bath as a preventive measure.
    +2
    Unlike
  • AxolotlMama:
    I just wrote this on the post ^
    +2
    Unlike
  • AkemiYousei:
    Haha, great minds, right?
    +2
    Unlike
  • AxolotlMama:
    They sure do 😄!
    +2
    Unlike
  • Jaeger:
    @AkemiYousei thanks so much. Will do. I have also given them a tea bath before, seems to work their gills are looking so much healthier, my golden albino is swimming around frantically trying to jump out, should i be worried? my wild type is fine
    +2
    Unlike
  • AkemiYousei:
    Might be the stress, or the shedding bothering it
    +1
    Unlike
  • AkemiYousei:
    Make sure s/he can't jump out, and maybe keep her in a undisturbed, darkened place for a bit. See if that calms the goldie.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    KOsika has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Jaeger:
    I woke up to my golden axolotl covered complete white. what do i do
    +1
    Unlike
  • Jaeger:
    Just found out, hes dead. :(
    +1
    Unlike
  • mcapanema:
    :'(
    +1
    Unlike
  • AkemiYousei:
    @Jaeger, Oh no! Sorry to hear. :(
    +1
    Unlike
  • AxelTheAxolotl123:
    my axolotl has white balls on its gills and the feathers have shrunk
    +1
    Unlike
  • Jasper2021:
    We have an axolotl called Jasper who is approx 3 years old. He was being attacked by his companion so we separated them. He has healed his wounds now but has got very thin. his lips have turned black. he was just looking still and dead at times but ears moved so we knew he was still alive. Hold earthworms right in front of him which after some time he will take you think good he is eating but then it pops straight out again. At the moment he is in the fridge. Not sure what else to do if he can't or won't eat !!
    +1
    Unlike
  • Wyn1993:
    Hi Jasper 2021,
    +1
    Unlike
  • Wyn1993:
    I am new to axolotls myself and one thing I learnt was that earth worms when in distress give off an awful taste - have you tried live river shrimp? Mine really like these and are always happy to 'bite' - I also give them live crickets and pellets which are really pungeant in smell and they always take these - even wait at the glass for them! So sorry to hear he was being attacked by his companion!
    +1
    Unlike
  • MelissaKenyon:
    Hi, just wondering if anyone could help with our axy, she absolutely loves her food and we've notice tonight after her worms( that she ate in one mouthful) that she ue was struggling to get up to the top for air. She's never done this before, she usually goes up every 5-10 mins or so. She is 6 months old and seems very healthy. Could it be a problem with our water level or water quality or could she just be to full?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    MelissaKenyon has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    MelissaKenyon has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • bearbear_13:
    I posted a thread about my axolotl if anyone is able to help me out!
    +1
    Unlike
  • bearbear_13:
    She’s not eating, her tail and gills have shrunk, she’s lot a lot of weight, and we’ve checked her water levels with no negative results
    +1
    Unlike
    bearbear_13: She’s not eating, her tail and gills have shrunk, she’s lot a lot of weight, and we’ve checked... +1
    Top