Help with final transition from saltwater to first palladium

FireBellyValoo

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Hello!
I'm starting up my first palladium as well as a modded tank, while I've kept saltwater fish for quite some time, I'm new to keeping amphibians and freshwater, and I'd love some tips for improvement to my tank as I've got some slow days next week to work on DIY projects.

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Tank Size: 20 Gallon Long (30in x ~12in x ~12in)
Water Gallonage: 12 Gallons

Intended Residents: 1 Firebelly Newt, 6 White Cloud Minnows, Java Fern, Anubias, Java Moss

Currently Planned Projects:
  • Replace the tarp under the waterfall and ledge to climb up with thoroughly cleaned astroturf to better separate the land and water and to prevent soil from eroding during water changes (which is why the tank is so dirty right now, did now expect so much soil to be pulled away)
  • Make an acrylic folding lid that fits the tank (has odd dimensions), and has room for all the cords and various doohickeys attached to the tank.
  • Extend Sump Pump with 1/2in PVC so that it's not sucking from the top of the water
I'd love to hear any more ideas! In advance, I did pick any smaller gravel away that the newts may consume before placing it in the tank, and I can't go any larger in tank size since I'm still a college student and will likely have to move every year or two until I settle down (Apartments and dorms usually allow 20-gallon tanks, and I can pass it off as a 10 gallon).
 

FireBellyValoo

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If the pictures didn't show up, here they are.
 

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Chinadog

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I would add lots of live aquatic plants for the firebelly, they are never happier than they're hanging out in the plants just below the surface. I would honestly ditch the gravel and go for a thin layre of sand. Gravel is very good at trapping waste and general dirt so it's a pain to keep clean and any live food you put in for the newt will quickly disappear out of reach into it.
I can't tell if that's a heater stuck to the back there? if it is it's not needed, the minnows are happy in cold water and the newt will really struggle in a tropical tank.
Good luck with it, looking forward to seeing it develop!
 
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  • Not Albino Alex:
    And even .25 ammonia is bad what you want for nitrite and ammonia is 0 and .25 for short periods
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  • faebugz:
    @DarthNyQuil, what's your ph? Ammonia is non-toxic at lower ph so might not need to panic, however if you have hard water (think calcium deposits in a tea kettle), you likely have a high pH and thus should be maintaining 0. Either way, use seachem prime to dechlorinate your water and get the added benefit of making ammonia and nitrite non-toxic for 24 hours, the peace of mind is worth it.
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  • faebugz:
    @DarthNyQuil, to cycle more quickly/safely, see if you have a friend or trusted LFS with some filter media you could add to your filter. It will cycle it almost instantly, far better than bottled stuff. Speaking of bottled insta-cycle, some people swear by tetra safe start, although I've never used it myself so can't vouch for it. And finally to make it more safe, feel free to do larger water changes to get that ammonia lower- 90% of the bacteria you're growing is in the filter, 9% on surfaces, and maybe 1%> in the water column. So even a
    100% water change won't really effect the cycle process
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  • lvlyvoa:
    hey thank you all so much for your help!! i shouldn't have been so careless, but I love my axie very much and her behaviour has improved as I have started a tank cycle and gotten some good food for her
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  • faebugz:
    @lvlyvoa, good to hear, np. They love nightcrawlers and worms if you have access to them, they're the healthiest thing they can eat since they're a complete prey
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  • BrodieBAxolotls:
    hey, does anyone have any brine shrimp eggs??
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  • liz.:
    i do!
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    liz. has left the room.
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  • 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?
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  • 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.
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  • AxolotlMama:
    I just wrote this on the post ^
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  • AkemiYousei:
    Haha, great minds, right?
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  • AxolotlMama:
    They sure do 😄!
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  • 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
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  • AkemiYousei:
    Might be the stress, or the shedding bothering it
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  • 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.
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    KOsika has left the room.
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  • Jaeger:
    I woke up to my golden axolotl covered complete white. what do i do
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  • Jaeger:
    Just found out, hes dead. :(
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  • mcapanema:
    :'(
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  • AkemiYousei:
    @Jaeger, Oh no! Sorry to hear. :(
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  • AxelTheAxolotl123:
    my axolotl has white balls on its gills and the feathers have shrunk
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    AxelTheAxolotl123: my axolotl has white balls on its gills and the feathers have shrunk +1
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