Ommatotriton outdoor enclosure

ferreron

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Although it wasn't my intention to post this, the strong pressure from *expletive* Azhael (as always) has forced me to do it, so excuse the boring post.

The fellow spanish members may already recognize this from another forum, hehehe.

This past summer I decided to build 2 outdoor enclosures. One of them was destined for a group of Ommatotriton ophryticus, since I had already experienced that the conditions in my garden worked well for them.

As some of you may remember from other posts, I live in what Azhael considers a desert, which looks like this in mid summer, at least the bit of the garden that is not tidy.

01.jpg

The idea was to make two parts of 2x1 internal surface metres each, keeping them underground so as to benefit from the tamponing effect against the summer temperatures. I must say that this wouldn't have been possible without my father as in the end he did most of the work.

Finally, each part is divided in two, a land area and the aquatic counterpart, each with 60cm of depth and sticking about 50cm over the ground surface.

To prevent scapees I used large bricks, forming a broad and porose barrier in the shape of an L which the newts won't be able to climb by sticking to the surface.

The lid you can see in the pictures is just to prevent birds and cats from entering the installation.

05.jpg 07.jpg 08.jpg 10.jpg

The land area, although it provides natural drainage, I filled initially with large rocks to facilitate the process and then filled with the same natural soil in the area.

I included an hibernaculum and protected it from rain or mud with a pond lining cloth as you can see in the pictures. The access to the refuge is through an ascending corrugated tube which allows for easy grasp for the animals. The opening of the tube is situated in an elevation, and facing a part which would recive little water anyway, making it difficult for water or mud to get in.

15.jpg 20.jpg

The aquatic area, of approximately 600 litres of capacity, has a layer of white glue mortar, plus another two layers of impermeable mortar apt for drinking water deposits.

12.jpg

A quarter of the most superfitial part of the terrestrial area is mixed with worm compost and covered with leaf-litter. There are various roof tiles as well (and rocks which I added after the pictures were made), spread around, so there are plenty of hiding possibilities with variying degrees of humidity.

The scarcety of plant life is due to, as I already mentioned, the fact that for these newts, I had great results keeping them in a dry environment (and Azhael says: because you live in the desert).

 

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*Fake surprise* :O Brilliant!
It´s about time you posted this, you lazy ba*****.
You know i suffered enormously waiting for our (yes, i insist in being considered a purely theoretical co-owner :p) project to start and be completed. Your father is a saint :D
We´ve already talked so much about this, so i won´t go on and on, i´ll just congratulate you again for those beautiful, fat Ommatotriton. I can´t wait for the spring to come to see if there are any surprises ;)
I´ll be sending you plants to correct that lack of vegetation, which you know i consider inmoral.
 

ferreron

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Hi again,

I include a picture of the Ommatotriton during a rainy night:

ophry.jpg

And I take the opportunity to present their new neighbours, courtesy of Azhael (thanx so much!), that will be occupying the other section which had been empty.

The installation is similar to the Ommatotriton's, with the difference that the substrate contains large amounts of peat and worm humus.

IMAG0107.jpgIMAG0110.jpgIMAG0113.jpgIMAG0115.jpgIMAG0124.jpgIMAG0125.jpgIMAG0129.jpg
 

ADAM1987

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Congratulations on such facilities Carlos, newts and very nice, sure to suit fast, plus it seems that many plants are growing in the terrarium, I'm glad, congratulations.

Greetings.:happy:
 

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I´m going to miss those little buggers, but knowing where they live now, i know they don´t miss me :p
The terrarium looks fantastic and once the plants really kick in, it´s going to be amazing. I´m sure they are going to do great for you, Carlos :)

The picture of the red juvenile with the dead leaves and the white background is brilliant!
 

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Carlos is a horrible horrible person, so it´s somehow my responsability to say that both newt groups are doing very well! His o_Ophryticus are exquisitely gorgeous and developing very nice crests. The females are laying eggs wherever they can and judging by their size they won´t stop laying any time soon.
Three of the notos are aquatic and looking well :) This is a source of mixed emotions for me because i spent years hand-feeding the little bastards only to see them grow horrifyingly slowly and reject the water as if it was sulfuric acid. Now it´s all underwater fun and splashing games...raaaaaaaaarggggghhhhh!

By the way, he has pictures, but he is an evil man who refuses to post them. Join me in demanding updates!!
 
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Mark

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Great to hear another Ommatotriton success story. They clearly do really well outdoors. My lone female has been laying eggs for weeks now. I've never seen so many eggs come out of one newt.

I've started writing a care sheet for Ommatotriton and I think I'll run it past a few other breeders when it's ready. Perhaps Carlos could help when the time comes. Coming from a much warmer climate his experiences may be very different to mine.
 

ferreron

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Carlos is a horrible horrible person, so it´s somehow my responsability to say that both newt groups are doing very well! His o_Ophryticus are exquisitely gorgeous and developing very nice crests. The females are laying eggs wherever they can and judging by their size they won´t stop laying any time soon.
Three of the notos are aquatic and looking well :) This is a source of mixed emotions for me because i spent years hand-feeding the little bastards only to see them grow horrifyingly slowly and reject the water as if it was sulfuric acid. Now it´s all underwater fun and splashing games...raaaaaaaaarggggghhhhh!

By the way, he has pictures, but he is an evil man who refuses to post them. Join me in demanding updates!!
I'm a horrible person? Shame on you! You know I've been extremely busy, unlike others, Mr. Anomalocaris ¬.¬

Everything (except the me being a horrible person part) Rodrigo said is true, but unfortunately, the Notophthalmus female (I think) died some weeks later :(

Great to hear another Ommatotriton success story. They clearly do really well outdoors. My lone female has been laying eggs for weeks now. I've never seen so many eggs come out of one newt.

I've started writing a care sheet for Ommatotriton and I think I'll run it past a few other breeders when it's ready. Perhaps Carlos could help when the time comes. Coming from a much warmer climate his experiences may be very different to mine.
I'll be glad to help you, if I can ;)

Now, the 'new' photos and videos:

 

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Azhael

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How dare you? That was a low blow....
I was very sad to hear about the female N.viridescens. She was looking so good and seemed so well adapted. I had great expectations of that female. What a pitty....:(
I hope you can find another CB group somewhere, i really do. It´s not easy to find CB notos, generally speaking, but they are out there. Fingers crossed! That outdoor enclosure needs more newts!
Oh, i´m thrilled that, what seems to be the male in the video, is fully adapted to the water. That kind of swimming is indicative that the tail has broadened. Now i just need some clear pics, so get to work!

I already told you, but i´ll say it again, because you can never praise o_Ophryticus too much. Your animals are GORGEOUS! You lucky....lucky, bastard.....
I can´t wait for the hordes of offspring to come forth and dominate!
 
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