Out Side Bins

Roney

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I'm thinking of making a enclousure for my Spanish ribbed newts using two heavy duty storage bins and connecting the two bins with PVC pipe in the middle, any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'm going to place a fluval underwater filter on one bin nd use a sponge filter on the other. Any suggestions on maintaining water temperature in the winter? And my last question is what is a food source I could buy that could live in the water with them that I could purchase.
 

Mark

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Is there a reason you need two containers? Why not just use one very large container? Placing piping between two plastic tubs is going to present sealant challenges. Plastic is flexible and will bow under the weight of water making it tricky to find a water tight solution that will flex with the plastic.

Temperature wise you can either place an aquarium water heater in during the winter or move the whole tub to a frost free area such as an outhouse. It really depends what temperatures you expect and what options you have available. During prolonged sub zero spells a tub of water outside may freeze solid, and no newt can survive that. The container should be frost resistant, UV stable and preferably food grade. Storage tubs made from polyethylene have fairly short lives outdoors as they become brittle. I would be reluctant to use them for aquatic tubs. Rubber would be a safer longterm option.

As for live food, nothing is likely to last long with P.waltl. Some aquatic invertebrates, such as Asellus may survive in small numbers if they have suitable places to hide. Sometimes with large aquatic outdoor enclosures it's hard to keep track of all the inhabitants feeding. I find it's useful to have an area of bare floor where food can be deposited. Newts have a knack of learning where their food is going to be and will congregate there during feeding times. Still, it's a good idea to regularly audit he group for signs that some are not feeding well.
 
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michael

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A cattle trough heater would be adequate for the winter. This is my last summer for keeping ribbed newts outside. Due to climate change my back yard seems to no longer be suitable for breeding ribbed newts over the summer. In the past I have kept them in a 190 gallon tub under water hyacinth for the summer. I'll be bringing them in for the entire year.

Our area has been changed to 1 number warmer for plant growth and has not worked out for outside larvae raising like it did in the past.
 

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DITB

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Michael, How deep is that enclosure you are/were using for the newts. I would be terrified relying on electricity to keep the water from freezing solid and i would be even more terrified having the ponds in such sunny areas. Maybe i am just paranoid though. I plan on keeping a few species outside year round starting this spring but still have not figured out how deep my ponds need to be to not freeze solid in the winter and not get hot in the summer. I plan on putting the enclosures in a shade house in an already shaded area.
 

michael

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The bins would be more insulated against heat and cold if they were in the ground. My biggest bins are about 3 feet high. The umbrellas and water hyacinth help with the cooling. Depth doesn't matter much in protection from freezing if the containers are above ground. They will freeze from the sides and top.
 
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    Daphnia water fleas, mosquito larvae and any larve will do
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    What are you feeding it
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    Red worms
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