Outdoor Vivaria

kurin360

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Hi, I would like some advice please. I live in the south of England on the coast. I would like to keep Salamanders or Newt (no decision made yet). Once I receive the advice I will proceed in building what is necessary. I have a decent size area in my garden that I would like to keep "something" and need to know what to build to enable me to do this? So I will list my questions:
Do i need to put an enclosure?
-Does it need to be heated?
-Does it need light?
Do I need a pond with filter and pump?
-How deep?
What plants should I put in there?
Where is the best place to buy?
-Anyone no somewhere local to me (kent)?

I'm guessing I need to cover it! No problem
The area I have is raised and I can build high or dig lower!
I want them to stay outdoors all year round.

Many thanks in advance for the advice, I would really like to speak to someone about this (local reptile shop wasn't interested).
 

xxianxx

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If you put newts/sals in a pond your not likely to see much of them tbh, even if you have light coloured axolotls. If you want to have nonnative species you need to make sure the pond is secure so they can't escape. Just set the pond up as a typical fish pond, make sure its a couple foot deep so it doesn't completely freeze, fill up with plants like elodea, hornwort ,etc. It will not need heating , lighting , not sure about filtration. I can't really recommend a species for this project as your not going to benefit much from owning them. Have you considered a wildlife pond with UK amphibians ?
 

Aplestris

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Hi
I live in Kent, England too :happy:
I have not found a good store for purchasing amphibians (only fire belly toads and a few tropical tree frogs) in Kent so I buy them online. I have a wildlife pond that has been really successful (newts and frogs and toads).
Alpine Newts will be suited to our climate (but maybe cool and dampen it during the summer, especially during heat waves of like 30 degrees Celsius and up which I have got every year). You really need to make sure it is 'newt proof' however, as they are very good at climbing and may carry diseases which causes huge population declines in native amphibians but do not seem to affect them.

These newts are usually terrestrial and will live on land and in water. I would personally design something like a small pond (at least about 80 gallons depending on scale you want it on?) with some solid land with wood, stones and maybe some leaf litter for them to hide in. Remember to include a beach or ramp for them to enter and leave the pond. You will also want a lot of aquatic vegetation ( local garden centres are pretty good, I got most from Dobbies) but not to choke the whole pond as it usually spreads quite vigorously in good sunlight.


They do not need heating as they come from European Mountain ranges, I guess they may need some sunlight but it would probably be better for the plants. Shallow water will make it slightly warmer which I guess would make them a little more active and aquatic maybe. Mine is 30cm deepest and never freezes fully (only a few centimeters at most). You will want to minimize freezing as it stops gas exchanges if it covers the surface for too long and can kill newts and other life in the water.
As xxianxx said, you are probably not going to see them everyday unless you have a good look or you have a larger population. In spring and summer the adults will usually be aquatic though, which makes them easier to observe, especially at night I think (I see newts pretty much only in my pond at night).
You could use filtration but you would probably want a mesh over the filter as baby newts will probably get sucked in and die in pond pumps. Having a good amount of plants and changing the water every now and then will also keep it clean.

As for plants: Water starwort in a 'carpet' or clumps look really nice to me anyways and are native (as far as I know). Most of the elodea species are also very helpful with oxygenating too.
You will probably want to add earthworms and slugs for the newts to find and eat in their own time although some more adventurous ones may eat from you after time.
I do not know much about Alpine Newts though so you should check care sheets for more information but I think I have covered the basics.
 
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kurin360

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thanks for the information....I have built a pond with a very large filtration system (really overkill for the size, so the water is crystal clear. I have designed it so it has a climb out area. The only thing I haven't done is make it escape proof. I'm also concerned about the seagulls (I've got a bird scarer but not sure it bothers them). I don't want a net as they don't look to good. I nave have to rethink or hope it gets its own wildlife over time?
 

Nat1

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thanks for the information....I have built a pond with a very large filtration system (really overkill for the size, so the water is crystal clear. I have designed it so it has a climb out area. The only thing I haven't done is make it escape proof. I'm also concerned about the seagulls (I've got a bird scarer but not sure it bothers them). I don't want a net as they don't look to good. I nave have to rethink or hope it gets its own wildlife over time?
If you have a UK species, why would you want it escape-proof?
 

Chinadog

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In general, any species that has spent time in captivity should not be allowed back into the wild, not even in places that they occur naturally. This is especially important if there's any chance they've been in contact with other, none native herps as cross contamination with foreign viruses or bacteria can wipe out whole populations of native amphibians very quickly.
Apart from the disease issue the habitat outside of the enclosure may not be suitable for for amphibians. This could be because of the proximity to roads and other developed areas in towns and cities, some people even create outdoor enclosures on balconys and roof gardens, so escaping from their artificial environment would mean almost certain death for the newts. Just because the species occur naturally in the general area it doesn't mean they can survive everywhere within it.
By the way, I assume you didn't notice, but the last time anyone posted in this thread was in April 2014! They haven't been online since either, so you might have been waiting a long time for a response from them. :)
 
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  • MVM1991:
    As long as its cleaned yeah! You can even make overhangs if you have enough pieces to make nice caves and platforms
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  • Mark.H:
    Ok, thanks!
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  • MVM1991:
    My pleasure! River rocks work well too, and go rather well with all kinda lung less salamanders,
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  • Mark.H:
    Great! I'll use some of those too. Thanks for the help. :)
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  • Tinky:
    So everywhere talks about testing your water parameters but I can't find what to do it there aren't right?! Like too low not too high, anybody any ideas?
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  • jnerdx:
    It’s very dry in Colorado. I make sure to spritz every night so while I’m sleeping. I have a nifty hydrometer that I got from Walmart. It tells me blue, green, red; too little humid, good, too much respectively. It’s been helpful to me.
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  • jnerdx:
    It tells me temperature AND humidity.
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  • MVM1991:
    Where'd you get that? Or is it just a combo from petsmart or something?
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  • jnerdx:
    I’m pretty sure I got it at a Walmart.
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  • jnerdx:
    I just looked it up to see if I can find it again. It’s actually a hyGROmeter and temperature. Which measures the dew point. Here is the difference between due point and humidity. https://www.weather.gov/arx/why_dewpoint_vs_humidityYou can calculate Th relative
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  • jnerdx:
    the relative humidity using the dew point measurement.
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  • jnerdx:
    Here is the product I purchased:
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  • jnerdx:
    it has a stand. And I had a spare suction from my filter. So it’s on the wall of my Sal’s enclosure.
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  • jnerdx:
    That’s a pic of it in the enclosure.
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  • MVM1991:
    Nice! Also, from what I can see you have an amazing setup! What species?
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  • jnerdx:
    S. S. Gigliolli
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  • MVM1991:
    Ooo nice!
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  • jnerdx:
    Thank you! I tried to share the video but unsuccessful. You can see it on my IG story @jnerdx
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  • MVM1991:
    Cool! I just have a tiger and a long tail, who we are trying to find as he ESCAPED INTO MY ROOM!
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  • LauraLobster:
    Hey y'all, recently my juvenile axolotl's tail has been floating and can swim down but his tail lifts to an angle and I believe that it is stressing him out. He gets in between his plants to balance himself and I am cleaning out the bottom of the tank with my baster. I believe I overfed him and he also may have eaten many air bubbles. He's been like this for nearly 1 1/2 days.
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    What would be the best thing to do ?
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