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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    Hi Nerdybirds - open a thread, that usually gets more views and also allows you to post pictures and give more background information: water parameters, age, etc.
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  • Roadrunner:
    My axolotl can you all take a look at that thread, I am freaked out about my axie
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    His gills seem kinda small, I don't think that's normal but I'm not a huge expert on axolotls
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    Yeah his gills is kinda small and it can be caused by nitrate level, I am taking care of it atm, I am worried about his weight, is he only overfed or are there any kinds of problems there ?
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  • MVM1991:
    Well, again, I'm no expert. But I did just read axolotls are supposed to have a body about as wide as their head. The gills I'd say are the biggest problem, which could reduce oxygen intake, which could make a whole mess of problems.
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    Thanks for the help then, I will deal with his gills in no time
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    Any one have advice on feeding a tubbed axolotl?
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    mine hasent eaten in weeks and im not sure what to do
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  • LauraLobster:
    Hello, I am a new owner of a 3 month old axolotl, and although I have done a lot of research on axolotls, I can barely find any for babies. If anyone can help me with these questions, I would be super happy. How many hours do baby axolotls tend to sleep per day? How many times should I feed it and what would be considered too much (it's current diet is freeze-dried brine shrimp and blood worms, and I currently feed it around 3 bloodworms since they are not that big)? How many times a week should I change the water and how? I have a good filter and use Prime as my conditioner to remove the chlorine and other chemicals, but I still need to figure out how to deal with ammonia and such in the water. How do I clean it's waste (should I use a dropper to easily pick it up)? I need a better cooling system because currently I use ice packs on the side of the tank and I make sure to angle my ac so that it hits the tank.
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  • LauraLobster:
    I also leave the lid open during the day so that evaporation can cool down my tank. I want to buy a fan, but since winter is coming I won't have to buy one yet. Lastly, what water testers are effective and affordable for a broke student like myself? Please, if anyone has any advice I will love to hear it. I care for this creature too much at this point, but I have no one to help me with caring for it other than the internet :,)
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  • EmilyP:
    Hi LauraLobster I am a new owner of axolotls myself and have been getting advice from things like this, I feed mine twice a day on blackworms and brine shrimp blood worms are more of a treat food, a question on where you are keeping you axolotl are you keeping it in the main tank or in a tub also if in the tank did you cycle it first? and if not i suggest tubing it until the tank it cycled, mine are still tubed since I was given bad advice by the shop people about cycling my tank and am still in the process of cycling it. I use pipettes to clean up the mess of my axolotls. I use the API mater test kit for freshwater tanks I am also a student and had to look around to find it the cheapest I could.
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  • AnimeDan:
    Hi LauraLobster, like you I got my first ever Axolotl back in July. Iv found that he has enjoyed and eaten red wigglers well. They are a good source of protein and help provide the nutrients a young lotl needs to grow up big and strong. You will probably need to break it up into smaller pieces until they get bigger but they are what I have primarily fed my buddy since I got him. He’s actually so picky that he won’t even eat his pellets anymore and will hold out till he gets his favorite wormy.
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    Hi I would like to know how you treat nea
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  • Readysalted:
    Hi I would like to know how you treat newt inflamtion I've got one and recently it's started to develop an inflammation on its throat can someone please tell me how you treat this I've also checked if he had something stuck but I didn't se anything
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    Anyone have any Notophthalmus viridescens for purchase to a loving home?
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    Hi, I’m not sure if this is the right place to post this as I am new to the site, b
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    Hey, can anyone recommend a good fan/cooler in UK?
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    I’ve got proven female axolotls available if anyone is interested.
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    Hey, does anyone know if shale is ok for long-toed salamanders?
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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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    Mark.H: Great! I'll use some of those too. Thanks for the help. :) +1
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