Pseudotriton ruber set up

Lamb

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Hello!

I put together this 20 G long stream tank for an adult P. ruber. Any ideas for how to better cover up the rest of the plastic liner? I'm considering some live moss that I could place such that it hangs in to the water along the edge. I may need to get more flat rocks to hide more of the tubing as well, and I'm not sure that I'm done setting up the large pool.

The first image is of the tank from above. The second is the same image, but I've drawn in where different things are. The black shape represents the tubing that moves water from the pool and pump, up the hill and to the beginning of the stream. The tubing is held down by the large rocks. The blue line represents the flow of the water, and the water exits the tube from beneath the white, large rock in the corner. The stream was made by shaping the stream bottom into the substrate, lining it with plastic liner, and then covering it with large gravel. I soaked the liner for a few days in water prior to using it. The red circle represents a buried PVC tunnel half filled with moss, and each red x represents bark under which there is, or will be, lots of live moss. The third image is just the tank from a different angle.

There is a raised, false bottom on the tank to help keep the weight down. It's probably 1 to 1.5 inches high. I created it from eggcrate and short pieces of wide PVC pipe. The large pool at the right side was created with a slanted piece of glass. The substrate is a mixture of fir and sphagnum mix (bought at the pet store), a little bit of potting soil, and coarse sphagnum moss. The ferns are native, and hopefully they'll do well. I'll likely add more ferns or other herbaceous plants later.

Let me know what you think, or if you spot things that might arise as issues later on. I wont put the Pseudotriton in the tank just yet, because I may still make modifications.
 

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baddfish

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Hello there. I'm sorry i cant help you out with proper modifications but one thing i can do is tell you that the set up looks awesome. I hope it works out for your little critter. ;)
 

jaster

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I like this, Lamb. It is the same idea I have used over and over and over...... My setups were never aesthetically pleasing, but they worked. I also had a nice setup in a 10gal with a few inches of water, gravel and pond muck on one side, some leaves and rocks. I love using fresh outdoor materials to get those little critters to watch/ help out in the enclosure. The only suggestion, which I figure you'll do, is let the tank get setup for a while and have the plants start doing well. I have never had luck transplanting ferns, but I also don't know how. I really enjoy this and will probably attempt the same with my 20gal long, or maybe my long 50gal...
 

Lamb

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Jaster - Yes, I'm letting everything cycle for a bit. But it's always good to be reminded to do that. I'm glad that I am, because somehow the creek developed a leak overnight, and all of the water wound up below the false bottom. I'm glad that I put a false bottom in for just such an occasion. I've checked the creek bed and think I found the culprit area (a spot where the liner folds in on itself). Hopefully, the creek will still be full when I return home.

For those keeping Pseudotriton, do they shelter beneath cover objects, or more typically dig their own tunnels?
 

Herphunter1998

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nice to see someone keeping p. ruber, how do you keep them cool? im getting really into species like this that are rarely seen in captivity.
 

Lamb

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The room they are in will stay in the low 70s. At the moment, while the tank continues to cycle, the P. ruber is in a critter carrier with moss.
 

Herphunter1998

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I have found a lot of them but never bothered trying to keep one because of the temp issue. I'm looking into setting up tanks in front of an air conditioner for cold loving species like this. That's a nice setup you got I have seen videos of people keeping them in aquatic setups. I never knew they could be kept that way.
 

Lamb

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In South Mississippi, I have found larval P. ruber vioscai in streams that, during the summer months (May through July), have mean temperatures of 22 deg C, and that range from 20 to 24 deg C. I think that if people are considering keeping this species, they need to consider the thermal clines (gradients) each subspecies might be exposed to (i.e., P. ruber ruber may be adapted to cooler mean temperatures than might vioscai).

In the warmer months, we keep the apartment below 75 deg F (~24 deg C). In the colder months, we let things cool off until we find that we're tempted to put on more than two layers.
 

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I haven't released it into the terrarium yet. But I'll let you know when I do.
 

Lamb

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Just thought I would update this post.

Rather than keep the P. ruber vioscai, I've donated it as a live specimen to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.

I'll be breaking down the tank and using it for something else. Although I liked the overall design, I kept having problems with the creek overflowing its banks, especially at its head. I fixed that problem by burrying a round, plastic container into the ground, and feeding the pipe from the pump through a hole and in to the container. This created a pool, that, when full, would overflow in to the creek.
 
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