Vivarium Help

Amphibinator7

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I LOVE newts and salamanders and have owned many. However, I want to start making live planted vivariums for my terrestrial species. I have no idea where to start- I have done some research but it seems everything is meant for people with lots of plant knowledge. I'm just a beginner and would like help. My first project is going to be making a 10 gallon vivarium for my A. maculatum.
 

Jennewt

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I would recommend using houseplants that can be raised from cuttings: ivy, pothos, spider plant, spiderwort (aka wandering jew). Avoid purchasing new plants, as they are often treated with pesticides and chemical fertilizers. You can probably find a friend/neighbor who could give you cuttings of an existing plant. If you keep the terrarium fairly moist, and use a soil-type substrate, you may be able to put the cuttings directly in the new setup.
 

Otterwoman

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When I have bought store-bought plants to use in a vivarium, I take it out of the pot completely, rinse off all the soil from the roots, and soak it in a tub of water for a day. then I repot in 'safe' dirt and use it. I often put the plastic pot right in the dirt so I can take it out if I want to change it or move it, or even have it in a outer bowl so I can water the plant specifically and not the substrate. Eventually roots will go all over, but that takes a while.
 

Amphibinator7

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Thanks for the recommendations, but I have some questions.

1) I know plants can easily be over-watered, so how can I avoid this when i'm planting in a very moist tank?
2) What kind of soil do I use and is it easy to get?
3) Most plants need lights but salamanders do not like hot or bright lights. What do I do?
4) Do you know of any good reading on planting vivariums?

Thank you so much for the help and information!
 

salamanCAUSA

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Hey Amph-man/woman?
Go to YouTube and watch some videos of people who do terrariums/vivariums. You can set up a false bottom, where the soil is setting on top of a screen plate with gravel or hydroton balls below. You just need to allow the extra water to collect away from the soil. Be sure to place a tube (pvc) that goes into the gravel base below the soil and then up to the area above the soil. This will allow the water to evaporate faster than just going up through the soil, which can take a long time, especially if you accidentally put too much water in!
Experiment and do a lot of research.....make it your own experience...your own style of terrarium. Once you learn what is needed and WHY, you can do whatever you want. That is what makes it fun. It is like living art!
 
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