10g Firebelly Newt Vivarium - Dendroboard

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Old 02-26-2007, 09:42 PM
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Default 10g Firebelly Newt Vivarium

Well, I finished revamping my C.O. viv and decided to ask everyones' opinion. Basically, it's a 10g with 54w of spiral compact fluorescent lighting, a computer fan to keep it cool, and a plumbed humidifier from Walmart.

I began by stripping and sanitizing everything in the tank; in the meantime, I placed the newt in his own 5g holding tank for the day. He always likes to pose, so I couldn't resist.

Next, I went out to Home Depot and picked up a piece of 8" by 10" lexan to serve as the divider. Originally, I planned on placing it so that the rear-left corner served as the land section; however, when I actually went to place the plexi, I found that my rock wall created a gap between the divider and the tank wall! :evil: I was rather annoyed at this point, but I went to work anyway placing it in the front left (which I found less aesthetically pleasing.) Anyway, I placed the lexan and siliconed it in place:

I let this cure for about sixteen hours (the waiting part really sucks for me) and then tested it out for leaks. Luckily, I had sealed it pretty well, so I moved on to the next stage. If you look back at my old viv, I used a piece of cork bark as a divider, and I wanted to incorporate this in the new design too; however, the bark was too bowed and short, so I was forced to cut it apart and silicone it to the divider piece by piece to provide a veneer. The pieces in place, I applied copious amounts of silicone between the gaps formed by their imperfect joining, and covered any exposed silicone with peat moss to help it blend in. In the end, I think it came out rather well. Now, despite my frustration with the odd orientation of the land section, my girlfriend brought to my attention the fact that if I incorporated the rather large piece of extra driftwood I had laying around with the weird angle of the divider, I could create a little cave area for the newts/fish/whatever else so that they could have an extra feeling of security. Well, this made me feel better about my mistake, so I siliconed the big piece of bogwood in, and then positioned a second piece of bogwood in the right corner to serve as a seperator between a higher tier of sand and a lower. This would help me plant larger stem plants while conserving space for low growers. Anyway, the next step was simply to fill the aquatic section with some very well washed playsand ($3 at HomeDepot :wink: ) and the land section with my combination of peat, sphagnum, and orchid bark. Next came the plants, and everything was done. So, here's an overview:

I will admit that, at the moment, the water section is somewhat sparsely planted, as all of the plants there were but clippings from my established aquaria. Everything will grow in quickly, and I'll be visiting my LFS on Thursday for more supplies. The aquatic flora include: riccia fluitans, taiwan moss, christmas moss, pigmy chain sword, hemianthus micranthemoides, dwarf hairgrass, rotalia wallachi, java fern, and marsh pennywort. Terrestrial flora include java moss, an unknown bryophyte, tillandsia, earth stars, pothos, club moss, riccia fluitans, and a few others that I can't remember at the moment

Exploring the Cave

Now, if you'll notice, Claudia is standing on a piece of craft mesh upon which christmas moss has been bound with fishing wire. Very soon, the moss will begin to grow upwards and attatch itself to the mesh (at which point, the wire will be removed,) and I'll have a carpet of moss for the cave.

This is another of the inhabitants: a pregnant guppy named silver. She was beating up on another of the new guppies, so I placed her in here. The babies will have plenty of space to hide, but any that don't will provide a great secondary food source for the newts. Oh, and pardon the reflection- I don't really have large cameras floating in the tank.

A View of the Land Section:

The rest of my pictures are just of the newt exploring her new home.

Checking out the Plants

Rock Climbing

Talking to Buddha

So anyway, any comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks for looking!
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:57 PM
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That looks really good. Its so hard not to get a newt for my vivarium! This doesn't make it any easier.
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Old 02-27-2007, 12:26 AM
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That looks awesome. I would definately buy some of those if i weren't broke
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