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Discussion Starter #1
I thought that if one were to gut this system, and present a more functional habitat for Atelopus ssp, it would be great in sustaining cool humidity. I for one love this tank, and would not waste it on a very large and lumbering Tiger Sal, I would prefer some Plethodontids in this situation... ;)


JBear
 

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That's a really cool setup! I can't really make it out from the video, but where does the air from the fan in the styrofoam box go? Is it plumbed into the tank?

Also, you seem to be one of the salamander gurus here. Are Plethodontids more active than the Ambystomas?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's a really cool setup! I can't really make it out from the video, but where does the air from the fan in the styrofoam box go? Is it plumbed into the tank?

Also, you seem to be one of the salamander gurus here. Are Plethodontids more active than the Ambystomas?
Pleths in general are best observed nocturnally with the aide of red bulb lighting. Depending on species, some are invisible, others are acrobats... It just depends on what you want...

I will add that some(most/all) pleths are very active at night, but most require very clean living quarters... I prefer E. bislineata over some dart frogs in terms of activity and enthusiasm in hunting! Also, they are not disruptive and will leave a set up as it is instead of uprooting and such.

JBear
 

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Pleths in general are best observed nocturnally with the aide of red bulb lighting. Depending on species, some are invisible, others are acrobats... It just depends on what you want...
Some of the larger species become habituated to people and will actually come out to be fed... The downside to working with most caudates is that the majority are highly sensitive to temperatures above thier comfort zones.

I will add that some(most/all) pleths are very active at night, but most require very clean living quarters...r
What do you mean by "very clean"? Typically plethodontids mark thier territories with fecal pellets and secretions from a couple of glands and excess "cleanliness" of the enclosure is actually very contraindicated... It significantly ramps up thier stress levels.

Ed
 
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I thought that if one were to gut this system, and present a more functional habitat for Atelopus ssp, it would be great in sustaining cool humidity.
Unless you know which species you are intending to get for the cage, then a generalized "cool humidity" enclosure can be the wrong setup for the Atelopus. For example in some species, there are populations adapted to dry forest populations and damp/wet forest populations. If you keep the dry forest populations cool and damp they have issues including fluid retention (which is called baggy jeans syndrome when working with zeteki). Then lowland species like the ones that have been imported into the US in the last couple of years are typically from lowland populations and depending on your definition of "cool" could prefer it much warmer...

Ed
 

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Do most of these require the cool conditions the Ambystomas need? We have a couple of native species, but I've never seen a caudate in the wild here except Amphiuma.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Some of the larger species become habituated to people and will actually come out to be fed... The downside to working with most caudates is that the majority are highly sensitive to temperatures above thier comfort zones.



What do you mean by "very clean"? Typically plethodontids mark thier territories with fecal pellets and secretions from a couple of glands and excess "cleanliness" of the enclosure is actually very contraindicated... It significantly ramps up thier stress levels.

Ed
I think I see where you are going about temps. I do(did) not use red bulbs as a lighting source. Only when feeding and such. It was more observational. Also, "very clean" was targeted toward streamside caudates that will need that replicated. Streama as we know are far from stagnant, and therefore we must strive to make the circulation as clean as possible. Clean not meaning sterile.

JBear
 

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Do most of these require the cool conditions the Ambystomas need? We have a couple of native species, but I've never seen a caudate in the wild here except Amphiuma.
Some species are quite tolerant of heat. A. opacum, E. bislineata, A. tigrinum, A. texanum, N. Viridescens, etc.

JBear
 

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I think I see where you are going about temps. I do(did) not use red bulbs as a lighting source. Only when feeding and such. It was more observational. Also, "very clean" was targeted toward streamside caudates that will need that replicated. Streama as we know are far from stagnant, and therefore we must strive to make the circulation as clean as possible. Clean not meaning sterile.

JBear
Well.. some of the streamsides are known to live in areas much less clean.. such as some of the Pseudotritons.. they are not uncommon in areas with high organics and low water flow which is typically of polluted conditions. I've also found bislineata in waterways that were classified as polluted (where you could actually see stiff foam on the water downstream of silt dams and riffles (more than 50 % of the water flow was waste water including leaching septic fields...))

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Some species are quite tolerant of heat. A. opcum, E. bislineata, A. tigrinum, A. texanum, N. Viridescens, etc.

JBear
There are wide ranges even in the species known to be tolerent as rapid temperature changes into ranges that they could tolerate with a slower rise over a much longer period can easily result in death.

Even with that list above, most of those species if given a chance will avoid temperatures over 75-80 F (or are only exposed to the a few weeks of the year). The one notable exception is the Notopthalmus group as some species and subspecies are known to bask on the surface of the water as adults but avoid those higher temperatures as efts (for those populations that have efts).

Ed
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Well.. some of the streamsides are known to live in areas much less clean.. such as some of the Pseudotritons.. they are not uncommon in areas with high organics and low water flow which is typically of polluted conditions. I've also found bislineata in waterways that were classified as polluted (where you could actually see stiff foam on the water downstream of silt dams and riffles (more than 50 % of the water flow was waste water including leaching septic fields...))

Ed
I have seen the same, but would far from recommend that they are kept in filth. I thought I was trying to help someone understand what proper captive conditions were best, not tolerated. Thanks for making the clarification.

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I have seen the same, but would far from recommend that they are kept in filth. I thought I was trying to help someone understand what proper captive conditions were best, not tolerated. Thanks for making the clarification.

JBear
Keep in mind that for example, the Pseudotriton group, recommending very clean conditions typically means high water flow which means high levels of filtration. The high water flow is the opposite of the ideal conditions that these salamanders prefer to live and can cause significant stress. The whole group is full of niche specialists and with few exceptions like (like temperature), broad recommendations are a potential risk...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Keep in mind that for example, the Pseudotriton group, recommending very clean conditions typically means high water flow which means high levels of filtration. The high water flow is the opposite of the ideal conditions that these salamanders prefer to live and can cause significant stress. The whole group is full of niche specialists and with few exceptions like (like temperature), broad recommendations are a potential risk...
If the current is broken, and niches are provided, N. Red and Mud Sals do just fine... Also, P. ruber can be kept fully aquatic as long as it is cool and well circulated. What I am sayig is that species that are hardy in nature should not be expected to be so hardy between glass. My advice was geared toward captive care, not what is seen in nature.

JBear
 

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If the current is broken, and niches are provided, N. Red and Mud Sals do just fine... Also, P. ruber can be kept fully aquatic as long as it is cool and well circulated. What I am sayig is that species that are hardy in nature should not be expected to be so hardy between glass. My advice was geared toward captive care, not what is seen in nature.

JBear
I think we are talking past one another.. Doing fine and behaving normally are two entirely seperate concepts... but I was also addressing captive care and often species that are hardy in the wild are hardy in captivit provided that you do not exposure them to conditions that are in excess of the conditions that the salamanders would tolerate in the wild.
For example: we see in the dendrobatid hobby recommendations that the frogs should not be exposed to temperatures over 75 F and that at 80 F people start discussing potential death of the frogs. This is different than the conditions many of the low land species routinely live where the temperatures exceed 80 F.. One of the main differences is because people seal up the tanks to enable maximal conditions for activity and reproduction but this also prevents the frogs from being able to handle the temperatures through actions such as evaporative cooling and/or moving to cooler niches if the tank is ventilated.

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If the current is broken, and niches are provided, N. Red and Mud Sals do just fine... Also, P. ruber can be kept fully aquatic as long as it is cool and well circulated. What I am sayig is that species that are hardy in nature should not be expected to be so hardy between glass. My advice was geared toward captive care, not what is seen in nature. One thing for sure is pleths are much more tough than people think.

JBear
How long have you been keeping pleths? What species have you dealt with?? I'm just trying to get a feel for your experience level with these guys. I am a long time pleth keeper and am always interested in other peoples experience.

Some dicamptodon, aneides lugubris, or one of the southern ssp. of enstaina would look really nice in your mander viv! As would yonohlossee!!

As for heat tolerances, many pleths can tolerate temps into the high seventies and low eighties, but for short periods of time. You will find that in many species, if exposed to these temps or any higher for even a short time, they will recover for a few days only to lose their tail and die shortly after. I belisve it is organ failure that ultimately kills them due to heat stress. Many of our western pleths come from almost desert like habitat, or even desert (batrachoceps and hydromantes, aneides) and are capable of surviving these temps better than others. These species are however protected aside from the aneides.

Josh
 
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