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Discussion Starter #1
I am setting up a Native Red Backed Salamander vivarium, i was wondering besides northern madienhair fern, Brittle Bladder and moss what plants do i need? its an oregon setup, the scale is each 2x2 square is 1 inch. the bottom right corner will have a sand and water less than 3/4 "
 

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I don`t keep them, they can be found under rocks all over the place around here.
The soil was moist with some leaf litter.

Sorry not much info to share.
But I was wondering if they need a dormant period?
 

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There is a nice selaginella from here that is found in the same area as these salamanders, as well as polypodium (they are on trees mostly but in some places on the ground!). And maidenhairs are so beautiful, but in my experience it is difficult to keep them in terrariums. There's some nice thallose liverworts and a fern that stays small and does well in high humidity called Asplenium trichomanes. It is widespread and grows well on rocks in addition to soil or moss.

I have not kept this salamander but I would guess that cooler is better. In college I worked in a cool room housing sallies and it was kept at 55 I think, and everything seemed to do well at that temperature. There might be some info on these guys at caudata.org if you have not checked that out.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
what would be the optimal temp, what to feed, misting, humidity, i might do korean rock ferns, japanese painted ferns and some baby tears
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Or the other option is 2-3 of these 12 species Adiantum aleuticum (Northern Maidenhair Fern), Athyrium filix-femina (Lady Fern), Blechum spicant (Deer Fern), Botrychium multifidum (Leathery Grape-Fern), Cystopteris fragilis (Brittle Bladder Fern), Dryopteris arguta (Wood Fern), Dryopteris expansa (Spreading Wood Fern), Gymnocarpium Dryopteris (Oak Fern), Pentagramma triangularis (Gold-back Fern), Polypodium glycyrrhiza (Licorice Fern), Polystichum munitum (Sword Fern), Pteridium aquilinium (Bracken Fern)
 

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I've kept red backs in my classroom for about a year before I released them. My set up was simple. 2 1/2 gallon tank with a piece of glass for the cover (keeps the humidity high), some local moss (I live about 25 miles north of NYC) and piece of bark for them to hide under. I agree with the previous post, they should be kept on the cooler side but, my classroom did get up into the seventies with no ill affect. I fed them flightless drosophila but, they'll eat pin head crickets or any other small invert. They're fossorial and will make their own tunnels through the substrate. I found that once they were established, they'd sit just inside a tunnel and with a little misting and some fruit flies, they would come out and snap them up. Very cool little critters.
 

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I wouldn't expect to see them out and about all that often. Mine came out after misting and offering them food. I would think you could keep a half dozen in a ten gallon. I don't know if they are territorial though. I kept two in the small 2 1/2 gallon tank with no problems.
 

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I've never kept them (I'm in texas so prolly be kinda hard to get one) but I did look up their husbandry once and know a few people who keep them

First off they don't need the water feature, they never touch water in the wild, most of their life cycle is spent under rocks or in a rotting log (where they rear their young).

Second from what I read the females can be territorial and need about a 1' square territory around their rock to be happy (more would probably be better).

As far as what they eat it's probably going to be the same as darts, small insects. They hunt nocturnally usually. I would definitely get a culture of springs and isos going in the viv so that you have everything nice n clean (and also as supplemental feeders). Probably keep them on an ABG mix with leaf litter topping it off and keep it nice and wet especially around their rock homes. If you want them to breed you will probably want a half rotting log to stick halfway down in the substrate (I know this is how they breed in the wild, there might be simpler ways to do it in captivity).

Just go into this knowing also they are very shy and you will probably never see them.
 

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I don't think ratios seem to matter so much as they get their mini territory to stake out. Like I said not much on these guys and that's like the only care sheet out there for them.
 

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I would highly recommend that you go to Caudata.org Newt and Salamander Forum and get the full details for this species, for the animals' health and comfort, you can get a lot of good info from some experts over there. I will say this, this species is temperate, so be prepared to have an AC unit at your disposal at all times so you can be sure the temp never gets over 65 F, and cooler is probably better

Also, for a 10 gallon tank, most of the plants you are looking at are WAY too big. Almost all of the ferns from that habitat in the PNW would fill that tank quickly, other than asplenium trichomanes.

Do a bit more online research by reading about this species, and some forum posting on caudata and you'll get what you need.

By the way, do you have a permit to collect this species?

edit- just noticed Rushthezeppelin linked you to a care sheet on caudata.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I looked on Oregon dnr and they are one of three species where there not protected, so no I don't need a permit. Also dunn's salamnder and ensatina are also legal to collect in Oregon. I do have a question if I can transport them after collecting them from Oregon to Minnesota where I live?
 
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