I breed these newts, so maybe I can help out.
Any body raising or breeding RSN?? I have 5 that I am building a palud for. They have exhibited courtship behavior with the wafting of phermones and then the other day I saw two in the breeding grip. I wanna do this right.
29 gal tank
DIY background and land areas
Drylok method and Titebond III
2 X 24 watt T5 fixture
Fluval 150 and Duetto 50 filters.
I've never had a decent planted substrate with a herp vive or palud.........theyre just so dirty. Thinking about ecocomplete capped with river rock. The newts forage so much and create the suction while feeding. I dont want them taking too much substrata down the tube! I really want playsand, but fear the newts will swallow too much???????? Maybe just part of the bottom, whaddya think
Sand is perfect for newts - the small grains will pass right through them. I only use sand in my tanks (with root tabs for rooted plants). Eco Complete is probably not okay because the grains are large enough to cause impaction.
Has anyone ever rigged the outflow of an eheim as a unidirectional flow instead of a spray bar? I would like to use an extra canister filter I have for filtration.
I wish I could find a hard tube (like the intake pipe of the eheim) that would go all the way down to towards the bottom of the tank and then bend 90 degrees toward the front of the tank. This way it could be hidden along the back corner and then push water off the front glass and in turn, deflected towards the intake on the other side. Does that make sense?? Appropriate heat should bend the tube good enough for a custom fit.........I just dont know where to get an extra long, hard tube like that...and have it fit the eheim properly.
Anyways.......more to come.....thinking about starting a build thread if ur interested.
Don't really know much about installing filters. These newts really prefer still water. I use a very teeny filter (rated for 15 gallons or less) on my larger tanks or no filter at all.
Just some tips:
These guys really don't need a land area at all. If conditions are right (colder water, no strong currents, deep enough water, no fish, lots of plants) they will never leave the water. Just give them some plants that touch the surface, so they can rest at the top.
A secure lid is a must! They are very agile climbers and can squeeze through the smallest crack.
To encourage breeding you'll need to drop the temps (but if you're already seeing breeding behavior, maybe they've dipped enough). Females will lay on any 'floppy' leafed plant they can find. They fold each egg over in a leaf and glue it shut. This might ruin delicate plants like crypts. I keep some cheap plants in the tank during laying season: elodea, pennywort, water wisteria. They will eat the eggs, so you might also have to cut the leaves off to get them out of the tank.
From your pic it looks like the water level is really low - try to raise it to at least 6-7 inches deep. I keep mine in fully planted aquaria filled to about an inch or so below the top.
If you have any luck with egg laying, I can help with larva care too
but that's a lot to write at this point.