Large Paludarium Plans and proposed species. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 05:38 AM Thread Starter
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Large Paludarium Plans and proposed species.

Hola everyone, I'm planning out a fairly large paludarium with a roughly 400 gallon pond area stocked with fish and the rest will be the terrarium part. I'm working out a food web to limit my intervention with the tank and let the fish act somewhat more naturally. I have a rough draft for the pond to provide a housing area that the fish can't get to for Daphnia and Mysis to for decent colonies and having Tubifex or some other worm in the substrate. Some MTS or other snails to control Algae and also assist in substrate aeration. I will have some Loaches to control the population of the snails but provide places for the snails to effectively hide so as to not eliminate the population completely. I'm going to have some RCS's to help with the clean up and algae control as well as the shrimp fry providing another source of food for the few Bettas (Trust me, I know what I'm doing here) and the Guppy population. I was wondering what other semi-flashy or cool looking fish I can keep in the pond area. For the Terrarium I will have a population of Springtail and some crickets if possible. I am not too sure about the food web for this part and want some help. I want to have a tree frog or two, a tropical gecko, and/or an anole or something along those lines and I would appreciate and input on potential food sources for them and the food sources for said food sources. This whole tank will be heavily planted so I am also looking for some ideas about the lighting. I want to set the lights up on timers to simulate daylight, sunrise and sunset, nighttime, and twilight for the tank so if I can get any suggestions on that, then it would be much appreciated. As with all of this, I would like any suggestions for any part of this, whether it be substrate suggestions, lighting, species, plants, plumbing, equipment, whatever.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 05:42 PM
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Sounds really cool! I mean, you're not really limited as to the prey invertebrates you could put in there, are you? What about earthworms, isopods, beetles, and the like?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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The way I see it, the larger variety of prey that is available, the better. I am planning on earthworms but what kind of beetles would work well?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 01:22 PM
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The way I see it, the larger variety of prey that is available, the better. I am planning on earthworms but what kind of beetles would work well?
Well, I personally don't keep any frogs, but from what I've read on forums, people don't recommend feeding them beetles, or even beetle larvae, for that matter, because of the risk of impaction due to their tough exoskeletons. I did read that people suggest using beetles in gecko tanks as detritivores. Apparently their geckos don't bother with the beetles, but they will eat their larvae. Forums say that mealworms/waxworms are fine for geckos while they are not recommended for anoles, unless it's a treat. Seems for these little frogs/lizards, crickets, springtails, and fruit flies are the items of choice. I have a fire skink, so...he pretty much slaughters whatever he wants and drags it down to his burrow of death. >__>

As for the lighting, what is the intended height of the tank? That tends to be a determining factor. I only know about lighting for the standard-sized tanks, but if this thing is going to be a few feet high, I'm assuming you need some next level stuff, lol.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I personally don't keep any frogs, but from what I've read on forums, people don't recommend feeding them beetles, or even beetle larvae, for that matter, because of the risk of impaction due to their tough exoskeletons. I did read that people suggest using beetles in gecko tanks as detritivores. Apparently their geckos don't bother with the beetles, but they will eat their larvae. Forums say that mealworms/waxworms are fine for geckos while they are not recommended for anoles, unless it's a treat. Seems for these little frogs/lizards, crickets, springtails, and fruit flies are the items of choice. I have a fire skink, so...he pretty much slaughters whatever he wants and drags it down to his burrow of death. >__>

As for the lighting, what is the intended height of the tank? That tends to be a determining factor. I only know about lighting for the standard-sized tanks, but if this thing is going to be a few feet high, I'm assuming you need some next level stuff, lol.
I'm not exactly settled on what reptiles or terrestrial creatures I want. I'm still exploring my options on this. I'm figuring out the food web and the base creatures to use as prey but it depends upon what I decide to stock the tank with. With geckos, would they try to eat beetles or mostly leave them alone? If they leave them alone then they would be perfect for taking care of over population of beetles in the tank as they would prey upon the beetle larvae. How do you like your Fire Skink?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by MagnaPants View Post
I'm not exactly settled on what reptiles or terrestrial creatures I want. I'm still exploring my options on this. I'm figuring out the food web and the base creatures to use as prey but it depends upon what I decide to stock the tank with. With geckos, would they try to eat beetles or mostly leave them alone? If they leave them alone then they would be perfect for taking care of over population of beetles in the tank as they would prey upon the beetle larvae. How do you like your Fire Skink?
From what I've read on a few different forums, people say the geckos don't like adult beetles. They say their geckos may attempt to taste them once, but are kind of put off by them and then leave them alone, lol. I personally adore my fire skink. Some people (e.g. my boyfriend) don't understand the fascination with them because they're so often burrowed. He says that's a boring pet to have! But they are SO ADORABLE, not to mention fierce. I get so happy when I see my skink.

When we sort of redid his tank to add more burrowing space, he bit the HELL out of my boyfriend. Like shredded skin off and made him bleed. I didn't even know that was possible for the little guys; he has only ever bitten me softly when mistaking my hand for food and it barely hurt, let alone broke skin. They are generally hard to tame, but he does accept food from my hand. I've had him for almost a year. I hope at some point I can get him comfortable enough to be picked up without trying to run away.

Truly, I would like to have a second one, but you're supposed to keep them in male/female pairs and they are extremely difficult to sex. No sex is even listed when you order them. I don't actually know if mine is a male, I just call him that because of his name. If you house two males together, they fight. I would feel awful if I just took a chance and one of them were injured or killed, so he will likely remain solo, unless an exotics vet could sex mine and I could order the opposite sex specifically. Maybe that's one reason for captive breeders being so scarce...you are taking a risk when putting them together, and if you have to separate them you need an additional enclosure to maintain.

You know how some people always have the same breed of dog? Like, that person will ALWAYS have at least ONE shepherd, lab, chihuahua, etc.? I feel that way about fire skinks. Would be so sad if I didn't have one. It's hard to explain, given their secretive nature. I guess I'm similar. Like to be left alone a lot, but every once in a while I'll come out of my burrow. :P

Look at this cutie-pie!
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-03-2017, 04:25 PM
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With a tank that size why not go with a herp that will utilize the water area. I would go crocodile skink or water skink if going with a lizard. If you go the frog route mossy frogs are pretty damn cool. I can also appreciate a tank where there is little interaction between the land/water inhabitants so whatever you like really if you go that route.

Also you could consider vampire crabs if you're not married to the idea of herps.

As far as flashy fish that can be kept with guppies and bettas. Killifish!

Well that's just like.........your opinion man.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-06-2017, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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With a tank that size why not go with a herp that will utilize the water area. I would go crocodile skink or water skink if going with a lizard. If you go the frog route mossy frogs are pretty damn cool. I can also appreciate a tank where there is little interaction between the land/water inhabitants so whatever you like really if you go that route.

Also you could consider vampire crabs if you're not married to the idea of herps.

As far as flashy fish that can be kept with guppies and bettas. Killifish!
I decided that if I get a herp then it will be a Crocodile Skink, for the very reasons you brought up. Is there no way to have both the the Skink and a tree frog or two? or the Skink and Vampire Crabs? What would be the biggest problem with this? I'm purely asking to see the conflicts that could result because Vamp Crabs are another species I've been heavily considering.

The killifish looks pretty awesome, I'll look into them.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 01:07 PM
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Generally mixing species in the herp world is frowned upon as it can introduce different pathogens to the inhabitants that they cannot handle and also cause stress in the animals. As a general rule of thumb if you are going to mix species it is best to have them occupy different areas of the tank (tree frogs would be up high croc skinks ground level) it is also not a bad idea to have the mixed species from the same general location as to not introduce any foreign pathogens.

As for the crabs with crocodile skinks I personally would not do that. I saw a video recently with both in the same set up but not sure how long they were in there together (There was also a turtle which I would have to think would eat any and all crabs in a short amount of time). I wouldn't risk the crabs becoming a very expensive snack.

Well that's just like.........your opinion man.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Generally mixing species in the herp world is frowned upon as it can introduce different pathogens to the inhabitants that they cannot handle and also cause stress in the animals. As a general rule of thumb if you are going to mix species it is best to have them occupy different areas of the tank (tree frogs would be up high croc skinks ground level) it is also not a bad idea to have the mixed species from the same general location as to not introduce any foreign pathogens.

As for the crabs with crocodile skinks I personally would not do that. I saw a video recently with both in the same set up but not sure how long they were in there together (There was also a turtle which I would have to think would eat any and all crabs in a short amount of time). I wouldn't risk the crabs becoming a very expensive snack.
Ahh yes, I'm aware of "General rules of thumb" but this is why I'm doing my research on it and will be going about this in a very deliberate and careful manner. Croc Skinks are typically solely insectivores so I wouldn't imagine they would be too much of a problem for the crabs and since I will have plenty of places set aside in the setup of the tank for the different species of different sizes to safely hide. the tree frog will have it's areas and the skink will have his with enough room for safe overlapping since this is going to be a decent sized paludarium. I'm going to slowly introduce every species and keep very close eyes on each. the way I have planned for the introduction is a slow and easy way and each will have their quarantine tank. This build is still about 6 years off at minimum and it will be running for at least a year before I add the Skink or Frog so still plenty of time to do more research. I'm still set on the Frog, Croc Skink, Vamp Crab combo but we'll see where it all leads before I even began to set it up.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 02:43 PM
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Not sure what the crocodile skink would do, but my fire skink almost certainly ate a tree frog. I didn't intend to get one, but someone found it wandering around a store and asked if I might want it. I thought it would be okay since it could climb and hide in the log while my skink is typically underground. I named the frog Kagutaba and was quite fond of him. After a couple months, at most, there was no sign of the tree frog. Poor thing. I have a betta in the water section of the tank. My boyfriend said he has seen my skink swimming around in there...hopefully not looking to devour my betta. x__x That Sarth is one voracious guy.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Not sure what the crocodile skink would do, but my fire skink almost certainly ate a tree frog. I didn't intend to get one, but someone found it wandering around a store and asked if I might want it. I thought it would be okay since it could climb and hide in the log while my skink is typically underground. I named the frog Kagutaba and was quite fond of him. After a couple months, at most, there was no sign of the tree frog. Poor thing. I have a betta in the water section of the tank. My boyfriend said he has seen my skink swimming around in there...hopefully not looking to devour my betta. x__x That Sarth is one voracious guy.
Well from the looks Crocadile Skinks get about 5 or so inches shorter so if I get a young Croc Skink and a larger tree frog I would think they'd be alright...hopefully
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