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Plants and Amphibians

> My number one love in life is herpetology (study of rep and amph),
>my second is plants. I'm always looking for new creatures other than fish
>and shrimp to add to my tank. I find that dwarf sirens are really nice, but
>you really never see them.
>        Do any of you keep amphibians in your tanks? if so which ones?

Between  school and home, we have the following critters in fully plants

Oregon Newts - (prettier, orange color form of the California Newt, I
believe) Active, and don't harm small fish don't seem to do well with more
than one to a tank, and need a place to haul out.  Seem more terrestrial
than many newts, but also swim well.

As a kid we used to keep Eastern Spotted Newts in set ups similar to that
for the Oregon Newts.  Funny thing is, they are never sold in pet stores on
the east coast, although you can collect them in many places.  On the wst
coast, I saw them in many stores, and never saw any California or Oregon

Paddlefin News - Not very active, but will come out willingly and eat from
your fingers at feeding time.  Seem to do fine with several in a tank if
they are all introduced together and there is lots of cover.  Each will set
up its own territory.  We keep them in paludarium type tanks, but they
spend little time out of the water.

Fire Belly Newts - Similar to the Paddlefins, but smaller, and IMO, less

Axolotyl - fully aquatic, has to live by himself because he'll eat
_anything_ that fits in his wide grinning mouth, but a great interactive
pet for my son.  "Begs" for food as soon as someone comes in the room, and
as a result is overweight :-/

Firebelly Toads - Need a paludarium type set up, and a dry area where you
can feed them thier crickets.  Aggressive feeders, active and interesting.
Make some noise so you might not want them in a bed room.  Can be kept in
small groups, but some males get aggressive. (we have one at school in
"solitary" for wife beating<g>) Will spawn in the paludarium, and the
tadpoles are large and easy to raise.

Green Tree Frogs - We keep these in one very high paludarium set up with
Firebellies.  You have to hand feed them, because they're not as fast as
the Firebellies, who will get enormously fat if you put in enough crickets
that the tree frogs can get some on their own.  Strictly aboreal, and poor
swimmers.  Make _sure_ there is an easy way out of the water in case they
fall in.

We are currently babysitting an African Clawed Frog for neighbors.  This is
the ugliest thing I've ever seen, and a voracious eater.  I wouldn't even
attempt to keep him with fish (I count my fingers after I feed him) but
he'd probably look much better in a tank planted with nice sturdy plants
like Anubias and Java Fern than he does in his current fish bowl with the
colored gravel and "gone fishin" sign.<g>  I believe they are fully
aquatic, so don't need a land area.  He's big, strong and fast moving,
though, so I wouldn't put him in with any delicate plants.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association