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Amphibians - Aquatic Amphibian Terrarium or Aquatic Tank

The general set up of an aquatic tank for fully aquatic frogs, toads, newts and the like is virtually the same as a 'fish aquarium'.

These aquatic tanks are best used for aquatic species and create a huge challenge to the hobbyist, creating aquatic ecosystems and particularly dealing with the amount of faecal waste these amphibians can produce. Amphibians are naturally sensitive to changes in their environment. Fully aquatic amphibians pass a high proportion of ammonia in their waste straight into the water. In the wild this waste is quickly diluted and carried away from the creature's skin. In an aquarium environment this doesn't happen, the amphibian is essentially living with its waste products. The difficulty comes with finding a filtration system that is capable of removing large quantities of ammonia and keeping the water clean enough to keep the amphibians healthy, particularly their skin.

The obvious first step is to keep the creature in the largest aquatic tank possible to provide dilution in the available water. A good powerful filter should be used with the larger aquatic species - most fully aquatic amphibians can tolerate fairly strong flowing water currents but make sure the current is not so strong that it will suck the creature into the inlet. Gravel can be used, but a tank with a bare bottom is easier to maintain and safer. Gravel that is too small may be ingested, and with large gravel food can disappear between the stones.

In addition to filtration, frequent partial water changes are the best way to maintain water quality. Approximately 1/3 of the volume of water in the aquatic tank should be removed and replaced with fresh, dechlorinated water every week or so. A gravel washer is an inexpensive tool available at specialist pet shops. This allows the gravel to be gently agitated and cleaned while siphoning off water.

A piece of cork bark should be floated on the surface to allow your wet friend to exit the water if it so wishes. Your aquatic amphibian terrarium - aquarium does need a ventilated clear lid to prevent escapees from their aquatic ecosystems!


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