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 Post subject: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: June 10th, 2018, 9:46 am 
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Okay let me elaborate, by supertank I mean multi-species habitat. We are considering, at some point in the future, a small room dedicated to reptiles and amphibians, with a custom made enclosure and we are wondering that with all of the correct elements (heat,humidity, substrate, lots of space, hides and basking areas, etc) if a large custom enclosure would be able to hold variegated species and if anybody has experience (good or bad) advise, etc for what to keep in this kind of environment or how to perfect it.

We are aware of why this is typically discouraged (the spread of parasites or disease, no animal can flee or escape, competition for food, light, hides) but even it it just had male/female pair of 3 species, with two arboreal and one terrestrial or a similar combination, and with much research, planning and investment, we are hoping this is possible.

Anybody have any tips or experience housing 2 or more different reptile or amphibian species together? What work and what didn't?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: June 10th, 2018, 3:44 pm 
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Zoological displays of habitats and multiple niche dwellers are common, but keep in mind they allow for losses, for the entity the Exhibit is The Thing - the animals often come and go, there is an acceptance of risk one does not have with a personal specimen.

Multi species environments can work but with attention to stratospheres in the space and species proclivities toward resources.

Its not my favorite thing, but I've had situations work out. 2 rules of thumb I've followed is to avoid having snakes share water sources with other taxa, especially chelonians, and one positive note is phelsuma are so Light oriented that they will stay where you want them.

Both those examples illustrate some community principles.

Basically you want animals that gravitate toward separate microclimates, and are indifferent to each others presence.

Arboreal agamids can work like the geckos. Use high close range uvb and the lizards navigate in its gradients


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 Post subject: Re: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: June 10th, 2018, 5:05 pm 
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One last thing, if i may, Supertank means very spacious ay?

A better situ to consider and excitingly re-frame perhaps in your biodiverse intentions, is to focus on One species of animalia... and have all the other live things be Flora

A beautiful animal (or pr) with a bunch of well chosen badass plants.


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 Post subject: Re: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: June 10th, 2018, 5:49 pm 
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Now that im home I was inspired to try to find some early 2000 pics, i have of lizards and treefrogs. Not as easy as I thought my pics are a mess.

Thats been my most successful multi sp experiences. Lizards will fight each other, and frogs can either eat or be chemically incompatible but tree frogs and lizards can work out with some spaces.

Both agamids species and day gecko species all hate each other especially males but not always or only - so as not to misread my above post thinking to mix individuals of families.

I have had to move phelsuma tanks housing seperate species - away from direct visual range from another because of how distracted or stressed they would sometimes become. They wanted to chase the permanent "interlopers" away but alas - the glass.

So animals different ie; frogs and lizards, tortoise and spiny iguana, is also a tactic to promote indifference and "community hygiene"


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 Post subject: Re: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: June 11th, 2018, 1:52 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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On Dendroboard I saw a thread including a large, heavily-planted terrarium with 5-lined skinks and American toads. They seemed like good roommates (and engaging captives FWIW). There was some video I found quite interesting. The narrative was pretty good too - many curious insights, things one might not foresee. The owner was somewhere in the northeast, if I recall right.

Besides treefrogs & lizards (terr or arb) I would think terrestrial or aquatic anurans or caudates could co-habitat with arboreal squamates of appropriate size & "cleanliness".

In general the practice is not recommended; plenty of good but not all-conquering reasons that you began listing. At the very least I think having them not be food competitors (let alone view each other as potential meals) would be helpful - keep mourning or day geckos, with insectivorous treefrogs, toads or sallies for example. If all are insectivores you could niche partition by activity pattern - a diurnal snake with a nocturnal lizard or sallie for example.

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: June 11th, 2018, 3:07 pm 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
Now that im home I was inspired to try to find some early 2000 pics, i have of lizards and treefrogs. Not as easy as I thought my pics are a mess.

Thats been my most successful multi sp experiences. Lizards will fight each other, and frogs can either eat or be chemically incompatible but tree frogs and lizards can work out with some spaces.

Both agamids species and day gecko species all hate each other especially males but not always or only - so as not to misread my above post thinking to mix individuals of families.

I have had to move phelsuma tanks housing seperate species - away from direct visual range from another because of how distracted or stressed they would sometimes become. They wanted to chase the permanent "interlopers" away but alas - the glass.

So animals different ie; frogs and lizards, tortoise and spiny iguana, is also a tactic to promote indifference and "community hygiene"



Okay great, thanks for all of the information. We are not doing this immediately, as it will be an investment. I'm just trying to gauge what is possible and what combinations, if any, people have had success with. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: June 11th, 2018, 3:09 pm 
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Jimi wrote:
On Dendroboard I saw a thread including a large, heavily-planted terrarium with 5-lined skinks and American toads. They seemed like good roommates (and engaging captives FWIW). There was some video I found quite interesting. The narrative was pretty good too - many curious insights, things one might not foresee. The owner was somewhere in the northeast, if I recall right.

Besides treefrogs & lizards (terr or arb) I would think terrestrial or aquatic anurans or caudates could co-habitat with arboreal squamates of appropriate size & "cleanliness".

In general the practice is not recommended; plenty of good but not all-conquering reasons that you began listing. At the very least I think having them not be food competitors (let alone view each other as potential meals) would be helpful - keep mourning or day geckos, with insectivorous treefrogs, toads or sallies for example. If all are insectivores you could niche partition by activity pattern - a diurnal snake with a nocturnal lizard or sallie for example.

cheers


Okay Jimi, this is really great advice and those are more than likely going to be the combos when and if we decide to do this. If it's a success--at all -- I will be back in a year or two with photos and stories. Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: June 11th, 2018, 5:00 pm 
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Location: Greater Houston TX Area
Consider an arid enclosure (e.g. a Southwestern US-type setup); dry environments can be easier to keep clean/hygienic as a consideration for maintaining multiple species. I've seen zoos keep 2-4 lizard species together in such an enclosure--desert iguanas, collared lizards, various spiny lizards, etc.

Separation by arboreal/terrestrial can help; also consider diurnal/nocturnal as a way to deconflict habitat usage.

And of course, don't put lizards which eat other lizards, with other lizards you want to keep more than a few days!

Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: June 12th, 2018, 7:32 am 
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I think with much thought and consideration, this sounds like a great project. Good luck with it.
.
.
.
.


As an aside:
Chris
Quote:
And of course, don't put lizards which eat other lizards, with other lizards you want to keep more than a few days!
:lol: :lol: :lol:



Old guy story; quit reading while you can!


In the '60s Chuck Shaw, curator of reptiles of the San Diego Zoo, built super outdoor enclosures and put several species of varanids in the one of the spacious enclosures.


1967 (instamatic camera!)
Image


One day I was watching the varanids, when one (maybe a Gould’s) pinned, killed, and was swallowing a smaller animal of some other species.

:lol: :lol:
Lesson learned.


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 Post subject: Re: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: June 12th, 2018, 11:43 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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Cool story, thanks Bill. I can't believe anyone thought a food-sized animal would survive enclosed with a bigger Varanus...that was epic dumb.

Melissa: http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/beginner-discussion/173258-multispecies-reference-page.html

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: June 12th, 2018, 5:37 pm 
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"Will the shape or behavior of one animal affect the territoriality of another animal [in encl]"

You know Ive never felt comfortable doing it, and its the above not immediately -obvious-reasons is why.

I had to cut a curator of a museum off from buying collared lizards - the exhibit was mixed, it was a theme display, desert with a kangaroo rat that made a fan necessary in the enclosure - killing the lizards with RI one after another.

Enjoyed the article. The item about shape and behavior of one animal and their influence on another is the reason why Ive never enjoyed mixed enclosures.

Just my personal feeling, but the scale and fixed proxy of mixing animals creates an opposite of natural perspective to me. Even without the usual bio-cross or outright predation issues, or contrast of conditions that cause one sp to fail to thrive like the collared situation.


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 Post subject: Re: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: June 13th, 2018, 1:46 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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Here's that toad/skink thing. Scroll around for the video.

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/new-members-introductions/336297-75-gallon-vivarium-toads-skinks.html

(You can see that it's a pretty nice bunch of people on there. Some serious issues came up, and some strong differences of opinion, but it was all handled pretty well, for the internet.)

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: June 13th, 2018, 6:13 pm 

Joined: June 8th, 2014, 3:15 pm
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melissaisdown wrote:
Okay let me elaborate, by supertank I mean multi-species habitat. We are considering, at some point in the future, a small room dedicated to reptiles and amphibians, with a custom made enclosure and we are wondering that with all of the correct elements (heat,humidity, substrate, lots of space, hides and basking areas, etc) if a large custom enclosure would be able to hold variegated species and if anybody has experience (good or bad) advise, etc for what to keep in this kind of environment or how to perfect it.

We are aware of why this is typically discouraged (the spread of parasites or disease, no animal can flee or escape, competition for food, light, hides) but even it it just had male/female pair of 3 species, with two arboreal and one terrestrial or a similar combination, and with much research, planning and investment, we are hoping this is possible.

Anybody have any tips or experience housing 2 or more different reptile or amphibian species together? What work and what didn't?

Thanks!


About 25 years ago I had a 55 gallon planted terrarium with 3 gray tree frogs, 3 green tree frogs, a small american toad, 4 blue spot salamanders an 3 green anoles. They all lived together for almost 3 years. My house got pretty chilly in the winter and the anoles bred for me 2 years in a row. I found 1 baby each spring but remnants of more eggs. The male tree frogs called (grays are very loud by the way) and the salamanders would come out after the lights out misting. I went one whole winter without seeing them and i figured they were dead but when I dug through the moss in the spring all 4 were huddle together alive and well. I tried a smooth green snake for about 2 weeks but found as soon as it was introduced the tree frogs stopped coming out at night. I let it go and they started coming out again. The American toad, gray tree frogs and blue spots were collected on my parents property in northern Wisconsin and the green tree frogs and anoles were collected by a friend on a trip down south. The main reason I tor it down was because my knowledge of plants and my selection was not the best (lots of pothos) and it started to get very ratty looking. I moved a few of the animals into their own cages and gave the rest away to interested friends.

I rarely post about my experience because of the negative responses I get and for the most part I understand and in many ways I agree. To many people want to throw 3 or 4 different animals into a 10 or 20 gallon tank and call it a mixed species tank and 99 times out of a 100 it isn't going to work out very well long term. IMO mixing can be done if a little (read a lot) of planning is done and the tank is large enough. I consider a 55 to be about the minimum size I would try it in and even though I haven't mixed anything (except a few species of desert beetles) for a long time I wouldn't mind doing it again. I'd go larger this time. 75 gallons minimum probably a 125 and I'd research for a better mix of plants. I'd also go for a filtered water feature (changing water every day was a pain)

My dream tank would be a Madagascar tank with pygmy chameleons, dwarf geckos and mantella frogs in a 125 planted tank with a waterfall. I've kept all three before but never mixed them.


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 Post subject: Re: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: June 14th, 2018, 7:39 am 
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Interesting observations, you add much to the topic. Anoles and green tree frogs were my humble cross env but i had seen them in florida on the same greenery and it was interesting and pleasant to have them together - a pic i want to find is of an anole and tree frog resting upright on either side of a stand of birch, expressing similar chromatophore phasing.

Im on board with you on your small taxa env sizes. You may find though pricier, the glass env that open from the front have an excellent ergonomic for set up, upgrade, feeding and maintenance, compared to reaching in from the top to work. Its being right in there.


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 Post subject: Re: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: June 14th, 2018, 11:42 am 
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Joined: April 7th, 2012, 11:38 am
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
sschind wrote:
melissaisdown wrote:
Okay let me elaborate, by supertank I mean multi-species habitat. We are considering, at some point in the future, a small room dedicated to reptiles and amphibians, with a custom made enclosure and we are wondering that with all of the correct elements (heat,humidity, substrate, lots of space, hides and basking areas, etc) if a large custom enclosure would be able to hold variegated species and if anybody has experience (good or bad) advise, etc for what to keep in this kind of environment or how to perfect it.

We are aware of why this is typically discouraged (the spread of parasites or disease, no animal can flee or escape, competition for food, light, hides) but even it it just had male/female pair of 3 species, with two arboreal and one terrestrial or a similar combination, and with much research, planning and investment, we are hoping this is possible.

Anybody have any tips or experience housing 2 or more different reptile or amphibian species together? What work and what didn't?

Thanks!


About 25 years ago I had a 55 gallon planted terrarium with 3 gray tree frogs, 3 green tree frogs, a small american toad, 4 blue spot salamanders an 3 green anoles. They all lived together for almost 3 years. My house got pretty chilly in the winter and the anoles bred for me 2 years in a row. I found 1 baby each spring but remnants of more eggs. The male tree frogs called (grays are very loud by the way) and the salamanders would come out after the lights out misting. I went one whole winter without seeing them and i figured they were dead but when I dug through the moss in the spring all 4 were huddle together alive and well. I tried a smooth green snake for about 2 weeks but found as soon as it was introduced the tree frogs stopped coming out at night. I let it go and they started coming out again. The American toad, gray tree frogs and blue spots were collected on my parents property in northern Wisconsin and the green tree frogs and anoles were collected by a friend on a trip down south. The main reason I tor it down was because my knowledge of plants and my selection was not the best (lots of pothos) and it started to get very ratty looking. I moved a few of the animals into their own cages and gave the rest away to interested friends.

I rarely post about my experience because of the negative responses I get and for the most part I understand and in many ways I agree. To many people want to throw 3 or 4 different animals into a 10 or 20 gallon tank and call it a mixed species tank and 99 times out of a 100 it isn't going to work out very well long term. IMO mixing can be done if a little (read a lot) of planning is done and the tank is large enough. I consider a 55 to be about the minimum size I would try it in and even though I haven't mixed anything (except a few species of desert beetles) for a long time I wouldn't mind doing it again. I'd go larger this time. 75 gallons minimum probably a 125 and I'd research for a better mix of plants. I'd also go for a filtered water feature (changing water every day was a pain)

My dream tank would be a Madagascar tank with pygmy chameleons, dwarf geckos and mantella frogs in a 125 planted tank with a waterfall. I've kept all three before but never mixed them.



Ok thanks for the advice. I will definitely revisit this thread when we are closer to building it.


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 Post subject: Re: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: June 14th, 2018, 11:46 am 
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Joined: April 7th, 2012, 11:38 am
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Thanks everyone for all of the tips and past experiences, I am bookmarking this thread and will revisit when we actually start building it!


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 Post subject: Re: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: June 15th, 2018, 10:24 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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Quote:
I'd also go for a filtered water feature (changing water every day was a pain)


Water feature = PITA. It's the newb's siren call. That said, I can hardly stay away from the damn things. Too pretty and interesting to let go of. And some animals really key in on the moving water, to drink.

I like a drain and a sump. Get all the filtering & pumping out of the viv! Also you can use your sump as a plant propagation and grow-out nursery. Do not be afraid of drilling glass for a bulkhead - you can do it. A monkey could do it. Just be careful.

Quote:
the glass env that open from the front have an excellent ergonomic for set up, upgrade, feeding and maintenance, compared to reaching in from the top to work


Absolutely. You can make your own or buy it, but front-opening just crushes going in from the top. Top-loading SUCKS. I haven't had a top-entry cage or vivarium in...oh man...well other than some drawers/racks it's gotta be 15 years at least. Mostly I make mine, but for store-bought I like the Exo-Terras just fine (great ventilation, the lower front vent is KEY for passive airflow out the top). They make some pretty big ones these days. Shop around, wait for sales or buy used. Also you can hit the expos. As a data point, on Amazon the 36x18x36 model often runs about $370, when they are available. Two local pet shops each have one on the floor, for $310. No shipping, no breakage. LLL Reptile lists them for $299 if there's one of those near you. Flat-rate shipping is over $100 though - and again, you risk breakage. They aren't packed great, and they are heavy and fragile!

You might find a used one for like $100 though on Craigslist or whatever, if you are patient, watchful, and decisive.

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: June 19th, 2018, 4:34 am 
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Jimi
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I like a drain and a sump.


More years ago than I care to mention, I made extremely low maintenance, low cost system for a small, indoor turtle pond with 3 screened overflow drains (for level control and triple redundancy for blockage) and one bottom drain for total draining, if necessary.

The unit was high enough to gravity drain into a nearby deep sink drain, using all low cost, easy to work with pvc.

The freshwater feed was a used refrigerator icemaker solenoid valve (from a used appliance store) on a timer, so there was no filtration and every day the water was refreshed. Turtles didn't seem to be impacted by chlorinated water.

Today, these solenoid valves are more available and in 12 VDC and 120 VAC models.

e.g.
https://www.amazon.com/DIGITEN-Solenoid ... 6137&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/HFS-Electric-Sol ... 0465&psc=1


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 Post subject: Re: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: June 28th, 2018, 6:45 am 

Joined: June 17th, 2010, 4:51 am
Posts: 361
Location: CT
When I used to work at a pet shop, I made a paludarium with a 55 gallon that housed green tree frogs, anoles, and fire belly toads pretty successfully. I think we may have even had a few newts in there occasionally. We were conscious of feeding both during the day and after all the lights were out. Also if it appeared something wasn't doing well (like stressed or not getting enough food) we separated it. There was also a general rotating stock so that may have helped our success.


I think the best thing you can do to give you the most chance at success is go as big as possible. That gives more temperature and humidity gradients, and allows animals to escape each other's presence if/when needed.


I think some terrestrial turtles or tortoises could work with some arboreal lizards, or even robust terrestrial lizards. Most species of tortoises dont seem to mind "annoyances" from other animals. Its choosing the other species that is harder. Thats why I dont think snakes work as well in mixed taxa enclosures, they are generally more nervous.

And here is a photo just because I like sharing this photo of two wild herps together:

Attachment:
Picture 1143.jpg
Picture 1143.jpg [ 222.7 KiB | Viewed 7451 times ]


I was using a camera to scope gopher tortoise burrows for a density survey. This picture shows a gopher frog sitting on a juvenile tortoise at the end of a burrow.


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 Post subject: Re: Is a supertank possible?
PostPosted: July 7th, 2018, 12:27 pm 
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Kfen wrote:
When I used to work at a pet shop, I made a paludarium with a 55 gallon that housed green tree frogs, anoles, and fire belly toads pretty successfully. I think we may have even had a few newts in there occasionally. We were conscious of feeding both during the day and after all the lights were out. Also if it appeared something wasn't doing well (like stressed or not getting enough food) we separated it. There was also a general rotating stock so that may have helped our success.


I think the best thing you can do to give you the most chance at success is go as big as possible. That gives more temperature and humidity gradients, and allows animals to escape each other's presence if/when needed.


I think some terrestrial turtles or tortoises could work with some arboreal lizards, or even robust terrestrial lizards. Most species of tortoises dont seem to mind "annoyances" from other animals. Its choosing the other species that is harder. Thats why I dont think snakes work as well in mixed taxa enclosures, they are generally more nervous.

And here is a photo just because I like sharing this photo of two wild herps together:

Attachment:
Picture 1143.jpg


I was using a camera to scope gopher tortoise burrows for a density survey. This picture shows a gopher frog sitting on a juvenile tortoise at the end of a burrow.


Okay thanks for the input and photo, it's good to know co-existence is possible.


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