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Tag Archives: reptile and amphibian habitats

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Using Undergravel Filters in Reptile and Amphibian Aquariums and Terrariums

Eastern Newt Undergravel filters were considered to be indispensible pieces of equipment when I first began setting up marine aquariums decades ago.  Encouraged by success in using them with creatures ranging from seahorses to octopuses, I began to experiment with herp enclosures.  I eventually came to rely heavily upon undergravel filters in my own collection, and for large zoo exhibits.  Though now out of favor, this highly effective tool deserves a second (or first!) look by herp-keepers.

Getting Started

I’ll refer you to a great article on That Fish Blog, Using Undergravel Filters to Their Full Potential (please see below), for details concerning set up and maintenance.  The points raised there are essential to understand if you are to successfully use an undergravel filter.  I’ll focus here on my experiences and some fine points I’ve picked up along the way. Read More »

Choosing the Ideal Substrate for Reptiles, Amphibians and Invertebrates – Part 2

In Part I of this article we reviewed some general points to consider when choosing a substrate – moisture retention, suitability for burrowing and so forth.  Today I’ll examine specific types of substrates more closely.

A Note on Substrate Ingestion

We do not fully understand why captive animals sometimes suffer intestinal blockages after swallowing substrates that they likely consume in the wild without incident.  It may be related to the consistency of the foods they eat, hydration levels, health or even micro-nutrient intake (for example, Calcium is essential for proper muscle contraction…a deficiency may affect the passage of food through the digestive tract).  Read More »

Choosing the Ideal Substrate for Reptiles, Amphibians and Invertebrates – Part 1

Western Spade-foot Toad Bark, moss, sand, coconut husk, wood chips …selecting the proper substrate for one’s pets can be a difficult task these days (in contrast to years ago, when we were limited to newspapers, earth or gravel!).  Please check out our extensive line of Reptile and Amphibian Substrates to see examples of what is available.

Factors to Consider

A number of factors – some obvious, some not – must be taken into consideration when deciding upon a substrate.  Some of the most important are as follows: Read More »

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