Paludarium for Exotic Residents

The names aquarium and terrarium will not cause question marks for very few animal lovers – they have long since proven themselves as a means of keeping and have found a permanent place in the sub-categories of the various vivariums. The situation with the paludarium is a little different: What kind of system is it? And which residents are actually eligible for it?

Inspiration From Nature

Water and land cannot be separated from each other, just think of the tidal zones, the Wadden Sea, or the mangrove forests. Ultimately, a paludarium copies exactly this symbiosis of the two sub-areas, which is why it can also be described as a compromise solution between aquarium and terrarium. The actual word comes from the Latin word “palus”, which translates as a swamp. Nevertheless, the terrain is logically not a 1: 1 representation of the real nature destination. Nevertheless, compared to its two alternatives, a paludarium can mainly stand out due to its greater diversity in terms of living space.

The Main Advantage: Combination of Water and Substrate

But which aspects actually speak specifically in favor of purchasing a paludarium? As already mentioned, the idea of ​​depicting nature in its full range undoubtedly has a particular fascination. The plants and various roots protect the fish, similar to a real bank area – in addition, the water quality in the paludarium usually exceeds the purity in the aquarium. The reason for this: The plant roots usually grow directly into the water part, which gives them the opportunity to remove pollutants. So it is above all the combination of water and substrate that makes the whole thing interesting. In principle, however, the following also applies: No two paludariums are the same. Whether you prefer to keep your area barren or provide it with dense planting depends largely on the residents.

Who is Allowed In? Suitable Animal Species for a Paludarium

In general, exotic animals and smaller residents whose homes are swampy landscapes or banks fit into a paludarium. From toads, toads, newts to turtles and agamas, anything is possible – provided the furnishings are right. The use of an archerfish is only suitable, for example, if the paludarium has the appropriate size and amount of water. For this he rewards you with a useful food intake and hunting strategy: he feeds on insects that are placed on branches or leaves above him.

Possible residents for a paludarium:

  • Musk turtle
  • American bullfrog
  • Australian coral finger frog
  • Axolotl
  • Color crab
  • Yellow-eared jeweled turtle
  • Green water dragon
  • Harlequin crab
  • Land Hermit Crab
  • Musk turtle
  • Roach frog
  • Garter snake
  • Tiger salamander
  • Tomato frog

Other Aspects That You Should Consider When Setting Up

In view of the already emphasized proximity between paludarium and terrarium, it may sound tempting at first: Simply expand the area with a tub and the new swamp landscape is ready! Of course, it’s not that simple, because a well-functioning sump terrarium has its own requirements for dimensions and ventilation. Accordingly, it definitely makes sense to plan well when purchasing a finished paludarium. In addition, of course, the visual impression also plays an important role, after all, with years of use of the landscape, you take a regular look at the entire design. Even the practical aspect can sometimes make the difference: you will undoubtedly create a more natural feeling by planting the individual plants directly in the soil. When cleaning, you have no choice but to dig up all the roots – it makes more sense to use flower pots.

Considerable Effort in Maintenance

One disadvantage of the paludarium arises in this context: Either way, the maintenance of the surface is always a challenge, in principle a complete, independent cleaning is impossible. It is therefore advisable to only use the residents when they are completely free of germs and parasites. A powerful drain is also a valuable aid and almost a must if you want to benefit from the advantages of your paludarium over a long period of time. If you have detailed questions, it is worth asking for advice on the Internet or from experts – thanks to prior knowledge, nasty surprises can usually be avoided.

Water Level – a Particularly Difficult Topic

For the land part, you should ideally orient yourself to a swamp area. A dense planting with ferns, bromeliads, reeds, and bamboo, underlaid with a substrate of peat, humus, or gravel, is advisable. A sensitive issue that has caused the previous owners the most headaches concerns the water level: Depending on the chosen residents, it could turn out to be too high for the animals, which in some cases has life-threatening consequences. However, if the filling is too low, it may turn out to be just as harmful. This fact also gives rise to the tip to commit to a few different animal species as possible: Otherwise, you will quickly run into difficulties in reconciling the various needs. In order to prevent the risk of drowning in general, you should integrate an exit opportunity. For this purpose, you can use stones, branches, or a combination of both.

Water Filter and Lighting: Other Important Components for Your Paludarium

By installing a water filter, you definitely enable your residents to grow up in a clean environment. In the best case, you enrich the liquid with 1 to 2 g of salt. A nebulizer also has its purpose – with the emission of ultrasound waves, it contributes significantly to the constantly high humidity. When lighting the terrarium swamp, there are again differences in relation to the animal species used. Amphibians do not depend on any UV light, it looks a little different with reptiles, which may even need different heat areas. In addition, the integration of a spot heater for drying is possible. If you follow this basic advice, nothing stands in the way of setting up a paludarium. Either way, this sub-form of the terrarium enriches your own four walls immensely – after all, it brings the swampy landscape directly into your living room.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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