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Old 06-10-18, 11:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Is a supertank possible?

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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Old 06-10-18, 05:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Is a supertank possible?

My advice, if possible, is to make sure that each species requires the same environment and won't bother the other.

California kingsnakes, for example, live in desert areas, so they are not to be kept with ball pythons because the latter needs a tropical ecosystem, and the Cal king will eat the python anyway.

Good luck! :-)
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Old 06-10-18, 05:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Is a supertank possible?

It would also be easier to give advice if you had a general idea as to what species you were thinking of keeping together.

A big issue, if you're thinking of keeping snakes, is the possibility of predation. Snakes are very opportunistic feeders and many will eat any smaller reptile or amphibian that they can swallow.
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Old 06-10-18, 06:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Is a supertank possible?

Typically co-habitation is frowned upon however some do it (including zoos). Like others have stated, you need species that won't eat each other and need identical environmental conditions.
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Old 06-10-18, 07:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Is a supertank possible?

I have seen some impressive Emerald tree boa/ dart frog combos at the national aquarium. Probably not what you're looking for, but it is a very cool biotope with live plants.
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Old 06-11-18, 05:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Is a supertank possible?

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Originally Posted by psychocircus View Post
I have seen some impressive Emerald tree boa/ dart frog combos at the national aquarium. Probably not what you're looking for, but it is a very cool biotope with live plants.
Ok thanks. We are open to almost anything that could cohabit well so I'll keep this in mind.
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Old 06-11-18, 05:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Is a supertank possible?

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Originally Posted by Bandit View Post
It would also be easier to give advice if you had a general idea as to what species you were thinking of keeping together.

A big issue, if you're thinking of keeping snakes, is the possibility of predation. Snakes are very opportunistic feeders and many will eat any smaller reptile or amphibian that they can swallow.

We are really open to whatever we decide to keep. My idea was to gauge whether not others have had success with this and if so what combination of species had the most success. Thanks
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Old 06-12-18, 06:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Is a supertank possible?

My two cents: that sort of setup would require more than one "expert" status keeper.

Please don't take this as rude, but my thoughts are that if you're asking such vague questions, you don't have the expertise to make it successful. But very few do. Very few.

In my opinion, that would require several years of working with each species before even considering whether or not that species might be an option as well as if you're qualified to keep them in a multi species enclosure.
It would require keeping each species separately, learning the species. Knowing their mannerisms, body language, etc...identifying signs of stress or illness.

Anything besides an expert level knowledge of each species would be irresponsible, in my opinion.

The fact that it's so expensive to set up and maintain (the humidity alone could literally destroy a house if not set up properly) probably prohibits a lot of amateur and intermediate keepers from trying this, thank goodness.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade, but there's a reason you pretty much only see these setups at zoos. They have an experienced team of herpetologists on hand to create these setups and a staff to maintain them under expert supervision.

It sounds super cool, but it's just not practical. And without the proper team and experience, it's irresponsible and unfair to the animals.
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Old 06-12-18, 02:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Is a supertank possible?

I would recommend starting with a communal species set up. Something like multiple garter snakes or other species that do well together. Then work on intergrating them together.

You would also want to research species from the same area. Likely multiple lizards species would be the route to go.

I recommend looking at smaller lizards too. Less issue with destroying tank decor and etc.
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Old 06-12-18, 07:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Is a supertank possible?

It's been done but I don't think it's something I would openly encourage except for zoos where the primary concern is the oooos and awes of the audience above the health and welfare of the animals... and I don't mean that in a bad way it's just zoos want to show people something like a little slice of tropical rainforest, have kids look around and try to find various animals, read the displays, and if they can group in 2-3 species from the same ecosystem type without major issues, then it's often worth it to them to do so. If you wanted to do so for your own viewing pleasure, I wouldn't have an issue with it either just be honest about what it is and we know it's likely not what is best for the animals. You can have cross contamination of parasites, amphibians poisoning each other, directly conflicts and injuries, etc. Many of these things may slowly weaken the animal over time and may not be obvious right away or it may be severe and suddenly bring an end to the experiment. I've seen people do things like this but it hardly made me think they were an expert, kind of the opposite.
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Old 06-14-18, 06:04 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Is a supertank possible?

The easiest thing to start out with would be to pick a biotope you would like to replicate, i.e rain forest, desert, grassland, your local area etc..., then pick specific location to replicate, i.e. south american rain forest. Then find animals that live within the said location that are also available in the pet trade and are not predatory on each other. An example would be a Sun Conure, a red foot tortoise and a green iguana. They are found in the same general area and are all relatively herbivorous.

That is the easy part, you generally want to have experience with each species your working with so you can identify stress signs, illnesses, and be prepared to be properly treat it. But this type of setup would generally need a large enclosure to be successful, like a room as you stated, cause generally the different species will not be communal and will need room to get away from each other and set up their own "territory". There is a lot that needs to go into this kind of setup to make it successful.
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