Not technically about reptiles but what other category could this go in? I’m gonna build a large paludarium themed around the Rio Grande, but I for the life of me can not figure out what plants to put on the land portion. Anyone have any ideas?
Big Bend National park has the Rio Grande as a border. Perhaps watching this documentary on the area will help.
I’m assuming that it’s a desert-like terrain. I think some succulents could work and some types might be able to be mounted on the background. Just be sure they aren’t toxic at all.
I think paludariums and enclosures meant to mimic the area are super cool, so I would love to see this enclosure once it’s done. Do you know what animals you’re planning to put in it?
Actually, from living on the banks of the Rio Grande for 30 years before moving, I can say from experience that the immediate area around it is not desert at all. It is much more like a dry forest with small patches of green wetland near the banks. Also, I’m planning on stocking the tank with some bluegill fish and a bullhead catfish and having the land portion be just for plants. Some amphibians would be nice, but all of the species around the Rio grande either aren’t in the hobby, you can only get wild caught, are to big, or are terrestrial. The paludarium will be a 5’L x 3’W x 4’T tank and will be going in my living room. I can not wait till it’s finished several months from now. Just in the planning phase right now though.
That sounds like a perfect setup for watching and relaxing.
Won’t bluegill and bullhead catfish need a lot more space than that? If it was all water and no land then it might be big enough for the bluegill. They can get a foot long, bullhead catfish average around a foot but can get bigger. Depending on where you live it may or may not be legal to keep em as pets too. To quote a care guide on bluegill specifically;
“Any tank smaller than 75 gallons is too small space for one adult Bluegill to live in because Bluegills can reach a size of 12 inches, are territorial, and are habitual of roaming freely in large bodies of water with ample hiding spaces in shallow corners.”
Meaning if you wanted to keep them together you are more of looking at a pond minimum, especially if you want catfish too. Smaller less territorial species might be better.
Edit: just did the math on this. Your tank has roughly 448 gallons in volume. Given it is going to be a paludarium we are going to subtract a minimum of 100 gallons of that volume. It could potentially be more depending on how you set it up. That leaves you with 348 to work with not including space taken by substrate and decorations. 10-20 gallons for that depending on how heavily you decorate and how much substrate you want. We will put it at 338 for now. Each of the fish you want, as an adult, needs around 75 gallons to itself. That gives you space for 4 of them as an adult if you don’t want them crowded and possibly fighting given bluegills are territorial. If you want a more lively tank you could go with smaller schooling fish and have multiple schools of colorful fish.
Sorry, I must’ve not made myself clear. Thank you for being so concerned about the animals and trying to teach me though, I very much appreciate people who care about animals and try to educate others about them. The dimensions I stated are the water portion alone. The land area will be quite small and in the back. It will only be enough to grow a few plants. That would leave me with enough space for 2&3 bluegills, a yellow bullhead and some smaller fish which are yet to be determined.
Since you are wanting to go with fish native to the Rio Grande, some red shiner minnows would work. Just remember any smaller fish might become a snack here and there.
For this reason I was thinking about putting live-bearers in there so they could repopulate quickly and easily. I know they aren’t native to the Rio Grande but they would still be nice in the tank.
Red shiners can get 4 inches long, and a big enough school shouldn’t be easy to pick off of in most cases. The shiners also grow faster than the others so you should still be able to go with those. Depending on how big of bluegill and catfish you start with.