So, I'm working on planning out a vivarium I'm probably building later this year, and I'm trying to get a feel as to what my stocking options are so I can plan the rest of the habitat around that. Since I'm building the tank myself, I'm leaning towards an unusual footprint: image It might be a bit smaller on each side, but as-is, we're looking at a 7 square foot footprint. In terms of height, I'm leaning towards about 3-4 feet, which would put me at a 160 gallons. Shame I'm not using it as a fish tank. In terms of general plans: - I'd like to have this thing dirted and planted - I'm inclined to take up a considerable amount of space on a foam 3D background and flooring, so there's the appearance of being in a canyon. Because I have so much space to work with, I'm probably going to cut the foam deep enough that it actually has paths for whatever stock to move along or just use as shelves to rest on. - I'm absolutely going to include a small waterfall culminating in a small stream at the bottom and a pool on the side. - What I haven't decided is whether this 'pool' is going to be substantial enough that it could house an axolotl. I'm tempted to have it extend so that the entire base of the viv is about 9 inches of water, with an opening to the pool off to one side and the lowest level of land as a shelf about an inch over the water. The only problem I see with this is that cleaning underneath would be a nightmare. I'm more inclined to just have a pool the size of a 5.5g with the top half cut off (except a more natural shape). Now, here are my restrictions in terms of stock: - Whatever I put in here needs to be able to travel well. I need to move back and forth between Maryland and Connecticut about 4-8 times per year. I've got it down pretty well with my fish, but things like insects are probably a bit much. I suspect that hermit crabs are trivial to travel with, and frogs/lizards probably aren't too much of a hassle. How do you catch those things, anyway? - It has to be at least nearly silent. I live in a college dorm 8 months out of the year, and I've effectively been told that since it's still better than what the other kids do in their rooms, I can do pretty much whatever i feel like as long as nobody feels the need to notice. Loud croaking and mating calls seem like something I can't really get away with. By nearly silent, I mean my actual tank filters make their sounds and my cories have a thing for smacking the hood with their tails (and my ADFs recently started singing ) but anything more is too much. - No snakes. Seriously. Any ideas? Everything is entirely in the planning stage right now, so hit me with your weird creatures!