choosing a newt
Be careful to select newts that are healthy, since sick ones rarely recover. Some signs of an unhealthy newt include sluggishness,
bloating, scrapes, missing digits (or other parts) and skin blistering. A newt with any of these symptoms will not probably
live long. In general, a healthy newt is difficult to capture and actively tries to escape when caught.
Temperature and lighting
newts are not very problematic when it comes to temperature. they are very comfertable in cold water and need no heating.
just make sure that the temperature in the room where the tank is located doesn't drop below freezing.
Unlike reptiles, newts and salamanders do not require heat lamps for lighting. Heat lamps may kill newts and salamanders
by causing dessication. Natural light can be used, provided that sunlight doesn't beam directly into the tank since this can
heat the tank above the safe temperature range. Cooler fluorescent lights are an inexpensive light source, and come in a variety
of types (cool white, plant light, etc.).
if you can change the water once or twice a week, you don't have to worry about this part (unless, of course, you over
feed your newts, in that case the water will get dirty much faster)
if you can't, you'll need a filtration system to keep tank water clean and safe.
By nature, newts and salamanders have a carnivorous dietary habit; they eat insects, worms, slugs and fish as well as
other smaller amphibians when times are tough.
A balanced diet of live foods is probably the healthiest option. Some nutritious and readily available live foods include:
crickets, feeder fish (guppies, goldfish, etc.), houseflies and worms (tubifex, bloodworms, earthworms, nightcrawlers). Waxworms
are also easily accessible, however they should only be served as an extra special treat since they contain a high proportion
of fat, small chunks of frozen brine shrimp or beefheart may also be offered once in a while.
Like people, different newts prefer different foods; it may be necessary to sample a few different kinds of food to determine
which fit the newt's fancy. Although my newts preffer live food and insects, they also love repto-min floating sticks, but
one of them really hates bloodworms... Since newts don't chew their food, large food items must be chopped into smaller bits
prior to feeding, also repto-min sticks, because they are also intended for larger reptiles and amphibians like
african frogs and turtules.
when to feed
News and salamanders don't need to be fed on a daily basis. in fact three times a week is perfectly adequate.
At mealtime, allow a newt to eat as much as it will take. Most newts take as much as they need and will turn away from food
if they aren't interested. Don't be alarmed if a newt decides not to eat for a week, one meal may go a long way! If a newt
stops eating for a long period of time and becomes gaunt, it is probably ill. if all your newts stop eating at the same time
for a very long time, they might not be comfertable in their surroundings!
how to feed
Merely tossing a food item into the tank with a newt or salamander is an ineffective feeding method. The food item might
not be located or even sensed when this method is used. A better method to feed newts requires some patience and a pair of
forceps or tweezers. The first couple times this method is used it may not work, mainly because the newt needs awhile to become
accustomed. The first step is to choose a food item to feed the newt. Using the tweezers, grip the food item, and the newt
or salamander is in underwater, hold the food item in front of its nostrils (if the newt's head is dry, gently drip a couple
drops of water on its head). Soon, the newt should smell and/or see the food and begin to take interest, at this point it
may tilt its head or move a bit closer. If the newt likes what it sees and smells, he'll grab that food item before you know
With any type of newt, it is best to have a swim area as well as a dry area since most newts require both. don't
forget to keep your aquarium closed, my newts sometimes climb the completely smooth walls of the aquarium and they
even went out once or twice!
don't keep too many newts in the same tank. I believe that over population causese the newts to become stressed and unhealthy.
you can handle your newts occasionally, but
frequent handling is not recommended and will eventually cause your newt to stop eating due to high stress levels. Always
wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm to hot water before handling your newts. Be sure when handling to be careful
as newts, especially those who are unfamiliar to you, will squirm to get free and accidentally dropping them is possible.
Newts' skin is sensitive, and could easily become infected. Newts have a thin coating of skin for protection, and if handled
too often with dry hands, can cause the removal of this protective layer, and will often result in infection. Also, the salt
from your hands will penetrate their skin. Always handle your newts with wet hands and for short periods of time, as their
skin will dry out very quickly. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards as well.
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salamander and newt care