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Old 21st September 2017   #1 (permalink)
Ishigame
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Default Hello- First post: Getting back into Newts

Hello to the Salamander hobbyist community

My name is Jeff and I have been a herptile hobbyist since I was a kid and that was a very long time ago. My mainstay is turtles but I've kept a variety of other herps - mostly snakes, lizards and frogs and salamanders through the years. I currently have mostly turtles and a colony of Marsupial Frogs and have recently dabbled in Asian Newts again.

Wanted to get a colony of the Japanese Firebellies that were the main pet shop newt of my younger days but they got replaced by Chinese Newts in the trade and then the interstate ban made even those next to impossible to come by. Last fall I got a trio of the Yunnan Bluetail Newts to try from a breeder at the reptile show in Hamburg PA. I ended up loosing those and I'm not sure if it was a water quality issue or the low temps in the 50s which actually make the room I good place for holding marginally hardy pond fish and hibernating some turtles in the winter. So I took another sabbatical for several months and am trying again.

I ordered three more Yunnan Newts from the same breeder which arrived yesterday afternoon. I'm trying them in the same setup which is a 30 gallon sized Exo Terra reptile tank with glass doors that open frontward because of issues of putting another 40 B tank on the lower half of the wooden stand- there is not enough clearance to get into a regular tank. So it is a shallow water setup with a substrate of Rock -On a Roll (a product made for hiding pond liners that also works well for covering ramps and shallow water platforms for turtles).

I have a piece of bogwood covered with Java moss that provides an island incase the newts want to get out of the water. It is supported by pedestal made from the plastic deli container they came in to lift the wood off the bottom to provide more floor space underwater and to make it easier to visualize any Newts underneath and reduce risk of entrapment or crushing them when I have to move it. There are also two clumps of dwarf sweet flag that I strapped to some small rocks that make the tank look nicer and provide additional above water resting places plus roots for the newts to rest on and a refugium for isopods that could provide an additional food source. The plan is to add more plants- probably some creeping Jenny (moneywort ) for additional cover.

As of today I'm currently debating the filtration system I set up. It is one of those small drop in power filters with a run of tubing on the opposite end of the tank that pushes the output through a small plastic container with filter sponges and holes in the bottom and sides to diffuse the flow since Newts don't like strong currents. But I'm concerned the noise from the filter may stress them out since they probably don't care much for noise and vibrations either. So I'm considering taking the filter out and going with more plants and frequent water changes. I shut it off a while ago today to see if they will be more willing to consume the thawed bloodworms I'm offering them. One of them ate a chunk of chopped night crawler last night. But most of those are still in there. I will siphon the leftovers away later this afternoon and do my first water change and wait another day and try again.

Any advice from more experienced keepers would be appreciated.
Will continue this thread in the forum on firebellied Newts and try to post some pictures later.
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