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Newbie here, with Newt Tale......

This is a discussion on Newbie here, with Newt Tale...... within the General Discussion & News from Members forums, part of the General Topics category; About 10 years ago, I was given a Newt from an acquaintance that worked in a pet shop. He told ...

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Old 23rd March 2007   #1 (permalink)
stacey
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About 10 years ago, I was given a Newt from an acquaintance that worked in a pet shop. He told me that he was a Crocodile Newt. Needless to say, 3 years ago I did a bit of research and revealed that he is indeed a Hong Kong Warty Newt.....
Anyway, I named him Iov (Yeah... "Eye Of Newt"). I had only had furry pets and reptiles as pets, and I didn't know much about Iov. Iov was an escape artist. The first time he escaped his enclosure, I found him walking in the hallway, covered in cat hair. The second time he did it, I thought he was dead. My husband found him, and he looked all dried up. He showed a tiny sign of life, so I rushed him into the bathroom and submersed him in water. He was fine. I attribute his hardiness to the fact that I keep him well fed, he's a bit on the chunky side.
So, we moved him into an unescapable 10 gallon tank with screen cover and clamps. I have sealed up the cuts made for the tank heater wire and airlines, and he hasn't gotten out in 9 years. His tank is right next to my Crocodile Gecko's tank, and Iov looks at her longingly... I think he's in love, thus his desire to be a land lizard. We got him a girlfriend, but I think she was in bad shape to start with (scrawny, like Iov had been when we got him), and he ended up killing her. He's a loner now and will remain that way.
A few years ago he developed a problem with a couple of his toes and the tip of his tail. They turned white and fuzzy and fell off. Believe it or not, I used Hydrogen Peroxide on his toes, which he didn't like and he tried to bite me, and some triple antibiotic ointment. I also used Melafix and Pimafix in the water, as I wasn't sure if the infection was bacterial or fungal. His problem cleared up pretty quickly, and sure enough his missing parts have been regenerating. It's not a fast process, but his little toes and tail are growing back gradually.
He does go through phases where he refuses food (frozen bloodworms), mostly in the winter. He seems very active and he eats well when his water is 74-75 degrees, which I think is too warm, but if I set it for 72, he seems inactive and doesn't eat much. I do remember that I was keeping his water at like 78 when he developed the infections I mentioned above. I'm careful now not to let it go above 75, and I often have to ice his water in the Summer. Isn't it odd that he prefers warmer water?
I also do complete water changes, cleaning everything with sea salt, rinsing the gravel, etc. I keep his PH at 70.
So, I may be doing some things that might be considered out of the norm, but it seems to work for Iov, I've had him for a long time, he's fat and happy. Once in a while I can't resist, I pick him up and kiss him on the nose. That's the only handling he ever gets, and he doesn't seem to mind.
Anyone know the life expectancy for Hong Kong Wartys?



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Old 23rd March 2007   #2 (permalink)
kaysie
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Stacey, it's not that he prefers warm water. Salamanders are cold blooded: When they're cold, they don't do a lot. When it's warm, they're more active.

Also, handling him can damage his skin. Especially if you're going to put him near your mouth. Humans can transfer infections to animals just as easily as they can transfer them to us.

They can live over 10 years, but I don't know what the max life span is.



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Old 23rd March 2007   #3 (permalink)
jennifer
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Here is a site to look at:
http://www.pondturtle.com/lsala.html
It doesn't have a lot of info, but it's the only place I know to find any scientific data on salamander longevities in captivity. For warty newts, look under Paramesotriton.

Your experiences sound fairly typical, although your newt has been unusually lucky, both in the recoveries from escape and from fungal infection. I really wish there were some way to warn new newt owners about the dangers of escape, not to mention the dangers of high temperature, but it seems like we each have to learn these the hard way.

I agree with Kaysie that your newt is not necessarily "prefering" warm temperature. Being inactive is quite normal. I have a P. hongkongensis, and he rarely moves from his favorite hide-out. He is kept in my basement, where the wintertime water temp is about 60F. I feed him one chunk of earthworm every 4-5 days, and somewhat more than this in summertime.

I wish you continued good luck with your newt, which could live another 10 years!



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Old 23rd March 2007   #4 (permalink)
stacey
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Ok, I won't kiss Iov anymore......
When I do handle him, it's very brief, my hands are wet and I take extra care with him. I only do this when I'm cleaning out his tank. I agree he's been lucky, and I should have done thorough research on him. I had no idea they were escape artists!
I do think that starting meds on him as soon as I noticed a problem saved his life. Fungal and bacterial infections don't clear themselves up, and while certain medications may be controversial, they worked like a charm for me.
Oh, I also keep a few cleansed crystals in his tank, Clear Quartz, Hematite, and have added Aventurine and Citrine when he was ill to aid in healing. May seem flaky to some, but crystals do have good healing properties.



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