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Raising larvae

This is a discussion on Raising larvae within the Eurasian Newts (Triturus, former Triturus, Calotriton & Euproctus).. forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; In the near future I will be getting eggs of some pretty cool crested newts (specifically Macedonicus, Dobrogicus, karelinii). I'll ...

Eurasian Newts (Triturus, former Triturus, Calotriton & Euproctus).. Triturus and its relatives (Ichthyosaura/Mesotriton, Lissotriton, and Ommatotriton) are a diverse and widespread group of newts. While mainly European, several species can be found in the Near and Middle East. Euproctus, the brook newts, are confined to Corsica and Sardinia.

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Old 2nd February 2015   #1 (permalink)
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Default Raising larvae

In the near future I will be getting eggs of some pretty cool crested newts (specifically Macedonicus, Dobrogicus, karelinii). I'll be getting about a dozen-fifteen eggs and I really want to get this right. So, I know there are lots of great care sheets etc. out there but I would really like to hear about people's personal experience with these.
Thanks in advance.

Stuart



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Old 3rd February 2015   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Raising larvae

This is kind of my distilled method from four years of breeding Triturus; Dobrogicus, Karelinii, Arntzeni. I am hoping to add Marmoratus and Macedonicus to that list this year. I can usually raise 95% of larvae reared this way to morphing. I am not including deliberate culling of weak animals in this percentage.

I have had the best success rate using large plastic tubs (15-20L volume) stocked with java moss and/or anacharis. I set the tubs up and let them age when I find the first round of eggs and let the tub age a week or two before adding any eggs. I generally start out with 25 larvae per tub and will lower the density as they get larger. I use a turkey baster to remove waste once the larvae have rear legs and replace the water with water from the adult tank, I generally don't change any water until the legs develop unless there is a problem. I feed only daphnia at this stage so food fouling the water is not a concern.

Once the larvae are 1.5-2" I will lower the density to 12 a tub and begin feeding live blackworms and very small earthworms in addition to daphnia. I still baste waste every day and replace it with aged water that is kept in a 5 gallon bucket, no water changes beyond that. From here to morphing tis pretty much the same, the food items get bigger. I'll usually re-sort the larvae by size once they are robust enough to reduce cannibalism. If I am raising a very high number of larvae I'll skip this step to cull runts.

Best of luck with your eggs however you choose to raise them. Some very fun species there!



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Old 3rd February 2015   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Raising larvae

Hi, that sounds great and remarkably straightforward. I have one question though, I was under the impression that Daphnia are too large for newly hatched larvae to eat and they need something like BBS or microworms...? to try and answer my own question I guess the plants and water from an established tank may come with microscopic organisms...

Thanks, Ian



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Old 3rd February 2015   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Raising larvae

Thank you, that was very helpful!

Stuart



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Old 4th February 2015   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Raising larvae

I catch wild daphnia and get a pretty nice spread of sizes. The majority of daphnia I find are moina so they are a bit smaller. I use a normal aquarium net inside a brine shrimp net to strain the different sized daphnia for larvae at different stages. Trituris larvae are big enough to take baby daphnia from the start, but this method works great for smaller larvae like Lissotriton too. With all the extra work of hatching BBS and the worry of fouling water chemistry I don't bother with them.



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Old 25th February 2015   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Raising larvae

I now have some Macedonicus eggs, and my dobrogicus and marmoratus will probably start laying in April and a friend is sending me some Karenilii, Macedonicus and Dobrogicus Macrosoma. So I'm looking forward to a busy raising season !! Pictures are of Macedonicus eggs (providing I have uploaded them correctly).

(I'm glad to see the site is back up-and-running)
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Old 13th March 2015   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Raising larvae

I'm having quite good succes (touch wood) with a slightly unconventional method of raising larvae - though it is one that seems to be becoming more popular.
I get decent sized plastic tubs and fill them about with about 75mm of established pond or tank water, then I take some mud from the bottom of my pond and put in in the tub filling about 4-5mm at the bottom. I also stuff the tubs full of aquatic plants: elodea; willow moss; hornwort etc. Loads of tiny microorganisms grow and the larvae feed on this. At about 2.5 weeks old I start supplementing their diet with grindal worms and white worms, also daphnia where I can. At the moment I'm having really good success rates (again, touch wood) although it does feel a bit like I'm ignoring or neglecting them sometimes!

It's a bit different to the usual sterile tub method, but I quite like it.



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Old 1st April 2015   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Raising larvae

How are things going so far? Any development?



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Old 1st April 2015   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Raising larvae

I have used bagged daphnia for years with small larvae with no problems, BBs ive used when daphnia isn't available, I agree with this method for rearing them as triturus are very sensitive initial then harden up after a few weeks. You must be over run with larvae at the moment stuart lol. I have a trio 2.1 of karellini at the moment and the female looks Gravid but the males crests have shrunk , so they will either breed when the weather warms or I'll need to wait till next year (hope not)



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Old 1st April 2015   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Raising larvae

I always start my tiny C. pyrrhogaster larvae off on bagged Daphnia and keep using it amongst other things up until they morph. There's always a mixture of sizes in there so all the babies get a bite to eat.
Interestingly, I have a book that mentions the results from a study on wild newts here in the UK, it found that 75% of the aquatic adults diet and 40% of their larvae's diet was Daphnia.



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Old 1st April 2015   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Raising larvae

Sorry for the delayed reply, I had written a huge reply earlier and my iPad froze right as I went to post it.
Thanks for asking. Everything so far is going great (and I hope it will continue to do so).
I haven't used any daphnia or Artemia so far. Currently I have 20 T.macedonicus, 50 I.a.apuanus and 25 I.a.alpestris larvae on the go just now. The alpestris and apuanus are quite well developed but the Macedonicus are only a few days hatched. I should have a lot more eggs and larvae soon; T.marmoratus if my group can actually be bothered to lay, more I.a.apuanus, I.a.inexpectatus, T.dobrogicus, possibly a few Lissotritons; boscai, Helveticus, Vulgaris, montadoni and maybe some T.cristatus. I may end up raising a few more species, but I have my anurans to deal with as well so I need to have a balance somewhere. I had raised about 15 alpestris to near metamorphosis but I gave them away.
I plan on starting a daphnia culture in a raised pond in the next couple of weeks - I added some miracle gro to encourage algal growth - once the algae starts growing I'll put daphnia in.
The method I am using:
I start with 2-3 litre plastic tubs (from Morrisons about 3 each I think) which I fill with pond and tank water. I sometimes add some mud from the bottom of the pond and I always stuff the tub full of pond weed. Tiny insects grow and breed in these set ups and the larvae feed one them, I add no food whatsoever until the larvae have their front legs. Once the larvae develop front legs I start adding small amounts of grindal worms which they seem to enjoy as well. They will continue to feed on the tiny insects until they have all their legs and even further and after they grow back legs I supplement their diet with chopped bloodworm and live white worms and grindal worms. Once I have some daphnia going I will use these too. When the larvae get bigger they are transferred to larger tubs and there are fewer larvae per tub.
That's about as much as I can think of right now but if I remember something I haven't put in I will add it later.
I'm not quite overrun yet Aaron, but I hope I will be soon!

Stuart



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Old 1st April 2015   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Raising larvae

Just realised I already posted the method though I have made some slight changes to it.



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Old 2nd April 2015   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Raising larvae

Very nice to hear! I like that you are taking the "dirty" method a step further and creating a "mud method". It makes sense though and likely creates a very stable water chemistry and plenty of microfauna. I would love to be raising up the variety of species you have right now, an impressive amount of work for sure. A good number of my animals this year did not get cool enough to stimulate breeding so I am pretty much just raising lots of T. marmoratus and T. arntzeni. Very jealous of your Lissotriton eggs!



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Old 2nd April 2015   #14 (permalink)
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Default 回复: Raising larvae

Hi Stuart, a friendly tip but do be very very careful with scooping mud from your pond and then placing it in tubs crammed with weed - that method can also yield (as well as beneficial microscopic inverts) unwanted predators such as dragonfly larva which can be very hard to spot hidden away in a densely packed tub, especially if they are introduced at the egg or newly hatched stage, they can wipe a tub of newt larva out fairly quickly if you do not remain vigilant! Those little blighters have been my biggest nemesis for over 30 years now and for that reason I prefer to exercise the more sterile approach, but if it's working for you - great! Just thought I'd throw that out there so any newcomers can take it into consideration should they happen to read this, cheers Al



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Old 12th April 2015   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Raising larvae

Here is a shot of my larval tub set ups. They're all growing like weeds and eating everything in sight!
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Old 12th April 2015   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Raising larvae

Here afew of mine, that I call pondtanks!! From when I started them in Nov.

[IMG] hhp://www.caudata.org/fourm/members/ed_moyer-ablums



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Old 24th April 2015   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Raising larvae

Just caught up with everything, thanks for the replies.
Everything going well; got about 20 Apuanus larvae still, 15 alpestris and 9 Macedonicus. Lots more laying too. I haven't been separating by size as I don't want to have hundreds of larvae, so all the stragglers become dinner for their larger siblings. I had a bit of a mess up with the Macedonicus though! I had about 35 to start with and I moved them to a tank I had set up about six weeks earlier, an Alpestris egg must have been on the plants I put in because when I pulled everything out to check on them there were only nine Macedonicus larvae left, but (!) there was one massive (and I mean massive) alpestris larva in there that had obviously been snacking on the Macedonicus!! Still, I should get at least 8 morphs from them and that was the amount I was intending to keep so that's not too bad.
Everything now is feeding purely on live daphnia after it finally got going in my pond (took four years!!) and my T.dobrogicus.macrosoma, L.vulgaris and I.a.inexpectatus have just started laying.
I will update this thread as larvae develop.

Stuart



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