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CFB newt larvae/ efts/ plants

This is a discussion on CFB newt larvae/ efts/ plants within the Fire-Belly & Sword-Tail Newts (Cynops & Hypselotriton) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; Hi! I'm a newbie and I'm about to write an essay, apologies in advance- I have had CFB newts for ...

Fire-Belly & Sword-Tail Newts (Cynops & Hypselotriton) Perhaps the most famous and frequently bred newts in captivity, the fire-bellied newts and sword-tail newts are well known throughout the world as being excellent, gregarious captives.

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Old 7th March 2016   #1 (permalink)
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Question CFB newt larvae/ efts/ plants

Hi! I'm a newbie and I'm about to write an essay, apologies in advance-


I have had CFB newts for over a year... and they laid loads of eggs, which I wasn't expecting!
So I have managed to "take care" of them as larvae just by leaving them in with the parents tank because it had loads of hiding places and it already had micro foods for them to eat and they seemed to be doing fine.


I cycled a new tank (100l) and created a paludarium with shallower water and more land than the original tank and more aquarium plants and java moss etc... (was quite rushed so it hasn't turned out the be the best design, but managed to get another slightly bigger tank for free so will be spending more time creating that one)
I transferred 2 larvae in to the new tank to begin with.... the ones I assumed were near morphing (wasn't really sure what to look out for, but I panicked and put them in just in case).


I gradually added a few more larvae- over several days, in case I broke the cycle (think there's now 8 in there), but everything's still been working well. I was buying live Daphnia from Ebay and live white worms (which they love)- they also eat frozen foods too which is a bonus. I did try/ am trying to hatch brine shrimp with no success.


So on Friday I noticed one of the larvae was going to morph that day because he looked like a tiny newt clone and I could barely see gills (so at least now I know what to look out for). The next morning I woke up to find him on the land portion- thankfully :)


However as I hadn't prepared for it to happen so quickly there was no where really to hide except I'd made some "cave's" using those black aquarium plant pots dug into the substrate and covered with more substrate. I went and bought cork bark so now he has somewhere proper to hide- finding moss seems to be impossible. I would prefer moss because the substrate's getting stuck all over him....Question, is that ok? :s (they naturally burrow right?)


I've made the land portion using perspex with holes drilled for drainage.There's a gap between the water level and the shelf. I added a ramp and used plumbing pipes for support- both with gravel siliconed on- just for aesthetics and also for them to grip the ramp. I then added a layer of gravel (pea gravel) on top of the silicone shelf (hopefully to help with drainage), then used a mixture of coco husk, fir orchid bark- newt friendly, and a little sand for substrate.


I've planted the water portion as much as I can physically, but I need help with the land section- I've planted a tiny Maidenhead fern and some English ivy so far, I know some ivy is safe, but was wondering if anyone knows about English ivy- newt safe? Does anyone have any other plant ideas?


Also I've read it's normal for newly morphed efts not to eat how long does this usually last/ how long before it becomes an issue? What foods are good?

Do I need to keep him well hydrated or will misting the substrate do that?
The last question I need to know is whether coco husk getting into the water section is bad?


Would appreciate some help- have read so many posts I can't keep track of information anymore! Sorry it's such a long post. Please feel free to let me know if there's anything wrong with my set up too :) appreciated-


Ciara



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Old 7th March 2016   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: CFB newt larvae/ eft's/ plants

Read through ALL of these.
Caudata Culture Articles - Wood in Vivaria

Caudata Culture Articles - Raising Juvenile Newts


All articles. This is a guide to everything about newts.
Caudata Culture Articles



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Old 7th March 2016   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: CFB newt larvae/ eft's/ plants

Thanks for the reply and those links, have read quite a lot of them... because I had no idea what I was doing when I noticed the first larvae- prob haven't read all of them though :) Just worried about the types of plants to use for the land section really :s need to research a bit more



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Old 7th March 2016   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: CFB newt larvae/ eft's/ plants

Hi Ciare, welcome to the site. :)
I've tried a few different ways of raising terrestrial juveniles and for me, the easiest way is a very simple set up in a small tank or plastic tub with a damp paper towel substrate and a few hides. By keeping things simple you can easily monitor how much the young newts are eating and spot any problems early on. The towel substrate can be easily changed when needed, so there's no chance things getting stagnant or mouldy like they can in more naturalistic enclosures.
I feed my juveniles mostly chopped earthworms, baby crickets and live bloodworm sprinkled with multi vitamin powder. It can be fun to hand feed the newts with tweezers or a cocktail stick if you want, or just leave the food on a shallow dish like a jar lid and they will find it on their own
I'm not saying that plaudarium type enclosures can't work, they can, but raising baby firebellies for the first time can be tricky and the simple method makes getting the hang of things much easier.



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Old 8th March 2016   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: CFB newt larvae/ eft's/ plants

Hi Ciara,

Young metamorphs newts usually don't eat for some 4-5 days of their terrestrial life because of changes in process in their jaws. If they have been well fed during their larval stage, it's not a problem.

A setup as described by Chinadog is a good solution and works well but the towel paper must be changed regularly and live food must be brought often.

Another solution, especially if you must leave for weeks or if you lack time to look after them daily, is a small tank filled with a natural substrate with plenty of small preys. A slope on the substrate can be a solution to provide different places with different moistures, so that the newtlets can chose.



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Old 8th March 2016   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: CFB newt larvae/ eft's/ plants

Thanks for the advice- was thinking about doing it that way for the efts, however because I live in N.Ireland and the room temp in our house currently is below 10 I'm worried the paper towels might get too cold, or is this not an issue?



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Old 8th March 2016   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: CFB newt larvae/ eft's/ plants

No, as long as temps stay above freezing point they should be fine, Chinese firebellies are very cold tolerant, its when temps are too warm they struggle.They will just become less active and grow slower when its cold.
Again, I'm not saying a naturalistic set up is wrong or without its merits, its just I personally find the simple method the easiest.



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Old 8th March 2016   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: CFB newt larvae/ eft's/ plants

Ok, thanks :) I'll try that set up instead as long as temperature won't matter.
I don't have a lid that fits the other empty tank properly- which could lead to escape's though?
Will the drastic change in temperature in the tank itself be bad?

I set the new tank up in a rush and to avoid them drowning while they morph; my adults tank has more water, less land and is getting quite full now! Wasn't sure if I could set up more of a terrestrial tank because of the temperature/ humidity/ trying to get them to go back into the water again. Have read that can be a problem too.
Once he's a bit older/ bigger and eating well should I transfer him back into the new tank again to encourage him into the water?

Sorry for asking so many questions, just want to do what best for the wee guys- was quite a shock and have read so much... bit of an information overload and some stuff is contradictory. It's nice to have a conversation with people who know what they're doing. Watching them develop is amazing though :) nice surprise, although a bit stressful!



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Old 8th March 2016   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: CFB newt larvae/ eft's/ plants

Yes, whichever tank you use needs to be 100% escape proof as they can easily climb the glass and squeeze through the tiniest gaps. if there are any holes or cracks its very easy to block them up with bits of sponge. I normally use mesh or netting to cover my juvenile tanks as it gives good ventilation and can easily be made to fit all sorts of different containers.
The temp difference won't be a problem, the baby newts look very fragile, but they are actually quite resilient, in the wild they'd be facing their first hibernation through the harsh Chinese winter shortly after leaving the water!



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Old 9th March 2016   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: CFB newt larvae/ eft's/ plants

Quote:
Originally Posted by ciara View Post
I set the new tank up in a rush and to avoid them drowning while they morph; my adults tank has more water, less land and is getting quite full now! Wasn't sure if I could set up more of a terrestrial tank because of the temperature/ humidity/ trying to get them to go back into the water again. Have read that can be a problem too.
Once he's a bit older/ bigger and eating well should I transfer him back into the new tank again to encourage him into the water?
A method I have read about on here is slowly raising the water level of their current tank (if it's still big enough for them) over time and adding more aquatic plants for them to get on. Once they're adults in ~2 years they can go into the main tank to go fully aquatic.

Have you tried small chopped earthworms, blood worms live or frozen, white worms, fruit flies, etc?



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Old 10th March 2016   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: CFB newt larvae/ efts/ plants

Glad to see this post, all the replies are helpful to me as well as I found I had a baby CB newt hiding under my tank lid last night. Have set him/her up with a paper towel substrate and a cork hide with some plants. Now to get some food for the little critter!
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Old 10th March 2016   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: CFB newt larvae/ efts/ plants

Thanks :) Yes I have tried feeding chopped earthworms, white worms, and have put some frozen blood worms in a tiny dish. Still not eating yet though. Waiting for some live blood worms to arrive tomorrow, as well as some fruit flies I ordered into my local shop. Hopefully these will be more enticing... I've taken him out of the paludarium style tank and put him in one with damp kitchen roll, cork bark and a coconut hut I had sitting about from my old crab tank. Only got the chance to do it today so will keep an eye on him, tanks quite big though so will have to get more places for hiding!



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Old 12th March 2016   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: CFB newt larvae/ efts/ plants

Are your efts eating yet? My lone wee eft has been eating one bloodworm a day, as i dangle it in front of him from tweezers. I chopped up a skinny worm for him today, but he wasn't interested at all, I then tried another bloodworm, but he refused that as well. I'm worried as he is so small and i want him to eat more!

How often and how much do the little guys eat? As i said, he is very small (the size of a cricket but skinny) - any info is appreciated, thanks!

CFB newt larvae/ efts/ plants-baby-newt-belly.jpg



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Old 13th March 2016   #14 (permalink)
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Default AW: CFB newt larvae/ efts/ plants

No hasn't eaten yet, I've tired live bloodworms, chopped earthworms, white worms and fruit flies. Has maybe eaten 1 or 2 blood worms, but not sure. Doesn't seem fatigued or anything just wants to hide. Read somewhere they can refuse to eat for like two weeks, but not sure. Anyone else know/ have any suggestions. Think I've a couple more that are about to morph too :)



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Old 13th March 2016   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: CFB newt larvae/ efts/ plants

Still not eating- I have tried live blood worms, live white worms, chopped earthworms and flightless fruit flies.
I read somewhere that this can be normal for a couple of weeks, but not sure if was a reliable source, can anyone shed some light on this?
Should have a few more efts within the next few days...



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Old 13th March 2016   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: CFB newt larvae/ efts/ plants

I don't think you need be concerned yet, it's true that they'll sometimes go without eating for two weeks or more, I know some of my Cynops babies did.
I think metamorphosis must really knock them sideways, it physically alters their whole body and reprogrammes their brains, it's no wonder they go off their food for a while. If you're hand feeding them, the knack to getting them started is not to be too insistent with the feeding. If they're going to eat the food you're offering they will usually look straight at it, or turn to face it, if they turn away or try to walk off just leave if at that and try again later or the next day. Eventually they'll begin realise the cocktail stick or whatever means an easy meal and eat it straight away. I've found the best food for tempting my C. pyrrhogaster are tiny chopped nightcrawlers, especially the tail parts for some reason, followed closely by live bloodworm, just remember not to be too reliant on bloodworms unless you add a calcium/multivitamin suppliment.



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Old 13th March 2016   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: CFB newt larvae/ efts/ plants

Got him to eat another bloodworm this morning, had to wriggle it around his face like crazy. Thanks for the information Chinadog, I have to admit that yesterday he kept turning away from food and i continued harassing him so i'll stop doing that!

Will attempt a chopped up nightcrawler again tomorrow, the tail end to start at least. I know bloodworms aren't the greatest food, so it would be great if he would start eating worms...



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Old 14th March 2016   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: CFB newt larvae/ efts/ plants

I also got mine to eat a live bloodworm last night, was putting it in front of him, but he kept turning away so just put it down on the kitchen roll in front of him and he ate it- nothing today so just left more about as well as more fruit flies and chopped worms incase, but its a good sign at least :)



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Old 16th March 2016   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: CFB newt larvae/ efts/ plants

Haven't really seen the morph eat since the other day :s

Still trying...

Anyway, one of the larvae is a bit translucent/ light in colour- can't seem to find anything about this through searches on the site. Was just wondering if anyone has experienced this/ if it's ok?
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Old 17th March 2016   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: CFB newt larvae/ efts/ plants

Yes, it's quite normal for the larvae to be different shades. They seem to be able to alter their colour to suit their surroundings to a degree, but sometimes they just stay light or dark. They will turn into normal newtlets as long as they are otherwise healthy.



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