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Help with my Chinese fire belly

This is a discussion on Help with my Chinese fire belly within the Newt and Salamander Help forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; Hello, I just recently purchased a Chinese fire bellied newt; I've had it for about a week now. I've tried ...

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Old 20th August 2015   #1 (permalink)
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Question Help with my Chinese fire belly

Hello,

I just recently purchased a Chinese fire bellied newt; I've had it for about a week now. I've tried to do as much research as I could on raising these guys both before I picked one up and now that I have one, but I still have a few basic questions I'd like answers for. For one, is it true that sand is a better substrate than gravel? I've heard a lot of conflicting info on this, so I'd like some other's opinions.

Secondly, I hear people referring to salt baths for treating sores on stressed newts. What would the ratio of salt to water be? And would you want to use aquarium salt or something else? I've done salt baths before when I had tropical fish, but tried to stay away from it with amphibians because I'd heard their skin is too sensitive to handle salt. I'm only asking because I'm paranoid that something will go wrong in my newt setup, so I want to know as much about treatment as possible.

Sorry if some of these are sort of newbie questions! I've raised numerous kinds of tropical fish before, and a few african dwarf frogs (ADFs), but other than that my amphibian knowledge is pretty slim, so any help will be greatly appreciated :)



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Old 20th August 2015   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help with my Chinese fire belly

Hi, welcome to the site. :)
Most people use sand or no substrate at all with newts as they can swallow gravel by accident that's too big to pass through their digestive system. Any sand that gets eaten will just come out with their droppings

If newly imported newts develop skin sores its very serious. Very often they are still highly stressed and fragile from the importation and poor care at pet stores etc, that their immune system is unable to fight off the infection. To give them the best chance of survival they really need antibiotics from a vet and also optimal conditions in their aquarium to help them de-stress and adapt to captivity.
The link has a happy ending, but treating skin sores on petstore newts can be hit and miss, even with the correct care.

Newt wound




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Old 20th August 2015   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help with my Chinese fire belly

And seeing as you have kept tropical things before, newts are cold water animals, no higher than 75 degrees Fahrenheit should be good. I'll link you to the care-sheet



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Old 20th August 2015   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help with my Chinese fire belly

Here it is: Caudata Culture Species Entry - Cynops orientalis - Chinese firebelly



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Old 20th August 2015   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help with my Chinese fire belly

Ok, thank you both for the helpful tips! I'll definitely put those to use in my tank.

There's just one other thing I wondered: is it necessary for the newt to have a second one for company? I've read that they get lonely if there is only one, but I was told that it doesn't matter how many live in the tank when I bought it.

Thanks again for your help



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Old 21st August 2015   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help with my Chinese fire belly

Newts are solitary, but can be kept together, but before putting the other one/ones in, quarantine them, so if they are sick, they don't infect your current one



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Old 21st August 2015   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help with my Chinese fire belly

Ok thank you sith! :)



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