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A couple Tiger Salamander questions

This is a discussion on A couple Tiger Salamander questions within the Newt and Salamander Help forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; Hello, As you can see I am new to the forum. However, I used threads on this very forum and ...

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Old 26th April 2017   #1 (permalink)
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Question A couple Tiger Salamander questions

Hello,

As you can see I am new to the forum. However, I used threads on this very forum and the caudata.org website to research into tiger salamanders. This was the main reason I actually went and bought my male tiger (ambystoma mavortium), named Arizona.

I've now had him since beginning of March. And I have a couple of questions regarding his behaviour. But first I'll give you some background:
-In his box, he has some moss that the pet shop gave me with him, 2 large rocks, a water bowl and a plastic cave.
-I used coconut fibre for the substrate.
-I mist it once or twice a week, feed him every 3-4 days, spot clean daily and change the water in his bowl once a week.
-He spends most of his time in the cave or under the ground.

Now onto my queries:

At the pet shop, they fed him crickets. I wanted to feed him earthworms instead, as from what I read on Caudata.org, they seemed a better choice. For the first week or so, Arizona enjoyed the earthworms, and didn't mind the change of diet. However, one time he seemed to struggle with an earthworm, which may have been a bit too big for him at the time. He would grab it with his mouth, but wouldn't eat it. Just kept spitting it out. So I took that worm and gave him a much smaller one. He wouldn't have that one either, so I thought he was simply full. However, since then I wasn't able to get him to eat the worms; he simply ignores them. That meant I had to go and get crickets. Is there an explanation for this? Was he upset or something about not being able to eat that one worm and now has a fear of them?

Another question is regarding poop. I've never seen him poop, or saw his poop anywhere in the box. He couldn't be holding it in still after a month could he? I read that they like to poop in water, but I'm unsure if he did that and I just missed it or what. The water was dirty a couple of times and had a slimy bottom, so could the poop have just disintegrated?

Finally, are salamanders supposed to be so loud? Everything he does seems to be way louder than his size would suggest. Last night at around 3am, I could hear him digging through my headphones during a quiet moment in the film. I paused it and waited and heard it again; he was digging away, really loudly for about half an hour.

I attached some pictures of him! The first image is him back in the pet shop, the second is him in his cave and the third is his whole majestic being
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A couple Tiger Salamander questions-img_9209.jpg   A couple Tiger Salamander questions-img_9289.jpg   A couple Tiger Salamander questions-img_9297.jpg  



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Old 26th April 2017   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: A couple Tiger Salamander questions

Congrats on the new pet! I have a different variation of one of these guys.

1. As far as the worm, he should love them. He might be worried about you taking it away from him. Try and cut up a few pieces of wriggling worm and leave the room and try coming back in 15 min. Mine does like crickets too, but they're not too nutritional.

2.And if he's eating, he's pooping somewhere. He's probably pooping underground and it is hard to see with the dark coco fiber. Also, a lot of people including myself recommend a mix of 50% coco fiber and 50% top soil. The coco fiber holds moisture but doesn't do much else. The dirt will help with breakdown of wastes and that the dirt is damp and not soggy. Also make sure there is good ventilation. They are loud creatures too. Always thrashing and digging. haha. Good luck!

Also, there is a group on facebook called "Tiger Salamander Keepers!!!" that is really cool too.



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Old 27th April 2017   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: A couple Tiger Salamander questions

Thanks! Which one do you have?

I know they aren't which is why I tried worms first, but when he wouldn't eat the, I worried a little and decided to give crickets a try. All the worms I got him died, but I will get some more soon to try again.

I thought so, maybe that's why he dug so much that night. What do you mean by top soil? I think I read something about mixing substrate, but I wasn't sure which one to mix the coco with. I usually leave his box fully open during the day, but close it when I leave for a long time, and it has a lot of holes for when it's closed.

Thanks a lot, I'll for sure check it out!

Also, how big should Arizona get before I can feed him pinkies?



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Old 2nd May 2017   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: A couple Tiger Salamander questions

I have an Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum. It may be called something different in England, but in the US top soil is just basic dirt used filling holes or leveling land. Obviously make sure there is nothing bad in there or unnatural. Stay away from peat and sphagnum, ferts, and perlite and things like that. Organic stuff is good too if you can find it. That's what a lot of folks recommend. DIrt just helps break down poop and waste and may even harbor some beneficial springtails or isopods to help with that too. As far as pinkies, I am not too sure to be honest. I know some people do feed those, but worms are great for their nutrition and are pretty cheap where I'm located.



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Old 5th May 2017   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: A couple Tiger Salamander questions

Oh yeah, I've read about those too. Hmm that might be hard to find here in England as most dirts come with fertilisers already in them, but I'll make sure to look. I want to feed him pinkies at some point for sure, I'll wait until he's bigger though. I caught some earthworms and tried feeding them to him today, and it turns out he is eating them again, but he is really struggling, he keeps missing them and getting coco in his mouth instead... I'll keep trying with the worms though.



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Old 9th May 2017   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: A couple Tiger Salamander questions

Yea i usually feed mine with tweezers sometimes. They seem to like that too.



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Old 16th May 2017   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: A couple Tiger Salamander questions

depending on humidity you might be better off misting more often. just a thought. i had an eastern tiger salamander that reached 11 inches and he ate whole night crawlers twice a week. i kept a water bowl in there for him too to keep humidity up. he spent most of his time under the coco fiber substrate.



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Old 24th May 2017   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: A couple Tiger Salamander questions

I keep a close eye on the humidity and mist often if needed, he eats earthworms now, but I'm not quite sure how to keep the temperature down. It started getting warm here in UK, and his temperature started getting higher. I don't want to add too much water because the soil will become too damp I think, but I don't know another way of keeping the temperature down.

Anyone has any hints?



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Old 25th May 2017   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: A couple Tiger Salamander questions

If you have a basement and you put the tank down there, that works wonders.



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Old 26th May 2017   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: A couple Tiger Salamander questions

Basements are rare here in the UK, and I don't have one... I do have a little bit under the stairs but that's full of food (so there's no room) and is dark all the time. I've moved his tank away from sunlight and into my wardrobe and that seems to have lowered the temperature a bit, but it's still not on that sweet 21 degrees.



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