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Class newts in trouble!

This is a discussion on Class newts in trouble! within the Newt and Salamander Help forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; The teacher at my childrens school has asked for my help with class newts. The newts they had four years ...

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Old 16th May 2006   #1 (permalink)
mary
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The teacher at my childrens school has asked for my help with class newts. The newts they had four years ago were firebellies and I still have them at home and they are well. Now we have Eastern newts. They are a pale green grey with small red spots on their dorsal side. They are very small maybe two inches or less. There were ten in a fifty gallon tank. The water is tested for Ph and treated for cholorine. They have an air stone and the cage is cleaned weekly. They have a gravel embankment to climb on several plants, a good size rock to climb on and a log that stretches across the tank an is part in water and part out. They are not in direct sunlight and are not exposed to light on the tank or to a heat source. We were given meal worms and newt bites from the pet store. I recommended frozen bloodworms as that is what my firebellies love. I thought we were doing everything right but four of the smallest ones have died and the teacher is frantic. I am a vet tech but not well versed in " exotic species " does antone have any suggestions? Could they be in a terrestrial life stage and not have enough land?



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Old 16th May 2006   #2 (permalink)
jeff
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How are the temps?

Regardless if everything is right, notos (Eastern newts) have been known to die for inexplicable reasons in captivity.



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Old 16th May 2006   #3 (permalink)
mary
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the water is room temp or cooler to be honest we do not have a thermometer in the tank



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Old 17th May 2006   #4 (permalink)
jennifer
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They definately need a better food source. The bloodworms are a good idea. Live blackworms would also be good, but are likely to disappear in large numbers into the gravel embankment. Are the newts staying mostly on land or in the water? This makes a difference in what they will eat. If the teacher hasn't seen them eat, then they probably aren't eating.

As Jeff mentioned, eastern newts don't have a good reputation for hardiness. Petshop firebellies often have problems at the beginning, but once they are established, they are very hardy. Easterns are another story.



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Old 17th May 2006   #5 (permalink)
ian
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I agree with Jennifer on all she says,they may need to see the food move before they will eat so live food is your best bet.Most of my newts won't eat meal worms,they tend to spit them out(maybe its the hard outer shell)the freshly shed ones which are whitish are sometimes accepted but not often.



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Old 18th May 2006   #6 (permalink)
mary
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Thank you all for the help. I will try a new food source and hope this helps.



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Old 19th May 2006   #7 (permalink)
gord
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i think small earthworms are great for newts like notos and cynops. they are usually readily accepted and seem to fatten newts up quite a lot.

i like to pick them after a good rain.you can get hundreds picking the sidewalks.store them in soil in a cold room.

they are sure hard to find in winter!

ge



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