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Tiger Salamanders help with sexing, feeding, aging etc. general new owner help please.

This is a discussion on Tiger Salamanders help with sexing, feeding, aging etc. general new owner help please. within the Newt and Salamander Help forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; I have recently bought 2 tiger salamanders. i have researched newts and sals for a year before deciding which i ...

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Old 8th February 2008   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tiger Salamanders help with sexing, feeding, aging etc. general new owner help please.

I have recently bought 2 tiger salamanders. i have researched newts and sals for a year before deciding which i could take care of best etc, so im cool with looking after tham, also iv had reptiles and amphibians before. but there is still a few things i am unsure of. first of all the pet store didnt know the age of the sals and i would like to at least have an estimation. one is much bigger than the other, at around 6inches and the other around 4/5 and much slimmer. i think they are from the same place so probs siblings of same age, does the size difference mean they could be different sex? and is it usually the male or female which is larger. the largest one eats great, it is very quick and alert, the smaeest one needs a bit of help, it will let worms get away so i have to keep picking the worm up and putting it back. this one is terrible with crickets, just very slow, i was thinking maybe they arent the same age at all, and maybe the smallest is much younger and therfore not as clued up on how to catch food? also i have read and head so many different ways of feeding them, some say every 2/3 days some say every day etc. so far i have been feeding them around 2 small worms or a large cricket and small worm every day. i feed them both the same amount, but sometimes give the little one a more fattening meal like a wax worm and a meal worm.

anyway if any1 can help with possible age by the size of them, sex of them and if im doing the right thing with feeding them, that would be great. im going back to the pet shop today to get some earth worms, im gonna ask if they came together or at different times. iv had them for 2 weeks now, and they are very lively and seem very happy and well, so i must be doing something right :)



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Old 8th February 2008   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Laura. First off, welcome to the forum! You're in the right place.

Then, have you read http://caudata.org/cc/species/Ambyst...tigrinum.shtml the caresheet yet? This should give you a good idea on some things.

As far as age, the only way to really determine age is by knowing the date of hatching. Or you can cut them in half and count the rings (no, not really). And sex is pretty hard to determine outside of breeding season. Usually females are a bit porkier, but not always.

My adult tigers get fed about once a week in the winter, and 2-3 times a week during the summer. It sounds like you're feeding them a fair amount. You may want to cut back a little. However, if the small one is skinny, feel free to feed that one daily until it plumps up.

What kind of setup do you have them in?



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Old 8th February 2008   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Thanks for the help. I have them in a 26 gallon exo terra terrarium, with damp peat and moss, large water area with rocks , couple of hiding areas, reptile cave, some hollow bark and an artificial jungle plant. The little one isnt really skinny maybe a but slim, shes just smaller in general. the other one is about an inch and half longer, but they are both in proportion for thier length, thats why i think maybe they are diffferent ages. the big one is stocky, thats why i call that one the boy and the other a girl, im not sure but untill i know im going to choose their sex lol. for feeding iv heard lots of people say 2/3 timer a week. but i watched this series of videos about salamander care and the guy says once a day. http://www.expertvillage.com/video-s...alamanders.htm
the guy seems to know his stuff so i just did exactly what he said. i bought the same terrarium he has in the videos. iv only had them 2 weeks so i think iv gave them some treats and now i wil cut back a bit on feeding. plus the crickets are getting huge now too. i bought a proper cricket house, and i spend as much time looking at them as i do the sals, they are fascinating lol. i feed the sals a varied diet of crickets, meal worms, wax worms and earth worms, and also with calcium dust. does that sound ok? is there anything else i can feed them? i live in england so not much insects to catch this time of year so what i have is about all i can buy.



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Old 8th February 2008   #4 (permalink)
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oh and thanks for the link to that forum im gonna read it now.



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Old 8th February 2008   #5 (permalink)
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oh that care sheet you sent, i have already read it about 20 times before i even got the sals, very interesting, that was one of the things that made me decide on tigers. thanks.



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Old 8th February 2008   #6 (permalink)
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Sounds like you've done your homework. I'd just caution on the use of peat moss. It really can be acidic (I had a pet snail on it once and it's shell dissolved over 2 months from the acid). Kaysie summarized the sex determination well. If you post some pictures, maybe someone can tell. I'm sure you've read about vents, tail lengths, and body shapes, but it can be tough to tell without some experience. Size however isn't a good indicator.



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Old 8th February 2008   #7 (permalink)
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Also, be careful with a large open water area. Adult tiger salamanders can drown.

I took a look at that link you sent, and at a glance, the information provided is pretty good. As Pete said earlier, I wouldn't use peat moss for the reason specified. I use coco fiber mixed with organic topsoil.

Also, females are usually the fatter ones because they're carrying eggs.



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Old 8th February 2008   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for both of your help. i will clean out the terrrium and not replace the peat. i have coco fible in there too and moss, can i buy soil from garden centres or will it have to be a specific soil for them? i know some garden soils have miracle grow and stuff in, but if i make sure i buy organic with nothing added is that ok?

i have another question if you dont mind, its about the crickets. i have a large box of black crickets, its a proper cricket keeper, today i noticed one had shed its skin/shell and was a creamy brown colour, then i noticed another one, a female, white as snow and 3 times the size of the rest. i cant seem to find anything about this? she is gigantic, do crickets have like a queen or something like ants? she is bizare!

oh and another thing, my big salamander shed his skin today, i didnt even know they did that, no where seems to mention it? anyway was just like some clear gooey film, n he was rubbing himself against the rocks in the water etc. i was worried at first, but then i seen he had shed, n he was fine again after. just want to check this is normal, and how often do they do it? oh and about the water, i know they can drown, i have rocks all round the edge for them to climb out, and a few in the middle, also its not really deep enough for them to drown, if they are standing in the deepest part they can stick their heads out.

thanks again for the advice, its nice to talk to real people about it rather than just reading stuff online, as you know there are lots of credible sites and also lots of rubbish ones. like today i was looking at pics of salamanders, cos i was bored n found this woman who had loads and loads of tanks of them, n all had gravel and sand and no hiding places!!! bless her little sals, they must be miserable.



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Old 8th February 2008   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraMartin View Post
Thanks so much for both of your help. i will clean out the terrrium and not replace the peat. i have coco fible in there too and moss, can i buy soil from garden centres or will it have to be a specific soil for them? i know some garden soils have miracle grow and stuff in, but if i make sure i buy organic with nothing added is that ok?
You mainly want to avoid fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides that may be added. "Organic" should work. You may also want to consider soil from your garden, if you know its history.

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i have another question if you dont mind, its about the crickets. i have a large box of black crickets, its a proper cricket keeper, today i noticed one had shed its skin/shell and was a creamy brown colour, then i noticed another one, a female, white as snow and 3 times the size of the rest. i cant seem to find anything about this? she is gigantic, do crickets have like a queen or something like ants? she is bizare!
When they molt they are white, soft, and larger. Over time they'll darken and harden. There is no queen crickets or even cricket societies to my knowledge. (edit: maybe if you consider a locust invasion a society, but it's not hierarchical)

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oh and another thing, my big salamander shed his skin today, i didnt even know they did that, no where seems to mention it? anyway was just like some clear gooey film, n he was rubbing himself against the rocks in the water etc. i was worried at first, but then i seen he had shed, n he was fine again after. just want to check this is normal, and how often do they do it? oh and about the water, i know they can drown, i have rocks all round the edge for them to climb out, and a few in the middle, also its not really deep enough for them to drown, if they are standing in the deepest part they can stick their heads out.
This is normal. The molt as they grow. They're growth depends on age/environment/nutrition, so these factors control how often they molt.



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Old 8th February 2008   #10 (permalink)
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ok brilliant, you guys have been so much help. im still lost about this wierd cricket that just appeard, its obviousley one that has somehow molted and grew, maybe its some sort of mutant lol. do you know much about crickets? my worms are great but the crickets keep eating eachother and pulling eachother legs off, they are evil. they have plently food and water, but i only give them fresh fruit and veg, u think maybe they are craving meat? should i give them some ham or chicken or something? its awfull seeing ones getting eaten alive. im sure i have been sold some kind of canabalistic mutant crickets!



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Old 8th February 2008   #11 (permalink)
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Cricket's are like that. Personally, I've never buy more crickets than my salamanders would eat in a day. But, there must be a method for raising them succesfully. You could read/post in the food section of the forum maybe someone will be able to answer your question.



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Old 9th February 2008   #12 (permalink)
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I was discussing (disgusting) crickets today in the pet shop. They're pretty vile (and stupid). They'll eat anything, including each other and themselves. I think we've inbred them into stupidity.



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Old 11th February 2008   #13 (permalink)
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yeah i realised thst the females just do that when they morph into adults, they have all done it now. your right tho they are disgusting and vile!! dunno bout USA but over here in Uk we can only buy boxes of crickets, around 100 in a box n they breed too, so i have lots, but over half have been eaten by the others, they keep pulling eachothers legs off, and they really really stink. i dont have anything nice to say bout them, but i just want the sals to have a varied diet so thats why i got them. once theres a few babies am gonna throw the adults out, they are too big and disgusting.



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