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I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

This is a discussion on I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions. within the Newt and Salamander Help forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; Hi, I recieved two tiger salamanders yesterday. One is barred the other i'm not sure yet. Looks a lot like ...

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Old 14th March 2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

Hi, I recieved two tiger salamanders yesterday. One is barred the other i'm not sure yet. Looks a lot like the blotched tiger salamander. My question is do i take them out of hiding every night to feed them if they do not come out themselves? Last night they did not come out at all. Although I just got them yesterday morning I wanted them to adapt to their surroundings so i didnt bother them.

Thanks for any help,


Amy



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Old 14th March 2009   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

Where did they come from? Were they someone elses' pets or specimens you collected yourself or from a local petshop?

If they were previously domesticated they should settle in once everything is to their liking.

If they are wild caught (petstore or collected yourself) it will take much longer.

How are you keeping them? What is the temperature? substrate? Water?



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Old 14th March 2009   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

I bought them online at a reptile store. Temp is 65 in my tank with 70% humidity. I'm using Coco fiber and moss for substrate. I have a 40 gallon tank with 4 houses to hide in and a shallow water dish. I haven't seen them all day so i'm hoping them come out later tonight.



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Old 14th March 2009   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

I have live plants in my tank and generally I have my lights on at opposite hours. So during the day - the tank is dark and they get fed, and at night the lights are on for the plants.



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Old 14th March 2009   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

I use the sunlight to light up the tank during the day. It's not in direct lighting. Then at night it's dark with only the red reptile lighting used to see them, and i only have that on for a few hours. I saw one peeking out of it's house today and then i walked by and he ducked back inside. I think they just need more time to adjust. There pretty small salmanders maybe 5 inches im guessing from head to tail. The barred i was told should grow to about 12 inches or so.



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Old 14th March 2009   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

They just need time to get used to you, in no time they will be following you around, begging for worms. Mine took a month or so to get a bit more bold, now when they are hungry, they'll come out and let me know.
I think you set-up has every thing it needs to make tiger sals happy.



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Old 14th March 2009   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

Seventy percent humidity is kind of high. Usually people will mist one side of the enclosure and leave the other alone. That way your animal has a choice.



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Old 15th March 2009   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

I've been misting the whole tank. You said the humidity seems to high at 70? What should it be at? They both came out tonight. The bigger one went into the water for a minute or two then came out and the littler one went in and did the same exact thing.

One question that came to mind was: The bigger one just seems to step right over the little one like he's not even there. Is he just showing dominance by walking over him instead of going around him? He has done this twice tonight so far. I haven't seen any aggression yet, and i hope i never will. ( I appologize for not naming them yet) was waiting to see if they were male or female first. I'm better off coming up with a name that could be a male or female name.



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Old 15th March 2009   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

Nope your tiger is not being dominant, just rude lol. Monti, my big girl, is constantly walking over Marm, my smaller tiger.

Here is a good example http://www.caudata.org/forum/picture...pictureid=3491



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Old 15th March 2009   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

Thanks for the picture! That pic looks exactly what my two tigers do. Thanks for replying about my question! I appreciate any help i can get. I have been doing plenty of research on the internet but i rather hear from people first hand through this forum. I think you guys have way better answers for me.



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Old 15th March 2009   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

Amyy73 - Welcome to the forum. If your research hasn't included this: http://www.caudata.org/cc/species/Am...tigrinum.shtml
you will find it useful...it is from our Caudata Culture section.

Regarding your question on humidity - for tigers, humidity is not a concern. Keeping the substrate at an adequate depth (at least 4 inches) and keeping it moist, but not wet is the key. As oregon newt mentioned one side of the tank can be kept a little dryer than the other side so that the animals have a 'choice'. The moss you mentioned - hopefully it is not peat moss as this can be too acidic as a substrate and I would advise against using it.



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Old 15th March 2009   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

I'm actually using both coco fiber and sphagnum moss from zoo med. I do moisten the moss on top of the coco fiber. Do I also have to moisten the coco fiber beneath the moss? They have been hiding in the moss and my little caves i have in the tank.



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Old 15th March 2009   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

Yes, I would assure that all substrate is moist. Tigers are burrowers.

Sphagnum moss vs sphagnum peat moss, should not pose the problem with low pH. However, I do not use sphagnum moss as this has been associated with transmitting a fungal skin disease in humans known as Sporotrichosis. When gardeners work with sphagnum moss, it is recommended that they use gloves to prevent exposure of non-protected hands to the fungus. Although the risk would seemingly be small and whether it can be transmitted to sals I don't know....I choose not to use it. You will find that many keepers on this site use either coco-fiber, organic top soil (devoid of chemicals, fertilizers, vermiculite, etc.) or a mix of both.



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Old 15th March 2009   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

I use a 50/50 mix of organic top soil and coco fiber. It seems to keep the moisture well enough and the sals don't seem to complain.



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Old 15th March 2009   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

Ok, I want to make sure i'm understanding you both correctly. I would use the coco fiber along with organic topsoil. But, take out the moss completely. Do i mix the soil and coco fiber together (combine the two) or do i do a layer of coco fiber and then put down a layer of soil on top of that? Sorry for so many questions i just want my tigers to have a long healthy life.



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Old 15th March 2009   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

Also, what is the name of the organic soil you use? Can you find it at homedepot or lowes?



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Old 15th March 2009   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

I don't remember what the brand of the top soil I bought was, I bought it at a local tree nursery but I'm pretty sure Home Depot or Lowes would carry organic top soil. You could always give them a call to see if they do carry it.
As far as how to use it, I mix both in equal quantity together in a bucket and put a good 5" of it in the tank.



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Old 16th March 2009   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amyy73 View Post
Ok, I want to make sure i'm understanding you both correctly. I would use the coco fiber along with organic topsoil. But, take out the moss completely. Do i mix the soil and coco fiber together (combine the two) or do i do a layer of coco fiber and then put down a layer of soil on top of that? Sorry for so many questions i just want my tigers to have a long healthy life.
As madeve said, just mix the two together - coco-fiber helps with moisture retention. Regarding sphagnum, again it my choice not to use it. However, there are keepers who do use it and even harvest it themselves from bogs. I view it as just one more risk I can eliminate.

For topsoil, you can either collect it yourself (from an area that you know has not been contaminated with pesticides, fertilizers, etc.) or purchase it from most garden centers or Lowe's, etc. The word 'organic' is a little misleading. The product would generally not be labeled that way. Just look for a bag of plain topsoil and read the label. You do not want soil that has been amended, enhanced with peat, or one that is labeled potting soil where fertilizers, vermiculite, etc. have been added.

Please continue to ask questions, don't apologize.....that is the intent of the forum - we share info.



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Old 17th March 2009   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

I changed my substrate from moss to top soil. So, now i have the 50/50 topsoil mixed with coco fiber. After about a half hour Sam (the little guy or girl) burrowed into it. The bigger guy/girl Marli is taking a little longer to adjust.(Yes! I finally named them. With help from my daughter) Marli is spending most of the time in the water. I did find the organic soil at Lowes. No fertilizer. I think they will enjoy this much more than the moss. Thanks for all the advice given..



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Old 17th March 2009   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: I'm a new Tiger Salamander owner with questions.

Glad to hear that Sam and Marli are enjoying their new substrate. I love the names by the way. Hopefully you'll be able to take some pictures of them and your set-up and post them for us ... we love pictures



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