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Chinese Fire Belly Newt

This is a discussion on Chinese Fire Belly Newt within the Newt and Salamander Help forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; Hello, i have owned a chinese fire belly newt for the best part of a year and a half now, ...

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Old 31st July 2012   #1 (permalink)
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Question Chinese Fire Belly Newt

Hello,

i have owned a chinese fire belly newt for the best part of a year and a half now, and have had no problems with it... until about 2-3 weeks ago. it went missing from the tank and i found it in the filter and got it back out safely, but when i put it back into the water it was going absolutely crazy - it was swimming fast, trying to jump out the tank and i have no idea why. he then went missing again and i found him in the filter and rescued again, put him back into the water and the same story as last time.. i then decided to put in an isolation tank (to observe him) and he has escaped from that and is now resting/basking and the handles that keep the tank afloat. i have no floating things in the tank for him as i have never needed them.
does anyone have any idea why this is happening, is there anything i can do?
i was going to make a little platform for him to go away from the filter but didnt know if it would help or not.
( i think that he may be like this because of the angelfish as this behaviour started when they were introduced, just a theory though )



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Old 31st July 2012   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chinese Fire Belly Newt

Thatīs a sure sign of a highly stressed animal trying to leave the water.
Separate it from the angelfish right away! Those two animals are completely incompatible. No wonder the poor thing is trying to scape desperately.

Check this caresheet out:
Caudata Culture Species Entry - Cynops orientalis - Chinese firebelly

Your newt is trying to become terrestrial to scape the fish and quite possibly, the inadequate conditions (Hypselotriton orientalis are cold water animals that canīt tolerate the temps required for angelfish). Apart from cool temps (20šC or less) it will need a piece of floating cork bark at the very least or it can drown. You might need to keep it in a terrestrial set-up if itīs started the process of adapting to land.

By the way, this species doesnīt do well with currents. They prefer completely still waters with huge amounts of plants.



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Old 31st July 2012   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chinese Fire Belly Newt

Hey FaceDuck!
I have had (now) 3 Chinese fire bellied newts for just a little over a year, and I still have one little guy who is terrestrial. All 3 of them were once completely terrestrial, they were probably very young or juveniles when they were given to me, but one male and one female have adapted very well to having about 3 inches of water and no filter...a bit more manual labor, but rewarding when you see them going back to what they naturally do.
Because I have no filter, they have no other tank mates, just the 3 of them in a 20 gallon tank, I also have no real plants because again I have no filtration and no CO2 production which is what plants need. Instead I have long soft material fake plants, which if you dismantle them lol you can make a lot of nice soft foliage for them to hide under or walk across without scratching their soft skin.
I also have rock so they can scratch and shed their skins as they keep growing, I find almost every time after feeding, they go scratching themselves along the rocks, even found my land newt going in deeper in the water lately so for me I find, you need to give them time and space to re-adapt to themselves.
Some say to not give as much land so that they feel more need to go in, but I personally just gave them and still give them equal option, mind you I do have more water than land, but it's not all 3 inches, they have rocks to climb on where they just need to lift their head for air, helps make them feel safe. Every now and again I used to just gently take them each and put them down to the bottom of the tank, making sure all for feet are touching and slowly remove my hand, they would slowly move away and not in such a panic mode looking for their safety zone.
I still consider myself a newbie to these critters, all I thought you did with them was pop them into a tank and they be happy campers, not the case, the fist 6-8 months of their life with me, was pretty traumatic in the sense I had no idea lol! I lost a couple, once escaped the first few days I had them, then another passed for unknown reasons, but these last 3 here seem to be content, no escape attempts in forever, simply just the one who still hangs out on land about 90% of the time I'd say :)
I will try to post up some recent pics of their most stable and happy set up yet, hope something here helps, if not me then I am sure some of the more experience care takers will have advice :)



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Old 31st July 2012   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chinese Fire Belly Newt

Unnecessarily touching or handling newts tends to stress them out, so try to keep contact to a minimum.
You CAN keep aquatic plants in a tank with no filter or airstone, I currently have 3 bunches of elodea growing happily in one of my tanks, so try to get hold of some - they will greatly improve the water quality.
Try putting in some underwater caves too, as having somewhere to hide makes them a lot more relaxed.
And I know you said that no more have tried to escape, but please make sure you have a secure lid, just in case any more decide to go for an adventure.

I hope this didn't sound bossy - I'm just trying to pass on some of my experience



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Old 1st August 2012   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chinese Fire Belly Newt

I agree with azhael, take any fish out immediately, or remove the newt(s) to a completely different set up of their own. These are not a species which should be kept with any fish, especially angel fish as they can become aggressive when mature (I know because I breed them). I know pet shops sell them with fish but this is not a correct environment for them. They should also not be in a heated tank with fish. Their ideal temperatures are below those tolerated by tropical fish.

In the new enclosure a land area will help. Many people have chinese fire bellies that never leave the water (me being one of them) but it is nice to have a land area for them to escape to in times of stress.

If you post pictures of your set up we can give you more specific advise.



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Old 1st August 2012   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chinese Fire Belly Newt

thanks for, its really helpful!

on refernece to removing him from the fish tank, i would set him a tank up but i dont have one, would it have to be coldwater as i could keep an eye out for one.

i will try and get a picture of my tank up soon,
when i put the newt back into the tank (before i red these posts) he seemed quite calm and relaxed, could it be mating season or is that just me grasping at straws?



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Old 1st August 2012   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chinese Fire Belly Newt

Mating season is typically in early spring, or in the fall. Right now itīs about the only time of the year when you can be reasonably certain that no breeding would occur. Regardless, the behaviour is clearly and undoubtedly that of a very stressed animal trying to scape inadequate conditions, definitely not breeding behaviour.

You really....really need to separate the newt ASAP. This is not optional, and you canīt postpone it. If you donīt have another tank to put it in, you can get one of those very large tupperwares, with a minimum of 40 litres of capacity, they are very cheap indeed (a larger volume would be advisable as it will only make things easier). As i said previously, the temps need to be cool. The ideal temps are anywhere between 4 and 20šC. High temps cause severe stress, inhibit their inmune systems leaving them vulnerable to all sorts of problems, and if high enough, they can be lethal.



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Old 1st August 2012   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chinese Fire Belly Newt

so the newt would be okay if i managed to get a tank where it had:
no heater, so room temperature

this might sound stupid but would it need a filter for it?



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Old 1st August 2012   #9 (permalink)
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Please read the caresheet that was provided for you. A filter with low flow will be beneficial but not absolutely necessary.



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Old 1st August 2012   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Chinese Fire Belly Newt

You don't need a filter, just get some nice live plants in with it if you haven't already



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