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xMIDNIGHTx
13th August 2008, 04:37
How many newt owners use calcium/vitamin supplement? If you do use supplement, what do you use and why? Does anyone not use it, or refuse to use it? As I start raising more and more newts/salamanders I worry about their overall health. I try to feed them a mix of live earthworms, blackworms, and frozen bloodworms. Do newts/salamanders require alot of calcium or other vitamins that arent provided by live food? I use calcium supplement all the time on my Iguana because they require it.
Thanks for your time!

Mitch

Mark
13th August 2008, 10:59
This article gives the nutritional values of a wide range of feeder insects: http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/foods2.shtml (http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/foods2.shtml)

Newts and salamanders do not require a high calcium diet and unless a reptile is growing (or in the case of a turtle/tortoise growing a shell) a high calcium diet is also not necessary.

What is very important in both reptiles and amphibians is to avoid feeding a diet that has the wrong Ca:P ratio; the availability of the calcium is directly affected by amount of phosphorous. The ideal ratio is 1.5:1. Many feeder insects have a negative Ca:P ratio and long term use of crickets and mealworms etc without supplements or gut loading can lead to metabolic bone disease.

Fortunately for us newts and salamanders love earthworms which are as close to Ca:P perfection as you are going to get. The key is to offer a variety of foods and as long as earthworms constitute a proportion of the diet there should be no need to supplement. Its also good practice to feed your feeder insects a healthy diet if the prey is under-nourished so is the predator.