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Tim Robin
22nd March 2010, 22:13
We have a question regarding one of our N kaiseri. One is significanly fatter through the mid-section than the other 3. Is there any reason for concern? Is it that it simply has eaten more than the others? We feed them 3 times a week. They have eaten chopped red wigglers on an occasion. They mostly eat frozen blood worms. I had been feeding them about half a cube at each feeding. However, they appeared to be hunting and looking for food. The last few times I have fed them an entire cube. Any suggestions?

SludgeMunkey
23rd March 2010, 11:51
We have a question regarding one of our N kaiseri. One is significanly fatter through the mid-section than the other 3. Is there any reason for concern? Is it that it simply has eaten more than the others? We feed them 3 times a week. They have eaten chopped red wigglers on an occasion. They mostly eat frozen blood worms. I had been feeding them about half a cube at each feeding. However, they appeared to be hunting and looking for food. The last few times I have fed them an entire cube. Any suggestions?

How have they been housed? I am guessing aquatically from your post.

What are the temperatures like?

When you say "fatter about the midsection" is the swollen area just ahead of the rear legs?


I suspect you may have a gravid female, but pictures of the dorsal and lateral sides in addition to a picture of the cloaca of the animal in question would be most helpful.

Additionally, you should seriously consider adding other foods to their diets. While bloodworms are not too bad, they should be supplemented with other foods like earthworms and various arthropods like daphnia and brine shrimp.

Jennewt
23rd March 2010, 14:51
If it looks plump, it's probably a gravid female. If it looks blown-up like a balloon, that's a different story. I would not attempt to reduce the amount of food. Even if the fat one is a hog, you need to add enough food that the others also get their fill.

Tim Robin
23rd March 2010, 15:10
The last day or so I have noticed several of the others directly in front of her. I have not seen any tail fanning, but they are left alone for a better part of the day. They are kept aquatic. Their water temp is between 68-69 F. I have thought a lot about how to get them a more varied diet. Will frozen brine shrimp work. I can get earthworms and cut them up. They do eat the cut up red wigglers. I just haven't fed them very many times.

Here are a couple of photos. You can kind of see the cloaca in the mirror of the bottom in one of the photos.
http://i337.photobucket.com/albums/n380/robinb_2008/20100323_1607.jpg
http://i337.photobucket.com/albums/n380/robinb_2008/20100323_1609.jpg

If she is gravid, I better get reading up on how to manage the eggs. They are too precious not to give them my best shot and raising them.
Tim

Tim Robin
23rd March 2010, 23:56
Could it be a sign of Nitrite toxicity? I checked the water Friday and all parameters were good. Monday I noticed the Nitrites in the 3 range. I did a 50% water change. Again today the Nitrites were in the 3 range. I again did a 50% water change. I will keep doing this until it resolves.

SludgeMunkey
24th March 2010, 12:03
She does look a bit rotund as you say, but not in a gravid way. Her cloaca is a definite sign of that. I am uncertain as to the cause in all honesty, but it could be an early case of bloat or the like.

Mine take frozen brine shrimp and frozen mysis with great gusto. They really like live assellus and gammarus too! Mine ignore worms for me oddly enough. If possible, it may be a wise move to keep her separated in clean water a few degrees cooler than the temps she is at now. If possible, I would shoot for the 58-62 range and watch her closely. Also give her a nice dark hide, I find this species really, really detests light.

Just out of curiosity, do you happen to know the carbonate hardness of the water she is in? While I do not have any real substantiated evidence to support my theory, I feel these guys do much better in really hard water.

She is gorgeous by the way!

Tim Robin
24th March 2010, 14:13
Ok so now I am worried. Reading about bloat has me concerned. The water quality in the tank this morning are as follows:
GH: 180
KH: 180-240
pH: ~8.5
Nitrite: 1
Nitrate: 0-20

I will do a water change today. I will get her set up on her own, with regular water changes. I will attempt to get her water temps lower.

She is CB. I have no idea what could be the cause of the bloat, if it is that. I hope she will be ok, I can't stand the thought of losing her. Any other advice?

SludgeMunkey
24th March 2010, 16:37
Bloat is one of those ailments that can be tricky all the way around. Being it is a symptom of a couple of different causes, it can be tough to treat. personally I feel that WC vs. CB is not really a factor. Just recently I was shown pictures of a wild Ambystoma sp. with a horrifying case of bloat!

I would not panic about this specimen just yet though. (OK...I would, but ask around here and you will find I panic about just about everything involving my pets...:p)

In this case, I would separate the animal and keep her in bottled spring water with a chunk of limestone large enough she cannot eat it. (I suggest this as it is the simplest way to get her in good hard water in my opinion.) I would offer her small amounts of food such as chopped nightcrawler, or any of the frozen foods we discussed earlier. You will definitely need to cool her down. I also suggest checking around with the vets in your area and see if any of them have experience treating amphibians, just in case she does not improve.

Looking at your water chemistry, I do not think water changes are going to do anything but create problems from the stress to the animals.

I am a bit confused about your gH and kH results- Did you convert the results to PPM? If so that water is far too soft for most caudates, Neurergus kaiseri especially. If not, you may want to retest as those results seem a bit too high for the gH and kH scales I am familiar with.

Tim Robin
24th March 2010, 17:03
I will certainly separate her and cool her down. In retesting with a different type of test strip I get the following results:
pH: 7.8-8.4
KH: 180-300ppm
GH: 150ppm
Nitrite: 1-3
Nitrate: 0-20

It seems very difficult to determine exact amounts as there is very little color difference on the strips. At what level do I need to freak about the nitrite level? Ammonia was checked yesterday and was 0. How often should I do water changes and how much each time? I had been doing about 50%. Should I get different testing strips or methods? I have the 5 in 1 quick dip by Jungle. I also have 5 in 1 pond test strips by Pond Care (those were the results posted earlier). Any suggestions at where to get pure limestone? I called around and found Travertine which is said to be a limestone tile.
Thanks for the help!!

Jennewt
24th March 2010, 22:19
She does look much more rotund than any kaiseri that I have ever seen (but I don't have experience with adult ones). That seems worrisome, though I wouldn't yet diagnose bloat.

I'd recommend doing large water changes on a daily basis until the nitrite comes down to zero. Also, try to find if there is some place in the tank or filter where uneaten food is trapped and accumulating. This would explain the water issues. Do you have no ammonia reading?

Dip strips can give you a quick heads-up on serious problems, but they aren't very accurate, as you've noticed when trying to read the results. I don't think it matters if they are the ones made for ponds versus aquariums - probably the same. I prefer the liquid test kits (Aquarium Pharmaceutics and other brands).

Tim Robin
25th March 2010, 01:43
Thanks Jennewt and Sludgemonkey for the help. I bought liquid tests for ammonia, GH, and nitrite. Here are those results.
nitrite: 1
GH: 6 (6 drops used)
Ammonia: 0

I have the water temp down to 64.4. I have not isolated her yet.

My question is, what can I do to increase the hardness? I am in the process of finding limestone, but that has not been easy as it is not naturally found here. Any other suggestions? I asked at the petstore where I got the testing kits, they suggested some coral type rocks. They did not know anything about aquatic newts, so I want to hear from some experienced keepers here. What degree hardness should I be trying to obtain?

Tim Robin
25th March 2010, 01:50
I typed the wrong type of hardness. I tested KH, and got the result of 6.

Tim Robin
25th March 2010, 03:48
I am not sure if these are relevant at this point, but I got a couple of good photos of the cloacal area of the rotund newt. It seems to be getting bigger.
http://i337.photobucket.com/albums/n380/robinb_2008/3-24-10206.jpg (http://i337.photobucket.com/albums/n380/robinb_2008/3-24-10206.jpg)
http://i337.photobucket.com/albums/n380/robinb_2008/3-24-10180.jpg (http://i337.photobucket.com/albums/n380/robinb_2008/3-24-10180.jpg)

Jennewt
25th March 2010, 04:02
Female kaiseri have a cloaca that protrudes. This doesn't strike me as looking wrong.

Your water is already fairly alkaline and has some hardness. I think this is fine as-is.

Tim Robin
25th March 2010, 04:16
Thanks for taking time to help me out. I will keep the temps down a bit, do water changes until the nitrites are in check and watch her closely. I hope she is ok.

Tim Robin
2nd April 2010, 01:11
Here is an update on our N. kaiseri. I have been doing about 50% daily water changes after testing for nitrites. For the past several days the level has decreased to 0.5. Today the level was 0.25. The newt has not eaten that I have seen. I have been feeding every 2-3 days. I have found that they do not care for Mysis shrimp. They eat all the blood worms and brine shrimp. We all agree that the plump newt appears less plump at this time. However, she is still more rotund that the other 3. She moves about the tank and spends her time in the dark areas. She certainly is not any worse or more rotund. :happy: We have tried to keep the water temperature around 66 F.

While I do not know for certain what caused her to appear this way, I assume it could have been a result of the high level of nitrites. I imagine it was something related to her kidneys. I suppose it could have been related to some recent feedings of red wigglers, but I can't imagine what could have effected her and not her other 3 tank mates.

Thanks for the help.

Tim Robin
8th April 2010, 18:16
It has been 5 days with improved water quality (nitrite level 0) and the newt is nearly down to the same size as the others. The swelling/bloating is nearly resolved. I have to attribute it to achieving 0 nitrite level. It certainly appeared that her bloating was a direct result of nitrite toxicity. We were all pretty worried about her there for a while. Again thanks to those who gave input as to how to help our little newt.