View Full Version : Paddletails eating plants?

13th October 2010, 12:23
Is it common for newts to eat plants in their tanks? My paddle tails have eaten 2 water wisterias & another plant, the name of which I've forgotten. I saw wisteria on a list of safe plants to put in newt tanks, but just to double check, will it hurt them?
Thanks so much for any help! :D



13th October 2010, 13:07
The animal pictured is not a paddletail (common name given to the genus Pachytriton) but a Paramesotriton, usually called warty newts.
It also looks too thin, which is common for newly imports (very traumatic journey from China). Try to fatten it up with earthworms and waxworms.

Are you sure they have eaten the plant? Hve you seen them do it? Otherwise i would guess that what has happened is that the plant has died and decomposed but you didnīt realize it and thought it was eaten.
All newts are strict carnivores. They would only ingest plant matter by mistake while eating something else.

You might want to check out these links:
Caudata Culture Articles - Water Quality (http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/waterquality.shtml)
Caudata Culture Articles - Cycling (http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/cyclingEDK.shtml)
Caudata Culture Articles - Aquarium Substrates (http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/substrate1.shtml)

We donīt have a Paramesotriton caresheet (by the way, how come we donīt? O_o) but you can find lots of information about this genus and their care around the forum, specially the advanced section dedicated to them.
One quick piece of advice, increase the water level as much as possible. If the animal is in aquatic phase, it wonīt need any land anyway.

13th October 2010, 23:52
Yea, I saw them start trying to yank the plants out of the gravel & rocks and then eat giant pieces. So I dunno what's going on. They've also stayed pretty thin for the 3 months I've had them. I feed them meal worms mostly, though one of them rarely eats.
... on the species note, are you sure? The lady at the pet store called it a paddle tail & I saw a few videos of Pachytriton labiatus that looked sort of like them, so I just assumed. I would definately be SO happy if you're sure though. Now that I see pictures of Paramesotriton they do look more like them & not having a caresheet is sad & surprising.

14th October 2010, 01:03
The photos are not good enough to tell. But it doesn't look like paddletail. I will guess it is a warty newt as well. Maybe you can check this website: www.caudata.org/cc/ to verify.

No newts would intentionally eat plant unless food is attached. Maybe you have a filter there that the current moved the plant and made the newt confused it as a food items? If a newt is hungry, it will definitely try.

You should try earthworms, cut to smaller pieces. Meal worms probably is not the best choice.

14th October 2010, 01:13
Mealworms are not recommended. Switch to some kind of earthworms. Frozen bloodworms are also OK, and most pet shops have them.

It's possible that the newts were either desperate for food, or they were eating some kind of snails or other micro-organisms from the leaves.

Sorry about not having a Paramesotriton caresheet:( There is one that has been worked on, but it hasn't been completed. I need to see what we can do with that project. The basics for care are similar to paddletails or Cynops, taking into account the larger size for warties.

14th October 2010, 01:30
I have a warty newt, this newt eats anything in sight but not plants! I find it to be extremely easy to feed as it is so voracious, I had to nickname him "Newtzilla", he will even eat amphibian sticks if needed but his main diet is earthworms. I would get earthworms. Maybe your set up is not right... ???

14th October 2010, 01:36
Im definitely going for earthworms in the morning :)

Are these pictures any better?



Thanks so much to all of you!
:D :D :D

14th October 2010, 01:49
They are some species of warty but very skinny. Mine are so chubby in comparison. Keep feeding they earthworm. How many do you have and in how big an enclosure? They can be territorial.

14th October 2010, 02:08
I have 2 in a 24x12x12 tank- I think 15 gal. At one point, a week or so after I'd bought them I had to separate them because they were fighting. I put them back together after another week (maybe not the best idea, I realize) but they haven't fought since. Someone always has an eye on them just in case though.

14th October 2010, 12:31
They are probably too weak to fight anymore. They need fattening up, desperately, so give the waxworms a try.
They are beyond the shadow of a doubt, Paramesotriton, and i would hazard they are Paramesotriton chinensis.
I would get a bigger tank. The bigger the volume of water, the better.
What temps are you keeping them at?

14th October 2010, 18:55
Ok, thanks, and I'll try waxworms too! :happy:
I keep them at about 67F.

16th October 2010, 00:24
They both ate 2 waxworms a piece today!!! They seem to REALLY love them and & hopefully they'll fatten up soon. :grin:

19th October 2010, 19:59
They are getting so fat so fast, hehehe!!! :D YAY!
I have another question though...
I decided to get ph and ammonia level gauges and found that my ph is between 8 and 8.4 (the color is sort of in between). It's a little high, so I bought some "ph DOWN". I just read this and wondered why I shouldn't use it (the 3rd bullet down).

Caudata Culture - Frequently Asked Questions (http://www.caudata.org/cc/faq/FAQwat.shtml)