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ba98mgt
26th June 2012, 04:36
I have 2 small Tiger salamanders. I've been having a hard time feeding them. I tried wax worms, they avoided. I put meal worms in front of them, 1 of them ate a few, but won't anymore.

By luck, they have a small area of water they spend 90% of their time in, just a place to cool off. I put about 10 rosie reds in there and after a fews days, they were all gone.

Is it okay to feed them rosie reds?

I have a tank full of ciclids and I've been told not to feed them feeder fish due to some of the diseases they carry. I'm not sure if that would affect salamanders though.

grius
26th June 2012, 06:35
None of the food you are mentioned are practically good salamander food, except för wax moth but only in a little dose. Have you tried crickets, cockroaches (B.dubia for example) or earthworms? I feed my tigers lobworm as it's the best caudata food, crickets and woodlice is also on the menu. They have also eaten locust when i have had that home.

Try this as soon as possible. From what i have read fish is not a specially good salamander food in general, and absolutely not for tigers.

Also. If your tigers spends so much time in the water tub something may be wrong, perhaps you have to dry substrate, or it's just to hot in their setup, could perhaps be other things to. Tell us a little about your setup, temp etc, it will be easier to give you advice.

ba98mgt
26th June 2012, 21:42
The sticker temp thing for their water says 72* generally. I hav tons of shaded places for them to go to.
I read crickets were not good for salamanders. I cant remember, but they dont have a certain chemical or smething that they need. I was told it can be added to the crickets diet though.
The only local place I can get food is Pet Supplies Plus. So whatever they have.

Its a 10g tank, mesh lid, large stones for the surface (because dirt stinks), a small cooling pool with a waterfall type filter. I have large pieces of bark, and other things for shade. The tank doesn't not get much light. I try to keep the tank temp no higher than the 80's* wih use of a fan. The Tigers are maybe 6" long.

nwmnnaturalist
26th June 2012, 23:06
Tiger Salamanders have to have some sort of soil or fine mulch to dig into. It's just part of their nature. As for diet, good ol' fashioned earth worms may work just fine.

grius
27th June 2012, 01:56
The sticker temp thing for their water says 72* generally. I hav tons of shaded places for them to go to.
I read crickets were not good for salamanders. I cant remember, but they dont have a certain chemical or smething that they need. I was told it can be added to the crickets diet though.
The only local place I can get food is Pet Supplies Plus. So whatever they have.

Its a 10g tank, mesh lid, large stones for the surface (because dirt stinks), a small cooling pool with a waterfall type filter. I have large pieces of bark, and other things for shade. The tank doesn't not get much light. I try to keep the tank temp no higher than the 80's* wih use of a fan. The Tigers are maybe 6" long.

You need to get temperature down and that's fast, eaven lower 80's is way to hot. You want around 68-72 during summer and preferbably as near the substrate as possible. As substrate you can use 4-6 inch deep layer of some type of soil that are free of fertilizer and harmfull additives, or coco fiber substrate such as exo-terra plantation soil. Obove a layer of leaf littler is good, and some moss and bark to hide under.
To cool you tank down there are several methods. The easiest way is to just lay ice-packs on the substrate surface near a hide where you know your tiger spends most of it's time. I do that with my tigers and it works very good,

If your dirt stinks you are probably keeping it to wet.
Try something similiar to my tub. It's a easy setup sutiable for tigers.
http://www.caudata.org/forum/members/grius/albums/m-m-juveniles/22703-12/

Crickets are not a bad food if you gut load with nutritious food like 12-24 ours before feeding your salamanders. But you will also need both a vitamin and calcium supplement to dust your crickets in to make sure tour tigers gets all they need from their food.

You should read this tiger caresheet a few times.
Caudata Culture Species Entry - Tiger salamander (http://www.caudata.org/cc/species/Ambystoma/A_tigrinum.shtml)

markrimn
27th June 2012, 03:37
I would like to add that my Tigers seem opposed to worms at first. And I know you are not supposed to handle them, but when mine first tried to get a worm they ended up with a mouthful of cocofiber. So what I did was get those critter carriers, that are small plastic containers about 10" by 5" I transfer the Tiger into that, add a nightcrawler and then leave so they aren't following my movements. Come back in 15 minutes or so and the Salamander should have gotten around to at least starting to eat.

Also, my one salamander went like two weeks without eating then started to again. So just because they don't eat every other day doesn't really mean they are sick. But going on two weeks I did get worried about mine.

ba98mgt
27th June 2012, 04:05
Ill read the caresheet.

I'm not using dirt, I'm using large pebbles. I'm not sure what the word substrate means lol.

I've tried earthworms, I had to hold them in front of their face and ended up just letting the worm dig is way to a new home. I once tried a nightcrawler in front of its face, which one of them ate, but way wayy too big and I had to play tug of war which was not easy. Lesson learned.

I'm picking up a 9" and 11.5" Tigers this weekend in a 20gal tank. At what size would it be ok for my 6" Tigers to live with the larger ones?

The reason I didn't use dirt is I had Tigers before and when the pooped on the dirt, then mashed it into the ground it stunk up the room.

Yea ill have to find ways to cool it down, its hard to keep track while going to school and working full time. Plus I'm kinda broke haha.

ba98mgt
27th June 2012, 04:22
Okay I read that article and it helped. I'm going to change the setup around.

What's an affordable substrate to use that won't stink when they poo everywhere? How do I go about cleaning the tank to avoid amonia?

What's the easiest way to keep the tank cool? I check on these guys only a few times a day, so some ice won't last it all day.

I'm not really a fan of feeding crickets, haven't tried it and probably won't. Ill throw them in the tank but that's the extent lol. I'm a girl when it comes to bugs, but I can admit it.

The problem still stands. They'll only eat rosie reds.. I mean, is this bad?

grius
27th June 2012, 04:25
Also, my one salamander went like two weeks without eating then started to again. So just because they don't eat every other day doesn't really mean they are sick. But going on two weeks I did get worried about mine.


My adult tigers can dissapear for a week now and then. This summer a little over 2 weeks which is the longest time any of my tigers has been buried before. She ate as fast she "woke" up and was allert as usuall. They can be out of food a few weeks without problems and perhaps months?,Now during summer they feed once or twize which seem to be enough from what i can see on their boddy mass.

grius
27th June 2012, 04:56
What's an affordable substrate to use that won't stink when they poo everywhere? How do I go about cleaning the tank to avoid amonia?

I have never had any problemes with that. I only change the substrate a few times a year and put in a new layer leaf litter and new moss. You can also throw in some woodlice in their setup, they will eat and clean some.. I have lot's of woodlice in my vivarium.

What's the easiest way to keep the tank cool? I check on these guys only a few times a day, so some ice won't last it all day.

There are much information on the forum about this stuff. Search the forum and you will find good threads with cooling information.

I'm not really a fan of feeding crickets, haven't tried it and probably won't. Ill throw them in the tank but that's the extent lol. I'm a girl when it comes to bugs, but I can admit it.

The problem still stands. They'll only eat rosie reds.. I mean, is this bad?

If you haven't tried crickets or eathworms yet, how do you then know that they only will eat that fish? You need to change food, that's it, your tigers will not stay healthy on a fish diet so it's up to you. And I can assure that crickets and lobworm will work, and if you have a probleme with crickets try B.dubia instead(cockroach) they are very easy to breed. But first of all get some worms if you can find that.

Btw. I only feed crickets/worms and woodlice from tweezer, that way no crickets can escape and eventually harm them later. And as i have so much furnishing that's the only choice. So try that.

ba98mgt
27th June 2012, 05:31
What is "dusting" the crickets? Ill try some crickets. I've tried earthworms and they had no intrest.

So for the bottom, just grab a trowl and use dirt from my yard?

Ill look up the cooling methods.

grius
27th June 2012, 05:51
Now your just being lacy with your questions. Use the search functione and start reading around.

ba98mgt
27th June 2012, 06:30
Lacy?

I honestly don't know what dusting is. And of the substrate you mentioned, most donr ring a bell.

Isn't this the newbie forum? I read the sticky in the forum but it doesn't tell what to use for substrate and doesn't tell what dusting is.

AngieD
27th June 2012, 11:47
to 'dust' crickets, put a few of them in a small plastic bag (like a food bag), put a bit of vitamin/calcium powder in with them, close the bag, and give it a gentle shake. The powder should end up all over the crickets

Jan
27th June 2012, 14:44
Lacy?

I honestly don't know what dusting is. And of the substrate you mentioned, most donr ring a bell.

Isn't this the newbie forum? I read the sticky in the forum but it doesn't tell what to use for substrate and doesn't tell what dusting is.

Please read this article Caudata Culture Articles - Tiger Salamander 101 (http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/tiger_sal_101.shtml). It is intended for those who are new to keeping tiger salamanders and explains many of the questions you have asked.

markrimn
27th June 2012, 17:04
Pet stores sell powder to dust your crickets, you can also ask to have them predusted, but it falls off after a bit. IF you do crickets, pet stores also sell cricket food, the stuff I have looks like orange jello cubes.

Also, it takes my salamander a good 5 minutes or so to swallow the nightcrawler. Don't pull it back out, but you might try letting it get half the night crawler down and cutting the other half off if they are quite long.

Or cut them ahead of time.

ba98mgt
27th June 2012, 19:15
Thank you, I appreciate it. Ill get the stuff at the pet store today and dust my crickets.

So basically, would I need to put the cricket food in my tank so they don't die? I have no place to breed crickets.

Ill read that article, thank you!
Yea these Tigers are very young, energetic, and small. I may build a divider when I get the 20gL tank with the large Tigers.

Am I allowed to post pics in this thread of my setup when I finish? I'm so new to this stuff lol.

markrimn
27th June 2012, 20:18
Thank you, I appreciate it. Ill get the stuff at the pet store today and dust my crickets.

So basically, would I need to put the cricket food in my tank so they don't die? I have no place to breed crickets.

Ill read that article, thank you!
Yea these Tigers are very young, energetic, and small. I may build a divider when I get the 20gL tank with the large Tigers.

Am I allowed to post pics in this thread of my setup when I finish? I'm so new to this stuff lol.

No. You don't want to keep live crickets running around in your tank with your Tigers. The crickets will actually attack the tiger, and can bite their eyes, etc. You want to just get a small plastic container. Keep some wet paper towels and some of the cubes of food in with the crickets. Also find out when your pet shop gets new orders of crickets and buy them on that day. The crickets will eat the other crickets if they are injured or if their is no food for them. The food cubes will dry out also, so only put 1 at a time in their and when it is almost gone or dried up add another.

When ready to feed, get like 4 crickets out, put em in a zip lock bag with some of the cricket dusting powder, shake em around.

Anyways, I know there are differing opinions on here, but I still believe feeding my salamanders outside of their tank to be a better option than in it. When they are out begging for food, and trying to climb edge of glass, I take em out put them in another container and add a nightcrawler. It took them a little to get used to, but they eat nightcrawlers just fine, and according to most information, that is the best balanced food for them.

ba98mgt
27th June 2012, 20:42
Thanks a ton on th cricket info, makes my job a lot easier.

I guessill have to see what orks btter, in or out. I'm thinking outside the tank might be best for my scenario but we shall see. So yours come out of hiding when they're hungry?

My tank just got a makeover. I used old long pine needles for the bottom. They seem to like it, they dig in it. The house temp is 76* so ill be putting an ice block in a ziplock bag in the tank to cool it.

markrimn
27th June 2012, 21:20
Thanks a ton on th cricket info, makes my job a lot easier.

I guessill have to see what orks btter, in or out. I'm thinking outside the tank might be best for my scenario but we shall see. So yours come out of hiding when they're hungry?

My tank just got a makeover. I used old long pine needles for the bottom. They seem to like it, they dig in it. The house temp is 76* so ill be putting an ice block in a ziplock bag in the tank to cool it.

Down at the pet store they sell a thing called ecoearth I think. It is a brick of compressed coconut fiber. You put it a 5 gallon bucket (I buy from walmart, bucket and lid cost about $3.50 combined here) The eco earth cost around $3 for 1 brick or $10 for 4 bricks.

Put it in a 5 gallon bucket, add the amount of water it calls for. Let it sit for about 30 minutes,, throw the lid on, give it a good shake for 30 seconds to a minute. Then you have perfect substrate.

Make sure you get the aquarium water treatment that neutralizes chloramine and chlorine, and treat the water you plan to use in the substrate, otherwise buy spring water from grocery store.

Then just keep the substrate moist. I do monthly changes of all the substrate. IF you see salamander turds on the surface you can remove em.

Also I keep a 8x8 cake pan with fresh water in it. I change every day or two, maybe third day if there are no poops in it.

As to my salamanders, they will come out and claw at the glass and follow me around or come running from other side of the enclosure if they are hungry. If they are buried and hiding and temperature is fine, they probably are not that hungry.

Salamanders from what I have read, and experienced are pretty quick to learn who feeds them. My larger one begs all the time. The smaller one only once in a while. But I feed them both whenever I feed them.

ba98mgt
28th June 2012, 00:53
Ill get some of the ecoearth. I'm afraid my tigers might get dry with what I have now.

So only the pet store sells it? Or Walmart also sells it?

markrimn
28th June 2012, 02:15
Never seen it at Walmart. Petsmart and Petco have it, or http://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-Compressed-Coconut-Substrate/dp/B0010OSIHW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340849729&sr=8-1&keywords=ecoearth

ba98mgt
28th June 2012, 03:27
Wow that's super cheap. Thanks for your help!

Jan
28th June 2012, 13:07
Thanks a ton on th cricket info, makes my job a lot easier.

I guessill have to see what orks btter, in or out. I'm thinking outside the tank might be best for my scenario but we shall see. So yours come out of hiding when they're hungry?

My tank just got a makeover. I used old long pine needles for the bottom. They seem to like it, they dig in it. The house temp is 76* so ill be putting an ice block in a ziplock bag in the tank to cool it.
I definitely would not use pine needles as a substrate. The oils in pine can be toxic to salamanders. See this article for further information on types of woods that are and are not suitable: Caudata Culture Articles - Wood in Vivaria (http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/wood.shtml).

For a safe, simple substrate, the reconstituted cocofiber blocks either alone or mixed 50/50 with organic topsoil is good.

I personally recommend hand feeding tigers. I do not remove them from their enclosure and avoid any unnecessary handling. Hand feeding reduces the chance of aggressive feeding behaviors resulting in nipping/injuring of tankmate's limbs and tails and assures that you know what is each animal is consuming.

markrimn
28th June 2012, 16:23
I definitely would not use pine needles as a substrate. The oils in pine can be toxic to salamanders. See this article for further information on types of woods that are and are not suitable: Caudata Culture Articles - Wood in Vivaria (http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/wood.shtml).

For a safe, simple substrate, the reconstituted cocofiber blocks either alone or mixed 50/50 with organic topsoil is good.

I personally recommend hand feeding tigers. I do not remove them from their enclosure and avoid any unnecessary handling. Hand feeding reduces the chance of aggressive feeding behaviors resulting in nipping/injuring of tankmate's limbs and tails and assures that you know what is each animal is consuming.

I had no problem hand feeding crickets, but nightcrawlers proved troublesome. To the OP if in doubt, I would go with Jan on advice overmyself. I am quite new to amphibians and the Tigers are the first I ever owned.

nwmnnaturalist
28th June 2012, 21:02
Tiger Salamanders don't mind slightly dry substrate, as long as you have a water source for them to bathe and soak in. Mine lives in a fine hardwood mulch and she seems perfectly happy with it when it dries out on top. I had bought a couple extra bags of this mulch (40# for about $4.50) to keep on hand for changing substrate.

I've tried a variety of foods for mine, but she prefers earthworms over everything. I pick up the Trout Worms at Walmart, put them in a gray tote bin (about a 10 gallon) with a mix of the worm mulch sold in bait areas, organic garden soil (sold in bags) and some organic bagged compost. I've had the same batch I bought from in April, and they are breeding and doing just fine. You don't necessarily need to keep them in a fridge, but a basement or other area that stays cool is nice. The more substrate they are in, the cooler it stays. The Trout Worms tend to be smaller than Nightcrawlers, and are easier to manage. I just give them to her by hand, or put them in her water dish when I clean it out. They can be nippy though, and my big girl (9.5 inches) will sometimes try to swallow my finger. Plus, the worms tend to be a bit more nutritious if they have a good mix of substrate to feed on.

ba98mgt
29th June 2012, 02:21
I bought the 3 pack of eco earth, ill be using that instead.

I read that tigers need about 70% humidity. I built a humidifier myself from a walkthrough, but it doesn't seem to do much.
I found a 1 gallon Vicks humidifier for like $13. Would this work? Are there better alternatives for less? I have 2 six inch tigers in a 10 gallon aquarium ill be getting 2 large tigers in a 20 gallon aquarium soon. So maybe if the Vicks is too potent ill split the line to it feeds both tanks.

I appreaciate the help and links to learning sources. I've learned so much and have much more to learn.

Btw, my Tigers love to dig. They remind me of some Cichlids I own, they love to reorganize the tank.

Jan
29th June 2012, 12:17
I would not be at all concerned with humidity. The ambient humidity in Michigan is more than adequate....no need for a humidifier. Humidity is not that important for tigers...a moist (not wet) substrate, cool temperatures and good ventilation such as a mesh top, however, are important. A lethal situation can occur when there is high humidity, warm temps and no ventilation...these are conditions for infectious processes to develop.

ba98mgt
30th June 2012, 17:25
My eco earth came in. How many inches thick of substrate should I use?

markrimn
30th June 2012, 18:38
My eco earth came in. How many inches thick of substrate should I use?

I usually can cover the bottom of my tank about 2 inches thick with half a brick. I of course make a whole brick at once.

2 " for my Tigers is deep enough they can burry themselves, and lay at the bottom against the glass. Also as I mentioned I have an 8x8 cake pan in there and it sits on the glass so I don't put any substrate where the pan sits.

ba98mgt
30th June 2012, 20:28
I didn't understand the cake pan thing at first but now I get it. That's a great iea. I was just using a butter bowl lid for water if they wanted to go for a "dip" but the cake pan idea is wayyy better.

Tomorrow I'm picking up a 20 gallon long tank to house my 11.5", 9", 6", and 5" Tiger salamanders. I may have to make a divider, we shall see.

So I guess buying 3 bricks was overkill. The base of a 20G long is somthing like 30" x 12".

nwmnnaturalist
30th June 2012, 21:58
It's always nice to have extra substrate laying around, especially if they get a little messy or you want to make changes to the habitat. You can make one side of the tank have a thicker layer so they have something more to burrow in. As they explore their habitat, you can observe them and see what they may like or not like.

I keep a spray bottle with distilled water near the tank to mist if it seems to dry out too much. I used distilled since it has no chemicals that may be in tap water, as well as the fact it doesn't have minerals that can cause hard water stains.

When you have substrate and a water pool for dipping in, it will get the water dirty. Often a filter system just gets overwhelmed. I have a terracotta plant dish and fill it with water. Once a week I empty it out, give it a spray with some vinegar, let it sit and scrub it. I then rinse it thoroughly and put it back in with fresh water. They have terrarium/vivarium cleaners but I've just used regular white vinegar and made sure I rinsed thoroughly.

I'm happy you're asking questions and trying to learn all you can about your Tigers. Most of it is a learn-as-you-go process, as you watch your Tigers and learn what they need and don't need. Don't be afraid to ask questions, even if some of us (including myself) may seem cranky ^w^. We would rather you ask these questions and helped keep your animals happy and healthy.

Jan
1st July 2012, 13:34
My eco earth came in. How many inches thick of substrate should I use?
I will once again refer you to this article Caudata Culture Articles - Tiger Salamander 101 (http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/tiger_sal_101.shtml). Answers to this and many of your other questions are answered there.