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bubsmom 12th September 2010 05:45

Keep tank dark?
I have an adult grey tiger salamander we call Freddy aka Bubs. He got out twice already and I was lucky enought to find him quickly; he now has a secure lid on his tank. I put a black sheet over the tank and he seemed more calm. When part of the sheet is lifted he tries and tries to get out? Would it be better to put black construction paper or something close on the outside and a light on to keep him calm? We are upgrading his tank as we find out more information. I just dont want him stressed. Either way he wanders around through out the day/night but he only tries repeatidly to get out when its not covered. One more question here. He loves nightcrawlers and crickets are very hard to come by because of my isolated location in Montana. I make sure to not over feed him but his diet doesnt seem balanced and he is a picky eater. Will worms be enough nutrition for him to survive a month or so at a time???

Jan 12th September 2010 13:11

Re: Keep tank dark?
Nightcrawlers and earthworms are the perfect food - feed your sal a couple of times a week, rather than monthly if that was the question. Here are a couple of articles on food items from our Caudata Culture section:

Caudata Culture Articles - Foods
Caudata Culture Articles - Nutritional Values

Regarding housing, he needs an enclosure with a secure lid but also one that provides for good ventillation and air circulation e.g., a wire mesh top. He does not need to have a a fossorial animal that by nature spends much of its time underground - a light is not needed and depending upon the source may produce heat - sals need cooler rather than warmer temperatures and the enclosure should not be in direct sunlight.

Here is a recent thread that references several discussions on appropriate habitats for tiger salamanders that would be worth reading as someone new to keeping a tiger sal:

As well, you will find this care article from our Caudata Culture section beneficial if you have not yet read it:

Caudata Culture Species Entry - Tiger salamander

merk199 13th September 2010 14:33

Re: Keep tank dark?
Any pics on the tank? How deep is the substrate? What is the substrate? Any leaf litter, driftwood, temp, moisture level, etc...These are all questions that can help us understand more about maybe why he is not comfortable.

As far as food. Collect woodlice now. If you keep them in 3-4 months you may be able to feed them out. If worms are an issue in the winter I would suggest looking into vermiculture and raising the worms yourself. You wouldn't need an extremely large container since you only have one sal...Just a thought...

Jennewt 13th September 2010 14:59

Re: Keep tank dark?
If the sal is restless and always trying to escape, there is something wrong with the setup. Is the tank big enough? 10 gallons is the smallest he should have. Does he have plenty of hiding places? Can he dig? What is the temperature in the tank? Is the substrate damp, but not soaking wet?

I agree with Jan - worms alone are a perfectly fine diet. In summer you can supplement with some food from outdoors, such as crickets, slugs, woodlice (a.k.a. rolly-polys), etc.

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