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Crocodile Newts (Tylototriton & Echinotriton)... Two popular genera of Asian newts, the crocodile newts are diverse of habit, habitat, and appearance. The Mandarin or Emperor Newt, Tylototriton shanjing, is highly sought after.

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Old 15th October 2002   #1
mark
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thanks for all your help regarding my newts

however the one that did the coming back to life trick still hasnt shed its skin - its at the same stage it was on wednesday

the skin has started to come off around the head but has not progressed past the eyes since wednesday

any ideas?



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Old 15th October 2002   #2
john
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This is quite dangerous for Tylototriton. It will actually start to decay after a few days and can attract flies that lay eggs on the decaying skin (I am not kidding, I've seen it more than once). I have seen these kill a juvenile shanjing and I've seen them animals that look relatively healthy. In my experience, the usual cause of incomplete shedding is that the animals are too dry. I suggest you get a tub of water and put the animal into it (he won't like that) and then try gently rubbing it off with your finger.

Good luck.



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Old 15th October 2002   #3
mark
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i managed to wet my finger and ease it off around the eyes and most of the head and am going to leave it at that and hope the newt can finish the job.

im still fiddling around with the moisture and am trying to create some lasting mositure in the tank

thanks again



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Old 17th October 2002   #4
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Good luck and monitor them daily until you can get things stabilised.



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Old 18th October 2002   #5
mark
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newt didnt progress too much with shedding. so i tried the same thing again and i hope it will work

The newts look ok but never leave their hiding places staying in the smae position throughout the day and are not eating.

I am going to try them on earthworm again because i had success with it before - im sure the waxworm i ahve are useless - theyre ridiculously large and dont look like good newt food at all compared to what i usually have. In fact last week two of the newts refused to eat them yet took earthworm.

I still have misgivings about the soil substrate - it does not appear to be creating a moisture gradient at all and holds no water even when all ventilation is blocked - it doesnt feel right.

maybe i am looking for scapegoats but i do have the nagging feeling the newts do not like the soil substrate.

Maybe the soil in my area is dodgy or maybe the newts are still very stressed.

Should i change the substrate or be patient and persevere?




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Old 18th October 2002   #6
jennifer
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I had a similar problem with my shanjing tank - the soil would get too dry even with misting daily. Now I use a mixture of top soil with Forest Bed, which is mostly made of shredded bark. It stays damp much better now.

Mine also seem to never move, but they are nocturnal. Mine are eating, but less than they did in warmer weather.



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Old 19th October 2002   #7
matt
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Jennewt:
I too had a minor problem with dehydrating substrate. My shanjing now flourish on Eco-earth; I think there is a similar product called Naturebed (at www.livefood.co.uk. For anyone who dosn't know, it is compressed coconut fibre. You add water and it swells up; then add water to half of set-up twice weekly. (Great for adult frogs too.)
They are lovely animals. Mine take waxxies from my hand.



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Old 19th October 2002   #8
mark
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thanks john, jennifer and matt

update:

-changed substrate to forest bed and soil. hope this will retain moisture - seems to be working so far.

-two newts ate. one took an earthworm. one ate its skin after shedding. the third (the brightest) probably would have eaten had i not ran out of earthworm... ill get soem tommorrow.

- this shedding business interests me - the wee newt shed its skin this time last week so it strikes me as strange that it does it again. the other newt that "came back to life" also shed its skin at the same time leading me to believe it could be a stress related response...

-anyway hopefully they will be back to their usual diurnal hungry selves... ...ill be keeping a close eye on them

thanks for your help

Mark (newtboyuk)(/\/aguibo)

PS: matt - they are indeed lovely animals, mine also take waxies form my hand. are you in the uk?



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Old 20th October 2002   #9
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Mark

Yes, I'm in the UK. Address is matthew_dyke@btinternet.com if you want to go to private.
PS
How big is your set-up and how many do you have?



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Old 21st October 2002   #10
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Coconut fibre (aka coir) seems to be a bad a idea for salamanders. I've never used it for them, but given all the bad stories I've heard about it I won't be trying it. I use it for culturing live food though, and mites (the pest) seem to readily thrive on coconut fibre.



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Old 21st October 2002   #11
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Oh well, personally, I guess sometimes you have to speak as you find. I'd never use it for my fire sals (as paper towels do the job perfectly), but my emperors (and my frogs) do very nicely on it. Not had a mites problem, either.



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Old 22nd October 2002   #12
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OK, OK, I've slept on this one. Even if there's a small risk of problems, I'd like to know more about what you said John. (Will message you privately too for speed.)
*If ever I did find a mite on my Mandarins, what should I do?
*What are the horror stories?
*Which substrate would ~you~ suggest?
*Which live foods, specifically, do you culture on coir?

Eating humble pie,
Matthew



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Old 22nd October 2002   #13
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<ul>[*]If it's just one mite crawling on it, I wouldn't worry about it. If you see more than one or two in the tank though it might be worth changing the substrate. <LI>The horror stories? Well it just seems that a lot of reports of problems with Tylototriton shanjing seem to occur on coir. It may be coincidence - I'm unsure. Coir is just shredded vegetable matter. It doesn't have the bacteria found in soil and I don't believe it's a stable medium in its chemistry and ability to deal with newt waste (ordinary soil will absorb and/or break down some of the waste produced by the newts a little due to its bacterial content). <LI>You live in the UK and the substrate I would suggest would be nice garden soil, not acidic and not too alkaline. <LI>I culture grindal worms on coir.[/list]About the humble pie - I'm not necessarily right (I've had shanjing die on me). I am just sharing my opinion on the experience I've had and what I've read of the experience of others.

Good luck.



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Old 24th October 2002   #14
jennifer
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Another suggestion for a substrate: shredded cypress mulch. This is the main ingredient in "Forest Bed" which you can buy at pet shops in the US. I heard from someone that I trust that he keeps T. shanjing on cypress mulch, like the kind you can buy in big bags at garden stores. You use the finer material in the bag. After it is damp for a while, it softens and packs down so it's not so hard and woody. I haven't tried the garden shop variety, but I'm having good luck with the Forest Bed product, mixed with some soil.



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Old 25th October 2002   #15
mark
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once again thanks to all those who have posted

UPDATE: back on to waxies again. all newts eating

two looking healthy with voracious appetities

smallest - one that shed skin twice in a week eating but just generally more dull - not worried as of yet - ill be monitoring it closely

Mark (newtboy, naguibo)



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