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Old 7th April 2009   #1
Mark and Emma
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Question Help with setup please

Im thinking about getting some chinese firebellied newts, im going to get 2 to start with and then get another 2 at a later date.
Would an aquarium this big be large enough to house 4?
41 cm length23 cm width29 cm height
the one im looking at is just a 20L plastic tank for £20 cause i don't want to spend to much to start with and i don't have much space.
What would be the best/cheapest filter to use for a tank of this size, can you post a link that delivers in the UK?
Can i use any kind of gravel for the floor of the tank as long as its big enough so that the newts cant swallow it?
Whats the best sort of food to feed them, i've read they like bloodworms, can anyone post a link to a good supplier?
& my last question(for now) can they be housed with any other kind of fish?


Thanks for taking the time to reply.



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Old 7th April 2009   #2
Justin
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Default Re: Help with setup please

This care sheet for Cynops orientalis is a great place to start looking for information. It should be able to answer all of your questions. Hope that helps.



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Old 7th April 2009   #3
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Default Re: Help with setup please

I've read the care sheet already but it dosn't tell me about how much space i will need to house the newts & it only says they like still water, this dosn't tell me what sort of filter i should be using.



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Old 7th April 2009   #4
Johnny O. Farnen
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Default Re: Help with setup please

Generally speaking, I prefer a sponge filter for juveniles and larvae, however I most often use "Top Fin Power Filter 10" type external filtration units for my adult newts. I am not sure if that brand is available outside North America, but a Google search on it will show you about this type of filtration better than I can explain it. I feel that the advantage to this type is that you can easily control the current and the filter media is easy to change.

Keep in mind this is for a full aquatic setup. Most Cynops speices have a terrestrial phase and may need to be transitioned to go full aquatic again. I generally use an undersized filter unit to help keep the flow down even more. Obstructions added to the tank, like plants, logs, rocks, and a floating island of some sort help even more.

As for tank size, there are many different opinions, however I use this formula for animals up to 127mm in length:

9.4 liters per full aquatic adult
1 liter per semi aquatic adult

For a total of 4 aquatic adults a roughly 38 liter tank should be sufficient. For a semi aquatic set up, I would use a 75 liter long tank to provide enough land and water.

In any case however, temperature is easier to control, the higher the volume of water there is for aquatic newts.



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Old 8th April 2009   #5
Neil Ellis
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Default Re: Help with setup please

That tank will be ok for two newts, but have a look in a fish shop as they often have glass tanks at the same cost that are far more reliable and look better. The best simple and cost effective filtration method will be to use an undergravel filter as it will cost around £15 and require very little maintainance. Using gravel as a substrate should not be a issue, (buy from homebase £3 but wash it well) you will want some wood or a rock above the water so they can leave if they want to, allowing you to assess if you need to adjust the land to water ratio. With regards to feeding bloodworm is frozen so rarely available mail order. You will be better off with earthworms from the garden or wildworld supplies. But don't over feed! One worm each every 2 days is enough, otherwise you will have problems with water quality, in such a small tank. I have information on using wood, worms and filters on my blog at www.bombina.co.uk and will have an episode on setting up a small newt tank soon.



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Old 8th April 2009   #6
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Default Re: Help with setup please

Why bother with a filter? They prefer still water so why not give them that. All you need is a few live plants, a minimal water change every week, and your good to go. You say your short on space so a filter would only take up desperately needed space anyways.

As for fish, I strongely advise against it. Too many disease, parasites, and disasters waiting to happen with them. However if your dead set on getting fish then go with guppies that have been quarantened for at least thirty days. Also be prepared for them to become snacks for the newts.

Regarding substrate, if the rocks are bigger than their head then go for it but they're a pain to get clean and keep clean with all the junk settling in the cracks and all. They'll also take up more valuable space in a small tank. Sand or bare bottom are a lot easier to keep clean.

A quick google search will point you in all the right directions for dealers that deal with the stuff you were asking about in the UK.



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Old 8th April 2009   #7
Rodrigo
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Default Re: Help with setup please

I wouldn´t advice anything smaller than a 38l tank for a single newt, though it works perfectly fine for two.
The more water you have, the easier it is to keep water quality, temp stability, etc. With a 20l tank you´ll have LOTS of problems trying to keep the water healthy.

I´m with Justin, filters are not at all necessary and in the case of this species, they create unwanted currents. Plus during the summer they add a couple of degrees to the water, which is not good.

Anyway if i were you i would look into getting a better starter species. The UK is FULL of breeders, and the list of available CB species is big.
Cynops orientalis, from petshops, are all WC, and most of them are ill, or at the very least have a shredded inmune system, and high levels of stress. They usually develop infections after being purchased. Plus by buying them, you are suporting the WC market (which kills hundreds of animals every year, and does not help at all the conservation of the species).
If i may say so, Pleurodeles waltl are a superb started species and very easily available from breeders. Any Triturus is also a great choice.



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