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Fire Salamanders (Salamandra) The first salamanders described, this diverse genus of species and subspecies can be found throughout Europe and the Near-East. They are the animals that first come to mind when most people hear the word "salamander".

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Old 22nd May 2002   #1
john
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<CENTER>Click the image to open in full size.</CENTER>
I just thought I'd post a photo of my semi-adult Salamandra salamandra terrestris setup. This is a minimalistic setup, based on unbleached paper towelling. The paper is changed every 10 days and everything in the setup is washed in water and the box itself is washed too. It's not naturalistic, but it's easier to keep clean, maintain, keep track of what's being eaten, etc. Not an original idea, but it has proved very easy with which to deal. The box dimensions are 53 cm long x 41 cm wide x 23 cm tall. It has dual "half lids" that close from either side, which are handy for keeping moisture in. I make sure that the box doesn't close completely so air can circulate readily in and out of the box. Note that I put everything back the way it was before cleaning so that the salamanders can recognise the layout every time.

Criticism or comments please?



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Old 22nd May 2002   #2
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I was wondering if you had carried on with the paper toweling substrate, and kept meaning to ask how it was going.
How can you be sure of getting unbleached paper?
When I have looked for some, the packs never say.
Do you have a brand name?
My fire salamander set ups have gradualy gone from naturalistic with plants etc to a more simple set up for the same reasons as you, ease of cleaning,and keeping track of what is eaten.
They seem happy enough as long as they have places to hide and regular feedings.

MORG



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Old 22nd May 2002   #3
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I get my paper towel from a big Organic Health Food shop here in Bristol that sells all kinds of thing like that. This paper towel is recycled and washed to remove chemicals and no bleach is applied to it. Says so on the packet. I don't know the brand name off the top of my head, but you should be able to get it in that sort of shop.

Fire salamanders are very messy little things compared to many species. This setup is very easy to clean, yes.

In my opinion, the key things to making them "happy" in this setup are:

1- Multiple hiding places (i.e. more than 1).
2- Something that breaks up the line of sight so they just don't see a plain white box - hence the large rocks in mine.
3- Replacing objects where they were prior to cleaning so that the animals still know the layout of the box.



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Old 22nd May 2002   #4
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I was very interested to see this. I am in the process of stripping down large tanks full of my rapidly expannding Sallies-collection (gravel, peat, plants)... and moving to exactly this set-up. I am now converted to this, big-time.

I wondered what sort of water you used: tap? aged tap?
What type of bowl are they?
Is that cork bark? Artificial log?
Do you stack your set-ups?
What are the box dimensions verses number of animals?
Ever fear you might miss the fact that a mother is gravid and looking for a pool?
Care to name the box type / brand? I'm buying large plastic boxes for household food storage and boxes designed to hold kids' toys but this is causing my wallet to haemorrage...
All-in-all, very reassured by what I've seen.

Best//Matt



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Old 22nd May 2002   #5
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Water: Not straight out of the tap.
Bowls: The water dishes for the bottom of plant containers. They're made out of plastic and I just cut a door with a pair of scissors, making sure to leave no sharp bits.
Stacking: No I don't stack them.
Dimensions: The box dimensions are posted above - there are four terrestris living in that one, all about 12 cm long.

They're not mature yet so I don't worry about them being gravid. I'll just add a water dish when they are mature.
The box is a Tuff Crate. I got it from Robert Dyas here in the UK for &pound; 6.99

Hope that helps.



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Old 22nd May 2002   #6
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I use the same type of thing for my juvenile axys(aquatic) and adult tiger(terrestrial).I get them from Focus (UK) for &pound;1.99 and my husband makes wire mesh lids for them.The size is 48cmL x 37cmW x 24cmH.



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Old 23rd May 2002   #7
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John
Do you keep other terrestrial species on paper towelling, and in simple set ups, or is it just the fires?

MORG



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Old 23rd May 2002   #8
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No, just the fires. It's ideal for them because they do well on it, but I don't think species with more dry skin do.



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Old 2nd June 2002   #9
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One more advantage of this I don't think has been mentioned yet: it may break the cycle for worm (re)infestation (compared to more solid, longer-term substrate). Presumably more of a problem for anyone with wild caught rather than CB animals.



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Old 2nd June 2002   #10
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is bounty unbleached?



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Old 2nd June 2002   #11
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Not as far as I know. Unless it says it on the packet, then steer clear. I got mine from a health food/natural foods shop.



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Old 3rd June 2002   #12
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If in the UK you can order recycled unbleached from
www.greenbrands.co.uk
This is the only place I have found it.I tried health shops in Doncaster and Sheffield but they only sell food stuffs.

MORG



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