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Old 18th May 2004   #1
shawn
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the life long question that has many answers and im interested in hearing yours What is the best/and or most popular food for newts.
i personally feed my newts a mixture of black worms earth worms, small pinhead crickets when my newts seek land and 3 times a week i feed them some sinking koi pellets that have alot of nutrients. Also i was wondering if anyone has any information on culturing black worms. personally im getting a lil tired of buying blackworms a couple times a week lol and think in the long wrong would turn out well since i could actually feed the blackworms a healthy variety of feed that will make them more nutritious to the newts.
thanks in advance anyone that may have or find information on the culturing of blackworms.
Wolfie



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Old 18th May 2004   #2
joseph
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I'm doing an experiment with blkworms right now. Mulm, paper towels, and scuds. They seem to be reproducing...but the scuds eat some



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Old 18th May 2004   #3
paris
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well if you cut them all in 1/2 and wait till they regrow the other 1/2 the you just doubled their number!Click the image to open in full size. but seriously i have many tanks where they have established themselves in the gravel(they look like pinkish brown tentacular grass) despite them being eaten-i never run out, i believe they may be reproducing or at least as they are getting 'grazed' on by the larvae they are regrowing their damaged ends-either way they are in constant supply, the down side is if they ever crash in the system(i.e. die) they will quickly spoil the water. also they have gotten very used to their gravely homes and are not easy to catch-so i occasionally go in and stir up the gravel-thet way they are forced out of their holes and will congregate in the non graveled areas(central) untill they all disperse back to their gravel



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Old 18th May 2004   #4
kaysie
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I feed mostly chopped earthworms, occasionally throwing in large, dusted crickets (so they have to exercise a little while chasing them around).



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Old 18th May 2004   #5
jennifer
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I use earthworms and frozen bloodworms for adult newts. I buy a lot of blackworms, but they are mainly fed only to juveniles and larvae.

Blackworms can be cultured, but they reproduce too slowly to be practical. A better idea might be to buy more (enough for 1-2 weeks) each time you go to the pet store. If the water over them is very shallow and they are rinsed daily with cold water they will keep for a month in the fridge.



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Old 19th May 2004   #6
joseph
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Paris: I've noticed that too. Seen lots of short worms crawling around. That must be why.

How are microworms for larvae?



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Old 19th May 2004   #7
shawn
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yeah i let a small portion of blackworms hang out in the gravel try not to let too many for that exact fear of them mass dying and destroying the tank. dont wanna take that risk.
Wolfie



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Old 21st May 2004   #8
joseph
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I think another concern of letting them take over is that there waste would foul the water...not to sure how delicate newts are but some more sensitive fish will tell you somethings wrong pretty quickly if the nitrates start to rise.



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Old 24th May 2004   #9
coen
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It seems that there is no way to get blackworms here in Holland :S



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Old 24th May 2004   #10
caterpillar
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My newt loves frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms. She never showed any interest in earthworms or crickets.



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Old 25th May 2004   #11
meghan
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My A. Maculatum prefer earthworms. Once in a great while they'll eat a cricket but seems to be only if it's close enough to catch. Lazy!! Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 26th May 2004   #12
bruce
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<font color="ff6000"><font face="times new roman,times,roman"><font size="+1">our newts thrive on crickets, mealworms and an occasional prime rib candle lit dinner for two.</font></font></font>



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Old 26th May 2004   #13
shawn
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so far only 1 of my newts took interest in a cricket and that was a juvie jfbn other than that all mine thrive on red wigglers (earth worms)black worms and baby- medium sized guppies its fun watching them chase guppies seems to give them alot of good excercise Click the image to open in full size. i have witnessed one of my larger Red Spotteds catch a good size pregnant guppy the other day which i found to be awesome Click the image to open in full size.
Wolfie



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Old 27th May 2004   #14
peter
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My N. viridescens adults (Central newts) really enjoy daphnia. A few will go after blackworms, but they almost always end up getting down into the gravel so I try alternate foods. Mayfly larva were readily accepted. It takes a while for them to hunt one down, but high densities will help this. The most successful food I've found was fairy shrimp. These are like large, freshwater brine shrimp, and they swim slow and are easy food. The only problem is finding them. The closest good spot for this is 45 minutes away, and conditions may have changed. You can find these in vernal pools, but from checking the Internet, various species may be endangered or threatened, depending on location.

My Necturus (mudpuppy) enjoys earthworms, but likes minnows the best. I just used my dad's fishing minnows and kept them isolated for a period of time, and then hand-fed them to her.

Adult brine shrimp have been of limited success for the newts and larva (ambystoma maculatum, tigrum, and laterale). I haven't witnessed the larva eating the shrimp, but the larger ones seem to be taking a few. The larva are fed chopped blackworms, but don't seem to be taking them too well. The larger ones eat these readily and have been since they hatched, but most of the smaller ones show less interest, though they still eat them. At first I thought it was the size of the pieces but similar sized larva were taking half-worms readily. Daphnia is also used for these. I'm currently looking for additional foods to try.



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Old 27th May 2004   #15
jennifer
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Peter- your observations about the larvae not eating blackworms are interesting. I find that some larvae will refuse blackworms as long as daphnia are available. The larvae that eat both the blackworms and daphnia grow much faster.



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Old 27th May 2004   #16
matthew
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You just can't beat live bloodworm!



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Old 28th May 2004   #17
shawn
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Where can i get daphnia because my larvae dont seem to be eating chopped blackworms atm.
wolfie



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Old 28th May 2004   #18
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I have to agree with Matt on this one, I have yet to find any newt, aquatic or terrestrial that does not enjoy a meal of live bloodworm.
Whenever raising newt larvae, I know Ive cracked it when they get large enough to take live bloodworm.



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Old 28th May 2004   #19
jennifer
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Shawn, for daphnia, try dallasdiscus.com If you order one of the larger sizes, you'll have enough to feed them right away, and enough to grow your own tub of them. The other option is hatching some brine shrimp eggs. In the meantime, keep trying with the chopped blackworms, they might surprise you.



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Old 3rd June 2004   #20
peter
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Jennifer - You're right about them not eating the blackworms when the daphnia are available. I've been unable to get to the place I normally find daphnia early enough in the day to get a suitable amount, (or they're declining), so most of my daphnia is being lost when eaten or during water changes for the larva. I've noticed a definate increase in the amount of blackworms eaten with the lower concentrations of daphnia. And as you said, the ones that eat both definately are growing faster, as these are only found in tanks where both are fed.

I have several ~20 gallon plastic totes that I use. The biggest tote has a breeding population of daphnia and is fed blackworms once per every 2-3 days. These are the smallest larva (a. maculatum). They're also the second youngest, but only by about 1-2 weeks. None of these have their rear legs, and are all fairly small. There are 9 in here, big fungus loss during hatching. I thought the whole batch was ruined and put them in with my mudpuppy to see if he'd eat the jelly and it wouldn't go to waste, and then a week later I saw some movement and removed them as a few survivors were climbing out. The mudpuppy totally ignored the egg mass, so I guess reports that they eat amphibian eggs must be limited to frogs at the very least.

In my third tote are the youngest, also a. maculatum. These are slightly larger than the first tote; despite being approximately two weeks younger. They're also the most crowded; this is the only biggest batch and hatched most of the larva, almost no loss to fungus. There's 50 in a smaller container than the 9, yet they're all larger. More blackworms were fed to these (I couldn't get enough daphnia to ensure that they'd be well fed. They still rejected most of the blackworms, hence the small size.)

On the other end of the spectrum are my remaining tiger salamander and two large maculatums. These were from my first visit to the pond, and are the oldest. They were so early that I couldn't get much daphnia and such for them, and fed them exclusively blackworms. They also eat daphnia, but in lower quantities. These got something of a preferential treatment, and have more area per salamander. They also had plenty of daphnia present at all times previous to now, but prefer the blackworms.

Aside from the first and third totes as mentioned above, all the others have rear legs. The third has some rear development but they're small, about 10 or so have this. Only one from tote 1 has rear legs, and they're very small.

One other really interesting thing that I noticed was I went looking for fairy shrimp near Big Falls (30 minutes from the place I got all the other eggs, so I can assume a similar hatch time and temperature) and found several large larva. They were about 1.5 inches long, rather fat, and very dark. They were either a. tigrum, laterale, or maculatum, but they all lacked rear legs. I isolated one and fed him some blackworms and mosquito larva, but I noticed he's getting rear legs now. I'm curious as to whether this is coincidence or not, but the others I captured and did not feed the blackworms have as yet not begun development, it has been 2 full days of this diet.

All in all, a lot of rambling over way too much information. Those are my basic observations, I wish I'd done things more scientifically though, I might try splitting my newt larva up when they hatch and raising them differently.

Anyhow, sorry about the long meaningless post, kinda a slow night and I'm a bit hopped up on pain-killers from having my wisdom teeth removed.



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