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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 23rd October 2013   #1
JDB89
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Default Lab care of Salamandra?

Hello,

I am new to Caudata.org and salamander keeping and am looking for some advice on appropriate care in a laboratory setting (intensive breeders would be comparable). I am just starting some research on Salamandra (nothing bad, just controlled rearing and photographing) and am looking for advice on appropriate care which is suitable for long term housing of solitary individuals which is cost, time and space efficient but also makes a happy healthy salamander.

We have a few post-metamorphs (July) in small tubs and some larger juveniles in large ice-cream sized tubs. Currently they are on a gravel substrate with sphagnum moss (a quarter to half coverage) and a stone/tree bark hide. I have read that gravel is not good to keep them on and I am a little worried that they may be too damp. Paper comes up as a suggestion for cheep easy to clean care, but I am not sure if they could live on this long term. Soil seems best but obviously has a greater cost and a Ďdirtí issue, but if it is the only appropriate substrate then that can be dealt with.

As for water I was wondering if they are like most amphibians which need treated (de-chlorinated) water? So far the care given has used tap water; however, now that I am taking over their care, and having worked with amphibians before, I am not sure this is appropriate.

Feeding: At the moment they are being fed earth worms every 10 days. Is this an appropriate period of time? And would they benefit from other feeds such as crickets?

Any advice on housing set ups would be greatly appreciated (if the site allows for photos that would be ideal). I know there are care sheets but they largely aim at decorative pet set ups, not intensive rearing which is cost and care aimed without the personal aesthetic desires.

Basically I am looking for the cheapest and smallest way to keep a happy salamander.

Best



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Old 23rd October 2013   #2
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Default Re: Lab care of Salamandra?

A large ventilated tub like the "Really Useful Boxs" are perfect for housing salamandra species and they should have a substrate of vivarium soil, moss or damp paper towels. They do need de-chlorinated water as they have extremely sensitive skin that is damaged by the chemicals in tap water like chlorine. Feeding depends on how big they are and I would say they should be fed more often than once ever ten days. They also like a varried diet of slugs worms small crickets and waxworks although be careful with waxworks as try contain a lot of fat. If you need any other help just ask and searching though the forums can answer a lot of questions aswell! :)



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Old 23rd October 2013   #3
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Default Re: Lab care of Salamandra?

Hi there I'm no expert however I have reared my s.s.salamanders from larvae for the last yr and a half. I would highly recommend paper towel for substrate as I have happily had mine on paper towel for over a yr as it is easier for me for the time being. I use 2 folded sheets that I have dampend with cold dechlorinated (spring) water.
U are correct in saying not to use tap water. All the research I have done has always stated dechlorinated is a must, just with all amphibians :)
I have a similar setup to you. I have my juveniles seperate on damp paper towel, bark hide and some moss (don't have moss all the time). I would definitely suggest feeding your juveniles every other day with earthworms and you will notice a huge difference in growth and health. With my morphs, I fed them everyday with a mixture of pinhead crickets, tiny wildlife, flightless fruit flies however again I would recommend chopped up earthworms as they are much more nutritious :)
Hopefully this helps but there will probably be someone on here who will have more experience that they'll share with you :)
If I can get my pics uploaded, I'll show my simple setups
Good luck with everything :)



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Old 23rd October 2013   #4
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Default Re: Lab care of Salamandra?

Hi
I am also new to Caudata but I have been keeping a 8 or so month old fire salamander since August. Dechlorinated water should be used unless the tapwater is not cleaned by chlorine or some other chemicals. Rainwater should work well. I would feed them much more often if they are young and at room temperature (the higher the temperature, the quicker the metabolism usually). Slugs and worms are what I usually feed mine every second or third day. Occasionally I feed crickets because the vitamin powder holds on to their skin and doesn't kill them. You can feed pretty much anything else you find but not hard shelled creatures such as beetles because they may be too hard to digest. You can feed worms from outside as long as they are not living in a polluted area. Paper towels should be fine as far as I know but I think you should avoid ink on them. I would avoid standing water deeper than what they can stand in.
I am not an expert by any means so excuse me if anything I have written is wrong
Good luck



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Old 24th October 2013   #5
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Default Re: Lab care of Salamandra?

Thank you all for the advice. Much is what I suspected but it is really good to get some advice from people with experience. At the moment they are in a room about 14-16C and actually seem to be doing OK on the set up they have but it conflicts with a few things I have read. Their one in 10 day diet also sounded a bit wrong to me. I know they can be fed less regularly later in life, roughly to what age would you all suggest feeding, say, every second day?



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Old 24th October 2013   #6
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Default Re: Lab care of Salamandra?

Tbh I basically started feeding my morphs every 2 days after about 2 months because they just didn't want fed everyday. I would suggest offering food everyday until they are maybe 6months to 1 year old but that's just my opinion based on my experience. Earthworms seem to keep the wee ones fuller for longer so I guess it depends on what you're feeding and how much. Every animal is different and it will just take you some time to figure out everyone's eating habits.



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Old 24th October 2013   #7
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Default Re: Lab care of Salamandra?

I think when mine reaches about 15cm I will be feed it twice a week or once a week but with probably a larger portion (depending on temperature) but I haven't found a care sheet to prove that or any other time.



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