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Alpine round up

xxianxx

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Just rounded up this year's alpines from their tub. Earlier in the year I dropped 60ish larvae into an aged tub in my garden. It is just left to lie fallow all year, I throw a few pellets in there to feed the inverts every few weeks, it's loaded with snails, daphnia, mozzy larvae , hog lice and blackworm. Elodea, duckweed and algae are the plants in there. I collected 32 alpines, all in good health and some near to morphing, will pull them earlier next year as I don't want them bailing. I consistently get a 50% survival rate, the smaller larvae get cannibalised, a few get predated on by water bugs but they grow bigger and faster this way than raising them indoors. I'm aiming for quality over quantity and this low effort raising does the job. All I do is monitor the food supply and add extra as it runs low, mske sure rain doesn't overflow the tub, remove any predatory bugs I spot, check water quality which is always good but I do it anyway.
 

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xxianxx

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On a much smaller scale I raised my only T.cristatus of the year the same way, it was my colonies first breeding year, I only got one good egg but I count this as a success as im a glass half full kind of guy. Same as the alpines, aged water, plants, add bugs, ignore mostly. It's not far off morphing so will be going into a secure tank so it doesn't run away
 

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xxianxx

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Better shot of billy "no mates" cristatus
 

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xxianxx

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The alpines are safely locked up in a viv. Care is the same as before, add food and not much else, though I can watch them more easily in the viv now. Once they start hanging about on the log I will put them in a terrestrial setup.
 

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shnabo

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I really like that idea, seems pretty effortless once you get it going. I raise my larvae without water changes as well and it has worked better for me, whenever I do the water change bit I start to lose things.
 

xxianxx

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Same viv five years latter, i added a rock with some moss on as a land area, put a bit of compost on it and grasses and ferns grew, they have a load of roots growing in the water which provide cover and spawning sites for the alpines. There is enough natural light in there for the elodea to take over, i do a water change once per year in spring, top up to replace the water lost to evaporation. Theres around twelve newts in there, adults of various ages and a couple of last years young. I mainly feed chopped earthworm, occasional frozen bloodworm, i add whiteworm, dusted fruitflies and occasionally crickets to the land area. Its amusing to watch adult alpines chasing flies across the top of plants which can barely hold their weight. Breeding is going well , i have removed lots of eggs but i have come to realise that the little gits are fond of eating eggs so have removed two pairs of adults to seperate tanks, its clear that im harvesting twice as many eggs from the seperated tanks than from the main viv. The pic of the male newt in a seperate breeding tank, its his first year and hes doing well.
I discontinued the use of outdoor tubs for raising alpines. There is too great a risk of escape. The red tub in the earlier pic is used for wild smooth newts, i drop any i find in there , i add daphnia and a few whiteworms in there now and then but generally leave it undisturbed. I have eggs available in the classifieds if anybody wants to try their luck with this lovely little newt.
 

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