Alternative method L.laoensis

Niels D

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I've been experimenting with L.laoensis eggs and larvae, just like I did with P.deloustali last year. I don't like "sterile" methods, so I wanted to try raising P. deloustali in pond water while feeding Daphnia. I lost animals in a later stage and on land however. In a later stage, because I kept them too cold (9C and maybe colder). After quickly putting them in the living room a lot of larvae morphed too soon, maybe because of the sudden change in temperature. Lost animals on land probably due to the fact that I fed them tubifex which wasn't cleaned enough on paper towel. There where the animals came in contact with the tubifex, they developed swears, especially on the throat. This also happened with animals which were a year older. I've got 6 healthy juveniles now, feeding them only white worms and fruit flies. When they get bigger I will feed them little earthworms and small slugs as well.

Point is that it was possible to raise them in "ripe water" setups using pond water and that the things that went wrong PROBABLY didn't have to do with the way they were raised. I've got a small amount of L.laoensis eggs and almost all larvae hatched and have survived until now using only pondwater. At this moment 10 animals have morphed, although they are a little bit on the small side with 4.5 centimeters. Their skin looks dry though and I've seen them eat white worms and fruit flies. I'm not feeding tubifex on land anymore.

I will give more details if people are interested. This method is not "universal, because the quality of pond water is diffirent in each pond. The water quality in one pond can differ throughout the year as well. I dared to use water out of my pond, because there's a lot of fresh water isopods and Gammarus in it. They don't thrive in water which is out of ballance.
 

Chinadog

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Thanks Niels, I'm certainly interested in hearing more details. :)
I recently read that feeding Daphnia to Laotriton larvae resulted "without fail" in high death rates from Saprolegnia infections. Maybe the Daphnia were being unfairly blamed if you've fed them without problems?
Oh, and please, please can we see some pics of the babies? Laotriton have the best looking juveniles by a long way!
 

jewett

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I recently read that feeding Daphnia to Laotriton larvae resulted "without fail" in high death rates from Saprolegnia infections.
Chinadog, did you read this in "Salamanders: keeping and breeding" by Pasmans, Bogaerts, Janseen, and Sparreboom? I recently got this book and when I read that about feeding Daphnia I was pretty disappointed. I want to raise some laoensis some day but rely heavily on Daphnia when raising larvae because I have bad luck with water quality using BBS and am scared to use large amounts of cyclops. Daphnia are my best best for tiny larvae so it will be great to learn that they can be used under certain circumstances with laoensis!

Niels, I look forward to updates and details using this method!

HJ
 

Chinadog

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Chinadog, did you read this in "Salamanders: keeping and breeding" by Pasmans, Bogaerts, Janseen, and Sparreboom? I recently got this book and when I read that about feeding Daphnia I was pretty disappointed. I want to raise some laoensis some day but rely heavily on Daphnia when raising larvae because I have bad luck with water quality using BBS and am scared to use large amounts of cyclops. Daphnia are my best best for tiny larvae so it will be great to learn that they can be used under certain circumstances with laoensis!HJ
Yes, that's it, although in Threatened Newts and Salamanders Paul Bachhausen makes no mention of problems with Daphnia, but does say that mortality will be high in water with an elevated germ load and recommends the use of a UV steriliser and biological filtration to combat this. Germ load isn't a term I've heard before, but I understand it as elevated levels of undesirable bacteria, so it follows that a UV will obviously rectify this.
I think Paul is a member on here, so maybe he'll share more of his thoughts on Daphnia next time he's online.
 
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Niels D

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A short intro:

I've got the book as well and Janssen is my "mentor". I know and have used his method for raising L.laoensis. I still think Daphnia is to blame for the deaths by Saprolegnia as well and that raising them with the "sterile" methods is probably the best way. I'm not a scientist and have no detailed knowledge about the science behind everything. Still I guess Saprolegnia will be a problem when Dapnia dies in your setup. Using balanced pond water with (I believe) a relatively low "germ load" doesn't result in Dapnia dying within hours after being introduced to the setup. Daphnia doesn't do well in tap water, but it stays alive without any problem in the pond water I use.

Due to the pond water I believe that the pond/ramshorne snails and Eleodea did their jobs better as well. Dapnia remains were already partially processed by the snails before I could siphon them out. The Eleodea didn't have a setback after being introduced and started to flourish straight away, so it could take out nitrates from the start.

Of course pond water is a totally different method than the other methods which have proven to be a success. The reason I wanted to try something different is the fact that I'm not good with these "sterile" methods. If a potential threat (bacteria and such) are introduced to a "sterile" setup they can flourish due to the lack of competition. Pond water is filled with microscopic life and if it's in balance the chance of one threat being able to take over is a lot smaller. At least according to my rookie theory.

Method aquatic faze:

After I got the eggs I directly put them in pond water. I know there is a risk of the eggs and larvae being harmed by mites. I've been told that they can damage the yoke sacks. Still almost all the eggs hatched and I almost haven't lost any larvae.

When the first larvae hatched I filled a little plastic take away container with pond water. I only checked it for big hazards like dragonfly larvae. I didn’t remove any Gammarus or fresh water isopods. I immediately put in some Eleodea and snails. I fed Daphnia after a couple of days, but in small amounts. I also cut up tubifex. I didn’t fed any small blood worms.

When the larvae got all four of their legs I transferred them to a large plastic container (60x30cm) set up in the same way. I added an air pump with an air stone. After that I only fed tubifex and white worms from my own culture. I keep everything on room temperature which is about 19C here.

At this moment most are showing signs of morphing or have already morphed at sizes between 4 and 5.5 cm. Though some are a bit small they show a nice “dry” skin, instead of the shiny sticky looking skin you see when animals morphed too soon.

Terrestrial faze:

I use almost the same method as explained in the book. I’ve used this for raising different kinds of Paramesotriton species and L.laoensis. Hope this method will prove to be a sufficient again, though only time will tell. Maybe the way of raising them aquatic the way I did will cause problems later on. The method: Styrofoam boxes, beech or oak leaves a little window. I don’t feed tubifex or bloodworms though. I stick to white worms and fruit flies, which are dusted with calcium. I don’t use wet paper towel, but I do add a brick with those handy holes in it. Once a week I clean everything with pond water as well. Later on I will feed cultured worms and little slugs, though I will keep on offering dusted fruit flies.

When this ends up in a disaster I will report that as well, because this will be a result all the same. Be warned that pond water isn’t of a constant quality, so I don’t recommend using it without it being examined. Even if everything looks okay your pond water can contain harmful elements which my pond water is lacking due to other circumstances. If you have questions, feel free to ask. I will be posting pics everybody. Don’t you worry.
 

Niels D

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Really love this specie, especially the adults. It's a real challenge to raise them alas. I normally keep newts which don't require a terrastrial fase, but for this specie and all Paramesotriton species I'm glad to make an exeption. I won't complain when my P.ruber will start laying fertile eggs either.
 

Niels D

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Forgot to explain why I'm not feeding blood worms. I've had two incidents in the past shortly after feeding blood worms resulting in the immediate deaths of larvae and adult animals. It seems that I'm only able to get the so called Russian variety. I'm not saying that these aren't fit to use as food items, but I do believe there is a small risk using them. In aquatic setups I therefore prefer to feed tubifex. I don't use this on land anymore however.

It's possible that the Daphnia in my pond doesn't carry any Saprolegnia spores, but I've seen that a fuzzy looking mold will develop on the dead specimens. I do not now if this is a Saprolegnia specie however.

The pond is 2x2 meters and has a depth of 1 meter. The only plants in it are Fontinalis antipyretica and Iris pseudacorus. The pond contains a huge Trachemys scripta troosti. I've spotted Hydrophilus piceus and Dytiscus marginalis in it,and there is a great variety of dragonfly larvae. A small, but healthy pond, at least I like to think so.
 

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I've also noticed the quality of bloodworms nose dive over the last year or so. Both the live and frozen stuff has all kinds of junk mixed in with it. I assumed the suppliers were buying the stuff anglers use as live bait because it's so much cheaper.
 

Niels D

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We had a speaker (I believe F. Pasman) at the anual meeting of the Dutch salamander and newt assosiation, who investigated the live food, like blood worms. The results weren't very alarming, but there were traces of heavy metals and other potentially dangerous chemicals in the packages. I don't know the amount of packages investigated, but it weren't only a few. Some packages could be labeled as very undesirable to use as a food item at least. I'm not saying tubifex doesn't form any risks, but I only had bad experience with blood worms when it comes to feeding in water.
 

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A friend sent me 50 laoensis eggs last year from Canada ,2 survived transit of two weeks and 1 of 2 survived hatching . This animal morphed I raised him with 3 Marmoratous larvae in a large peanut butter tub with daphnia elodea ,Java moss and aquatic snails. When the Marms were too big I moved them out. The laoensis only eat Daphnia and wouldn't touch bloodworms . I also had tams horns in the the tub I let the snails eat the funk and fur an I turkey basted out the snail poo. I had no other problems until 4months after metamorphosis when it stopped eating . The morph showed a preference for whiteworm and nothing else.Im sure he died malnourished.
The cycled tank water and daphnia caused me no problems either.
 

Niels D

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This sounds like similar conditions regarding to the aquatic fase. Were the white worms from your culture or from a store? I can imagine that specimens coming out of a store have a low nutricial value. I believe that the freshley caught white worms have a better value, but I'm not sure. I will start feeding small earthworms as soon as possible. In my culture I can find a lot of tiny ones, so that shouldn't be a problem.

I've been told that calcium is crucial as well. That's why I'm dusting the fruit flies. Janssen told me the flies gather by the "window" of the setup during day time and that you can therefor spot your newts there as well. I've seen those clumsy looking juveniles catch the flies with surprisingly fast movements.

The P.deloustali from last year already eat small <1cm slugs. I hope the L.laoensis will accept them as well. We'll see how this goes.
 

Niels D

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Just a bit more info I also forgot:

I received 46 eggs/already hatched larvae. Three eggs didn't show any development and four got moldy while developing. So seven eggs didn't hatch and I had 39 larvae swimming around. I lost 6 larvae shortly after transferring them into the larger container. I removed the dead specimens without doing a full waterchange afterwards as is recommended in other method descriptions. I didn't want to disrupt the already established balance.

After this I haven't lost any animals. Twentyone animals are terrestrial and I've got twelve larvae reasonably close to morphing. No losses on land yet and everything seems to be going well. Not bad for a method which is totally different, though I've got a long way to go until they get back into the water.

Then I'm going to keep them in the same way I'm keeping my Paramesotriton species in setups like these: http://www.caudata.org/forum/f1173-...a-etc/100674-first-three-open-newt-tanks.html

When I refere to the other methods which have proven to be succesful, I mean the ones described in these books, which I can recommend as well:

Salamanders - Keeping and Breeding (includes ALL Newts, Rubber Eels).: Frank Pasmans, Serge Bogaerts, Henry Janssen, Max Sparreboom: 9783866592650: Amazon.com: Books (Janssen also uses styrofoam boxes, but I could only read about plastic containers in this book)

Threatened Newts and Salamanders of the World - Captive Care Management

Oh yeah, if you didn't know this one already, I can really recommend this as well:
Salamanders of the Old World: The Salamanders of Europe, Asia and Northern Africa: Max Sparreboom: 9789050114851: Amazon.com: Books
 

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I would also recommend those three books and have been raising my Cynops pyrrhogaster/ensicauda juveniles in the set up outlined for raising Laotriton. The last one seems quite expensive, but once you actually have it you realise it's worth every penny and more.

By the way, I'm very jealous of your C.ensicauda, they are beautiful! I hope my two juvies turn out half as nice as those. I've been trying to find some more since I got them, but they are quite hard to come by over here.
 

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Niels D

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Thanks mate. Do you have the "South Okinawa" strain as well? I've got larvae swimming here, because I've managed to breed them for the first time. I go to Gersfeld eacht year, so it could be possible to arrange something. ;)
 

Chinadog

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Unfortunately I don't have any locality info on my two, although I might be able to trace it. I don't think there are many bloodlines in the UK, but they could be from pet trade imports in the past.
I'd love some offspring from your group, I'll just have to sneak another tank in here somewhere! ;)
 

Niels D

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No problem! Find a way to sneak your way into Gersfeld as well. There are enough people from the UK who can pick up the animals for you, but it's soo much nicer to go there yourself. Soo much species, a lot of interesting lectures and a lot of beer and schnitzels.
 

Niels D

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Everything is going well. No casualties on land and in the water since last time I posted. I transfered the juveniles to a similar but larger setup. This time I added some pieces of bark together with some pill bugs/woodlice. Used this method to add a lot of blackspringtails as well:
http://www.caudata.org/forum/f1173-...ral-discussion/106603-unexpected-goodies.html

In the corner there's a small plastic container/bottle cap. In my compost bin there's always some wet bread on top, because of the white worms that gather just beneath it. It's a lot of work to seperate the white worms from the dirt, so I put some of this worm loaded dirt in the container. Afterwards I filled it with water as well, so the white worms leave the dirt and the container.

The new setup:

Most of the juveniles:
 
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Hi Just to say I love this thread I have got more information on raising this spec than I have from all my books. I have looked at keeping this spec but I am now downsizing as I will be moving in the next year (to Holland ) so hope to start again when I'm settled.
This spec if I am right is not a pond spec but a stream spec and natural food should be different. Many spec cant take the nitrates and germ load that others can. Gammarus cant take high germ load or high nitrates so it shows that your pond is low on both so you feed daphnia which is quite (clean) in the gut and surface. I feed daphnia grown in tanks with high germ load(they eat bacteria) these tanks are also populated by bloodworm (another pollution tolerant spec). If this reasoning is correct my Daphnia would be the kiss of death to Laotrition.
Here in Northamptonshire we have many springs that come straight for the limestone bed rock full of lime and iron but devoid of nitrates. These streams are full of clean gammarus
but a word of warning they will take a bite out any thing they can so can damage young newts.
Regards KB
 
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    HalfDrunkToast: @MuggleMiChu I would say try live black/blood worms untell they are full or just turn there head... +1
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