Care considerations for juvie P. Chinensis

firedreams

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Hi everyone,

After *a year* of searching for a second P. Chinensis, I was finally fortunate enough to import 4 CB juveniles from the US. They arrived today in good health - they ate earth worm pieces a few hours after arrival, and do not seem too agitated (given the stress of their journey). I had expected them to be more mature juveniles, but they are very small (approx 6cm/2.5" in length) and appear to be only partially aquatic.

As these are my first juvie newts, I wanted to make sure that I have taken into consideration any special needs they might have. I currently have them in a 5 gallon tank with 6" of water with an overturned flowerpot providing some terrestrial space. I also have a lily-pad type plant in the tank that provide large leaves for them to rest on. So far, they only venture into the water in order to swim from the flowerpot to a leaf, or from the pot or leaf to the pump. They seem to spend most of their time climbing the sides of the tank above the water level (I quickly took measures to escape-proof the lid). I am wondering if this setup is ok for the time being? They seem a bit shy of the light fixture for the tank - is this a concern? Should I keep the light to a minimum, or give them the same light as I would for my adult P. Chinensis? Is there anything else I should be aware of for juvies?

Thanks!
 

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Ltdanicecream

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Congratz!

But whenever I get a new newt (har har), they climb the glass for a few days (my one noto male still does it..) but eventually they calm down. Best of luck!
 

firedreams

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Does anyone know how old these guys might be? And how long it should take them to reach adult size?

Attached are some pics from today of the entire setup (upgraded to a 10g tank) and a measurement pic of one of the little guys.
 

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VolatileXIII

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They look great, now I'm somewhat regretting not going in on an order with you guys. Hahaha.

What I would do in the mean time is, instead of giving them only a bit of landspace, try finding a container or tupperware large enough that when it's filled with rocks then layered moss on top, it sits above the surface. This way they'll have more land if they choose to fully use their terrestrial curiosity stage instead of swimming from small space to small space, possibly having to fend off the other newts from said spots.

I think it would lessen the possibility of stress and aggression on the newts but I don't know, I've never owned juvies.
 

Azhael

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I´m not sure keeping P.chinensis juveniles, aquatic, is the right aproach. Everyone i know who has juvenile Paramesotriton, keeps them fully terrestrial. The constant climbling sure is a sign.

These guys are known for growing rather slowly...it will probably take a long time for them to reach maturity..perhaps about 2-3 years.

They are gorgeous, by the way xD
 

michael

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Some of my P. chinensis and P. hongkongensis that size spend quite a bit of time in the water. Most spend much of their time on floating cork bark. I feed them mostly blackworms and chopped earthworms. I kick them all into the water to feed but do put food on the cork bark. They are slow growers. I would agree that the conventional way to keep them is probably on land. My guess would be that yours have been kept in water for quite some time.
 

firedreams

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Thanks all!

They seem to be more aquatically inclined today, and the climbing has subsided.

One has experimented with sitting at the bottom of the tank - he is so small that the slightest current shuffles him around!

All four have eagerly eaten bits of chopped earthworm.

There are few places for them to sit out of the water and they do spend a lot of their time on these spots.

I will add some more terrestrial areas to avoid aggression.

Right now they seem to pile onto each other without any complaint; at what age do they become aggressive or territorial?

Also, one seems to have a bit of skin flaked hanging off of him - it looks like he is shedding, but not in one continious skin. Is this cause for concern, as with an adult, or is normal for juvies to shed this way?
 

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Hey FireDreams! Way good looking animals for sure! Very cute! And CB is definitely the right approach. Congrats.
Regarding the set-up like Azhael said they are trying to climb and that's definitely a signal of prior terrestrial keeping.
Another thing that I got impressed is that you use a bulb light and that's definitely not good. Those lights have a very low efficiency and most of the provided electrical energy is turned up in heat witch is harmful for the newts. Use a fluorescent lamp witch haves a bigger efficiency and does not create so many heat.
Or, in my sincere opinion, don't use a lamp at all. Its cooler for the newts and in the meanwhile they are less stressed since newts don't like much lights.
Only an opinion!


Cheers,
Jorge
 

Azhael

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It´s good that they are exploring the water. I would be concerned about drowning with your current set-up. Either add A LOT more plants, or reduce the water depth considerably. It´s wisest to first introduce them to water in shallow, heavily planted conditions. Increasing the depth slowly and over a period will make things much safer for them.

I have no experience with raising Paramesotriton...but i would suspect that aggression and territorialism, probably appear when they are nearing adulthood (just a guess).
 

firedreams

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Hi Elijorgo,

The light bulb is actually a 13 watt compact fluorescent bulb, in a regular light bulb housing; it doesn't produce much heat.
 

Azhael

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Ah, it´s one of those Exo-Terra thingies....it should be fine, i think.
 

VolatileXIII

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I haven't had any issues with mine climbing the glass, maybe he's over the "I'm getting outta here" stage or he's plenty content being 98% aquatic. lol. I'm still not taking the screen I have in between the lid and the tank off, just incase.

I agree with Azhael, I'd lower the level and either add a bunch of plants or pile up rocks allover one side of the tank.

They probably get aggressive once they start getting ready for mating, not necessarily upon adulthood so perhaps even 6 months - 1 year? How old are they now?
 

Azhael

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I´m confused. Adulthood in caudates means "when they start getting ready for mating", and it certainly takes quite longer for Paramesotriton as a genus.
 

firedreams

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There officially hasn't been any glass climbing today, so I'm hoping this means that they are settling into their new environment. Volatile - I agree about the adults not climbing. My adult has never shown any inclination to do so.

Attached are some pics of the steps I've taken to modify the setup so far (and also two of some cuteness from earlier this morning). Basically I've added 2 large pieces of driftwood which have significantly increased available "terrestrial" space. The original flower pot islands are still accessible as well. I am still planning on adding a bunch of rocks to create more variable water depth, and will pick up some more plants asap.

I am a bit nervous about removing water as I am worried about maintaining the water quality. Should I be concerned about this?

Thanks so much for all of your helpful tips and suggestions, everyone!
 

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VolatileXIII

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That looks better, what type of plant is that?

Also, have you encountered "tea water" yet? Or did you cure your driftwood first and if so, how?
 

firedreams

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Thanks! I have since added several more rocks and have one of the piecs of driftwood lying across 2 flowerpots at surface level. The little guys are spending a lot of time hiding under and around the driftwood, so I'm guessing that they approve.

The plant - I think its a Brazilian pennywort. I highly recommend it for Chinensis - it does well in dimmer light, is very prolific, and even my adult Chinensis will often sleep on top of the leaves closer to the water surface.

I know what you mean about "tea water". I encountered this when I first started using driftwood a year or two ago. I found that boiling it 4-5 hours and then letting it soak in a bucket for a day or 2 pretty much solves the problem.
 

firedreams

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3 of the 4 babies have become fully aquatic over the last week. Only 1 ("Roger") remains steadfast in his commitment to land. Does anyone know when I might expect him to become aquatic? I'm guessing that I should just wait it out and let him take his time?

In the mean time, the 3 aquatic babies have also learned to beg and readily line up along the glass whenever I come into the room! (See attached pic)
 

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Logan

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Any updates on these guys? I am also currently working with a cb P.chinensis baby that has adapted quite well to an aquatic lifestyle. All seems to be going well so far. I am just curious to see how they have done for you.
Logan
 

firedreams

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Hi Logan,

Thanks for the interest (and sorry for the late response on my part).

Our juvies are all doing well. As I mentioned in an earlier post on this thread, we were having trouble with one of the 4 ("Roger"), who has been very hydrophobic. A few months ago, in order to reduce stress for Roger, we changed our juvie set-up over to a 20g long tank with a gently sloping sand substrate leading to a land portion with a hide. This made a big difference with Roger's health - his "shine" symptoms faded, and he is now eating regularly and with enthusiasm.

The addition of the land area did tempt one of the other 3 juvies to move back out of the water, so currently we have 2 fully aquatic and 2 terrestrial juvies.

There is still a significant size and weight discrepancy amongst the babies (even though they are all eating on a daily - or almost daily - basis). When we weighed them about 2 weeks ago, they weighed in as follows:
- Roger, 3.7g (terrestrial)
- Blackie, 6.1g (aquatic)
- William, 10.2g (terrestrial)
- P.B., 11.1g (aquatic)
For the sake of comparison, our adult Chinensis weighed in at 32.8g, so even though our little guys are about 2 years old now, they still have a lot of growing to do!

I've attached some recent pictures of (1) the updated setup, (2) P.B. (our largest aquatic baby) begging for food, (3) Roger and William at feeding time, and (4) P.B. and Blackie.

I'd love to hear about your experiences with your Chinensis! Let me know if you have any questions!
 

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