Collecting Aquatic Insects

Would you feed live collected aquatic invertabrates to your newts/salamanders?

  • Yes I would/ Yes I do.

    Votes: 98 78.4%
  • No.

    Votes: 27 21.6%

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    125

JM29

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How can this be evaluated by a hobbyist ?
 

Terroricha

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Agreed. It cannot be evaluated by a hobbyist. At least not without reading the parasitology literature. Freezing will kill some parasites, but not even preservation in formalin will kill Ascaris eggs. Some parasites are capable of encysting and surviving adverse environmental conditions (Like freezing) for years. The only way you can really be sure is if the cultured foods are irradiated with low levels of gamma radiation.
 

Molch

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on the other hand, exposure to some natural parasites may assure our newts' immune systems remain up to par. All wild populations must have evolved a certain resilience to deal with most parasites, and we don't want to breed little wall flowers who can't handle any parasites at all...

here in Alaska the density of mosquito larva in early summer and Daphnia in late summer can be epic; it's just too good a treat to pass up for the newts...I've also been known to collect some Arctic grasshoppers, moths and spiders. And my lil' froggy gets anything that flies in the window.
 

catfish dude

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Hello,

good point. In fact I'm more than sure that in commercial food there are parasites as well. Fish (and newts I guess) can handle them without problem when they are kept in good condition. However during shipping and high stress levels parasites may very fast kill healthy looking animal.

What I'm trying to say - you for almost 100% don't have parasite free animals and it doesn't matter what you feed them. If you want to be sure take them to a specialised fish/newt pathology vets (they have to kill an animal to make a good research but if one animal have them others also do) and you will get idea which exactly species you have and you will be able to react fast when needed.

Other thing is that if animals lives in Asia their immune system is resistant to asian parasites. If you buy them and give them food with European parasites (different species) problems may occur. If you are not sure about health of your newly imported animals I would suggest making bacterial and parasites researches in proper veterinary experts and this in the only case I would do it. After acclimatisation, when animals looks 100% healthy I would not worry about parasites too much.

This is however my opinion. Ahh and the most stupid thing you can probably do is giving medications without being 100% sure what kind of parasite/bacterties your animal have, but this is different story.
 

Molch

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I catch large numbers of mosquito larvae and Daphnia in tundra ponds in the summer. There are no wild amphibian populations where I live. My fire bellies have snacked on these every summer for 13 years, with no problems whatsoever.
 

JP100

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I am in the process of getting 10 C. cyanurus from Jen and I was wondering about collecting live food. I was thinking of going down to a river this weekend and catching some small invertabrates and didn't know if this would be safe or not. If it is a good idea, what types should I look for? I already have enough blood worms to come out of my ears (discus breeder) and know they like that, just thought it would be neat to go out and catch some wild stuff for them.

Thanks in advance.

NV

I have alwalys fed all my young axes on wild caught food. I use daphnia,cyclops and mosquito larvae when they are realy small.Then I feed them on boatmen,backswimmers,water beetles and damsel fly larvae when they are bigger. But I live in New Zealand on a farm and I know what goes into the water ways and we dont have have any wild salamanders. The only problem iv ever had was hydra eating all my daphnia. Iv always used wild food as I find it easy(only about 20mins a day and I can get all the food I need) and I think this best simulates the diet of wild axolotls. Hope that helps
Good luck
 

Zhinigami

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Well, I'm quite new and I've been feeding my newts food from my garden/pond every time possible to give them as much variation in their food schedule. I only got meal worms cultured at the moment and they seems to be in great shape :)
 
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Niels D

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In all my years of raising and keeping newts I've got way better experience with wild caught Gammarus (scuds), Daphnia, Asselus (waterlouse) and other crusteceans than the ones bought in a pet shop. I never had mass fallout with WC food, while I had problems with blood worms from the shop. I must say that I catch most WC food out of my own pond, so it's not really that wild caught...When it comes to feeding aquatic animals I love bought tubifex after I rinsed it myself.

I can recommend a pond. It doesn't have to be that big. Mine is only 2x2 meters. Make sure it's in good balance though. You really don't need a UV-filter for this. I only use a small filter pump. You can use the pond water, if it's quality is good, for your setups as well. You'll be rewarded with a setup which is running immediately. This year I've managed to raise L.laoensis in my pond water, and I've used it with succes for Paramesotriton, Triturus, Tylototriton, Lissotriton and Cynops species as well.

If you have the space you should really think about one. You have to check the pond water setups constantly for developing beetle and dragonfly larvae though, because they can be really small at first. Within a short time you can suddenly find a large aquatic monster feeding on your larvae which was hiding between the moss while it was smaller.
 

Rupert

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I believe the bigger issue is "is the source/adjacent area of the source of the WC foods safe"?

Not only parasites and other microorganisms, but the issue of pesticides or chemical contamination as well.

One option is that you grab some and test it on guppies or similarly "affordable"(it breaks my heart to write this) animals....

this will not give warnings for specific dangers (like host-specific parasites and so on), but it will warn you about general issues (such as pesticides) that may be present in your collecting source.
 

Jort

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I gather a lot of scuds and waterlouse out of the pond at my work. It's huge and is crammed with crustaceans, probably because there are no fish in it. I have a little bucket in which I put pieces of cucumber. I put it in the pond before I visit the office. I take the bucket out one day later after I'm finished working. Even in winter I can use this method to gather scuds and waterlouse. The garden isn't treated with pesticides, so I presume it's safe to harvest the pond.

I don't have a lot of animals, so I can easily gather enough food for my animals, but I started a compost heap for worms and white worms.
 
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  • Carly1502:
    Hi guys, I have a dwarf axolotl. Got him/her in February and since it’s grown to around 4.5 inches it has constantly been constipated. Having to fridge the poor thing every few weeks. Has anyone else got a dwarf and had these problems?
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    my cousin has a dwarf, he thankfully doesn’t have such problems. good luck though :)
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  • Lilith:
    Hey guys, one of my axolotls has developed some fungus on one of her gills, I've started salt baths, but do salt baths need to be done in the fridge, some people said I should have her in the fridge permanently during the process, even when not in the salt bath, is this true? As some people said its unnecessary as long as the tank is below 20°c which it is. Also do I need to get them both out the tank and clean it out?
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  • Lilith:
    Does anyone know if aquacare general tonic is ok for axolotls as a treatment for bacterial or fungal infection?
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  • faebugz:
    Hi Lilith, you can check the medications page for a list of axolotl safe treatments. Although if the infection is mild, I would stick with fridge and salt baths!
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  • faebugz:
    I believe the fridge gets to about 54°, so if you can replicate that in the tank, it might be okay. I personally would fridge just to make catching them easier, and if the infection is something in the water column at all, it will hopefully die out while they're AWOL (I'm thinking like ich for fish, not sure if axies have an equivalent)
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    Ok, thank you!
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