Firebelly Newts-Looking for some general guidance

Hockeyrooster

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Hello. It looks like there has been a lot more action here at caudata.org since I was here last so I thought I would check in for some more help and advice.

A year ago, we jumped on the opportunity to buy 2 captive bred firebelly newts since we can’t buy them here in Canada. They came fully aquatic with external gills. They grew eating frozen blood worms and once their gills went away, I learned they would be terrestrial for 2 years(???).

Right now they are in a 20 gallon long tank (with a brand new one waiting to be set up) and have been living off the only thing small enough for them to eat- fruit flies. They are still really small but have continued to grow. I just picked up some bean weevils and will feed them as well.

Here are my questions:
1. I found one of them in the water dish today and have never seen this before. Is this a sign they want more water? It didn’t look like it could get out of the dish so I removed it and it hasn’t gone back in since. I will add some rocks to the dish so they can get out.
2. temperature. Tank temp is about 21 Celsius. Is this too hot? Should I add a small fan to cool the tank more or do EFT newts like the temp a bit hotter (like 21). Sometimes I can see the newts standing with their head up a bit and I can see their throats going in and out (kind of) quickly.

Pics!! One newt is in the hollowed out log (pic 1) and the other is hiding in the back corner of the tank. This is where they both normally hang out.

Thanks for any and all comments!!
 

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parski

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What species of firebelly newts are they?

I learned they would be terrestrial for 2 years(???).

Where did you learn this? As I've understood it they are still aquatic but need the possibility to be on land and are more prone to being on land when still juvenile. I've yet to raise a newt from their larval state though so I'm a layman.

I would add a water portion to the tank and make sure the threshold between land and water is traversable by the newts.

As for the temperature it is on the hot end of the spectrum but within reason. They will survive at 21 but they will thrive if you go colder.

Have you considered trying to feed them live blood worms? Maybe if they go back in the water? I think they'd really like that considering they'd eat them frozen before. Maybe a really small night crawler chopped up into bite sized chunks?
 

Hockeyrooster

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Thanks for the reply.

I don’t know the species as we got them from kijiji.

Re: 2 years on land-someone posted that here

the newts do have a large enough bowl of clean water and they are able to get in and out safely (see pic). I was also told (here) that in the eft stage the newts are prone to drowning so I’ve been very mindful of that. I also bought an actual water bowl with entrance and exit stairs that will go in the new tank.

I will pick up a small fan to bring the temp down. I have an extra inkbird controller so that will come in handy.

I am not able to buy live bloodworms in Canada. Finding food has been the most difficult part of caring for these little guys but I did witness one of them eat a fruit fly so combine that with the fact that they are still alive and I am confident they are eating continually. They won’t eat dry newt pellets or frozen blood worms on the dirt or a stick. I may try some frozen bloodworms in the water dish though
 

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Cgallagher1237

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Hello! I have raised one generation of firebellies from egg to adult and am currently raising a second generation that have all morphed into efts. So, I'm not an expert but do know a little! From my experience, it looks like the moisture in your tank is sufficient. I raise my efts in a terrarium with a hollow rock bottom to maintain soil moisture & humidity and I have had success. I think your idea about the rocks in the water bowl is great to prevent drowning. I do not keep standing water in my eft terrarium for this reason, and I have had success with this.

As far as the temperature goes, I think you should be okay here. I live in California, so my efts are kept around the same temperature (or even a degree or two higher). One thing you may want to consider is that efts like high humidity. Adding a fan could be a drawback because it will decrease the humidity. In my experience, efts do the head-up-throat-thingy when they are excited (like at feeding time) or scared. I don't think it is a sign of heat stress. Hope that was helpful!
 

Hockeyrooster

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Hello! Thanks for the reply. Lots of very helpful info. I really appreciate the info on the quick breathing. I’ll watch the humidity now that I have the fans on and might have to make a choice between temp and humidity.
 
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