First post! Fire salamander help, please..

disasterpiece78

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Hello all! First off, thank y'all for the vast information I've been able to learn from the last couple months! I have recently acquired my first Fire Salamander, last Friday to be exact. Several questions, but first, he/she is about 4-5 inches long, and was kept in a 5 gallon tank with water and gravel only at the pet store. They said they fed him about 4-5 crickets. I setup a 29 gallon tank/terrarium with plenty of Eco earth, a hide and some mopani wood he can burrow under. He took full advantage of burrowing! But now I'm worried about him eating. I fed him a good sized night crawler Sunday night but had to dig him out to do it. He has been burrowed the majority of the time since and was just wondering if this was normal and whether or not I should be worried, as I am used to feeding my tiger sally every two days. I know handling should be kept to a minimum and I don't want to stress him out. Tank is kept around 68 degrees and the substrate/ environment is kept moist, but not drenched. All suggestions would be extremely helpful!
 

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disasterpiece78

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Well, was hoping for a little more than that.. I have read that sheet, but was asking for answers to questions, from someone who acts like they would want to help, which I see from other moderators, regardless if users are "noobs" or not..
 

Aplestris

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Hi
My fire salamander also burrows and hides. However the substrate is only about an inch thick and he usually just ends up below some wood or stones. When I remove them he gets surprised and shy but once he sees food he doesn't mind anymore lol.:D
I've added a lot of small earthworms to the setup (may not be ideal if it is indoor and has holes/openings but mine is outdoors) so he can eat at night. I only really check up every few days to see if he is still plump and eating although at least once a week I will feed him myself.
If you reduce the amount of substrate and increase the amount of hides he/she might be easier to find.
Good luck :happy:
 

disasterpiece78

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Thanks for the suggestion! Looks like I'll have to do MORE planning, hahaha. Should he be fine on the earth worm I fed him 3days ago or would you suggest I remove him and try another food item?
 

Aplestris

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Mine will eat a few earthworms about 3-4cm long each feeding session and then some random worms through the week and he is very nice and plump. As you may know, metabolism is also based on the temperature of surroundings for salamanders. We don't really use Fahrenheit in the UK but 68 degrees f is on the warm side for fire salamanders as far as I know so I would feed him every two days. Mine is at about 57 degrees Fahrenheit max but still eats like a pig. I would try feeding your salamander again.
EDIT: looking at your photos your's does look to be a nice healthy weight :)
 

sde

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I just got a few fire sals myself :)

Well, first off I would say that Jan was being helpful, and there's nothing wrong with that. Even if it didn't help you that much, it might have helped you a lot, how would we know that you had already seen the care sheet? :)

I would try adding some more hides, because if there are more hides maybe it would burrow less? And if it burrowed less it would be easier to feed maybe. Might be worth a try. Even some leaves in there might entice it to come out of the burrows ( if you want leaves from its natural habitat you can try Oak, Hazel, and Alder, all of which you might be able to find in your local park ).

I also agree with Alpestris, he does look like a good weight right now.

Hope this helps! -Seth
 

disasterpiece78

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Thank you Aplestris and Seth! Seth, looking back, I did come off as very abrasive and I apologize to You, Jan, for the assumptions... Aplestris, I wish I could keep it that cold here in central Texas, but I'd be broke after paying that electricity bill, hahaha. I'm gonna dig him out and see if he will eat tonight, hopefully he will be more trusting of his surroundings, I'll post back with results..
 

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Hope he starts eating! Good luck with him, and if you have any more questions feel free to ask :) -Seth
 

disasterpiece78

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Hello all! It took some convincing, but the little guy has started eating regularly! I also moved him to a 10 gallon tank, so I do not have to search as much for him, but thank y'all for the help and encouragement, it's easy to get stressed with their need of care, but worth it for a happy salamander! Can somebody post the link for the types of leaves that are safe to use in an enclosure. I was offered some oak leaves, and if I'm correct, I remember somebody mentioning boiling them first to make them safe. Of course, I will wait for the clarification before using them! Thanks!
 

sde

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Well, I have never seen any posts about leaves being bad. My Fire salamander setup has only leaves, and some of them are Oak. It also has Alder, Hazel, and Japanese maple, which is supposed to be like Acer.

Oak leaves also is supposed to good for water, like Indian Almond leaves. So I think the leaves would be fine. I don't think you have to boil them, but i am not positive.

Good news that he is eating. Congrats! -Seth
 

Aplestris

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Congratulations :happy: I am always very happy when I make progress with new salamanders.
I also use a few Oak leaves to make it look more natural, I don't boil them though. Wouldn't the fibres or whatever they're called begin to rip if you did that?
I found them dried out and just washed them a bit before placing them in.
 
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