Found a larva swimming around in my tank. Advice?

randok

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Hi All,

About 4 weeks ago I found a larva swimming around in my tank. I have a 46 gallon heavily planted tank with 2 adult Notos (N.v.v.) and 1 recently morphed young adult. Since I have alot of large river rocks at the bottom of the tank, I was unable to catch it and after a handful of attempts I gave up. It kept darting into the rocks (it's really fast!). I thought it was a goner.

Just now today there was a new sighting! Rather than attempt to catch it this time, I quickly took a couple of pics of it. It has definitely grown (I'd say it is about 1.5" head to tail) so it is finding enough food to survive somehow. I feed my Notos chopped up nightcrawlers, live blackworms and sometimes frozen bloodworms. The blackworms usually do not all get eaten right away and some of them are able to hide in the river rocks. So I'm guessing that the larva is surviving off of that or some other creatures that might be living in my tank that I don't know about.

Should I remove the river rocks and attempt to capture the larva? Or is it better to let it live in the tank until it morphs into a juvenile? The tank has 2 decent chunks of cork bark floating in it and lots of plant matter for it to climb onto when it is ready. This is the first time I've taken care of newts so I'm a little bit concerned that if I catch the larva that I may do something wrong and it won't survive (even after reading the guide on Caudata Culture). Here are a couple of pics:

closeup of the larva - it has more pronounced gills than when I first saw it:


and here's a shot of my tank. If you look close, you can see the feeder at the waterline on the left side. I put blackworms in there, and they eventually fall through. The larva has mostly been seen around this area at the bottom (usually on the driftwood hanging out in the java moss):


any advice is appreciated. thanks!
 

randok

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Okay, after thinking about this for a while, I'm definitely going to try to catch it tomorrow. I may have to take out half of the tank to do it, but I think it's the right thing to do.
 

Chinadog

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Can you feed it if you catch it? If not it would be best to leave it, if there's only one or two they should find enough micro food in their parent's tank to survive. Someone with experience keeping notos would tell you for sure, but if you keep the adults well fed, they shouldn't bother the babies. I keep wishing my pyrrho's would eat some of the larvae in their tank but they won't, I just have to keep picking the tiny newtlets off the turtle dock as they morph!
 

slowfoot

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He looks happy enough in there, and if he's made it to 1.5 inches he's mostly past the danger of being eaten. It looks like an older larva.

However, if it makes you feel better you could certainly move him to his own place. A larva that size should be easy to feed frozen foods and small pieces of earthworm. Just know that any stress like moving can cause a larva to morph prematurely.
 

randok

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Phew, okay great thanks. I think I'll leave it in there for now, but may remove most of the river rocks. It just astonishes me that it was able to survive like this.



I'll leave some rocks in there to give the black worms a place to hang out for it in case it's been eating them. I'd like to increase the chances of me being able to see it without disturbing the environment too much.
 
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randok

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and yeah, the adults are pretty well fed. Every other day I feed 2 of them earthworms by hand, and 1 of them won't eat earthworms so I move him over to where I place the black worms. If he doesn't eat much then I'll feed him some frozen bloodworms which he'll go crazy for. The other 2 sometimes will jump in to get extra treats.
 
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