Homecooking for newts



Hello to all the „chefs“ out there,
after sending my family off for christmas-shopping, I was able to occupy our kitchen and do some „cooking“. As Ed already mentioned, self-made feeds, containing gelatine or Agar Agar are used widely in fish feeding. Main ingredients are either beefheart, fish or shrimp. I used similar feeds for my newts in the past and was asked to give recipes or approximate proportions of ingredients for recooking on this forum. Since I didn`t use a fixed recipe in the past and I also wanted to try Agar Agar instead of gelatine I had to do some experimenting. Here are the results. I used the following ingredients (frozen, except the last three):
130 g Pacific Salmon (Oncorhynchus keta),
12 g Mysis,
170 g Artemia (Brine Shrimp),
80 g Chironomid larvae (bloodworms),
2 teaspoons of Agar Agar (powder),
Vitamin and mineral supplement,
250 ml Water.

I cut the salmon into small cubes and minced it (until it was semi-liquid). I let the other frozen ingredients thaw in cold water, rinsed and discarded the thawing liquid. I mixed Salmon, Mysis, Artemia and bloodworms in a big bowl and „spiced it up“ with vitamin and mineral supplement.
I stirred the Agar Agar into a small amount of cold water and let the rest of the water boil. Then I put the Agar Agar solution into the hot water and let it boil for another two minutes. I then poured the hot Agar Agar into the other ingredients (while stirring constantly). At last, I poured out a thin layer of „newt-jello“ and let it cool down.

After cooling, I cut small strips and pieces and started my feeding trials. The feed turned out softer than I had expected, which required careful handling of the pieces when feeding with tweezers (proved to be advantageous for swallowing, on the other hand). The „hard“ bloodworms kind of hampered cutting, since they accumulate at the knife’s edge when running the blade through the mass (next time I will mince them also). I tested with several species, they accepted this food (e.g. T. verrucosus, see below) and also picked up pieces from the bottom. Cutting the strips, one has to consider though, that some species, despite of being relatively large, posess only small mouth openings and feed rather by suction than by biting, meaning: „don’t cut them too big“ (e.g. Pachyhynobius).

Freezing and thawing of this feed didn’t contribute to its quality, though. A lot of water cristallized in the freezer and the feed got a little more „crumbly“, although still usable as feed in form of bits and pieces. Next time I will probably use less additional water and more Agar Agar.
I hope I could at least give you an idea of opportunities with this kind of feed, which also allows additional protein sources (e.g. beefheart, fish), „spicing up“ with vitamins, minerals or color (via carotinoids of crustaceans or wild salmon, as in this case) or the use of „surplus animals“ from food organism cultures (e.g. plancton, crickets etc.). Don’t consider this a fixed recipe, but rather a basis for doing some experiments on your own, since this recipe still needs improvement.

P.S.: Please excuse the quality of the photos.



Chef Ralf, thanks for cooking this up! If I can assemble some ingredients, I'll give it a try and report back. What did you use for the vitamin supplement? The kind made for herps?


Yes, I used a supplement made for herps (amphibians and reptiles) containing 12 different vitamins, 6 micro- (trace-)elements, 2 amino-acids (DL-Methionin and L-Lysin) and of course calcium.



Well, a very unexplored theme. Maybe, you could produced it
Surely some fellows will be interested!
I will give it a try since I have never cooked for my newts! It is a good idea in order to provide a very rich and studied diet.
Though, the technique looks very oriental haha. I may tried something more Mediterranean. Marco, what do you thing? Should you replace Italian spaghettis for worms?haha
I hope to hear some more recipes


Well Yago,
actually the meal was pretty international. The salmon was Canadian. The Mysis probably came from the Netherlands. The bloodworms are usually imported from Poland and the Artemia were raised in an aquaculture facility in Caliornia. The vitamin supplement was a German brand and the cook's ancestors came from Belgium and (todays) Czech Republic. Not to mention my European, Asian and North-American newts who devoured it.
I wonder what the Mediterranean version would be
? Tapas for newts or even a special paella for newts? Maybe Marco can even come up with a recipe for a newt Minestrone
Keep cooking and have a nice weekend!


ahh man.... you had me worked up. i thought you ment NEWTS to eat.. (remembering a previous post about this)

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