How to keep Pseudotriton ruber

tindomul1of9

New member
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
38
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Age
41
Location
New York City, USA
Country
United States
Display Name
Andrew Diaz
Hello all,

I have been reading around the forum for a while now looking for information on how to keep P. ruber. When I first got into Caudates it was this species that I wanted to keep. But I guess I couldn't find them available at all and the set up requirements were a bit too tough for at the time, but not sure about that one.
So, after a few years, I come back here to ask, how do you keep Pseudotriton ruber in captivity?

So far I have read that they are mostly aquatic, cold loving species.
What I really want to know,
How large an aquarium would you keep them in,
How cold does the tank have to be?
What techniques do you employ to make a tank cold?
Most of my vivariums usually stay in the mid 70's to low 80's. Are my temperatures really too high?
 

Kaysie

Site Contributor
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
14,466
Reaction score
98
Points
0
Location
North Dakota
Country
United States
Display Name
Kaysie
This is not a species commonly kept in captivity. You'll probably find very little information on it.

And yes, those temperatures are REALLY high. This species and other similar species are rarely active (and can die) at temperatures over 60F.
 

Jake

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
1,635
Reaction score
78
Points
48
Location
Illinois, US
Country
United States
Display Name
Jacob Bidinger
I keep my community tank of P.ruber directly in front of the air conditioner. The temp there rarely gets over 63F (much colder in the winter). In the wild they live in cool micro habitats. Mine seem to be doing great feeding on chopped nightcrawlers. I keep them in a half land/half water set up with a maximum water depth of 2 inches. The substrate on the land is a 2 inch thick peice of pillow foam covered in a layer of live moss with plenty of areas for them all to hide. When I feed them they take the worms in the water, but I have seen them eat woodlice in the land area.

It is very dangerous to keep this species too warm, you'd be best off to have maximum temps of 65F.
 

tindomul1of9

New member
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
38
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Age
41
Location
New York City, USA
Country
United States
Display Name
Andrew Diaz
Keeping it close to the AC seems like an unstable method of cooling one's tank. It is for me anyway, as my AC is directly next to my radiator.
Isn't there some techy way to keep your tank cool all the time?
 

Kaysie

Site Contributor
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
14,466
Reaction score
98
Points
0
Location
North Dakota
Country
United States
Display Name
Kaysie
A terrestrial tank? Not really. Keep it in the fridge.
 

Jake

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
1,635
Reaction score
78
Points
48
Location
Illinois, US
Country
United States
Display Name
Jacob Bidinger
Keeping it close to the AC seems like an unstable method of cooling one's tank. It is for me anyway, as my AC is directly next to my radiator.
Isn't there some techy way to keep your tank cool all the time?

It has seemed like a pretty stable cooling method for me. I keep the a/c on in the heat of summer and leave the window cracked open all winter.

How does having the radiator next to the a/c not work for you? Do you keep them both running at once? If you keep them in front of the a/c when it's on then just move it to a cool area of the house during the months the radiator would be hot, or is this situation more complicated than I've come to understand? Do you have a cool basement?
 

tindomul1of9

New member
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
38
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Age
41
Location
New York City, USA
Country
United States
Display Name
Andrew Diaz
No I have an apartment. The entire apartments gets really hot in the winter, and if I keep it next to the window, it will boil with sunlight alone, radiators right below the windows and next to AC. Bad engineering I guess, or too good engineering. I don't know. My average apt, temperature is 83, summer and winter. With the AC or radiator on.
I guess I'll just have to forget about plethodons for a while huh?
I thought maybe there were keepers who used some kind of cooling system. Maybe no one has invented it yet? :)

Thanks for the all the help and Ideas though.

Hmmm, I wonder, if I used an external canister filter and found some way to chill the filter so as to chill the water?????? Any ideas?
 

Kaysie

Site Contributor
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
14,466
Reaction score
98
Points
0
Location
North Dakota
Country
United States
Display Name
Kaysie
With that low of a water level, you wouldn't be able to use a canister filter. There are lots of threads on cooling and home-made chiller units. Try doing a forum search.
 

Jake

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
1,635
Reaction score
78
Points
48
Location
Illinois, US
Country
United States
Display Name
Jacob Bidinger
I guess I'll just have to forget about plethodons for a while huh?
I thought maybe there were keepers who used some kind of cooling system. Maybe no one has invented it yet? :)

Thanks for the all the help and Ideas though.

Hmmm, I wonder, if I used an external canister filter and found some way to chill the filter so as to chill the water?????? Any ideas?

The cooling system I use is called an 'air conditioned newt room' but I have more newts than your average pet store and would like to see them live for many years to come. You could spend a few hundred to a thousand dollars on an aquarium chiller.

Using a canister filter by itself will generate some heat (all electric filters do to an extent), you might be able to do something though. If you can't keep the tank under the mid 60's you should probably not keep this species, or keep it in a terrarium set in the fridge. You could also get a cooler and keep bottles of ice in it for a place to set up a tank, just a thought, though it might be more of a hassle than it's worth to you.
 

taherman

Caudata.org Donor
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
382
Reaction score
24
Points
18
Location
Whitehouse, OH
Country
United States
There is a techy way to cool salamanders that I dreamed up utilizing thermoelectric cooling units. These are most commonly found (and easily obtained) in the plug-in coolers made by Igloo. These devices have the ability to function with proportional temperature controls so that temp is held constant rather than cycling on and off.

The result is a fairly inexpensive unit (~$200) that takes a fair amount of electrical DIY work, but it is very versatile and depending on insulation of the enclosure can drop down close to freezing. They also make a great transportation container since they operate on 12VDC and can plug into a car's cigarette lighter. With two controlling rheostats and a photosensor relay you can make the temp automatically change with your lighting cycle.

One of the best ways to cool a semiaquatic enclosure is via a standard aquarium chiller running on a sump containing the majority of the water in your system. A small amount of this cold water is then circulated up into the animal's tank providing a naturalistic thermal gradient where the coldest areas are the water and the warmest areas are the driest. This prevents the chiller from short cycling due to rapid temp changes in an inordinately small quantity of water. The downside to this system is a substantially higher electric bill and a high setup cost for the chiller.

I've cared for P. ruber at the Toledo Zoo for going on 7 years now and they are very hardy animals so long as their temperature requirements are met. They spend about half their time out of the water I'd say. Target temp range would be around 55F in the winter and 65-70F in the summer. They would survive mid 70s for a while but probably would not thrive for more than a few days over 80F. I have found them in Kentucky on dry sand under a piece of tin before, so they certainly do not spend all of their time in icy cold springs in the wild.

There is a great paper published on thermal tolerances in a variety of plethodontids (though not Pseudotriton) which is a very good read and allows for some extrapolation to other species. It also provides great information on thermal preferences for an array of species even when acclimated to different temperature regimes.

Role of Temperature and Water in the Ecology of Lungless Salamanders James R. Spotila Ecological Monographs, Vol. 42, No. 1 (Winter, 1972), pp. 95-125

A quick google scholar search for "salamander thermal maximum" locates a variety of other studies.

If you're seriously interested in the thermoelectric system I can point you to more relevant resources. I'm not aware of anyone else having used thermoelectrics to cool animal enclosures, but there might be someone out there who has perfected it to a much greater extent than I have.

-Tim
 

tindomul1of9

New member
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
38
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Age
41
Location
New York City, USA
Country
United States
Display Name
Andrew Diaz
With that low of a water level, you wouldn't be able to use a canister filter. There are lots of threads on cooling and home-made chiller units. Try doing a forum search.

How low of a water level are we talking? I have consistently used an external canister filter (ZooMed 501) to filter water that is only 3 inches deep. In anycase, I can't think of a way to cool the canister without drilling holes through a fridge and putting the tank right next to a fridge. Neither of which I will be doing.
 

coendeurloo

New member
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
357
Reaction score
14
Points
0
Age
38
Location
Scharendijke
Country
Netherlands
Display Name
Coen Deurloo

sergé

New member
Joined
Nov 29, 2002
Messages
650
Reaction score
14
Points
0
Location
Aalst (Waalre), The Netherlands
Country
Netherlands
Display Name
Sergé Bogaerts
There is an excellent report on captiuve breeding...in german..

Voitel, S. (2007). Nachzucht von Pseudotriton ruber (Somini, 1802). Amphibia 6(1):25-29.
 

taherman

Caudata.org Donor
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
382
Reaction score
24
Points
18
Location
Whitehouse, OH
Country
United States
Serge,

Is there a source for that article/journal online? From what I can find it's not readily available in the U.S. or university library systems.

I'd be very interested in reading it.
Thanks,

Tim
 

Thanassi07

New member
Joined
Jun 17, 2020
Messages
28
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
Massachusetts
Country
United States
Serge,

Is there a source for that article/journal online? From what I can find it's not readily available in the U.S. or university library systems.

I'd be very interested in reading it.
Thanks,

Tim
 

taherman

Caudata.org Donor
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
382
Reaction score
24
Points
18
Location
Whitehouse, OH
Country
United States
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • Chat Bot:
    xxianxx has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • xxianxx:
    Bloodworms are not a great sole diet for small axolotl or bigger ones, though many people do use them exclusively. Your better off using eartworms which are considered a complete diet
    +1
    Unlike
  • opaltheaxolotl:
    okay, thanks
    +1
    Unlike
  • Shay876:
    How long after axolotl start moving in egg do they hatch? Also when should I start the brine shrimp hatchery going?
    +1
    Unlike
  • tammyaxie:
    I just noticed two of the ghost shrimp in my axie tank have horsehair worms. I removed them immediately. Can these worms affect the axolotl and what would be the treatment?
    +1
    Unlike
  • maddyb9903:
    Hello guys! I was wondering about nitrates in an axolotl tank. If there are 0 nitrates, will that harm the axolotl?
    +1
    Unlike
  • AMurry24537:
    0 nitrates doesn't sound dangerous, but it does sound very unlikely if the tank is fully cycled. Are you positive you're performing the test correctly? If you're using the API one, that is by far the trickiest test to do right. If the reading is correct, I would guess that either your tank is not cycled, you just did like a 100% water change, or that you have plants sucking up the nitrates, but even those shouldn't leave you with 0.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Dragonfire:
    0 is fine unless the tank isn't cycled. Most tanks definitely won't run at 0, but I've had fast growing emergent plants drop nutrients so low that other plants like floaters were choked out and began dying so it isn't impossible. Some less sensitive kits may read 0 but they are just not precise enough to give an accurate low level reading too.
    +1
    Unlike
  • GabbyGums:
    Hey Yall my Axolotl has this like tail thats like a dent on the top, I was told it was meant stress but idk whats stressing out my Axolotl. The plants recently gotten moved since they were falling apart but like she's been eating/pooping fine and the temp and water tests are good for the Axolotl. So I don't really know whats causing her to be stress. Does anyone know anything?
    +1
    Unlike
  • AMurry24537:
    Post a picture of the dent (in the "Sick Axolotl" thread) please
    +2
    Unlike
  • GabbyGums:
    How do I do that? Im new to this website
    +1
    Unlike
  • GabbyGums:
    nvm I found ot
    +1
    Unlike
  • GabbyGums:
    *it
    +1
    Unlike
  • GabbyGums:
    did it
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    SalamanderNick has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Skeemloc:
    Hey are any still available?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Toothpickthelotl:
    Hey guys! I’m having an issue with my filter and was hoping for some suggestions. I use an aqua clear 20-50 gallon filter for my 20 gallon axolotl tank. It has worked great since I got it back in December! Recently though, I’ve noticed the flow of the water has turned into more of an intense trickle than a constant flow (if that makes any sense?) I thought it may be something was stuck in the filter or maybe the sponge needed to be swished around in tank water, so I did both of these and it still trickles. It’s a very strong trickle, so the tank is still getting good filtration. It is just so loud and I was wondering if this has happened to anyone else and if there’s a way to fix it?
    +1
    Unlike
  • AMurry24537:
    Hmm, I don't know much about those filters, and I'm having trouble picturing what you mean, but could it be simply that your filtration media is arranged in a different way? Or maybe you're losing water content to evaporation? Just throwing out ideas. 😁 Again, I don't really know much about that kind of filter
    +1
    Unlike
  • CrazyForLotls:
    Hello all. My male axolotl's cloaca hasn't been looking quite right for 13 days. When I first noticed it, I immediately checked the temperature of his tank and it was around 70-71. Way too warm for him, so I took him out and have had him tubbed in the basement ever since. The temperature of his water is now 64-65. The issue seems to be that one 'half' of his cloaca is flared out and has white fuzzy stuff on it. It almost looks like a bunch of little white spikes of hair. Only one half is this way. Sometimes said half is flared out almost all the way, and other times it's almost completely back inside of him. I had him in tea baths overnight for probably five days, and then a solid 24 hours of mild tea for around three days. I don't remember exactly, my apologies.
    +1
    Unlike
  • CrazyForLotls:
    Since it was looking better (not flared out so I couldn't tell if it was still fuzzy) I put him back in plain, dechlorinated water. He gets daily water changes, always dechlorinated. The tea I used was plain black tea. The brand was Lipton and it came in a large box, purchased from the grocery store. Does anybody know what this could be? I found a couple old threads with a similar issue, but nobody ever replied to them. I can post a thread if you'd like some pictures, but they aren't very good. My camera was having trouble focusing and my axolotl kept moving.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Audrey22:
    Hey guys! Just made a post asking for help with an injured eastern newt. I could really use some help. if you would read it, I would really appreciate 🙏😌
    +1
    Unlike
  • Nexbane:
    @Audrey22, A salt bath *might* be a good idea, but I have never heard of them used for anything but axolotls. I would think as simplistic of a setup as possible would be best. Are you a member of the newts & salamanders group on facebook? You might have better luck getting more information quickly there! lots of the same members as here.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Audrey22:
    Ok ill on Facebook too. Thanks. I've heard tea or salt and also neosporin. Do axolots breathe and absorb through their skin like sallies? Thats what I'm afraid of. Because I don't want them to absorb salt if that will hurt them. Anyways, I'll look at Facebook too
    +2
    Unlike
  • gulickje:
    I need guidance… my lotls been struggling. How do i tell if theres anything noticably wrong woth Trudeau? I dont see a way to post a pic here. Hes got like a pinkish spine like down back but everything else looks normal i think. Trixie( my MEL) has been pretty good i think. Both in same tank. Eat same food etc.
    +1
    Unlike
  • CrazyForLotls:
    @gulickje, could you make a thread in the sick axolotls section? You can put pictures there and it's easier for multiple people with axolotl knowledge to help you out. For now, we can't do much without seeing it and asking lots of questions. What is the water temperature? What's the tank like? (substrate, water conditions, any sharp decorations?) What are your water parameters? Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH, etc.
    +1
    Unlike
    CrazyForLotls: @gulickje, could you make a thread in the sick axolotls section? You can put pictures there and... +1
    Top