How toxic are japanese fire belly newts?

AnnaleeRose

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Hi everyone,
I have had a JFBN for about 20 years now and JUST researched and discovered that they're extremely toxic with no known antidote. All of the sudden I've very paranoid and anxious! I've been holding this newt for years, especially as a child, and haven't always thoroughly washed my hands afterward. My main question is whether their toxins are present in their tank water and whether I need to be cautious about contact with that tank water (when I clean the tank, the water gets on my counter, might splatter on my shirt, and gets in my sink). I won't hold the newt anymore but I obviously still need to clean his tank and any information that could ease my anxiety would really help. Does anybody else with these pets take extra precautions with tank cleaning? Has anybody ever had an adverse reaction or had to be hospitalized? Do I need to set my sink on fire everytime I clean his tank? (Joking)
Thank you so much in advance.
 

Herpin Man

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Relax.
The newt is unlikely to exude the toxin unless it is very stressed, as might be the case with rough handling or injury.
The tank water isn't toxic either.
Amphibians, in general, shouldn't be handles, although the reason has more to do with harm to the animals, due to their porous skin, than with harm to the person handling.
In the unlikely event that you develop a reaction from handling, it's most likely going to be in the form of a mild burning sensation on your hands. I have experienced this myself, when handling salamanders that have been injured on roads. Washing your hands thoroughly should take care of it. Rubbing your eyes or picking your nose is not recommended at this point.
There are a few cases of people having serious reactions (including death) after consuming newts. Short of that, you aren't in any danger.
 
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  • Junaz:
    Thank you, I appreciate it. I'll look up ammonia and nitrate lockers, and see if I can find someone who can help me with cycling the tank with her in there. She still is looking and acting ok so I hope everything turns out ok. Thanks for the advice
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  • madcaplaughs:
    Hey @Junaz. It appears your tank is uncycled. You'll need to purchase a source of ammonia (i.e., Dr. Tim's Aquatics ammonium chloride) to cycle the tank with. Dose the tank up to 2ppm (bottle says 4 drops/gal=2ppm. This is false. 2 drops/gal=2ppm) daily until you've build up a bacteria colony that is able to convert 2ppm of ammonia into 0ppm ammonia and 0ppm nitrite in 24hr. You'll want to tub your axolotl immediately and while you cycle as these levels are extremely toxic. To tub, just use a food-grade tub large enough for the axolotl to extend itself and turn around in, and perform daily 100% water changes. Make sure your water is dechlorianted (and make sure your dechlorinator has no aloe or iodine, both of these are toxic to axolotls). If you have any more questions about cycling or axolotls, PM me :)
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  • Chamoxnle:
    My new axolotl enjoys floating. He doesn't seem stressed, or like he's being forced to float. He just likes to chill at the top. Why do some enjoy floating around? Most of my other axolotls are content staying stationary, but this one just continues to move, only stopping to eat. Again, he doesn't seem stressed, and it's not a fretful swim.
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Hi, Im fairly new to keeping axolotls. I have to lil buddies that I got a few months back. They were doing fine, up until a month ago when one got fungus in his gills. Took him out to fridge him, then the other guy got it too. I'm currently fridging both and doing salt baths for one (not enough fridge space to keep that much pretreated water for both at the same time). Its been hard to tell if its helping or not and then about a week and half ago one of my axies had a bunch of weird white goop in the water. I immediately changed it, happened a tiny bit again, then seemed to be okay. I had returned him to the tank, but it happened again. Back to the fridge but wanted hear from people who knew more
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    I have pictures. Tried looking through other peoples questions, but couldnt find the same white goop.
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    @Kailynom My cousin (who i got my baby axies from) had the same problem. She developed an allergy to the bloodworms she was feeding them and it got really bad. To the point where her throat would close up just being around the bloodworms. Happened within a few months. Be safe :)
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  • madcaplaughs:
    @MadamePirateOwl Fridging is best left to life-or-death situations, and salt baths are unnecessarily harsh, stressful, and abrasive. I'd suggest doing tea baths instead (using caffeinated black tea, where the only ingredient is black tea).
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    so no idea what the goop is?
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  • madcaplaughs:
    Hard to tell without a photo, but might be algae or fungus floating. Water changes will take care of that.
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    It definitely came from the axolotl. Looked to be mixed into poo the first time. Can I post the photos here?
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Im not actually sure how i would post it. It seems to want a link
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Its fairly thick and chunky
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    (Also thanks for your patience and help!)
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  • madcaplaughs:
    You could always upload the photo to imgur and link it back here
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    The second image was how it looked the first time, it was mixed with some other poop like stuff. after that its been small and without the poopy stuff
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  • madcaplaughs:
    The second photo looks reminiscent of partially-digested worms, though I've never seen anything like that. Have you checked your parameters lately?
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Right now theyre in smaller tubs that i do daily water changes in
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    I'll admit Ive bought test strips but they havent come in yet
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    I use Prime to dechlorinate the water, which was recommend by the girl I got them from
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  • madcaplaughs:
    For now I'd tub the axolotl and do daily 100% water changes until you're able to test your parameters
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  • madcaplaughs:
    I'd also recommend ordering a liquid test kit such as the API Freshwater Master Test Kit since strips are generally unreliable and inaccurate.
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Okay, thank you for your help and advice :)
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  • k.em:
    anybody growing tylototriton?
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    k.em: anybody growing tylototriton? +1
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