Long Tailed Salamanders Soaking in Water Dish

Haze91

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Hello, I have recently gotten four long-tailed salamanders and am still getting accustomed to their behavior. They all appear healthy, active at night, and eating everything in sight. But from what I've read from herping accounts is that these guys, while streamside salamanders, are most often found on land. Currently, I have a water dish with about an inch of water. Often I find a salamander or two just hanging out in the water, day or night. They mostly utilize the "land" area but I want to make sure conditions are not too dry or warm for them.
I mist the tank twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening. I check the soil often to make sure it is damp but not sopping wet. And I don't let the temperature get above 69 degrees. Most often the temps 65-68.
So, in short, is it normal for these guys to soak or am I doing something wrong? If not, then I definitely will make them a bigger "water" area.
 
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Can you send pictures and tell me how to take care of them I've been wondering for a while also what do you feed them thanks much appreciated
 
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Also you should be fine just provide some really damp areas and what's the humidity
 

Haze91

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Can you send pictures and tell me how to take care of them I've been wondering for a while also what do you feed them thanks much appreciated
I have them in a ten gallon tank right now with maybe 4 inches of substrate. I use a mix of Eco Earth and fir bark (Reptibark I think its called?) with some crushed up leaf litter. I could not find an appropriate top soil to mix with the Eco Earth, which would have been ideal. Then I have two inches of hydro balls separated from the substrate with mesh.
I've got pillow moss in there and plan on putting in a plant or two at some point. Cork bark, broken slate tiles, and magnolia leaves serve as hides for them.
They do eat fruit flies and have eaten everything I've offered up so far. Besides fruit flies, they've eaten pinhead crickets, tiny wax worms, and black worms.
I had a hygrometer in there early on but it didn't get below 100%. I've been told the humidity doesn't really matter so long as the soil is nice and moist. But keep in mind I'm still a total newbie with these guys. Other than a lesser siren, these are my first amphibians so I'm still learning.
Oh, and I got them at local exotics store. I may consider breeding in the future but right now I'm just going to focus on perfecting the care and enclosure. I will post pics tomorrow when I get a chance.
 

Haze91

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Also, I have dwarf white isopods and springtails to act as clean up crew.
 
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thank you so much also do you feed the lesser siren earthworms also whiteworms might be good for the long tail salamander and how big of a tank do you have the lesser siren in thank you so much
 

Haze91

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Unfortunately, my lesser siren passed away suddenly not too long ago. I never did figure out what caused it. But yes, his main diet was nightcrawlers and he was still in a 29 gallon tank since he was only a year and a half old.
 

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I'm not sure how moist you keep things, but maybe they want it just a little moister? not sure.
 

PDONTnAMBY

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This may seem counterintuitive, but if you mist the whole tank regularly and evenly, without leaving some dry areas, your salamanders may actually be going to the water dish because their land area is too wet. In my experience, streamside plethodontids prefer to be able to behaviorally osmoregulate, going from moister to dryer areas as needed—but when they can't, they tend to spend most of their time in the water. Several years back I had a pair of spring sals that were in a habitat that I misted too frequently and uniformly; both spent most of their time in the water dish in the several days before they passed. When a red sal started doing the same thing, and acting lethargic, I wondered if excess moisture was the problem... so I started misting only half the enclosure, and after very conspicuously spending all its time on the more-dry side, it made a full recovery.

Another relevant anecdote: long-tailed that I've found in the wild have basically always been under rocks several feet from the creek's edge, in much drier microhabitats than, say, two-lined or northern dusky.
 

Hecklad

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This may seem counterintuitive, but if you mist the whole tank regularly and evenly, without leaving some dry areas, your salamanders may actually be going to the water dish because their land area is too wet. In my experience, streamside plethodontids prefer to be able to behaviorally osmoregulate, going from moister to dryer areas as needed—but when they can't, they tend to spend most of their time in the water. Several years back I had a pair of spring sals that were in a habitat that I misted too frequently and uniformly; both spent most of their time in the water dish in the several days before they passed. When a red sal started doing the same thing, and acting lethargic, I wondered if excess moisture was the problem... so I started misting only half the enclosure, and after very conspicuously spending all its time on the more-dry side, it made a full recovery.

Another relevant anecdote: long-tailed that I've found in the wild have basically always been under rocks several feet from the creek's edge, in much drier microhabitats than, say, two-lined or northern dusky.
I am really glad I saw your post here. Recently came in possession of a Eurycea aquatica and have so far failed to provide a truly dry area. Mossy rocks emerging from the water are available to her but likely not what she needs as the moss stays pretty saturated.
 

Haze91

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This may seem counterintuitive, but if you mist the whole tank regularly and evenly, without leaving some dry areas, your salamanders may actually be going to the water dish because their land area is too wet. In my experience, streamside plethodontids prefer to be able to behaviorally osmoregulate, going from moister to dryer areas as needed—but when they can't, they tend to spend most of their time in the water. Several years back I had a pair of spring sals that were in a habitat that I misted too frequently and uniformly; both spent most of their time in the water dish in the several days before they passed. When a red sal started doing the same thing, and acting lethargic, I wondered if excess moisture was the problem... so I started misting only half the enclosure, and after very conspicuously spending all its time on the more-dry side, it made a full recovery.

Another relevant anecdote: long-tailed that I've found in the wild have basically always been under rocks several feet from the creek's edge, in much drier microhabitats than, say, two-lined or northern dusky.
Great info, thank you. I have slate rocks on one side that stays drier. I will mist that side less.
 

Haze91

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Also, I have noticed white poops a couple of times. Every time I have found them in the water dish. Are these urates or is it maybe excess supplements (I use calcium and multivitamin powders)?
 
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