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new D. ensatus owner with questions

alexds1

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Hi!

I was lucky enough to finally find and catch a larva (legally of course) and I am ready to give it the best treatment I can... for now I have it in a temporary terrarium with some cover and water that I collected from the stream I found it in, but I would like to know more about what the optimum permanent housing would be. It is about an inch long with all limbs developed, I have a few tanks that could take it but am not sure which would be best. I am also planning on getting it some blood worms but I am not sure if frozen is ok, any advice on how easy or difficult the larva are to feel would be awesome! And any other tips you have that I hadn't considered... Thank you in advance :)
 

gnu

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You must change water very frequently, bloodworms are good but alive because it stimulates the larvea into eating it
sorry for my english
good luck
 

warrior

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I have kept a few small and medium sized larvae before and they didnt take to well to non moving food but you can try.Try live blackworms or brine shrimp if its available there.When I lived in cali live brine shrimp and live blackworms were available by the ounce.Also try and keep them cool as if you noticed where you got them from they live in cool streams.Good luck with them they are a treat to keep............Eddie
 

alexds1

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Thanks very much for your advice :) 'He' is adjusting well so far and has eaten several bloodworms! I am changing his water daily, hopefully that is good enough.
 

josh

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i was lucky to catch 4 adult D. ensatus in a single afternoon just south of the bay area. they were my first dicamptodon finds and it was like flipping out a brown gila monster! they are sooooooooo big! i hope you have good luck raising yours. they are amazing specimens

-josh
 

BARAKA

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I have been looking for these guys for quite some time now and I am completely jealous of your great find.
Congrats!
 

josh

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i think it is all about timing. i have talked to a couple other people that say they see adults about the same time every year.... shoot... i cant remember if i went in march or april... i believe it was april. whenever it was. they werent too difficult to find at the time. i recently found a VERY BEAUTIFUL D. tenebrosus in northern california. what i found strange was they were crossing the roads at night. i found 2 dead adults on the road, 1 live juvenile on the road and flipped out a second juvenile under a log. they are amazing animals..... i must admit.... i was on a mission to find aneides vagrans though.
 
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josh

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alright... i think that is pretty rediculous that my post is edited because i posted a mountain range in it. its a friggin mountain range... not a specific locality.... that is just silly. anyone can go online and find specific localities on very popular sites.
 

rust

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I couldn't disagree more. Collecting legal specimens from the wild for personal use is fine and is how MANY of us started, but MANY forget. Unfortunately most of these threads get bogged down by the self righteous who probably have spent very little time in the field and are the equivalent of most saltwater fish keepers.

Alex, your best bet on determining requirements for Dicomps is to ponder the habitat that you found them in and try to mimic that as best you can. A 10gl or 20gl tank is plenty big for one larvae, with good filtration and aeration (I used a TopFlow for mine). I have raised them fine on chunks of dehydrated tubiflex worms until metamorphis. That's when it gets tricky. They'll start coming out of the water as their gills are absorbed, but even after they are completely gone don't remove them from a set-up that doesn't have water to submerge in for another few months, they will continue to feed as though they are aquatic, and seemingly only that way.

Josh, no kidding, they are in every coastal stream from Santa Cruz to Canada.
 

bewilderbeast

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To get back to the original point of this thread...

I have been keeping a larval D. tenebrosus for a while now and he's doing quite well. I would assume that D. ensatus is slightly less sensitive to things like temperature and water quality.

Water quality:
Water quality is very important so buy a small filter... I like the duetto pumps because they are small quiet and versatile... you can hook a tube to the output and they come in 2 or three sizes. I like the larger one because it gives me better flow control ultimately and cleaner water, and it's small enough to fit in any aquarium (I had it set up in a pickle jar once).
For the Dicamptodon, I set up a 5 gallon (any bigger and I'd lose track of my 'mander) with a false bottom and false back wall. The filter intake is at one side of the tank and the output at the the other to create flow and try and simulate natural conditions... The air intake attachment for these filters works great and spit thousands of pollen-sized air bubbles into the tank (much quieter than any airstone too).
Buy spring water in large bottles... I use Crystal geyser because it comes from Mt. Shasta. It is spring water from Northern CA. Perfect, No? you can also get a gallon and a half for about a buck fifty.

Temperature:
They need to be kept cool. Because I have th false back wall I can place ice packs next to the filter and not have to stare at a big bottle of ice floating in my aquarium. This keeps the water below 60 degrees. I'd say any warmer than that and you are pushing it. A small fan also helps with evaporation and cooling.

Foods:
My salamander has been doing quite well on a mixed diet of Brine shrimp, blackworms and Scuds(amphipods). I do mostly brine shrimp right now because they provide more of the minerals he needs to grow a strong skeleton, (worms aren't very high in calcium). Worms are much easier because he has learned to take them from forceps. Feeding these little guys is really fun because of how animated an voracious they get when they gobble down their prey...

wow sorry that was so long-winded but I hope it's helpful to people out there... I see that people are interested in these species but there isn't a whole lot of specific care info for them.
 

jctkc

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I caught some larvae about a month and a half ago. They were about 2 inches. I put them into a ten gallon and used tap water with water conditioner. Also had a fliter for them. They are real easy to keep, like goldfish. Just add water ever decor you want and feed them brine shrimp or bloodworm.
 
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