Newt Questions

Gameynerd23

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Hello, I don't have any newts, but I'm thinking about getting at least one and I had a few questions. I was thinking about a 40 aquarium filled half to 2/3 of the way full. I'd probably get Eastern Newts because they're supposed to be a good beginner newt. Ok, question time! Can I keep fish with my newts, if so, then what kind of fish? How many newts should I keep in the 40 gallon? Should my newts be all male or all female? Would there be a better beginner newt?

Thank you for reading and for the help! :)
 

minorhero

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I'm a beginner newt owner so my experiences are pretty limited but hopefully helpful. I tried keeping ricefish with my alpine newts when I first got them. I ran into the double issue of the newts not wanting to be in the water and then once they did go in, of at least one of the newts partially eating one of the fish. These were juvenile newts as well less then a year old. Some people have better luck with fish in their tanks while others say its generally a bad idea. If you do decide to go for it you will need 1) a coldwater fish, 2) a very peaceful fish. The danger being the fish attacking the newt or competing with the newt for food. I keep shrimp (both amano and neocaridina) with my newts and they seem a much better match.

The biggest challenge most newt owners (including myself run into is temperature. The newts like it cold, 70 degrees is kind of the top end with many wanting to be in the 60s (or possibly colder). Your tank will need a screened lid to keep the newts in anyway so putting a fan up there blowing across the surface will help to lower the temperature.

You definitely need to cycle the tank before the newts go in, and unless doing a fish in cycle, before the fish as well.

As a final word I will say that eastern newts are all wild caught in the states. If that bothers you, you should consider other newts. I went alpine because 1) I think they look pretty cool, and 2) they are pretty widely available in the hobby, and 3) they are all captive bred in the states.

Hopefully this is helpful.
 

Gameynerd23

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This was very helpful, thank you so much! :) I'll probably steer clear of fish and leave it newts only.

Do you know if it's better to keep all males or all females? I also figured four newts could go in a 40 gallon tank that's filled halfway, is that too many newts?
 

minorhero

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My understanding is that having one male with a few females is the best case scenario. However, if you are buying captive bred animals of any species you almost certainly end up with juveniles that are unsexed. If buying wildcaught Eastern newts I highly advise you to carefully research the seller, as I think almost all the ones I have seen have absolutely horrible reputations and may not take care in sexing the newts. Or in selling you healthy animals.

My understanding is that four in 40 gallons would be fine, but this is based off of my reading not experience.
 

Hecklad

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I have never kept the newts but there have been a few places where I have consistently found eastern newts alongside large numbers of fish. If you want to try fish go with rainbow shiners. They are fast, get up to 2 inches long, non-aggressive, naturally co-occur, and are quite gorgeous.

This is the creek I found the newts in. The were also very close to the fish and were clearly not bothered by them.
 

MnGuy

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I have never kept the newts but there have been a few places where I have consistently found eastern newts alongside large numbers of fish. If you want to try fish go with rainbow shiners. They are fast, get up to 2 inches long, non-aggressive, naturally co-occur, and are quite gorgeous.

This is the creek I found the newts in. The were also very close to the fish and were clearly not bothered by them.
Beautiful videos!
 

MnGuy

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Always cycle tanks before adding newts or fish. Coldwater tanks often take much longer (a month or more) to cycle. Heat speeds up cycling.

Eastern newts are great but are nearly always wild caught. Other species, such as alpine or marbled newts, are more commonly available captive bred.

Keeping fish with newts can be a controversial topic. That said, I keep my three alpine newts with about a dozen White Cloud Mountain Minnows and have had no issues with aggression either way. My newts hunt down and eat all the baby minnows. I've only had two babies survive into adulthood in the approximately six years I've had the newts and fish.

Keeping more females than males is a good idea so the females aren't constantly harassed by amorous males.

Good luck.
 
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