Newt Setup Questions

Fennex

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Hi there.

I am very interested in starting up a tank for newts. Specifically I like the Chinese Fire Belly Newts, however I don't know how possible it is to obtain these in my location (especially as I would really not like to have WC newts). As everyone here seems very knowledgeable, I thought I would make a post just outlining ideas and questions that I have, along with what I would like to achieve.

I would ideally like two newts in a semi-aquatic tank. My questions are:

What is the ideal tank size for 2 CFBs? (Answer in UK Litres would be preferred)

What substrate is best? (I have read that gravel should be used as it can cause impactions)

Best temperature? (It seems they prefer cooler water but how cold? And how to maintain this temp? Answer in degrees C would be preferred)

What else can you have in the tank? (I have read a lot of conflicting information on putting fish with newts. I would very much like some Borneo Suckers -a.k.a Hong Kong Plec/Butterfly Plec- for the tank. Some places say the toxins can hurt the fish?)

Are there any planted options that are good? Any plants that the newts cannot eat?

Is a more powerful filtration system better? Or do they only need low filter action to keep the tank clean? If I had the suckers, I would ideally like a more powerful filter as they prefer faster flowing waters.

Is a light needed on the tank? If so, would a day light or a cooler night light be better?

Sorry about the questions but I would like to be as informed as possible before I go out and do anything.

Thank you!
 

Sith the turtle

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Well, I can answer two questions. First, I'm not sure you will find CB CFBN, but the blue-tailed one is almost always CB and offered for sale often. Most newts will not go back onto land, so it would be a waste of space if you tried. Use a floating piece of cork bark of a turtle dock for a land area
 

ThoseNewtsTho

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Xavier is right, CB H. orientalis don't show up super often, and if they do, they're normally terrestrial juveniles, CB H. cyanurus are pretty similar but vary more in coloration with orange dots behind their eyes. Posting a wanted ad may help you find what you want faster.
Around 37L is considered the bare minimum amount of water volume, but keep in mind than they're fairly aquatic species as healthy adults and you would only need a small floating land mass for a land portion.
Substrate wise, a fine sand would work well, but having no substrate, siliconed down slate/tile work as well. Gravel can be used but would be better if the substrate is cleaned out often and feeding is done in a dish or by hand. Generally you're going to want the temperature of the water to be below 73F.
I would advise against fish, plecos in particular have sharp fins that can injure the newt and newts will often leave the water if there's fish in it.
Plants that I like to use in my tanks are java fern, java moss, hornwort, and elodea.
Along with regular water changes, a ton of plants, and maybe a sponge filter, mechanical filtration may be unnecessary. A light isn't required unless you have plants that need it.
 

Fennex

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Hi guys,

Thanks so much for your advice. That gives me a much better idea. The tank that I currently have is going to be too small for newts so I would probably have a Borneo only tank and then try and get a newt tank set up separately. I work in a pet shop and I know our chain does sell CFBN. I would imagine they are CB because we have suppliers that are normally breeders for all of our animals (although I could be wrong). I will do some more research and maybe come back if I have more questions if that is alright?
 

Sith the turtle

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If it's at a pet-store, it is not going to be CB. Those newts were exported away from China, and have loads of issues
 
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