Optimal temperature for tiger salamander eggs?

Mathias Holm

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I recently bought 2 kg of Eisensia hortensis. Most larvae will eat them, but some will not. My adults are not fond of them either. It is clear which larvae will eat them, because they are really fat (see first picture) :happy: . I chop the worms into pieces of about 2 cm.
I dig worms for those that will not eat E. hortensis. Even though i do not spend much time finding the food myself anymore i still spend about 4-6 hours daily to feed them! I change the water completely every 2-3 days.
I have about 10 morphing larvae now, and as the first one, they do not eat much or anything at all.
 

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Mathias Holm

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Thanks Paul, i will try that :happy: .
I have about 40 morphed larvae now, and especially the smaller ones are difficult to feed. They will only eat very small pieces of worms.
And unfortunately 2 of the morphed larvae have died :( . One of them was very slim, but the other one was in good condition. I'm worried it is because of the cold (about 10°C at night and 14°C during the day) so i have now moved them indoors. Maybe they will eat more now?
I have moved the oldest ones to land area, but that makes it even more difficult to feed them with worms because they escape or hide in moss. The crickets as Paul suggests (and maybe also cockroaches?) will probably be easier.

When will the morphed larvae get their coloration? They are still mostly black, and look nothing like the parents, even though the oldest ones morphed about a month ago.

I still have a little under 100 larvae in the water, but many are now starting to morph even though they are small compared to my other ones (about 10 cm). Maybe it is because the temperature have dropped? My largest morphed larvae are about 18 cm.

Picture 1-2 shows some of my largest morphed larvae. It is these i have now moved to land area. The larvae in good condition that died was one of these - could it have drowned?
Picture 3: Land area. Here i have the fattest specimens. The slim ones i have in a tub without moss to make it easier to control that all are eating (which they are not at this moment!).
Picutre 4-5: One of the dead specimens :( - the one in good condition
 

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Mathias Holm

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Another 2 died today, both very slim and they would not eat anything the last few days. Is it normal to have a few that dies during metamorphosis? Sad to see them die this far in the process :( . Every specimen that has died was in the water, so after this i'm moving them to land area as soon as possible, even though they still have little gills. I change the water completely every day, so i don't believe they were sick?
Would love to hear your opinion.

I've just ordered both crickets and cockroaches
 

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Mathias Holm

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Alright, i found out what caused them to die. Seems to be some type of fungus. See attached picture. I believe it is as a result of the cold that they suddenly get this fungus, because i change the water very often. Maybe they are more exposed to fungus in the cold? A few days ago we had only 10°C during the day, and even colder at night. The next day almost all larvae in one of my tubs had signs of fungus, and all worms i saw them eat the previous day, they had thrown up during the night. This only happened to the tub with most larvae. I have now divided them into more tubs, and the most ill are placed in a seperate tub. I moved the tub with the ill larvae into the garage where it is warmer, and most of them seems to be doing better today. All remaining healthy larvae will also be moved into the garage.

Any suggestions on how the get rid of the fungus? I have looked at the "Caudate Illness" articles, but i can't find anything that looks like the symptoms my larvae has. Would really appreciate help!
 

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Jennewt

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Looking at the photos you posted 3 days ago: are Pictures 1 and 2 their regular setup, or did you just put them in this tub for photography? If they are kept in water like that during metamorphosis, they may be drowning. Some of the animals in Picture 1 look like they are ready for dirt and shouldn't be in water at all.

It's normal for them to eat very little right around the time of metamorphosis. Feeding is less important than environment at this point.

Your terrestrial setup looks too wet. If you put a few (ones that have lost almost all of their gills) into a container of dirt, they may do better. Seriously, dirt. Even if the problem is fungus, putting them in dirt might actually help. For food, put in crickets and wait and see if the crickets disappear.

Good luck!
 

Mathias Holm

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Thank you very much for your reply! This is my first time ever breeding amphibians, so i have much to learn. Therefore i'm very happy that you (and the other persons in this thread) are willing to help me!

Regarding the morphed larvae in water: that was their regular setup. I did that because they were easier to feed (with worms), but as soon as the first one died i moved them to land.
I'll definetely find some appropiate soil tomorrow.
I got the crickets yesterday, and they are definetely easier to feed than worms, but some of the salamanders spit them out again after catching them.

The morphing larvae with fungus will also be put in dirt! Hope that helps :) .

Then the only problem is what i should do to the larvae with fungus that are not morphing yet? Obviously i change the water every day, and feed them as much they can eat, but some are very weak and will not eat anything and i guess they will die soon if i don't do anything to the fungus (about 10 larvae).
 

Mathias Holm

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Alright, as suggested i have now moved the morphed salamanders to tubs with dirt (and a lot of crickets). But apparently they will not dig in it, maybe it is too compact (my adults would have no problem with digging in this). I have peat soil at my disposal, but the ph on that is about 4. But maybe it would be alright if i mixed it with the soil im using now (i took that from our garden)? Then it would be easier to dig in.

I have had about 10 dead (morphing) larvae as a result of the fungus, but after the quarantine no one new have been infected, so that problem seems to be solved.

When moving the morphed salamanders i noticed that some of the specimens have dark spots on their belly. At first i thought it maybe was stuck skin, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Is that a result of a too wet enclosure? I have cleaned the land area every single day, so it was never dirty. Aside from the black spots they seem perfectly fine, and are very active, so i am not too nervous about it. Maybe it will disappear now that they have a more dry enclosure?

Picture 1-2: The new enclosures with dirt
Picture 3-4: The salamanders lies like this under the hiding place instead of digging.
Picture 5: Salamander with dark spots on its belly
Picture 6: One of my tubs with medium sized larvae (a little over 10 cm). A lot of these are starting to show signs of morphing.
 

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Mathias Holm

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The salamanders still doesn't dig in the dirt, but it definitely seems they are doing better in this setup than the previous.

Some new pictures.

Picture 1-2: One of my biggest larvae at this moment
 

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Mathias Holm

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Update from today: Almost 50 morphed salamanders now and about 50 larvae, so i should end up with approx 100 salamanders on land. :happy: . The black belly-spots on the morphed salamanders has disappeared again

Unfortunately i ended up losing somewhere between 20 and 30 morphing salamanders. Primarily the small and weak ones, but also a few of my largest specimens died. Same symptoms as in the ones shown in this thread. Bent tail and something that looks like fungus, and it didn't help moving them to land area. The only factor that changed when they started to get sick was the temperature, so i'm sure that was what caused them to die, either directly or indirectly (because of exposure from fungus as a result of low temperature). Now they are kept at 23°C at day and 17°C at night and all are looking good (except a few that have been sick since before i moved them).
I will not make that mistake again next year! But i have to admit i will not raise this many larvae again. It has been an extremely big job, and i don't think i have the time to do that again! :happy:

Picture 1: Taken after removing their hiding place :happy:
Picture 2: The first morphed salamander (meaning the same specimen as the one in the first post on page 2 on this thread). Still waiting for it to get some color :happy:
 

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Mathias Holm

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Update: With the help of my father we made an active carbon filter cleaning system, and it seems to work. It has now been up for a week and the larvae looks good. The water is no longer completely clear, but still more clear than it would be just after 1 day without cleaning. I have about 30 larvae in the water.

Picture 1-3 shows the cleaning system and the larvae.
Picture 4: Under the cleaning of the morphed salamanders tubs, i put them all together for this picture
Picture 5: Newly morphed salamanders, those are not included in picture 4
Picture 6: Some of my large specimens
Picture 7: One of my largest
Picture 8: One of my smallest.
 

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Mathias Holm

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Pictures from yesterday.
Picture 1: One of my largest together with one of my smallest.
Picture 2: Some of the other specimens. My largest is the one to the left

Huge variation in coloration, but obviously the coloration is still not complete.
 

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Joep

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thank u all for this topic,
i just have a large tiger male in my greenhouse,when i hose it down,he goes in the pond,and sires my axo females!!
this is going on 3 years now,i kept 2 ``gurken`` males,because they are fertile,see what developes,,
 
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