Providing live food to little terrestrial metamorphs

JM29

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Some species of salamander metamorphose at a small size. As such, it is sometimes difficult to provide small live prey with regularity and diversity that is appropriate.

After attempting to feed young Cynops ensicauda popei with springtails and fruit flies, I decided to try another method. For six weeks, I've been raising young newts on a substrate made by compost from my garden, rich in all kinds of small animals. I monitor my newts and I change the substrate when I notice their stomach is less plump. I've added no other food at the moment.

They are very dynamic and they grow well. Will come a time when this scheme will not be enough and I can go to earthworms.

This method could help ensure the first weeks after the metamorphosis for small species like Hypselotriton orientalis or Notophtalmus viridescens.
 

JM29

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I admit it's not very esthetic : egg shell, tomato skins and other pieces of vegetables, germinating tomato seedlings...
But one can also notice woodlice. The biggest woodlice are not eaten, of course.

Notice one of the newtlets has a weird clear colour.
 

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Chinadog

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It will be interesting to see how the weird coloured baby turns out, I recently saw a picture of a bright red C. e popei, a bit like the rare all red C. pyrrhogaster that sometimes occur, but with the popei gold/green splodges. I wonder if that's what you have there?
 

JM29

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Hello Chinadog
I'll give news from time to time.
At the moment, there is not much change.

Since I don't want to disturb them too much, I watch them each other day, in the evening when they are more active.
2 days ago, I noticed their belly was not as plump as usual, so I changed the substrate. Now they are fine again.

I take mainly the superficial layer of my compost, which is coarse, not wery wet and rich in arthropods.
 

juraj

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Interesting. I tried this method a few years ago but I failed. PH too low maybe ?
 

otolith

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I have used this method for raising lissotriton and notophtalmus. It works quite well for small, recently morphed animals that are fickle eaters. Once they get to a larger, more robust size I switch to small isopods, earthworms & slugs from my garden and pinhead crickets. I have found that really small morphs do best when they can forage for their own tiny prey items in a more naturalist set up.
 

Niels D

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I've used this method for Notophthalmus, Lissotriton and Paramesotriton. It didn't work for Paramesotriton, though I don't know if the method itself was the problem. Love these kinds of methods!
 

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Update :

They are still doing fine, and also very dynamic.
They also seem to have eaten ants (Lasius niger).
 

Thiago

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I noticed a lot of "life" in organic matter that covers my earthworm box.
I really had thought of using them with small amphibians.

It is good to know that you are using with success!
 
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    Hello, I am a new owner of a 3 month old axolotl, and although I have done a lot of research on axolotls, I can barely find any for babies. If anyone can help me with these questions, I would be super happy. How many hours do baby axolotls tend to sleep per day? How many times should I feed it and what would be considered too much (it's current diet is freeze-dried brine shrimp and blood worms, and I currently feed it around 3 bloodworms since they are not that big)? How many times a week should I change the water and how? I have a good filter and use Prime as my conditioner to remove the chlorine and other chemicals, but I still need to figure out how to deal with ammonia and such in the water. How do I clean it's waste (should I use a dropper to easily pick it up)? I need a better cooling system because currently I use ice packs on the side of the tank and I make sure to angle my ac so that it hits the tank.
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    I also leave the lid open during the day so that evaporation can cool down my tank. I want to buy a fan, but since winter is coming I won't have to buy one yet. Lastly, what water testers are effective and affordable for a broke student like myself? Please, if anyone has any advice I will love to hear it. I care for this creature too much at this point, but I have no one to help me with caring for it other than the internet :,)
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  • EmilyP:
    Hi LauraLobster I am a new owner of axolotls myself and have been getting advice from things like this, I feed mine twice a day on blackworms and brine shrimp blood worms are more of a treat food, a question on where you are keeping you axolotl are you keeping it in the main tank or in a tub also if in the tank did you cycle it first? and if not i suggest tubing it until the tank it cycled, mine are still tubed since I was given bad advice by the shop people about cycling my tank and am still in the process of cycling it. I use pipettes to clean up the mess of my axolotls. I use the API mater test kit for freshwater tanks I am also a student and had to look around to find it the cheapest I could.
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    Hi LauraLobster, like you I got my first ever Axolotl back in July. Iv found that he has enjoyed and eaten red wigglers well. They are a good source of protein and help provide the nutrients a young lotl needs to grow up big and strong. You will probably need to break it up into smaller pieces until they get bigger but they are what I have primarily fed my buddy since I got him. He’s actually so picky that he won’t even eat his pellets anymore and will hold out till he gets his favorite wormy.
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    Hi I would like to know how you treat nea
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    Hi I would like to know how you treat newt inflamtion I've got one and recently it's started to develop an inflammation on its throat can someone please tell me how you treat this I've also checked if he had something stuck but I didn't se anything
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    Anyone have any Notophthalmus viridescens for purchase to a loving home?
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    Hey, does anyone know if shale is ok for long-toed salamanders?
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    As long as its cleaned yeah! You can even make overhangs if you have enough pieces to make nice caves and platforms
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    Ok, thanks!
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    My pleasure! River rocks work well too, and go rather well with all kinda lung less salamanders,
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    Great! I'll use some of those too. Thanks for the help. :)
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    So everywhere talks about testing your water parameters but I can't find what to do it there aren't right?! Like too low not too high, anybody any ideas?
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