I wouldn't use fish or chicken. You can use mealworms and crickets though...and through in some earth worms or some waxworms too. If you use a variety your animal should be ok, but to have to pick one to exclusivly feed is not great. Most of my terrestrial salamanders switch from week to week as either earth worms or crickets being their staple diet. I substitute it with mealworms (and their beatles) and baby mice now and again.
wtf BABY MICE!!! do u only feed them baby mice when they have no fur or something?but wouldnt a mice be full of diseases and stuff. And as for andy i recon fish is good because they are bound to eat it lots in there natural environment. i also feed my axolotls fish sometimes because they would also be bound to eat it in there naturall environment.
The only thing that really is cause for concern with small guppies, reds and goldfish (depending on the size of your newt) is that they are prone to disease and parasites. If you do choose to feed your newt fish, which I feel is the most natural food for them and most entertaining to watch as they hunt, keep a separate small tank that is filtered with a *thin* layer of gravel that is cleaned frequently. Do not feed your newt with your recently purchased livestock until several days later when any ill fish will have passed and problem fish may be quarantined. Guppies frequently breed in captivity, and you can ensure a unadulterated feeding source of fish by breeding your guppies and removing the eggs/fry before they would have an opportunity to obtain any diseases carried by their parents. They will look like little specks in the water, and may be fed with brine shrimp and other very small aquatic foods. All in all, feeding fish can be a worthwhile but initially costly venture. It is definitely worth it, though, for a primarily aquatic creature. If you have a more terrestrial animal such as a sallie you may prefer to stick to dry foods...OH YEAH...and you can easily hand-feed larger newts fish. It helps the first few times to hold the fish out of the water for a while to weaken it a bit, as some of the larger ones can put up quite a fight and even continue to squirm once swallowed. Try tweezers to begin with, but soon you can put the fish up to kiss your newt's mouth and he'll take it right from your fingers! Best of luck! (I would not recommend feeding pinkies. While newts/sallies have much more effective digestive systems than reptiles, there is a lot of raw bone matter and difficult material in the mice, and they are rather large for anything other than a full-grown tiger as noted in earlier posts.) Bloodworms are a GREAT treat for newts/sallies as they do not die in the water, eat wastes in the gravel, and seem to be easy to digest. Much higher nutrition than waxworms, but you can't gut-load them like crickets. Ok, this post is way long enough. Let me know if you have any questions about the fish...
There is many posts on here about mice. Diseases was not one of the arguments against. Baby mice with no fur is what I use yes..they're called pinkies...and since they're bred by people for snakes all the time the chance for diseases is minimized.
I'm not sure where the information that caudates have a more efficient digestive tract than reptiles originated, can you provide information backing up that statement?
With fish it is possible that parasites and other disease vectors can be transmitted vertically through the populations. Some nematodes are documented to do this in other species. One of the major problems with the use of fish as major source of food is that if the fish are dead or frozen thawed is the lack of thiamine in the diet causing problems in the long run. Also many caudates do not live in water that contains fish so the automatic assumption that fish are a natural part of the diet is in error.
Hi Ed, I think the more effective digestive system statements comes from the fact that salamanders on average are able to turn a far higher percentage of their food directly into new body mass than other terrestrial vertebrates. If I remember correctly, duskies can even be as high as 96-98% while most reptiles were 20% and under...I've seen the data before in a Herpetology text, I'll track it down for you this week.
I'd also like to point some things out about sal diets. There's a lot of "variety is best" statements floating around with regard to sal care. But I'd also like to point out that while many sals are generalist feeders, a great many others feed nearly exclusively on only one or two organisms. Ringed salamander adults for instance have never been found with anything other than earthworms in their stomachs. Aneides vagrans on Vancouver island has been found to eat ants virtually exclusively. So I guess what I'm saying is, don't generalize, and research your particular species.
Thanks I'd like to see that information. I'm curious to see if they took into account resting metabolism rates into those figures as many caudates have low metabolic rates due to temps ect and may have more of the nutrients available for growth.
Hi Ed, found the textbook. It gave the reference for the information as F. H. Pough  The American Naturalist 115(1):92-112. I tried looking up this paper, but inexplicably, my Uni library copy of The American Naturalist for 1980 is missing all of volume 1...so I'm not sure of all of Pough's details. For those of you who don't have access to journals, here's what the text said:
Efficiency of biomass conversion by tetrapods calculated as
Variety is best is based on the fact that it's sometimes the only way to get people to stop feeding pellets or freeze dried items to their caudates.
It's not only important that your caudate eats the right foods, but that the foods are eating and healthy too. It doesn't realy matter what type of herp you're caring for. Most bait shop earth worms are farm raised so they've been on a good healthy diet of worm chows to get them to grow fast and large.
I feed my crickets everything from comercial cricket food to shredded carrots to oatmeal. Also that cricket gel water is great too, flukers even ahs a calcium fortified type.
mealworms can also eat the things listed above for crickets. I bed mine in oatmeal.
Anyway, my point is that what you're feeding should also be fed well too.
For those who like night crawlers for feeders, but aren't too wild about their size. BeaverBait.com sells a worm called "Red Devils". These aren't red wigglers, but juvenile night crawlers. They have made a wonderful addition to my T. Shanjing's diet. I think it's approx. $12 plus shipping for 250, which last you a very long time.
I think my axie is dying, he’s never had any issues before, I’ve had him 3 years, today I noticed some fluffy looking stuff coming from his genital area so I took him out of his tank and did a full tank clean to make sure the water wasn’t infected as I thought it was fungus and then I noticed he had a cut on his belly which was only small about 5 hours ago and now it’s spread to all of his belly, what do I do I’m freaking out
Hi I have 2 4in juveniles (I’ve had them about 2 weeks and they are doing well I think they’ve grown a little already honestly) but I am supposed to go on a 5-6 day vacation in October about 3-4 months from now. I am wondering how I should go about their care when I am gone. I thought about putting them in separate (fairly big) containers with live plants and/or bubblers with a fan in the dark and either fridging them (my last plan) but I am hoping to to either have someone I trust come feed them and turkey baste waste out or just leave them out and clean the containers before we leave and have someone come check on them once or twice. Does any of this sound like a good or bad idea? I want the best for them. All help appreciated
Hi, so I have 2 male axolotls and about an hour ago they were both perfectly fine and now only one of them has his tail curling up and his gills are slightly curled?? But other than that they’re both acting normally
Does anyone have any idea how to help with high ammonia levels? I have the API freshwater master kit and everything else’s test results were great besides ammonia. I did a 50% water change and I use API products including ammonia lock.
Help! I got my first axolotl two days ago and they have stopped eating. They ate a few frozen blood worms the first day and haven’t eaten or been interested in food since. I feed them frozen blood worms and the tank is around 64 degrees. I do have a filter that moves sometimes and I noticed them swimming up to it, I have a new filter and a fan coming today or tomorrow. I leave the worms in the tank or a little bit before taking them out so I don’t know if they ate when I wasn’t looking. I know it takes a while for them to digest. Does anyone have any tips or knowledge they can share? The pet store I bought them from didn’t have gravel or sand in the tank so I’m not sure if theres an issue or if I’m just impatient. Thank you!
@MuggleMiChu I would say try live black/blood worms untell they are full or just turn there head away ( that's what mine do) if that does not work try to get some live brine shrimp and see if they eat that. baby axolotl prefer live food over frozen food as the frozen food is too cold for them or they can't eat it in one go( that's if you do the blocks) mine eat chopped up frozen thawed shrimp. as for them not eating from what I have experienced with my second axolotl, I got her when she was about an inch long and she ate every day, when they start getting 3-4 inches long they will gradually slow down there eating. and if you really want to do substrate I would do sand because if they do ingest a little bit it won't hurt them.
Thank you so much for the information and advice! They are eating again, they ate a lot today. I think it might have been stress from the move or digesting old food, I also noticed they ate some of the food left in the tank (I removed the rest). I’m going to keep the tank bare bottom.