Should i introduce new friends to 8 year old Fire Belly

Feena

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Hello everyone!

I have an 8 year old fire belly newt named Ebeneezer Dorset. I recently moved him from his only known home, a small 1foot by .5foot tank to a much larger 2.5 by 1foot mansion. He is a swimmer and never gets out of his water. In his new home however, because of its size i have added much more land. I'm now wondering if perhaps he'd like some friends. I know it would be best to stick to only fire belly nets as companions but I'm concerned that even another newt would shock him, or they wouldn't get along. I love my newt dearly and if anything happened to him I'd be crushed. I was hoping you could give me some advice before i decide to buy another newt! I'm pretty sure he's a male and also that he's a Chinese fire belly. My main concerns are:

how many should i get?
should i look for older newts more his age?
should i quarantine them before introducing them?
should i try to only get females?
will they fight?
will my newt be scared after being alone so long?

I probably have more questions as he's my baby and I worry too much. I will add pictures of him and his home soon, hopefully that will help. Thanks everyone for your help and have a great day! :)
 

Slimy2

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Hello everyone!

I have an 8 year old fire belly newt named Ebeneezer Dorset. I recently moved him from his only known home, a small 1foot by .5foot tank to a much larger 2.5 by 1foot mansion. He is a swimmer and never gets out of his water. In his new home however, because of its size i have added much more land. I'm now wondering if perhaps he'd like some friends. I know it would be best to stick to only fire belly nets as companions but I'm concerned that even another newt would shock him, or they wouldn't get along. I love my newt dearly and if anything happened to him I'd be crushed. I was hoping you could give me some advice before i decide to buy another newt! I'm pretty sure he's a male and also that he's a Chinese fire belly. My main concerns are:

how many should i get?
The demensions you give are length and width without height, so I assume this tank is either a 20 gallon long or a 29 gallon high. Depending on how much land or water area you provide in the enclosure, you may be able to fit one or three more newts in the tank comfortably. You've said your newt is mostly aquatic, so I don't see the need for more land if it is rarely out of the water anyway, unless you get another newt that isn't so aquatic.

should i look for older newts more his age?
Newts of equal size, but not neccesarily age, unless you intend to breed him.

should i quarantine them before introducing them?
This would be a very good idea if you get them from a petstore, but I strongly encourage you to get some new firebellies from a breeder here on the forums. Then you know you are getting healthy, robust animals that should acclimate fairly quickly to your enclosure, unlike newts you can buy from a petstore which may be sickly, dying or won't eat.

should i try to only get females?
You could add males and females.

will they fight?
As long as the newts are of similar size, have ample space, and an appropriate environment with plenty of food, you should not see any fighting. Firebellies are not very aggressive newts.

will my newt be scared after being alone so long?
No. Newts can do well as solitary animals or in small groups as long as there is enough space.


I hope I answered your questions helpfully and accurately. Good Luck!
-Cameron
 

slowfoot

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The most common thing that happens when I introduce a new newt is that everyone completely ignores each other. Unless I'm adding a new male to a group of females. Then he's very excited. The females will, of course, pay no attention to him at all.

Definitely go with a captive bred animal, though. And quarantine. It would be a shame to risk the life of your long-time pet.
 

Feena

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Thank you every one for your quick replies! I have some great pictures of my Neezer and his tank I'm just not sure how to share them..? I also have a few more questions! I do not have a filter or heater/cooler or anything in his tank, just a single 60 watt light bulb. He has always freaked out when i put in even the weakest filter. Would a filter be a must for multiple newts? Would my newt calm down after having the filter on for a dew days? I do however change his water more frequently and could even more if need be. An issue I've been having that i would like to fix before getting more newts would be a thin layer of white film. It usually forms over night no matter how clean or dirty the tank is and I skim it daily with a small fish net. Has anyone else encountered this issue and what can I do about it? Also, how could I find a fire belly breeder in my area (southern Ontario)?
Thanks again for everyones help! Happy Monday!
 

Otterwoman

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Just let me tell you this tale from my youth of a fish my sister once had. She won a goldfish in a carnival and he lived alone in a tank- for about 5 years- he grew to a large size. One day I decided he needed friends. I guilted her and talked her into getting a couple guppies.
They picked him to death.
I have to live with that for the rest of my life. It wasn't even my fish. I was the older wiser sister and I talked her into it.
 

asfouts

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Thank you every one for your quick replies! I have some great pictures of my Neezer and his tank I'm just not sure how to share them..? I also have a few more questions! I do not have a filter or heater/cooler or anything in his tank, just a single 60 watt light bulb. He has always freaked out when i put in even the weakest filter. Would a filter be a must for multiple newts? Would my newt calm down after having the filter on for a dew days? I do however change his water more frequently and could even more if need be. An issue I've been having that i would like to fix before getting more newts would be a thin layer of white film. It usually forms over night no matter how clean or dirty the tank is and I skim it daily with a small fish net. Has anyone else encountered this issue and what can I do about it? Also, how could I find a fire belly breeder in my area (southern Ontario)?
Thanks again for everyones help! Happy Monday!
Hello,

To post pictures, go down to post reply then there is a box that says "manage attachments" then browse your photos, select and upload.

Cooling devices are really only needed if your house is warmer than 70 F degrees, these newts like it colder and so no heating devices are needed.

A filter isnt necessary either. A fair amount of water changes (I like bi-weekly 20%) and cleaning up uneaten food and waste does the trick. Some newts dont like flowing water all. Also live plants are a good biological filter especially duckweed. You can also get a sponge filter to place in the water.

As for the film on the surface, that seems to be fairly normal for a tank with little to no water movement. In my experience just netting it out over time tends to get rid of it.

As for a breeder in your area, search the forum index for FBN sales under "for sale" discussion board. Caudata has great breeders and the members are reliable. Some breeders will ship you healthy newts for a low rate as well. Another possibility, but less safe, is craigslist in your area. I have found a good angelfish breeder over craigslist, but it can be a hit and a miss sometimes.

Hope I answered your questions! Good luck

And otterwoman that is a sad tale.
 

Feena

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Oh my that's so sad :( if I just keep an eye on my newts 24/7 would that prevent the new ones from eating my baby? I'm just really worried about my little guy! I want him to be happy and social, but the thought of him being eaten is awful! And don't feel too bad, you had no idea the mean old guppies were gonna eat your sisters fish, that's sort of strange behavior is it not?

Thank you so much for answering all my questions, you are so helpful on this site! I don't know why I didn't become a member sooner, although I just found out this is where my mom got her information before buying me my newt.

I do have (I hope) 1 more question, well just another issue I'm not sure how to deal with.. snails! My one attempt to grow live plants brought me a whole army of small snails a few years ago. Even after changing his tank they're still a strong force in his home. I'm afraid i didn't properly wash off one of his decorations before incorperating it in the new tank :( A friend of mine suggested an exterminator snail, which would eat all the other snails, but the fellow at Big Als said the exterminator snail would like suck all my newts skin off? something like that anyways... What are your thoughts and suggestions on this issue?

I think I uploaded pictures! they're not showing in this particular box that I am typing in, but I think it worked? I included a picture of the front of the tank, one of each side from the top and a few close ups of my little guy! He was posing so very cutely for me yesterday!

Thanks again for everyone's help, have a great day! :eek:
 

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asfouts

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These newts are not cannibalistic or aggressive, so I think you are safe. Just watch during feeding because under some instances they can (seldomly) be aggresive during feeding.

Your snails can be eliminated in a number of ways. Possibly the most effective for your tank is using lettuce as bait and just taking out all the snails on the leaf. It wont get rid of them completely, but they arent necessarily a bad thing either.

You can also use copper, loaches, assasin snails, and snail poisons. But these solutions generally require you to move your newts which I assume you dont want. Also clean your plants thoroughly before putting them in to the tank that will eliminate pests

Your pictures are great, good looking tank!


Here is another quick reference offered by caudata:
http://www.caudata.org/cc/species/Cynops/C_orientalis.shtml
 

Feena

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Oh thank you so much! I'm so excited to find a friend for my Neezer! I just put lettuce in my tank and i got all sorts of new plans and whatnot to put in after work. Basically, I'm really excited! Thank you thank you thank you thank you! Have a great day, I'll post more pictures later!
 

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I'm glad you asked this question. It's something that has been in our minds as well. We have two Chinese Fire Belly Newts, Tiu and Tau, they used to be friends but for some years now Tiu has lived only on dry land and Tau in water. They never meet anymore and we're afraid that Tau has been bored and lonely after Tiu abandoned him. Our newts are at least 9 years old and we've been wondering the same questions, whether or not our newts would be shocked or unhappy to suddenly meet a stranger in their familiar quiet home, whether or not they would be unhappy about a change. We don't want to disrupt the life they're used to but we want the best for them. It's difficult to make decisions for their best without knowing their view on the subject. If only Tau could tell us if he's lonely or not. If he's happy with things as they are now or would he prefer to have company. Tiu seems perfectly happy in his solitary land life but Tau is always on the watching for movement behind the glass. He's always interested when he sees us moving about and I keep thinking if he is ever-hopefully on the look-out, watching and waiting for another newt to come along. Or for Tiu to come back to him. Sigh. I just want them both to be happy.

another issue I'm not sure how to deal with.. snails! My one attempt to grow live plants brought me a whole army of small snails a few years ago. Even after changing his tank they're still a strong force in his home.
We had tiny snails from petstore plants for a long time. I found them unpleasant and picked them out one by one with tweezers. It took about a year to get rid of them 'cause the ones I missed naturally kept making more and more snails but we finally did. But to bother to pick them out one by one like that a person needs a touch of OCD in his/her character :p
 
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