Should I regularly unearth my Tiger Sal?

Raella

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So in the past two and a half months I have seen him come to he surface once, and I fed him then but haven’t seen any trace of him being on the surface of his substrate. It is Winter in New England but I keep my apartment at 66f min. I’m always scared of hurting him as I have dug him up before, I just don’t like to. I just don’t want t worry about him being dead all of the time.
 

bellabelloo

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I would say no, unless you are aware of a health problem. When I first had mine, I would worry about not seeing them, but over time you do get used to it. Remember they are mole salamanders and generally like to be out night time.
How about trying this. In the evening spray your tank with water add some worms and switch off or turn down lights really low and be patient.
 

Raella

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So I have been spraying it regularly and was tapping on the glass to get its attention, but I wasn’t leaving worms out unless it came up because they usually just die. I left some like you said to, and so far they are perishing it seems and there’s no sign of the Salamander coming up. I’m just worried about it not eating. It’s only 6-7 inches long, and hasn’t grown much even since it was in its larval form. It changed in May and finished in July of last year.
 

bhill368

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Be patient. It will come out when it needs to eat. They can go quite a while without eating if need be. Once it is hungry enough, it will come out. When that happens, you can begin forming a feeding routine for it.
 

Raella

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For some reason my post didn’t have any text. What I was saying was that I’m upgrading it to a 20g soon so I will have no choice but to dig it up when I do so. I also intend to get one more to put in the 20g once it becomes terrestrial. I have a 10g separate for that. Is that enough for reading one through metamorphosis? Having two or maybe even three in a 20g would keep things more active in the tank.
 

Jennewt

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I have 2 tiger sals in a deep soil-type substrate. I *do* dig them up to feed them, about once per week.
 

GoldenGal

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It is definitely best to not dig up your salamanders. During warmer months, they will typically only stay "burrowed" for 1 - 2 days, and then come up to eat or for a dip in their water bowl. However, during winter months, they actually hibernate, and this hibernation should not be disturbed. My male Tiger Salamander would stay down for 3-4 months and my female would stay down for at least 4 months. The first year I had them, I was also very nervous that something had happened to them. But my vet assured me that this was normal behavior. Each year when March comes, I purchase crickets to have on hand for when they emerge. (Do not put the crickets in the terrarium, though, until your salamander is up, because they can bite your pet.) I also continue to do water changes.So don't worry -- salamanders love to eat, and they will surface when they want to eat.
 
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