Shy long-toed salamanders

Mark.H

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Hi, I have four long-toed salamanders that I am keeping for pets, but they hide whenever I turn on lights. I am currently keeping the tank in the dark, but It would be nice if they were active in the day. Will this change over time, or are they nocturnal? I also have them in a 10-gallon terrarium, is this too small? Two are about 4 inches, and the other two are about 3-3 1/2 inches. please help.
Mark.
 

JaceW/Lifer-Log

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That tank is a good size, of course bigger is better. But any bigger than what you have is optional. Almost all terrestrial salamanders are nocturnal. I’d suggest getting a light for the top and having it on for 8 hours during the day. This will make them a little more used to light and hopefully make them less skittish! Good luck.
 

E. Sylvanus

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I’m not familiar with long-toed salamanders, but when I was in college, I had a trick that worked with my tiger salamanders. I had a light on the tank (not very bright, but enough to give them a “day”), and I set it on a timer to be on during the night. My room was in the basement, so it was already pretty dark where I kept them, but I covered them with a cloth to keep it really dark during the day (what they thought was night).

Basically, that flipped their day/night cycle so they were more likely to be active during the times I was awake. When I wanted to see what they were doing, I could lift the cover and watch them hunt or move around the tank (of course, sometimes they still just burrowed and hid).

I don’t know whether it would work for your guys. I know tiger salamanders can get pretty bold, so maybe it was just their personalities that made them more active while I was observing, but it might be worth a try.
 

Mark.H

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That sounds like it might work, I covered their tank with a sheet to keep it dark in the day, and they acted the same way they did at night. For now, I will just keep the sheet off in the day, but I am experimenting right now so I will keep that in mind. Thanks for the help!
 
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