Sick tiger salamander?

sammiethes

New member
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Hong Kong
Country
Hong Kong
Hello.

I bought my son a tiger salamander last August. Initially he had a very good appetite and grew quickly. He would follow me around the room in the tank and climb up the sides as he associated people and their presence with food so much.

Eventually his appetite lessened and he started to dig. When we first got him he would sit on the top of the substrate or on or in some sphagnum moss. The more digging he did and the more time he spent underground the less he ate. Now he has no interest in food and hasn't eaten anything in about 5 weeks.

He looks healthy enough on the rare occasion that I get to see him. He's not skinny and has plenty of strength and energy when it comes to digging. Most of the time he digs under his water bowl and stays there. I think he's only come out twice willingly in the last 4 weeks.

Initially I thought he was constipated from eating too many meal worms. In the whole time we've had him I've only twice noticed any signs of him defecating. However, now I'm starting to think it's the substrate which is probably a little acidic. A man who was selling them in his shop recommended that I use the sort of soil that you use in heavily planted aquariums. It's called Amazonia II and I believe it is slightly acidic. Could it be this? It's described as natural soil but I guess it could have too many nutrients in it as well as a low pH. I'm starting to think that it's not a coincidence that his loss of appetite started at the same time he started to spend too much time underground.

Regardless I'm probably going to change the substrate soon using a large block of coconut fiber. Just looking for input and opinions.

Thanks for reading the wall of text. Hope someone can help.

S.
 

Jennewt

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
12,407
Reaction score
75
Points
48
Location
USA
Country
United States
I have a couple of ideas, but no certain answer.

When tiger sals first come into captivity, they may have been underfed for a long time, so his initial appetite may have been partly due to this. But not eating for 5 weeks is certainly not normal.

I would recommend trying live earthworms (hand-fed, so they don't end up loose in the soil) and crickets. Mealworms aren't easily digested, and they aren't very good nutritionally.

Another factor might be the change in weather. In warmer weather, they are more likely to try to dig down deep to avoid the heat. If you give a large water bowl, he might go into it at this time of year.

Acidic substrates aren't good, although it seems unlikely that the soil you have is so acidic as to be a problem. Coco fiber is good and pH-neutral. The only downside is that it tends to stick on their skin. I find that mixing coco with topsoil works better than coco by itself.
 

sammiethes

New member
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Hong Kong
Country
Hong Kong
Many thanks for the reply.

Temperature was an issue when I bought him. I worried that the summers in Hong Kong would be too hot. Last year at this time it was up to 95 degrees. Because of that I took him to work in April as it is cooler. There's no one home in the daytime Monday to Saturday so no air-con. It's the opposite at work. When I arrive at work in the morning the temp is around 73 just above the substrate. It drops to 70 with air-con during the day.

When we got him he would eat meal worms and crickets but not a lot. Feeding him small pieces of red meat and defrosted frozen shrimp (in moderation) seemed to stimulate his appetite and he was voracious. After a while however he would only eat live food with a lot of movement. I also added roaches to his diet and initially he liked them. All I can do now is put live food in his tank and hope for the best. No signs of any interest though.

I did try earthworms but this was after he lost his appetite and he showed no interest in them.

I have coco fiber here. I may take out fifty percent of the soil and mix the two together.

Thanks again!
 

sammiethes

New member
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Hong Kong
Country
Hong Kong
So I replaced most of the substrate with coconut fiber. When I returned the salamander to the tank he spent half of the day roaming around inspecting everything. He seems extremely strong and healthy. Doesn't look sick at all. After that he returned to under the water bowl and hasn't emerged since.

Still no interest in food regardless of what it is. Almost 6 weeks since he's eaten

Maybe soon.

S.
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • AlexisJG:
    As long as they don’t seem stressed that’s good and I mean hey if their well fed maybe they’ll live long happy lives together.
    +2
    Unlike
  • HalfDrunkToast:
    oh ya they are happy xD every time i come in to my room my Koy betta is like HI HI HI and actively swimming around
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    Calgarycoppers has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Nerodia1:
    Děkuji za přijetí. Hledám tohoto obojživelníka, Typhlonectes compressicauda, nevíte, kde ho získat, nejlépe někde v Evropě.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    Caudex has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    VEEK has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Lanalotl:
    My axie is acting woerd he was a rescue as stated in a different post he got better and now seems to be deteriorating again...again all tank conditions are OK and as should be. He seems to have some black dapple like pattern under his bottom lip? Is that normal? And his two back feet have a little wierd growth? Almost? Tiny tiny tiny lump. His capillaries in his feathers also appear darker and more visible. Any help would be appreciated
    +1
    Unlike
  • Lanalotl:
    Hes a leucistic axie
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    AmphibiGirl has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Dibgame:
    Hey guys. First time on this forum and im not sure what formatting i should use but hey here i go.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Jadezoey:
    Hi! I'm being in a hard position where I have to re-home my axolotls. I'm moving out and I would like to find them a new home with someone who can take proper care of them
    +1
    Unlike
  • Jadezoey:
    I have an adult wild type and a juvenile leucistc
    +1
    Unlike
  • Unlike
  • BigAl:
    Oops my bad accidentally sent that
    +1
    Unlike
  • Binditheaxolotl:
    @HalfDrunkToastLol
    +1
    Unlike
  • AxieMomma87:
    is anyone online???
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    Calgarycoppers has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    Calgarycoppers has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • AxieMomma87:
    Are you still here
    +1
    Unlike
  • ZayneSantos:
    Is there anyone on who can give me advice?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Max2445:
    @ZayneSantos, What advice do you need
    +1
    Unlike
  • KrabzAga:
    based on this video what type of salamander might this larva be? I suspect either eastern newt or spotted salamander
    +1
    Unlike
  • KrabzAga:
    help appreciated
    +1
    Unlike
  • KrabzAga:
    they are from missouri
    +1
    Unlike
    KrabzAga: they are from missouri +1
    Top