T marmoratus ready to breed?

otolith

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I've had this group of T. marmoratus for about 2 years now. This is their 2nd winter and they are showing very clear signs of maturing. They have been kept terrestrially in a naturalistic set up, summer high is about 68F and the lowest the basement got this winter is about 57F. I was hoping to get them colder for a few weeks but that doesn't look to be possible this year. The male is beginning to crest up and the females are huge and I am considering moving them to an aquatic setup for breeding. I am a bit hesitant since they did not get a real cold winter period but we are getting unseasonably warm weather and I am worried I'll lose my window if they are conditioned for laying now. All of my other crested newts are laying eggs right now so I am thinking it is worth a try.

I would love some feedback from some more experienced keepers. Here are a few pictures, most of the females are around 4.5"-5" long, the male is a bit smaller.
 

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jAfFa CaKe

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I don't keep marms but they look ready to me. I would try breeding them, if they don't lay then I guess you'll have to try next spring.
 

Coastal Groovin

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At 2 years and seeing your males swollen cloaca there's no doubt its time to add water. Go for it.
 

Stupot1610

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I would definitely try breed them if I were you, they look ready - possibly not fully grown but definitely ready to breed.
Good luck!

Stuart
 

Alex M

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They are definitely ready to go. Got 3 pairs inside and 3 pairs outside myself, and all are in the water, courting and laying - the indoor specimens have already laid over 100 eggs so far. Best of luck with them.
 

otolith

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Glad I transferred them into an aquatic setup! They've been aquatic for less than a week and I found at least a dozen eggs this afternoon! Hoping the male sealed the deal and the eggs develop.
 

ThoseNewtsTho

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I'm now expecting more pics of the adults and enclosure cause thats great lol
 

otolith

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I finally caught the male doing the courtship display. Turns out they actively display at night. Also turns out the eggs are viable! It looks like all 4 females are laying and using pretty much any available surface except for the laying strips.

Glad to have the forum back!
 

otolith

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The group is still laying, probably upwards of 350 eggs by now. The male is looking even more impressive now and is quite the ladies man; constantly tail fanning. I've sent a few lots to friends and I have kept ~60 larvae. They are growing slowly but surely, they are the slowest growing Triturus I've raised yet. The T. arntzeni that hatched around the same time are a full 5mm longer. Here are a few blurry pictures of the largest. They are feeding on sweepings from a vernal pool near my work, primarily daphnia, cyclops and copepods. Fingers crossed they put enough size on to eat blackworms before it dries up!
 

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otolith

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They are finally winding down for the season. I keep finding new eggs every few days but they are all duds at this point. The group was incredibly prolific, maybe 800 eggs between 3 females, about 1/3 were viable. A good number were sent to friends who have had good luck as well. Now that breeding is over any tips on how to transition the adults to a terrestrial set up? I know a lot of people keep them aquatic year round but one of the females is definitely losing her aquatic appearance (tail rounding out, skin becoming granular again). I sit in the camp that the captive care of biphasic newts should generally mirror their natural behavior.

The oldest larvae have started morphing, again any tips on set ups and feeding for morphs? I I have read the care sheets and scanned old threads and have experience with Lissotriton morphs so I am not totally clue less.Additional help is welcome though, especially housing suggestions. Here are a few pictures of some fat little larvae. Close to 20 will be morphing in the next couple of weeks with another 30 following them sometime after.
 

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sinomoyyhi89

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This is my first year raising T. marmoratus larvae as well. I've already had several morph and I've been placing them in a woodland setup of dirt, moss, and bark seeded with numerous springtails, isopods, white worms and earthworms. I check them everyday and they seem to be growing. My plan is once they get slightly bigger to try the mass tub feeding that Jen Macke illustrated on this site elsewhere. Hope that helps and happy morphing!
 

otolith

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Thanks for the tips! So far have a white worm culture going and plenty of wood lice and apring tails. It begins...
 

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sinomoyyhi89

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Looks good! Here's my first morph of the year.
image.jpg
 

Momcicle

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I have a group that is a year old- all around 4 inches. I want to move them in to a land/water set up. I would love some guidance on how you set yours up. I am hesitant since this is the first time transitioning to water. Can you please give a description of your set up (depth of water, ratio of land to water)?
 

otolith

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I have a group that is a year old- all around 4 inches. I want to move them in to a land/water set up. I would love some guidance on how you set yours up. I am hesitant since this is the first time transitioning to water. Can you please give a description of your set up (depth of water, ratio of land to water)?
I have a 3.3 group in a 50 gallon tank, water depth is about 12". It is heavily planted with anacharis, java moss with lots of driftwood pieces and a sponge filter. After breeding I will lower the water level so that the wood breaks the surface and I'll remove any animals that leave the water. This last year only one female left the water. The rest of the group stayed aquatic and all are currently breeding again. They have only been laying for maybe 3 weeks and I'm already looking for homes for surplus eggs.

Transitioning to water can be tricky with some species but I've never had issues with marmoratus. I basically just reverse the aquatic process; put the animals in a shallow, densely planted set up and then gradually raise the water level as they adapt and feed aquatically. At 4" they may be ready. If you have cooled them and you have males that appear to be maturing it may be worth it. I waited until the juveniles' second winter before attempting it.

Here are a few updated pictures of the group taken this week.
 

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