Temperature Problems

aghiowa

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Hi all. I've got one Cynops orientalis and have had him for just over a month now. I am in a bit of a quandry about temperature. Here in Iowa, it's pretty warm outside still, but not warm enough to justify running the a/c. I would say the ambient temperature in my home is between 74-76 F (23-24 C). I know this is not optimal temperature for my little guy. I have been using dechlorinated ice cubes dripping into the tank, which kind of works for the short term, but not well enough.

As far as using ice packs to lower the water temperature, I could do that, but since my newt never voluntarily goes in the water, I'm not sure how much that'd help. Would it also lower air temperature in the tank?

I could place the tank in my basement, but I usually go down there about once a week, and I fear I'd never see my newt!

So I'm wondering:
1. What kind of effect does long term high temp have on this species? Is my keeping him at this temperature tantamount to animal cruelty?
2. Could this be the cause of his/her "terrestrial" urges? Could this be causing him to remain pretty much motionless for days at a time? He will eat if I put earthworm pieces in front of him, but will never leave his hide as far as I can tell.
3. Should I go to ice packs until the weather cools down or would exile to the basement be better?
4. In wintertime, we keep the house between 63 (at night) and 67 F (17-19 C). I assume this would be OK for him/her?

I did do research before buying the little guy, but I'm not sure I knew exactly the damage high temps could do. I also made the mistake of buying him from a pet store - something I will not do again. I am fascinated by these amazing little amphibians, and want to do right by my new family member.

Thanks! I'm so glad this forum exists.

Angela
 

freves

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Hello Angela,
Move the newt to the basement if you do not want to turn on the AC. You do not know how I wish that I had a basement again to 'exile' my newts in. Anyway, it is good that you have done some research but your animal really needs to be cooled down. It is difficult to say for sure but I imagine that the high temperatures are at least one reason why it never enters the water.
Chip
 

xMIDNIGHTx

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Hi Angela,

I also have a C. orientalis and have encountered the similar problem (kinda). 74 - 76 F is really on the high side and could account for the "terrestrial" urge, other species of newts will leave the water if its to warm. If it gets any hotter that is down right dangerous, newts can easily die if it gets to warm. Even though the "exile to the basement" idea doesn't sound good, it would be best way to get the temp down. You could try freezing water bottles and keep rotating them in but this is a pain. The winter temp of 63 - 67 F will be fine, they can go even colder (and prefer it cool) so no worries there. Hope this helps, good luck

Mitch
 

jewett

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Another option would be placing the newts tank on the floor. Since warm air rises, the floor may be a few degrees cooler than a shelf, counter, etc that the tank my currently be on. However, do ensure that no other pets or small children could harass or even get into the tank.
Good luck with whatever solution you find, as keeping your newt cool will definitely contribute to a low stress, long lived, healthy newt.
 

aghiowa

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Thanks guys! I have turned on my a/c, and am using a frozen bottle of dechlorinated water, and have managed to get the water down to about 70, so I'm going in the right direction. The floor is a good idea, but since I have 3 cats and 3 children, I don't think it would end up well for my poor little newt.

I'm just waiting eagerly for winter. Hey, there's a first time for everything!

Angela
 
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