Photo: What sex is my firebelly newt

Chinadog

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I know what you mean about the filter, I must admit that I run an eheim ecco pro cannister on my C. pyrrhogaster tank, but only because I know it's over stocked at the moment with my adults and seven juveniles I'm raising and I don't run one on any of my other newt tanks. If you keep the stocking sensible and there are enough plants the filter really is doing more harm than good for the reasons already given.
I'm not that knowledgeable when it comes to natural aquariums, but as I understand it the plants will in fact remove ammonia directly from the water along with nitrates.
Remember you are trying to provide conditions that are optimal in every way and as Azhael has said any kind of water movement will upset the newts and possibly compromise their rehabilitation. If they do recover and become fully aquatic they will probably probably tolerate a slow turnover cannister or air driven sponge filter but they will be perfectly ok without one.
 

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If I notice it harming the newts I will get rid of it. Until then I just can't. It barely moves plant leaves haha.
 

Azhael

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The tank has a large volume, there are live plants in there and only two ammonia producing, small bodied animals. Plants do use ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. They can be pretty effective in absorving ammonia directly. Unless you are seriously overfeeding, you are very unlikely to experience ammonia spikes.
You really don't need the filter. I know you feel like it is a kind of safety belt, but it is utterly redundant given your set-up. It really is not doing anything at all other than causing a current, some heat and vibrations. You will observe the same readings with or without it.
Even very small currents can be source of stress for an already stressed, weak newt. It may not make much of a difference but it is certainly not helping and right now you need all the help in the world because those newts are definitely not ok, far from it. The harm is already visible, it is contributing to the newts being on land which is a sure sign that they are not comfortable enough in the water.
It's up to you, obviously, but know that the filter is not helping with anything.

I sencirely doubt they were eating that repashy thing. It may well have been offered, but i doubt they were eating it. Try to get some waxworms. They will help them recover some reserves as they are rich in fat and few animals are able to resist them. When you get the earthworms you can and should use them as an staple. For variety you can offer fresh-water crustaceans and the occasional insect. If they adapt and recover, once fully used to captivity, you can also use high quality, specially formulated pellets, which this species tends to accept rather well.
 

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Thanks. I have seen wax worms in stores. One newt was in the water this morning. The other was not. I'll keep everyone updated. Can't wait to get the earthworms.
 

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Azhael only has the best interests of the newts at heart, so do I for that matter. It's just that time and time again we see poor starved, wild caught pet trade newts sold to un-suspecting new keepers, along with hopelessly poor husbandry info provided by the shop. More often than not the newts are too sick and malnourished to save and eventually die from necrotic skin sores or bloat etc

I agree with you guys 100%. Pet trade is pretty bad. I am glad you guys educate people about it. However, I worry that people new to the hobby are often made to feel guilty because of thier decision to buy a newt. I don't think anyone can ever mention they own orientalis without hearing how they support evil. Threads started about feeding and housing quickly turn to why the pet trade is horrible. I supported the evil pet trade when I was kid by buying orientalis from a pet shop. I didn't understand what I was supporting, however thats how I got into the hobby. I can tell you now that the 4 newts I bought 20 years ago have turned into approx 400 newts that I distributed to other hobbyist. For every orientalis I have sold, its one less WC being bought from a pet shop. Again I agree with you guys, but don't want to see future hobbyist turned off with guilt.
 

Chinadog

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It was never my intention to make anyone feel guilty, but I do try to help people understand why their newts won't eat or get wet. I realise that my replies may sometimes come across as frank and to the point, but a simple search of the help section would find thread after thread about these petstore newts with the same info in each, so to type it all out again in full becomes frustrating and I guess it sometimes spills into the thread. There's even a sticky thread at the very top of the help section which is hard to miss explaining the most successful way to rehabilitate these creatures so there's no need for replies to be personal.
I agree with your point that most people find their way into the hobby via WC H.orientalis, just like I found my way into fish keeping by winning 'cruel' fairground goldfish when I was a Child, but the goldfish often recovered and survived and so could some of these newts if given the right conditions quickly enough as they are often on their very last energy reserves by the time they end up with the final customer
 
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Redear

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I do have to emphasize that I whole heartedly agree with your point. My girlfriend (soon to be wife) works for the Humane Society of the United States in online communication. Part of her job is to tell the stories of abuse, neglect, exploitation of animals. I believe animal welfare to be a noble cause, and I really respect you guys for fighting the good fight.

I just have seen a lot of threads started saying something along the lines of, "I just bought a firebelly newt and want to know how to care for it." And the first response is something along the lines of... "Its probably wild caught, it’s probably diseased, it’s probably going to die, and you are supporting the evil pet industry" ...I just think it’s a little too much.

One last thought. I know there is a ton of info on Caudata.org. Pretty much any question that needs to be asked has already been addressed on other threads or care sheets. It’s easy and certainly appropriate to link these resources to answer the question. But the human to human anecdotal information is good too. Obviously your experiences might be different than my experiences. And all advice should be taken with a grain of salt. But I personally like nice long threads where people discuss their experiences.
 

Methos5K

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The fact of the matter is that most peoples first experiences with newts are in poor condition. It is up to us to help provide proper advice and heartfelt care to those who may actually have a chance at getting their own animals healthy and by proxy help share their experiences with another.
 

Azhael

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I understand your point Redear, and i have heard it before. However, it is my experience that it pays off to be blunt and not sugarcoat these facts. I've received a lot more possitive feedback from such posts than negative. For every person that has complained that i was mean, there have been a handful that were apreciative. I think it is important to provide the necessary help and information in threads like this, but at the same time be very firm and clear about what happens with the WC market and the consequences it has for the animals. It's also valuable to be clear that these animals are in a VERY delicate and precarious situation and action must be taken inmediately when conditions ar enot good enough. In the past i've seen many people receive advice and ignore it or not take it seriously enough. That's why i started being a lot more concise and blunt. The information is important, it needs to be provided and the severity of it needs to be understood. It's never my intention to shame for the shake of shaming, but i think it works to let people know exactly what they are doing and the consequences that it has. Occasionally some people take it as an attack (i have to say though, that this happens no matter how you say things, some people simply do not like to be told they aren't doing things right no matter how sweet you make it), but for the most part people apreciate the sincerity and the wake up call to correct mistakes right away.
I'll admit i care more about the well being of the animals than i do about the feelings of an individual. The feelings can be mended, but the death of the animal cannot. Nevertheless i hope it's sufficiently clear that it is never a personal thing, the situation is what it is and demands the advice that it does.

Anyway that's how i see it, but i apreciate the feedback, i know it's not easy to undertand tone and intention on the internet and we are here to help, not pointlessly shame.
 

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Don't worry, I didn't take it as an attack.
 

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As much as I don't agree with the tone, especially if its directed toward kids, I definitely agree with the message. (and I know its not always easy to tell peoples age on here) I just don't want to turn off future hobbyist.

But, you guys might very well be right. It might be worth offending a few people to prevent newt torture. I was laying in bed last night trying to figure out what could be done about mass collecting etc. I didn't come up with much.
 

Chinadog

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The saddest thing about the mass imports of H. orientalis is that the newts collected seem to be getting smaller by the year, this suggests to me that the older, fully grown adults in the habitat where they are collected are getting rare. The imports I have seen for sale in the pet stores and garden centres this year seem to be almost all sub adults. Collecting animals that have a long lifespan before they have bred for enough seasons to successfully replace themselves can only mean that populations get smaller year on year.

Anyway, I think we've hijacked this thread enough and maybe we should get back on topic.

Komodo182, Sorry about the digression! How are you getting on with your newts? :)
 

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At least one of the newts is eating the waxworms (hopefully both, but they won't eat with me around). So that's a start. I have found one of them in the water now (resting on the plants). The other still prefers the logs and rocks that are only partly underwater. They are still shy of me when I come near the tank. That's about all the news. Some earthworms should arrive tomorrow.
 

Chinadog

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Getting them feeding regularly is a big step in the right direction and waxworms are great for packing weight on them. They always seem to be shy while out of the water which is strange because once they become aquatic again their personality often flips and they become inquisitive and quite bold!
If you can get them to eat the earthworms along with the waxworms they should fatten up quite quickly, but don't worry if they don't take to the water straight away, as long as they are feeding they're on the right track.
 

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Good to know. No one has eaten the waxworms today. But I was not expecting them to since I fed them yesterday.
 

Chinadog

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I've just thought, when I was feeding waxworms to my juvenile fire bellies I ended up pricking their skin a couple of times (the waxworms not the newts! ) with a pin as sometimes the newts would seem to pass them through their system almost undigested.
 

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Try to get plenty more plants. Specially ones that can form dense mats at the surface (Elodea, Hydrocotile..). That makes them safe in the water, prevents drowning and allows them to walk on them while still having easy access to the surface. It's the surest way to get them to enter the water and this is very useful as it impacts their attitude towards food.
 

komodo182

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I added more plants. Some are hygrophilia and some other kind I forget
 
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