White bumps on tiger salamander

salamattder

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I have an eight year old tiger salamander who has recently within 3-4 day developed many bumps on his back and one on this stomach. only one has a whitish tone to it, but still it is very faint. I hope it is not fungal. I have removed him from his aquarium into a new one with fresh everything just in case.

Here is a picture
If anyone has any idea what this is let me know. Thanks

Salamattder
 

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Jennewt

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When you say "aquarium", does this mean water? Or what is the terrarium substrate you are using?
 

salamattder

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he is in a 50 gallon tank with cocnut husk fiber beeding. he has a water dish and spagnum moss on top of the cocnut fiber.
 

Jan

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I keep tigers but have not seen this condition. I would strongly suggest, however, that you not use spahgnum moss. Spahgnum can impart acidity to the substrate and lead to osmotic/metabolic problems in the animal. The condition could conceivably be secondary to a metabolic issue or an infective agent. I would suggest having a herp vet check the animal.
 

salamattder

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thanks for the suggestion. many books say sphagnum is okay. i personally have never had any problems with him losing weight or not wanting to eat. what kind of substrate do you use or recommend?

salamattder
 

Jennewt

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The spots look like they could be an ulceration of the skin, which can also be a symptom of living under acidic conditions. However, this is speculation and there are certainly other possible causes.

You can test the acidity of the sphagnum by soaking it overnight in distilled water, then testing the pH of the liquid.

I use a substrate that is a mix of coconut fiber and organic top soil.
 

Jan

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thanks for the suggestion. many books say sphagnum is okay. i personally have never had any problems with him losing weight or not wanting to eat. what kind of substrate do you use or recommend?

salamattder
Regarding sphagnum, there is much confusion. There are, very generally, at least two products referred to as 'sphagnum'.

There is a sphagnum product often used by florists which does not appear to be acidic. There is another sphagnum product often found in garden centers which is very acidic - having a pH of 3-4 (http://www.peatmoss.com/hortprog1.php). As the sphagnum degrades, hydrogen ions are leached and acidity is imparted. The only safe course to follow, if you wish to use sphagnum, is to test the product as Jen outlined.

Pathology associated with a slowly developing acidic environment would most llikely take time to to express itself.
Should this in part be responsible for your animal's condition, you may just now be seeing the affects.

Like Jen and most other keepers of ambystomatids on this board, I use coco-fiber as a substrate - sometimes alone and sometimes mixed with organic top soil. I change the substate every 2 months or less. I'm not fond of fungus gnats which tend to appear if I change substrate less frequently. I have always avoided any type of peat moss or sphagnum for the simple reason that I prefer to be safe rather than sorry and I'm not inclined to do pH testing.
 

salamattder

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are you worried that the coco husk fiber will damage their skin with possible lacerations. perhaps causing more damage in the long run with more cuts and scrape to contend with?
 

Jan

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are you worried that the coco husk fiber will damage their skin with possible lacerations. perhaps causing more damage in the long run with more cuts and scrape to contend with?
In my experience, coco fiber has never produced lacerations or scratches on the animals' skin. I've also not heard of this in speaking with other keepers who use coco fiber. The fibers will sometimes adhere to the skin....this does not cause a break in the skin however. A mix with organic potting soil reduces this. I keep the substrate moist but not wet and provide a moisture gradient between the two ends of a vivarium. A shallow heavy water dish can also be beneficial, although not necessary.
 
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