fire bellied newt

anonymous asked:

What size tank do you keep Sol, your fire bellied newt in? Sol's really cute! Are fire bellied newts easy to keep? I kind of want one(of course i'd wait, and do a lot more research on them to see if they're compatible with my lifestyle) after seeing Sol! What else do they eat other than bloodworms? Temperature they need? Any special care? Can they have a in and out of water tank? Thank you! :)

Yay, Sol ask! :D

I keep him in a 20 high (standard 20gal), though I am looking to putting him in a 20long because it suits his needs better.

They are very easy to keep! They do have some unique care requirements though, so you have to keep those in mind. But day to day maintenance couldn’t be easier.

They eat plenty of things! Bloodworms (good staple), blackworms (good staple), brine shrimp, chopped earthworms (good staple), chopped red wigglers, or pinhead crickets.

Temperature is one of those special requirements. Unlike most exotic things, these guys need to be kept cool! Temperatures of 78F or higher for extended periods can kill them. So there are a few ways of doing this. Personally on hot days I put Sol in a kritter keeper and put him in the basement.

Adults are entirely aquatic but freshly metamophosized babies are hydrophobic and can drown if not given land. So I gave Sol a piece of cork bark to get onto, if he chose. He spends~ 60% of his time there and ~40% of his time in the water. He is kind of weird, most fire bellies spend 90-100% of their time underwater. So pretty much set it up like an aquarium with a slightly lower water level and a piece of cork bark.

As for care specifics, give all of these articles a read. Yes, all of them.

General Care Guide

Aquarium Cooling Methods

Filters (Safe vs Hazardous)

Preventing Escape


And give all of these a read if you get the time. 

etojosh  asked:

So I've been considering getting a fire bellied newt in the next year or so when I move into my new apartment.I know you have a cute little one by the name of Sol?I was wondering if you have any tips on owning one and if you could post some pictures of the buggers tank set up for ideas on set up?

:D !!

I do, actually! I was asked something like this a little while ago (my bad, haven’t tagged everything yet.) So check it out here.

As far as pics, here you go! This is the most recent pic.

I have him in a 20gal (want to change to a 20 long) with a metal mesh lid held down with clips. 

To make space for the tubing for the sponge filter I cut a tiiiiny hole in the lid, just enough for the tube to go through.

I have a piece of cork bark floating in there if he wants to exit the water.

And the water is always 75F and under!


Tank progression!  Just added a nice school size of Gold White Cloud Minnows along with some Nerite snails tonight since tank was looking a bit bare with the loss of some fish the last few weeks.

Still trying to get the Java Moss to grow some more since I really want to eventually get it to carpet the bottom of the tank.  Apparently need to do something more I’m sure but I suck with aquatic plant for past experiences.

Should be getting in next weeks 15 Cherry Shrimp along with some Marino moss balls and some duckweed to see if I can really get the tank going.  Really goal is to have a really beautiful tank in the long run!

Current tank inhabitants:

  • 6 Chinese Fire Belly Newts
  • 15 Gold White Cloud Minnows
  • 3 White Cloud Minniows
  • 2 Black Nerite Snails

Tank is set up to be a set up for Fire Belly Newts, because they are a cold water amphibian that its very limited on what can be housed with them that does not stress them out nor does it have ill affect to their tankmates.

starstarship  asked:

I was wondering if you could talk a little more about keeping newts or salamanders as pets? Have you ever kept them and what species? I really love your blog by the way, thank you for always being so thoughtful and informative.

Normally I answer asks privately but you know what?  I’m just so damned psyched people want to know more about caudata!  They really don’t get enough love.  Plus, I firmly believe it’s important to see how much the hobby has evolved and learn from mistakes.  And, believe me, I made a lot of mistakes in caudata keeping.

So this was… shit, it was over twenty years ago now.  I was seven years old and had it in my head that I was ready for a bigger challenge than leopard geckos.  I set my sight on caudata because I loved the idea of a fish tank but with NEWTS AND THINGS.  What I wanted was an axolotl, but like many critters, they’re illegal in California.

I selected fire belly newts (Cynops orientalis) and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum).  At the time, it was VERY COMMON to keep multiple species of newts and salamanders in the same paludarium, even if they were radically different.  These days, we know that it’s A Really Bad Idea, especially when one of the species is toxic.  I kept one spotted salamander and about three newts in a 20 gallon long, with about a 40/60 split between land and water.  Again, this overcrowding was typical and a Bad Idea.  It wasn’t at all a proper environment for the poor spotty fellow (who I had named Twig because he was skinny, likely as a result of being wild-caught).  Fire belly newts are largely aquatic while spotted salamanders only enter the water to breed. Still, he lived the longest of my caudata; he was at least seven years old when he passed away.  This SOUNDS respectable (and it certainly was at the time), but A. maculatum has an estimated lifespan of 30 years now.  I believe the entire Abystoma genus is illegal to own in California now tho.

In addition, the animals I had bought were likely wild-caught.  Even now, C. orientalis is rarely captive bred (which really is a pity; they’re still one of the most commonly kept caudata).  This is likely going to be a huge issue for the hobby in the future in the US.  In 2016, it became illegal to import 201 species of caudata into the USA OR transport them across state lines.  The reasoning was to limit the spread of a new and deadly fungal disease: Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (BSAL).   BSAL started in the Netherlands and is believed to have begun with the pet trade with wild-caught C. orientalis.

A lot of the species on the list are rare enough in the hobby that they don’t even have a common name, so finding breeding partners is tricky enough.  Now they all have to come from within the same state, further limiting the gene pool. Hell, some of these species are only alive BECAUSE of hobbyists breeding their animals in captivity since there’s not a lot of public interest in caudata.

Basically, we might be seeing the death of this hobby and some species. Keep in mind that we have a test for BSAL.  No hobbyist wants to revoke the ban on imports; we want to see our native animals alive, after all.  But we’d like to see the inter-state ban repealed. @newts-in-hats (who runs a top-quality blogs, btw) wrote a lot more about the ban here.

I’d love to keep caudata again some day.  I actually recently learned about a really cool species (keep an eye out for that post soon!  I’m really excited about it).  Designing and keeping that paludarium running is one of my fondest childhood memories.  Plus, caudata have a lot of personality for such little critters!  They’re not handling animals, but they are a lot of fun to watch. 

Thank you so much for the compliments!