Newt’s are not high-maintenance amphibians, which is not to say that they are super easy to care for as they do require that certain parameters to be met in a specialized environment. Newt’s are also known for living a very long time and in some cases, up to thirty years. If you fall into the amphibians lover category or have a genuine interest in and commitment to unusual amphibians, then you shouldn’t have too many problems with upkeep.
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While researching a Newt for the purposes of pet ownership, you will find that a couple of these species will appear with frequency: the Fire-Bellied Newt and the Chinese Fire-Bellied Newt. These are both closely related and look very similar. What differentiates them is that the Japanese Fire-Bellied Newts tend to be a little larger and have rougher skin. Caring for each of doesn’t differ much. They are both very social so its best to keep them in pairs or small groups.
We highly suggest a twenty gallon tank or larger with an artificial land area which can be created by stacking rocks at one end. The addition of Aquatic plants will improve the water quality and provide your pets with a place to hide. We also suggest a filter and some lighting. A heater may be required it the tank is located in a room where temperatures fall out of normal range. Heat range for a Chinese fire-bellied toad should be in the fifty-eight to sixty eight degrees Fahrenheit range, where a Japanese Fire-Bellied Newts do best at temperatures above seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit.
A suitable and preferred diet for your newt include bloodworms, maggots, mosquito larvae, slugs and brine shrimp. Be sure that each item is small enough for newt to swallow easily. Gauge your pet’s hunger or lack thereof by judging how quickly it reaches for its food – or leaves on laying around and adjust feeding accordingly. In some cases, many Newts only recognize food as a source if its alive and moving. Live prey also mimics their natural diet more closely.
Newts, when on land, crawl like lizards and when submerged in water they are highly superb simmers.
Most Newt’s are equipped with bright colors which warn predators that they have toxic skin. They can also produce a very nachos smell when disturbed.
In the wild, newts live in very dry areas where there is only water a few months of the year, so the need to burrow underground where it remains cooler and more humid during the long, hot summer to catch a wink. This is referred to as estivation, which is the opposite of hibernation which occurs when an animal sleeps during the winter.
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In addition to continued, on going care your Newt requires, you will have keep your pet’s tank nice and clean. It’s important not to neglect your pet’s environment for their long term health. If required, use a gravel cleaner and bucket to extract some of the water and any debris, at least a couple of times a week and top off with dechlorinated water. Place your Newt’s in a holding container while cleaning out there entire enclosure. You will need to remove all the water and scrub the accessories, rinse the gravel and of course, refill with water. Allow water to reach average room temperature then return your Newt back into its enclosure. Your cleaning schedule and frequency will greatly depend on the size of the enclosure and the number of Newt’s you keep as pets in the same enclosure.
As a general rule of thumb, the Newt should not be handled unless absolutely necessary – this applies to all amphibians. Please keep in mind that while the Newt is a great pet, its not a good pet for small children. Handling your Newt will expose them to skin oils which can be toxic to them and will cause them a great deal of stress. You will also expose yourself to the possibility of salmonella and skin irritation. If its necessary that you touch them, do so with freshly rinsed hands and was your hands after with an antibacterial soap. If you can help it, don’t handle them at all – coax them in a plastic container of some sort and use a net to help move them around from place-to-place.
Newt’s, as with all amphibians, are of a permeable skin type, which makes them quite sensitive to various toxins in their environment. As a result, we must use dechlorinated water in the tank and never use chemical base cleaning products when preparing and cleaning their tank. If items need sterilization, place it in a pot a boil the item for twenty minutes to kill off any bacteria and other pathogens. If you use any specialty spray on products, be sure to rinse the item thoroughly afterward. Also, do not share the same tank with other species as Newts are themselves toxic, exuding a position from their skin.
Newt Care Sheet
Newt skin glands produce low levels of toxins such as Tarichatoxin, which can be fatal if ingested. Do not handle newts when you have an open wound and always wash your hands well afterwards. Toxins can be passed or transferred to the eyes through finger contact which can cause temporary blindness.
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