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post #11 of (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: May 2010
Location: South Bend, IN
Posts: 87
Originally Posted by Fishies_in_Philly View Post
Slowfoot, i saw this amazing paludarium for newts a while back. it was just some driftwood and great stuff in a corner of the tank, and a bunch of plants, if i recall. the thread was from about 2008. it was a gorgeous tank. was that yours?
Was it this one?

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That's mine It's a great technique for maximizing the water area, while also not having to worry about water leaking into a 'dry' section because the land area sits above the water.

I'll get to how to set up a tank for newts in the next post or so - it's pretty simple really.

Common newts in the US (because I live here!):

If you branch out beyond the cheap wild-caught firebellies and Eastern newts, there are quite a few species available. I've divided them into groups just based on the type of set-up they are suitable for. Detailed caresheets for all of these species can be found at under the 'species' heading.

1. Species for fully aquatic set-ups /paludariums that are mostly water:

There are a number of species that need no true land area and should be fully aquatic as adults (juveniles go through a terrestrial eft stage) when living in good conditions. Most of these species need only plants growing to the top of the water or maybe a piece of driftwood breaking the surface to rest on occasionally.

Chinese firebelly
(Cynops/Hypselotriton orientalis): These are the little black newts with the red bellies sold most commonly in pet stores. They are pretty much never captive bred and always wild caught. When in good health, they might rest at the surface occasionally, but should not spend time out of the water. Very non-aggressive, and they don't get very big so they can be kept in small groups in smaller tanks (10 - 20 gallons).

Blue-tailed firebelly
(Cynops cyanurus) and Sword tailed newt (Cynops ensicauda): These are often available captive bred and are a great alternative to the Chinese firebelly (if you're willing to spend a little more to get a better pet). Their care is basically the same, although C. ensicauda can tolerate warmer temps.

Eastern newt (Notophthalmus viridescens): Little green newts from the Eastern US, pretty much never available as captive bred. (Most of mine are ) Also very aquatic as adults. I've kept mine in a paludarium set up and they never left the water, so the land area was mostly a waste of space. Have the same issues as all wild-caught animals - lots of disease and they tend to die unexpectedly.

Some of mine:

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Japanese firebelly (Cynops pyrrhogaster): These used to be available as wild caught individuals in pet stores, but you almost never see them anymore. Available fairly often captive bred. Tolerate slightly warmer temps (into the mid to high 70s). I've had mine for over 20 years. These guys will sometimes use a land area, but they basically just slug around like awkward walruses for a while - smashing your plants - before diving back into the water. Can be kept in groups. These do get fairly large, so they prefer a larger water area.

My firebellies:

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Spanish sharp-ribbed newt (Pleurodeles waltl): These guys are awesome! They just look super prehistoric and get quite large. Always captive bred in the US. There are even leucistic (white) individuals available for a little extra cash. Very easy to care for and very personable - I recommend them highly for people new to newts. Plus, they can push their ribs out through their skin to inject toxins when pissed. How cool is that? I should probably mention that these guys shouldn't be handled too often, or at least not enough to upset them

I'll have to stop there and continue later - family needs tending!
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