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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
It's been about 1 month since my last post sooo

Update!

Definitely some fun news to report. Since last time the tank has added a few new inhabitants. First up were fish. I wanted to increase the fish I had and I frankly did not think I could find ricefish easily (last time it took a few months and a shipment from Hawaii). So I decided to go with a different species. Given my temperatures in the mid to high 60s I decided to go with Celestrial Pearl Danios. I added 8 to the tank, lost 2 immediately but the remaining 6 are doing well. They are also very difficult to photograph with a phone ;P I really should have used my macro lens and probably will later but for todays update its phone pictures all around!



Then came the critter I was really wanting, a male alpine newt!

I had made a post on facebook seeking an alpine newt and got a very tentitive bite, but nothing definite. Then I saw another person a week or more later posting looking for alpine newts and someone else responded to them. I contacted that person who didn't have any males but pointed me at another person not even on facebook who did have a male ;P So after this little song and dance I got one male alpine newt overnighted to me. He is a few months younger then my females but is a wonderful looking fella in good health. Here are some pictures:









And the obligatory full tank shot:



An eagle eye observer will notice the water level is a bit different! My newts haven't used the little rock island I had in the tank since they settled in. Consulting with folks online the general consensus is that well adjusted alpine newts are fully aquatic 100% of the time. Some folks include a floating cork bark platform as an emergency pull out location for them, but so long as water quality is good it will never be used. As a temporary measure I added the floating cork but I expect I will remove it once I am satisfied the newts are happy with their new greater water volume.

With the increase in water volume also came changing priorities with lily pipes. I no longer needed 2 intake pipes and prefered a more traditional set of pipes for a tiny bit of surface movement. Fortunately I already owned this pipe.

Its definitely fun having both a male and female newts in the same tank. It was hard to capture with a photograph but the male has arched is back a bit and is tail fanning the female in this picture:



This is mating behavior even though both the male and female are too young to actually mate. This type of behavior will continue for the next year until they are old enough to mate. In the meantime its fun to see.
 

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Thank you so much for the ample pictures!! Gorgeous newts!! Much like you I have memories of trying to keep the ones I'd catch locally as a kid and to see a grown up and proper version of that experience is wonderfully nostalgic!! Kudos to you!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 · (Edited)
Hey, does the newt have the ability to climb glass.
They do darn critters. This is why I have the wooden partial lid. They don't climb like geckos, more like a weird shimmy where they are using the surface tension of their wet bodies to kind of stick to the glass. So they can't go upside down, thus if they can't reach out and grab the edge of the lid they can't get out.

This is the case with pretty much all aquatic salamanders except for axolotls and spanish ribbed newts, both of which get too big and bulbus to climb (though I'm told the latter as juveniles can climb).

I have actually never seen mine climb but the possibility of it is enough for me to keep the lid on.

Thank you so much for the ample pictures!! Gorgeous newts!! Much like you I have memories of trying to keep the ones I'd catch locally as a kid and to see a grown up and proper version of that experience is wonderfully nostalgic!! Kudos to you!!!!
Thank you! I also caught Eastern Newts as a kid and kept them (I now know most inadequately) in a fish bowl. Keeping newts in a proper setup using the knowledge I gained as an adult is definitely very nostalgic and rewarding for me.
 

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Love the new male newt and the update on the tank. Boy is he gorgeous!!
 

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They do darn critters. This is why I have the wooden partial lid. They don't climb like geckos, more like a weird shimmy where they are using the surface tension of their wet bodies to kind of stick to the glass. So they can't go upside down, thus if they can't reach out and grab the edge of the lid they can't get out.

This is the case with pretty much all aquatic salamanders except for axolotls and spanish ribbed newts, both of which get too big and bulbus to climb (though I'm told the latter as juveniles can climb).
LOL. I just found this thread. This is an amazing set up! I too have fond memories of keeping newts as a child. I also remember seeing my firebelly newt and firebelly toad climb the walls of the bucket during water changes and escape a couple of times.

I bought a firebelly newt and toad when I was around 6 years old. I kept them in a 10 gallon tank filed with a few inches of water with a few rocks and Anacharis. It looked like a Motel 6 compared to the Four Seasons you have set up for yours newts. I fed them black worms once a week and changed the water maybe once a month. At times, the smell from the tank reminded me of pond water mixed with toilet water That being said, they lived together for 27 years and died within a year of each other. I later read that firebelly toads and newts aren't supposed to be housed together, but they got along great and often found my newt resting on top of the toad.

They outlived their other tank mates throughout the years (eastern newts, emperor newts) which I could only get to live 6 months - 2 years at most.

Congrats on the set up and good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Update!

Today is water change day which really isn't a reason for an update on a tank like this.

You know what is?

Babies!

My newts are not supposed to be breeding till around 2 years old according to my research. So with females just over a year old and a male of just under a year old I was very very very surprised to see these guys during the water change:





I have no idea what to do now, I really had not anticipated this despite seeing pretty consistent (what I thought was 'mock') breeding behavior from my male. It seems opinions are mixed whether to leave the larva in place or remove them... Also in the tank at present are neocaridina shrimp, ramshorn snails, amano shrimp, and celestial pearl danios. My ricefish having been removed to a patio pond for the season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
The larva are extremely small at present. There is sand and aquasoil in the tank, so those black 'rocks' in the first picture are actually bits of aquasoil that made it to the surface to give you a sense of scale. They might be able to eat snail eggs, but that's about it. Honestly I am just so surprised they are there, as of right now I am planning to just wait and see how they do in the tank. So far my (hastily done) research shows a mix of people who leave them in tank and folks that take them out to raise seperately. Since these guys hatched without me ever discovering the eggs, getting them out now is probably not realistic at their current size and unknown numbers (I am sure of at least 2 thus far).
 

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"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." Gandalf: Lord of the Rings
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Wow, very nice tank and newts. I thought newts lived in the water for like 2 years them on land for sometime then back in the water for the rest of thier lives?

Sent from my KFONWI using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Wow, very nice tank and newts. I thought newts lived in the water for like 2 years them on land for sometime then back in the water for the rest of thier lives?

Sent from my KFONWI using Tapatalk
Thank you!

How aquatic a newt is is very dependent on the species of newt. What you are describing is the life cycle of the Eastern Newt aka Red Spotted Newt. They are an extremely common species in the eastern half of the united states (and what I caught as a kid). They spend sometime in their larva phase, then go onto land for a juvenile phase (when they are called an eft) then go back into the water as an adult to reproduce.

Other species of newts and salamanders are all over the place when it comes to how aquatic they are. Many species will stay on land for extended periods of time and only go into the water in the spring/summer/fall to breed then return to land. The type of newt in my tank is an alpine newt, they are native to parts of central, south, and eastern Europe. In the wild they tend to spend their winters on land and return to the water once various vernal pools fill in the spring. But in captivity where temperatures never drop below freezing they stay aquatic fulltime. They are becoming increasingly popular in the US newt keeping hobby because they are so easy to breed and keep so it's getting easier and easier to get them captive bred (the only way to get non native newts in the USA since there is a ban on the importation of all newts). Unlike say the eastern newts which are (with very very very few exceptions) all wild caught because its so incredibly difficult to keep one for say 4 or 6 years before they transition to adulthood and can stay aquatic.

Probably more info then you wanted but what can I say, I like me some newts ;P
 

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Definitely not more info than I wanted to know lol. It's fascinating. I've never branched out to newts or salamanders (I don't count axolotls) but it's kind of similar with leopard and green frogs which I have fun with in the summer lol
 

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I have never kept any partially or fully aquatic species so very interesting. I have a kept an american toad before but thats it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Small Update:

I've started to move some of the babies out of the tank and into my 5 gallon breeder tank which currently is housing nothing but shrimp and snails. I also bought some daphnia to feed these guys. Started my 40 gallon tank up again just for daphnia. We will see if I can keep the culture from collapsing (never succesfully grown daphnia before). I added some daphnia right into the tank but they were eaten pretty quickly (mostly by the fish in there I suspect).

To move the larva I used a turkey baster. So far I got 4 of them, but there is definitely more in the tank.

Here is how those 4 looked:



And an obligatory full tank shot after a water change:



I've decided that I'm going to start cultivating more ludwigia in the back of the tank. That way the whole thing will look like a giant forest of ludwigia with the big rocks just kind of peaking out from it. The plants do not grow super fast under this low light so this will be a project of at least a few months.
 
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