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How To Take Care Of Pet Newts And Salamanders
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Newts and salamanders are amphibians. What are amphibians? Do amphibians have unique abilities and traits? What are the differences between newts and amphibians? Should you keep them in tanks and cages and what size should they be? What are their foods in the wild habitat? Is there any particular way you should handle them? How often should you clean their tanks? What are the main diseases and parasites which can harm them?

Once you understand that newts and salamanders are not reptiles or lizards you become more used to the fact that they have both gills and lungs. Each species of amphibian can therefore breathe both under water and on land. Every newt and salamander has organ regeneration capabilities. They can regrow their limbs, eyes, heart and tail.

They do not have scales. Instead they have smooth skins which must be kept continuously moist. However, salamanders secrete toxins in their skins. Such as salmonella. So you must take precautions when you have to handle one.

What is more they can detach their tails by breaking their vertebrae when they have to. As this can be regrown, then they have protection against predators. If you ever mishandle newts or salamanders they will do this as the response to being threatened.

Since newts are diverse in species there are differences in coloured markings and sizes. Most newts average 8 cms in length. Some reach 30 cms. Such as the spanish ribbed newt endemic to spain and morocco. All newts are marine. With breeding taking place under water, female newts lay their eggs on underwater foliage. Only during the time required to rest and sleep do newts have to come ashore.

Unlike newts, salamanders can be terrestial and marine. Both entirely aquatic and semi-aquatic species exist. Salamanders are endemic to North America. Here is where they thrive in moist and dank streams and ponds. On average, salamanders grow from between 9 inches to 14 inches. Some have been known reach 20 inches. From the pet owner's experience, the most popular are the tiger salamander and the fire salamander. By buying them from eight weeks old, they can be reared and bred far easier.

As newts and salamanders are nocturnal species you have to feed them in the evenings. Because they are sedentary during the day and are docile by nature they are undemanding pets. When winter comes they hibernate. Between November through to February, they lie buried amid the leaf litter, peat and soil. So when you set up your tank, ensure you replicate this natural habitat.

To house your family of newts and marine salamanders any twenty gallon glass aquarium tank filled to 10 inches in depth should have sufficient capacity. With such capacity, four adult newts can be accomodated. Tank temperatures should be set between 60-80 degrees fahrenheit. Stock your tank with daphnea, water fleas, small fish, shrimps, mealworms, earthworms, maggots.

By setting up undertank heating pads you can regulate their environment. Always ensure that there is filtration by installing power filters to aerate the water. At this stage your tank water should be oxygen rich and free from bacteria and ammonia.

As newts are olive coloured bar the yellow underbelly and orange rib swellings they blend in and camouflage amid the marine plants and dense weeds, sand, pebbles and cypress leaf litter they blend in. When you keep newts always leave tree bark and cork islands on the surface. They will rest and sleep on these floating obstacles.

Coming from sub-tropical environments, newts and salamanders thrive in 60-70 degrees fahrenheit but are cold blooded. So they will be inert for days. So feed them only three times per week.

Unlike newts, salamanders are colourful and slender and moist. One distinctive characteristic is that they have 4 toes on the front legs and 5 toes on the rear legs. Another important characteristic is that salamanders are experts at escaping any tanks without fitted plastic lids.

Most salamanders are terrestial so you should have layers of pebbles beneath layers of moist soil, peat and moss covered with abundant leaf litter, logs and rotting tree bark set up in your tank. Besides this there should be moisture loving plants. Keep your tank in a shaded dark corner with daily exposure to sunlight to ensure optimum health for any of your pet newts and salamanders

Also keep small enclosed ponds in your glass terrararium. Because the female of the species can lay up to 100 eggs between April-May. In the wild, the female lays eggs in the pond. Only after twenty days do they hatch. After sixty days they are fully grown. Our babies become adults in sixty days.

As salamanders love to burrow, they require this substrate. As they sleep in burrows in the wild habitat, this tank substrate must be correctly set up. Besides this behaviour, salamanders molt periodically where they shed their skins. Because this lasts for about one month it will probably be preceded by your salamander showing an insatiable appetite.

Always ensure there is an abundance of tree bark, logs and tree branches in the tank. For salamanders love to climb and roam. Salamanders require live prey. By stocking your glass aquarium tank with earthworms, beetles, woodlice, crickets, flies, cockroaches your salamander will have plenty of live food.

Allthough you can easily keep families of four adult newts together, you can't attempt this with salamanders. Whether you keep one male salamander and a pair of female salamanders or two male salamanders reared together as brothers and a pair of female salamanders as the best option is your choice. Either way, never keep unrelated male salamanders together as they are territorial.

Whenever you want to breed salamanders, be aware that the male of the species is larger with longer legs and compressed tails.Whereas the female of the species is smaller and slender.

Even though both newts and salamanders are classed as interesting and exotic pets, they are easy to take care of if you follow these tips.


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