Biggest newt has decided he's definitely terrestrial now. Gills have gone and he's spending all his time sitting out of the water. Trouble is I've not seen him eat anything since he decided air was the way to go. He must have done, and I've put worms in front of him, just never seen him eat them He's not doing much beyond sitting on his chosen lookout and watching the world.
I've rearranged the decor again as he decided it would be nice to ignore the gently sloping bogwood and climb, Chris Bonham style, up the vertical crevice in the plastic log ornament which seemed a little extreme to me for one so unused to using his feet! Crevice is now horizontal not vertical.
I'm wondering if I should be feeding him something different now he's out of the water? The other one still has gills but comes to the top sometimes for a gulp of air. He's eating ok and is very active, was jumping about like a loon last night.
I'm also wondering if he needs more surface area to walk on, he's got the plastic log and the bogwood and some floating plants which is quite a bit
Stick to acheta domestica (brown german house crickets) as the field crickets and wingless crickets are probably a bit well armoured for a recently metamorphosed newt, not to mention pretty good at biting back, theyre for the tougher reptiles. Small recently moulted mealworms, earthworms, and Drosophila fruitflies. A void waxworms unless you can get very small ones, baby amphibians often choke on them.At this stage theyre so small you might be able to collect aphids for them and they should try them. Small woodlice and spiders should go down the hatch too.
Dont forget to gut load insects for maximum quality nutrition, though you dont have to do that with wild collected, but they must be fed within a few hours of catching, and obviously avoid collecting them in areas where pesticides and weedkiller are used.
Dont know what the verdict on keep or release was, but if your keeping them, once every few weeks its probably a good idea to give an insect batch a small dusting with a reptile multivitamin powder, just to make sure trace nutrient requirements are being met. Its only a very occassional thing though, they need maybe a 10th of the calcium etc that reptiles do. If you gut load the foods well in theory you would never need a dusting formula. Its just a tip-top condition thing.
Oh, and that aquarium will have to become a paludarium, if not in aquatic mode youd be amazed how easily some newts and salamanders can drown, so lots of moist mossy terrain, damp,soft, loamy soils and take the depth of the water right back.
Good escuse to have fun with small bogplants though. Could be made really pretty, like a small bottle garden but obviously much bigger.
For wild collecting, while woodlice are not the hardest thing to find, and you can get worms up to the surface by tapping the ground and using a watering can to saturate a metre of grassy ground, for those small bugs you want for starters its easier to do the following than go hunting with a pair of tweezers, and cheaper than buying a butterfly net.
Big sheet of white card, long grass, tree or bush, shake vigourously. Bugs drop onto card, quickly fold and pour into collecting jar, job done. You might look like a lunatic doing that in the middle of a big city, but you can collect the tiny bugs just about anywhere. Bugs in hairdo optional.
Thanks for the info LHG Handily enough my front grass looks to be the perfect bug collecting terrain after the recent rains and my lack of activity with the lawnmower I'm hoping next door's roses will have aphids Just need the other one to morph now, make things rather easier!
That's a kind offer but sadly it appears not - they seem to be totally carnivorous according to the info I found on them. I was hoping they might like the odd nibble of veg but it seems it is not to be. Vegetarian newts would be so much easier
I've done more rearranging. Have moved them out of nasty 20 litre plastic tank and into slightly nicer 70 litre one (albeit there's only about 5 litres in there now ) Made a gravel beach at one end with bogwood 'sea wall' and water on other side of wood with bits of plant floating in it. Plastic log is in the middle of the water in case one of them needs refuge away from the beach.
I've put an aphidy rose bud temptingly close to biggest newt - he's sitting in a salvinia at the moment with the rose bud just on the edge of the beach (sounds almost romantic!).
Will get some of those crickets too - we are away for a few days quite soon and a fishkeeping neighbour has agreed to look after them so that should make it a bit easier.
Mr S likes the idea of a paludarium, have seen some really nice ones on t'interweb but doubt it will be like those first time round! Hope the beach will suffice for now.
Newts have been revamped again as number 2 has also fully morphed now - now have soil, some plants, moss, bogwood and a small swimming pool (plant saucer!). Have bought some live food online (cheers LHG) but at the risk of sounding dim ... what do you do with it? I've got a box of tiny crickets (they're quite cute so I'm a bit sad they'll get eaten) and a box of fruitfly culture. Do you just put all of them in and leave them to it or put in a few every day? And what do you do with the others if you don't put them all in? So many questions!
Ahh, the pleasures of dealing with crickets. Generally you keep them in something like an open topped mini-bin, higher than they can leap and with very clean smooth sides. Lack of airflow and excessive humidity tends to kill them so if you want them to last a bin is better than the box they come in, especially if youre giving them water to drink and moist food.. Give em a cap of water with some sponge in it they can drink from and not drwon, and you can feed the with stuff like fishfood, bits of cabbage, orange , potato that kind of thing.
On offerring them, just put in what they can eat every 24 hours, because not only must the crickets be well fed or they become nutrient deficient, but crickets can be surprisingly good at defending themselves against a predator, they may nip eyes and toes, that kind of thing.
As for presice amounts youll just have to mentally visualisae how much your newts stomachs can hold in a 24 hour period. You might even have to drop it back some because being a cool temperature amphibian they wont digest that fast. Id let them get big with plenty of food for starters then as they get older you might only need to give them food every 2-3 days. With the flies it helps to keep em in a cooler or fridge to slow down their activity and flight potential before offerring them to the newt. Dont know if youve got wingless of winged fruitflies, but I have a feeling your gonna find out.
Pets for pets innit. The herpetoculturalist with insectivorous pets never gets to keep just the one pet. lol
yeah i bought some curly wing flies - as they arent supposed to be able to fly - i put them in the fridge to calm them down a bit, and as soon as i opened the lid about 3 flew out... but most of them were fine, although i left them on top of the radiator cabinet in the hall, then forgot to take them upstairs then i put the heating on. dont leave them anywhere warm, they die pretty quick! oops.
but yeah i have a wonderful range of crickets worms snails and various larvae for feeding the gecko, turtle and frogs and fish.. which almost take as much looking after as the animals themselves! the buckets of daphnia are doing well in this nice weather tho, got loads! although the neighbours must think im mad scooping stuff out of the manky looking buckets and taking it inside..
its great teh newts are both land dwellers now, tank sounds cool, got any pics of them now?
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