- Heating & Lighting Requirements
- Helpful Hints
- Origin: Eastern & Western North America, Europe, and Central & Eastern Asia
- Habitat: Mostly aquatic, damp soil
- over 8” in length
- Life Span: 3-6 years
The more varied the diet the better off the newt.
Earthworms - usually chopped up to a smaller size.
Amphibian larvae, blood worms, white worms and tubifex worms
Guppies and small fish
Normal feeding would be every 4 to 5 days, and you need to judge for yourself how much food according to the fullness of your newt. Do not starve the newts but also do not pollute your tank with uneaten food. Newts store fat at the base of their tail where it joins the body, you want this to remain thick.
A standard aquarium with a tight-fitting lid is important in keeping your pet in the cage! We recommend that you purchase one of the newt books so that you can become more informed about your particular type of newt.
Soil - bark mixture is usually the best possible substrate. Top the soil - bark mixture with some terrarium moss to give it a more natural look and also to make the newts feel more secure by having a place to hide. Live plants make a great addition to a set-up, and those can be placed in pots for ease of cleaning. You can also add aquatic plants from our fish room and those may simply float in water. We recommend a filter be placed in the water side of the tank but be sure to include enough cork bark flats and rocks for the newts to easily crawl out of the water. We sell pieces of cork bark which of course can float!
You will need to dechlorinate the water. Do not use tap water because newts are sensitive to the chemicals. Clean water and gravel is important in preventing diseases. You can use bleach water to clean but be extra careful that it is completely rinsed out and dry before placing your newt back in. Double check for any smell of bleach.
Heating & Lighting Requirements
If your tank will be exposed to natural light, you do not need any additional lighting; however, if your set-up is in a fairly dark room, it would be great to use a 2.0 fluorescent bulb over the tank in the daytime hours. Most newts live well in room temperature, and therefore, are inexpensive to set up. If you purchase a newt, be sure to look up his particular heat requirements! We have found out that newts can die very easily if overheated. Beware of any heat source! The number one heat source we would recommend would be an aquarium heater in the water, if you need any heat at all.
Their body is covered with poison glands which is a form of protection. If an animal were to try to eat them, their poison would burn the animal's mouth. It is important that you wash your hands properly after handling these amphibians. Also be careful if you have an open cut on your hand. Their poison is not meant to harm humans, but it is still irritating and has the ability to burn, and possibly make you ill if you do not wash after handling. This poison is the reason most newts are extremely colorful. The color is a warning to animals that they are toxic! We do not recommend handling amphibians such as newts due to a slime coating many of them have on their body. This coating is part of their immune system and touching them allows germs to enter through their skin. Salt, lotion and soap residue which comes off your hands will enter through their pores and cause distress.
Many newts have stages of their lives where they go from egg, to water, to land and sometimes back to water. We strongly recommend that you purchase one of the newt books so that you can become more informed about your particular type of newt.
As with any animal, newts are good at hiding illnesses. If you do notice any signs of illnesses you need to seek treatment immediately. We recommend vet checkups for all animals. We recommend becoming an educated owner by purchasing a book about your new pet. Putting an amphibian in a small enclosure will not cause the animal to stay small but it will cause stress and the animal will be as uncomfortable as if you had to live in your closet. Always provide the largest enclosure you can for your pet.
Remember that these creatures have very sensitive porous skin and should not be handled nor should they be housed in a room where they are exposed to chemicals or other fumes such as perfume, hairspray or other common household fumes. When we have a problem with pollution, the amphibians are one of the first animals to die off because everything goes in through their skin.
Amphibians are very delicate animals and need to be treated carefully. They are sensitive to changes in temperature and need to be kept in a constant environment that has very little changes. Live plants are recommended to keep in their tank.
When feeding the amphibians do not allow too many insects to build up in the tank-not only does this cause undue stress but it is always possible that the insects will chew on and possibly eat your amphibians. The amphibians will only eat enough to fill their stomach, after they are full they will allow the insects to eat them.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us in the Reptile Room at 717-299-5691. You should consider purchasing one of our books about newts. Remember, always wash your hands after handling any animal, especially an amphibian.