Newt Care Buying Guide
Much like their salamander brethren, newts are small amphibians that can make intriguing pets if given the proper care. Try following these basic guidelines to maintain a happy, healthy addition to the family.
- Unlike their salamander buddies, newts enjoy the water. They spend most of their time in streams and ponds while in the wild, feeding and laying their eggs there. To provide a proper shelter, recreate these conditions by offering the ideal ratio of water to land--3:1.
- Your newt needs enough land to fit a secure hide-away. The neon fish houses that big retail stores sell work perfectly.
- It is highly recommended that you get a lid for your aquarium . Newts will try to escape out of any available crack.
- If you do not use a filter, change 25% of the water every week and replace it with the same amount of de-chlorinated water. If you have to take your newt out of the aquarium during this time, make sure you place him in a container with a secure lid.
- You do not need a heater because most newts prefer cooler water. Be careful not to let things get too cold though--avoid draughty windows during winter time.
- Don't add the water from the pet store into your tank . Use a net or your hands to place the newt into its new home.
- It is usually best to keep a single species of newt without other animals present because all amphibians have an innate desire to try to eat any animals in their enclosure, despite whether or not they will be dangerous (or fatal) to their health.
- The staple of newts' diet consists of pre-made pellets (acceptable for both newts and salamanders) that they are to be fed three to four times a week.
- They also enjoy freeze-dried bloodworms, flies, locusts, grasshoppers, mealworms, moths, brineshrimp, minnows, slugs, water fleas, cockroaches and millipedes. Yum!
- Sometimes getting just the right amount of food proves difficult. Try varying the amounts at first to see what works best. And if you still can't figure it out, always aim for under-feeding rather than over-feeding.
- You CAN handle a newt with your hands. Although newts do produce toxins in their skin that could harm you, you can very easily avoid this by washing your hands with soap and water before and after you handle them. Keep your hands slightly wet when your holding the newt (make sure all traces of soap are gone, though) and be conscious of when his or her body starts to become sticky, as this means it's time to go back to the tank.
- Never grab a newt by the tail; try to lift it from underneath its belly with a cupped hand instead.