Question Fire Bellied Newts

auntkiki

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Okay, so I fully admit that I'm a complete idiot when it comes to fish/newts so please bear with me. My oldest son wants to get Fire Bellied Newts and even though they aren't going to be mine, they will be in my house so I want to be certain they are getting the best care I can give them. I have a few questions for someone that has kept them successfully because google can't be trusted with too much conflicting information.

I know they need a land spot, but would like to have as much water area as possible as well. Would one of the below items work, or am I better off to stick with sloped gravel and moss....or do you have something else entirely to recommend? The Viquarium and Reptofilter both look very nice as they provide both a platform and filtration, but would they provide enough land space and allow for enough water if I got something like a 40 long and did a 6 inch water level? The first 3 are just floating platforms so would need separate filtration, but do appear to have a slightly larger platform. I will try to get a couple different types for more than one spot. Would that be an acceptable tank size wise for 3 newts at that water level?


I would like to have a few live bearers in there for their entertainment and most likely the occasional snack. Are guppies the best option or should I look at something else? Is it ok to use them to start the tank cycle (hope I said this correctly) before adding the newts and other fish? Do the guppies/other fish need to be quarantined before putting them together even if I get them from the same place?

I can't seem to find really definitive information on temperature and decoration/hiding spots. Have seen everything from 68-70 f and 74-78 f....which is better for them, or is there a temperature preference difference between Chinese vs Japanese varieties? I'm horrible at growing plants so are plastic/silk acceptable? Can most standard aquarium decorations/hides be used without alteration in the water area or are there things I should watch for...hole size, pokey parts, etc. Is large river gravel an acceptable substrate? I would rather go with large rather than medium if possible to further reduce the risk of ingestion.



If he's going to do this, I would like to have an organic clean up crew to some extent as well (because I know will most likely end up with a large amount of the maintenance). I know many species have issues with the toxins released from their skin in the water, but are there some that can manage better than others if I overdo it on filtration....certain snails, plecostomus , etc?

Please excuse me if I've asked something that has been thoroughly discussed, I did search but didn't find what was looking for really.
 

saltwater60

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I’d do a 40 gallon breeder and make the water about half way depth wise. I’d pit some rocks just above the water like and fill with gravel. I’d add some sphagnum moss and maybe a few plants that can do water and land. I’d do a log or two as most salamanders and newts like logs to hide under. They will spend most time in the water.
I personally like a canister filter with a screen on them for things like this. They do a great job of cleaning things up. Internal filters are just too small most times.
Guppies seem like a good idea for fish and the occasional snack. Most will accept prepared foods like pellets and ask the pet shop to feed them for you to make sure they are eating things like this. Small worms are great on occasion too.
I’d say 72F is good for everyone involved.
As for the natural clean up crew keep in mind nothing will eat straight up poop. Algae and left over food yes but poop no. Water changes and tank maintenance will still need to be done weekly. Bertie snails and some medium to large shrimp are good bets for clean up crews. Ghost shrimp are cheap and readily available.

I really like those turtle pebbles. Those small internal filters are not very good IMO. I’d avoid them I’ve used them in the past and the tank was dirty and smelled.
 
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auntkiki

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Thank you for the advice and sorry the reply has taken me so long...things have been a little crazy lately.

Would something like this be more suitable filter wise or would it make too much current? I thought newts liked still water more than a heavier flow?

Would a setup similar to this be more suitable if I raised the water level and added more logs, plants, and moss?
 

saltwater60

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Seriously those are perfect IMO. I love that canister filter for this. Just make sure there’s a screen on the intake.
also you can do a stream into the water or just get a spray bar. I have a canister much larger and it doesn’t give much flow. I have it on a 75 gallon turtle tank and just one small corner has some flow.
I think the plan looks good. I’d separate the land and water with some rock or a log though as that gravel is likely to just keep falling in.
there are lots of ways to make a land area. You can do just a few rock and place a log and some moss on the few large rocks. Also a rock in two corners with a log so they can get out of the water can lead to more water and an easier to care for tank.
No worry on the time delay for saying thanks. It’s a crazy time for all of us.

Something like this would be sure easy to care for and set up. The more gravel the more poop gets stuck in there. I’d add a few small rocks clumped in the corners and add a plant that can have wet roots and place some moss on top of the rocks then a log between the two corners. You can add a layer of gravel on the bottom for visual effects but piling the gravel up will make Maitenance difficult.

 
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auntkiki

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Oh wow, that looks fantastic! I will show him this and see if I can find some good logs/rocks.

Are any of these unsuitable for any reason...surface texture, toe pinching, decaying, etc?
Sorry for all the questions....I'm trying to gather the most appropriate info so he knows how much money he need to fund this little adventure.
 

saltwater60

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All fine. I’d say for the rocks though just take a walk by a stream or a river and find what you’re looking for. The logs you have chosen are great.
 
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auntkiki

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Lol, yeah....that is one of the things I've found that seems to be pretty consistent. We have one of those screen reptile lids on his shopping list.

okay...does boiling and hydrogen peroxide still work for disinfection purposes, or is that outdated info?
 

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