Acquired: Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Arizona, United States
Posted Nov 15, 2012
I was introduced to my first Alpine Newt when I was in my early 20's. I was renting a room in house owned by friends and they had one in a very large tank. Part of the tank was land-based and the rest was filled with water that was only about a foot deep. Newts are both land and water based since they are amphibians.
While Mark's was a mature adult, it takes up to three years for them to morph from completely aquatic to being both land and water users. It's kind of like watching a poly wog swimming, knowing it's going to become a frog..just a whole lot faster than Newts. :) Since their average lifespan is up 15-20 years, three years is like a drop in a bucket, time-wise.
Before getting any, you must take their long lifespan into consideration, the fact that the temperature of the water can't go above 73 degrees and should be kept between 55-65 degrees, they need a large tank (55 gallon is recommended) if they are to thrive and that you will have to get a bit creative in providing a land side of the tank, as well as a water side. They also need moss, hiding places (rocks, plants, etc.) and food-
Food: The belly of a Newt is usually a reddish color. The more red food you feed them, the brighter the red of their belly. If you feed them tons of white/clear brine shrimp and less bloodworms, their bellies will turn a pale yellow. Adults can also eat crickets and other insects and different types of small worms like waxworms. They can even be fed slim strips of lean meat, that Mark loved to feed his.
While living there, I also got to engage in feeding time and found they are greedy little things, especially since their adult size is only up to five inches! Mark used some really fine sand on the land side for his, "baby." The plants were also shorter types because they can climb up tall ones and escape their habitat, which can be fatal. They can come out, of course, once mature; but really shouldn't be handled too much.
Cleaning the water and/or the cage periodically seemed pretty labor-intensive to me. I wouldn't have wanted to do it. :) I would have to say that owning these as a pet is not for someone who hasn't done their research on these amazing little creatures. For those who like them, I think you will find them very interesting to own!!