Acquired: Pet store
Posted May 18, 2014
When I originally planned to build a terrarium, I had a very specific plan in mind. I had already put most of the terrarium together with rocks, plants, water, and guppies. I went to the pet store to get the finishing touch: amphibians. I had an idea of what I was l looking for, a drab-looking newt or salamander. Browsing the amphibian tanks, however, something different caught my eye: fire-bellied salamanders. Their dark backs gave way to undersides swirled with bright orange and red. Upon seeing these beauties, I knew that my they would be the star attractions of my terrarium. I took two home and placed them in the set-up tank. I watched them, and appreciated that they didn't seem to immediately attack all of the guppies. However, as the days passed, I noticed that my guppies weren't disappearing, but dying in the tank. I realized that something was wrong. I went back to the pet store, and asked what could be happening. They informed me that the fish were probably being poisoned by the salamanders' poison, and also that if I tried to handle the salamanders I should do so with care. The original fish of the tank did not survive. I ended up just occasionally adding a few guppies to the tank for the salamanders to eat. It was still a lovely terrarium that I enjoyed for a long time, but I wish someone at the pet store had warned me about the poisonous nature of these amphibians before I purchased them.