Acquired: Pet store
Posted Jul 27, 2013
We have a firebelly newt since 4 years. And it's the cutest thing to look at.
At the start we purchased two, since we didn't want one to be alone and the pet shop displayed them in bulk, so we didn't think that there would be a problem. But it quickly turned out to be a bad idea. The bigger, more mature one started biting the younger one and not just a little bit. The attacks got progressively worse every day and exceded the juvenile teritorial fights.
It broke our heart, but we decided to give the larger one to another aquarium enthusiast, where the newt settled in and lives a happy life.
We kept the younger one and tried it a second time with another firebelly newt (do not mix with other newts), because the pet shop staff assured us, that there shouldn't be a problem. But there was. Again. We had the permission tho bring the third newt back to the shop and kept the little baby one in our tank.
Newts need tanks that are decorated as half water, half vivarium. They like to have a dry, sunny spot and cool water, that should always be fresh, clean and rich on oxigen. Newts breath through lungs, but a good water quality is still vital for them.
If you plan to keep them with fish, then choose cold water fish that are the size of goldfish and no carnivores. Smaller fish can dissapear over night due to the appetite of a newt on night shift. Larger fish could harm the newt.
Firebelly newts can grow to a lenght of 25cm and reach an average age of 25 years. Make sure you realize, what you're getting yourself into!
Our newt likes to climb and to disappear for a little dender. We had to come up with a series of security arrangements, to keep her in the tank.
If they do escape and are not found quickly enough, they can dry out and die.
We feed our little princess bloodworms, which are named like that because of their appearance. They are see-through, less than an inch long and filled with what looks like blood. You can buy them frozen in pet shops and this is the food they are supposed to eat. But I have seen her enjoying fish food just as much.
When newts grow, they throw their old skin off like snakes. They hide for a day after stripping off their now too small skin, to give the new skin a chance to harden a little.
Newts like to hide under roots in the water as much as they like to sit on top of them above the water surface.
They come to the surface several times in an hour to breath and then they sit under water and hold their breath, watching you doing your house work.
I don't suggest newts in general for children under 8 years old, because they are too tender to play with.
Also, always wash your hands after handling a newt, since some of them produce toxins on their skin to keep attackers away.
(A certain newt in North America is even deadly for humans.)
But if you act responsible, a newt can make a gorgeous pet.
Please handle with care and observe with awe : )