Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs About Newts & Salamanders, Amphibians with tails...: Firebelly Newts

Related Articles: Amphibians, Turtles

Related FAQs: Newts & Salamanders, Amphibians 1, Amphibians 2,

& FAQs by Groups/Species: Axolotls, Efts, Fire Belly Newts, Hellbenders, Tiger Salamanders, Water Dogs, & African Dwarf Frogs, African Clawed Frogs, Rubber Eels/CaeciliansAmphibian Identification, Amphibian Behavior, Amphibian Compatibility, Amphibian Selection, Amphibian Systems, Amphibian Feeding, Amphibian Disease, Amphibian Reproduction,

Cynops spp.

My bichir... ate a newt! Shades of Monty Python!       6/18/15
Hi, I have a beautiful bichir named Dracco. He is so friendly he will swim into my hand to be rubbed
... anyway, I believe he ate one of my baby fire belly newts... should I be worried?
<For the Polypterid; Cynops newts may be too toxic food items; only time can/will tell. Bob Fenner>

re: My bichir        6/19/15
They weren't meant to be good for him... he just greedy lol
<Shouldn't be in the same system. Incompatible. BobF>
re: My bichir       6/19/15
I'll let u know what happens
<Thank you. B>

re: My bichir       6/21/15
I am happy to say that Dracco, it's doing just fine... I sent up prayers and then put him in cool water with an all natural ick medicine that's safe for crabs (I've used this need fir several different fish injuries and ailments)...
I let him sit in it for 4 hours then placed him back... he been doing wonderful ever since... thank God and thank u for ur time.
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
re: My bichir      6/21/15

Sorry my phone's auto correct, I have used this all natural medicine for not only ick but fir bite injuries caused by Drago to ny other fish. The med helps them heal. I had a Molly whose penial fins were bit completely off, leading his whole inside exposed and hanging out... I let him sit in a private bowl filed with circulated water and a cup of this med and he healed. This medicine is wonderful and fir much more than ick
<Cheers, B>

Fire Belly Newts; beh.      ‏            11/10/14
Hi! I just recently got two baby Japanese Fire Bellied Newts. They're very young and are completely terrestrial still. I just wanted to ask if it is normal for them to not be very active at all at a young age. They sleep together in a little hole just about all day.
<Well, assuming you do have a Cynops species, then yes, they should be aquatic much of the time, around two-thirds of the time in the water, a third on land. Something like that. Some even spend almost all their time
in the water, doing little more than resting among floating plants, basking under the light (though remember, they can dry out, so a heat lamp isn't needed, and there should be plenty of humidity in the vivarium). So, think
about why they might not be going into the water. Firstly, they're shy. If there are bigger creatures in the water, even something that seems harmless to you, they'll stay on land. Secondly, they don't very warm or very cold
water. Room temperature is usually ideal, but if there's direct sunlight on the water it might be heating up a lot during the day. Thirdly, they don't like poor quality water. Check the filter works. You probably don't want to
use anything with a motor, but an air-powered sponge filter is perfect, and should also help keep the water moving and oxygenated. Finally, they become inactive if they aren't getting enough to eat. Live food (typically small insects and insect larvae) are usually essential for the settling-in phase when you want them to put on weight, while frozen alternatives are usually accepted once they're happy and associate you with dinner.
Cheers, Neale.>

fire belly newt     6/13/14
Hey people at WWM, so i have had two fire belly newts for a few months now and they've been doing fine, up until recently. One of the newts is completely healthy, but the other has stopped eating, looks slightly bloated and seems to have troubles swimming and getting around. Is there anything I can do about this i have tried getting the newt to eat and it refuses, and as my first amphibians i have taken care of I'm not really sure what else to do. I feed them chopped up earthworms, and up until recently it had seemed to eat them no problem.
<Difficult to say what the problem is without any meaningful data, e.g., vivarium size, temperature, method of filtration, water quality and chemistry, etc. Can I direct you towards the Caudata forum, here:
The guys and gals there know their newts, and they have an excellent 'sticky' post on Chinese Fire Belly Newts not eating that I think will be of great use. Essentially, these newts are often in bad shape when they arrive at the pet shop, and getting them fully recovered requires patience and care. Cold water, lots of plants, and the right sort (and variety) of foods are all important. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Fire-Bellied Newt, diet   6/19/12
I bought my fire-bellied newt a few months ago. He was really healthy, he was regularly eating Brine Shrimp and swimming around.
<Good to know he was healthy, but was he only eating brine shrimp? Adult brine shrimp are notoriously nutrient-deficient. You can buy frozen brine shrimp with Spirulina added, and these are better. But live brine shrimp aren't a viable staple.>
The other day I went to feed him and I found him in the corner of the cage on land, curled up behind a plant. I moved the plant to make sure he was ok, but he wasn't moving, or breathing it seemed. When he went into the water he floats and seems to have a hard time moving or swimming. He looked really thin. I moved him onto one of the rocks because I was afraid that he would drown. This morning when I went to check on him he was upside down in the water, still alive and breathing. I took him out and he seems to have trouble walking, he moves erratically and seems to have trouble moving his back feet. Also his throat seems to be kind of bloated. I put him back in the tank and he crawled back to the corner where he's lying against the glass with his eyes closed. I just cleaned his tank and the water is clear.
The only thing I recently changed was I bought some aquatic plants for the cage, they were supposed to be fine for an aquatic habitat. I took the plants out last night, hoping that was the problem, but there was no improvement. This is my first newt, and I don't know if this is a normal or if there is something else wrong. Is there something I can do?
<Do suspect diet is a factor. You need to offer Fire-Bellied News a varied diet: brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, small earthworms. Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Fire-Bellied Newt   6/21/12

Thank you so much.
I've tried changing his food, we've been feeding him bloodworms and pellets,
<Is he eating the pellets?>
but he keeps getting more and more bloated, do you have any idea if I am doing something else wrong? He cant seem to support his body, and won't walk. He is moving less and less.
<Sounds like he's dying, to be honest, but there may be hope if you can get him to eat something. A vitamin booster shot (vets can do this) can help in situations like this. Either way, you do need to get expert help. Start by visiting this site, which is dedicated to amphibians:
There's a forum there, plus lots of useful factsheets. Good luck, Neale.>

My Chinese fire-bellied newt has a withered foot - 5/9/2012
Hi, my approx 10 year old Chinese fire-bellied newt has suddenly developed a withered front foot. He can bend his elbow and shoulder to walk and weight bear but looks unable to extend any of his toes and the foot appears to curl inwards. He is the last of many and has been on his own now for about 10 months so has not been damaged by another newt. He is housed at room temperature with a 40 - 60 land - water set up. He only eats blood worms, so his diet is pretty monotonous,
WWM: Yes, and likely one reason he's unwell.
but as he has not had any problems before I'm not sure this is a factor.
WWM: Maybe not the cause, but could easily be the reason why slight damage or stress got out of hand.
Any suggestions?
Thank you for your help,
WWM: Not much can be done to fix the problem. But vary the diet (earthworms are a good food source) and I'd also treat proactively for a bacterial infection (an antibiotic from a pet store specialising in reptiles/amphibians would be a good place to start, or else a vet; Maracyn II (better known as Minocycline) works well with amphibians).
Cheers, Neale.
Re: My Chinese fire-bellied newt has a withered foot - 5/10/2012
Thank you Neale for your prompt help with this problem. I cleaned the tank yesterday and changed the water as soon as I noticed his foot, and treated the water with an anti bacterial solution that I already had.
WWM: Okay.
It was recommended by a specialist pet shop in Camden when I first started keeping newts 20 years ago and I always keep an in-date bottle just in case. This newt will only ever eat thawed frozen blood worms which I have to wave in front of him on a cotton bud, all my other newts (in the tank with him) readily took a varied diet, frozen and live, but this one is an awkward thing.
WWM: You do need to fix this. He can't be expected to do well on just bloodworms. I'm amazed he's lived for so many years already. Do bear in mind you can starve these animals for several weeks, and I would do this in an instant if it would help me wean him onto alternatives. Small live earthworms usually do the trick. If you have a pond nearby, have a trawl for midge larvae, blackworms, etc. These are good foods, and should attract the interest of your newt.
Thank you again for your help, I appreciate your time and interest, Cheryl
WWM: Most welcome. Neale.

Question About Our Firebelly Newt, injured?  12/21/11
We just bought a FB Newt about 3 weeks ago. He has been fine, eating normally... until today... he looks like he can't swim. he's just wiggling around like his front legs are hurt or broken. I've helped him to the top to make sure he gets some air. Please get me some suggestion, Thanks!
<Hello Tina. We seem to be getting a lot of messages about these Fire-Belly Newts, Cynops orientalis, all of a sudden! Do review them, here:
Newts are extremely delicate animals, and even careful handling can damage them. They also need quite specific environmental conditions. There's a really good summary over at the Caudata site, here:
You're after an adequately large aquarium (10 gallons or more) with cool, clean water; a good filtration system; soft substrate (smooth silica sand, a.k.a. pool filter sand); and plants, real or plastic, for shade and
shelter; and a smooth rock or bogwood root the newt can using for climbing out if it wants to (most specimens are almost entirely aquatic). Because your aquarium is new, water quality may be less good than you think.
Ammonia and nitrite need to be zero. Check your biological filter, and at minimum, check your nitrite level (if you have a filter) or ammonia (if you don't have a filter yet). If either is not zero, that's likely one of the
causes of your problems. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Question About Our Fire Belled Newt  12/24/11

I haven't handled him until recently. He is in a 10gal tank with a log thing to climb up onto. Now the guy at the pet store said he needed a heater at about 78 degrees? is this true or too warm?
<Do read that link I gave you last time. These Newts are not tropical animals and should not be kept too warm. Room temperature is about right, 18 C/64 F.>
he's still alive and wiggling around, just not swimming very well. Will his legs heal??
<Possibly, with veterinarian assistance, I believe, at this point. A vet will inject antibiotics and/or vitamins, and these male a HUGE difference to success with amphibians.>
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Fire Bellied Newt    3/5/12

sorry it's taken so long to reply, thanks you for your feedback the aquarium is a 64 litre, which should be big enough for two i presume, the patches have cleared up :)
<64 litres is a bit small to be honest, because you need some land for the newts, or a the very least a bunch of floating plants where they can crawl out and rest if they want to, with their bodies mostly out of the water.
Cynops spp. are sensitive to poor water quality, so if you have to keep them in such a small tank, at least ensure [a] excellent filtration and [b] weekly water changes of around 20%. Cheers, Neale.> 

Fire Belly Newt bloating   12/13/11
<Hello Jane,>
I have a 32 year old firebelly newt.
<Cripes! A veritable Methuselah among newts.>
We went on a vacation about 4 months ago and left him (Jimmy) under the care of a houseguest. When we returned he was quite bloated.
<Oh dear. The thing is, with cold-blooded animals like newts, lizards and fish, you're almost always better off NOT feeding at all. These animals can go weeks, months without food and not come to harm. But inexperienced carers make the mistake of overfeeding, and too much food is far more likely to cause problems.>
We had only been gone one week. I assumed he was overfed so cut back on his feeding.
He only eats ReptoMin pellets- and has his whole life.
He lives alone in a filtered water aquarium. Rocks, wood and plastic plants.
His swelling went down a bit for about one month, but now it has reappeared and is worsening, slowly, over the past 2 months.
<Not good, but clearly not immediately lethal either. So there's some room for optimism.>
I handle him and he feels just like a tiny water balloon.
<Soft and jellyfish, rather than firm? So like he's holding water rather than full of solid faeces or something? Does sound like some type of oedema as opposed to constipation. Oedema is difficult to treat directly.>
His head and legs are all normal, just the area between all fours is swollen.  It is clearly fluid retention, but some sites say it could be from starvation, which I assure you does not happen here.
<And is very unlikely anyway, given you know how/what to feed him.>
(He has been on the same feeding schedule for 32 years.) And some sites say it could be kidney failure, or bacterial disease.
<Quite so, or a combination. Overfeeding itself isn't likely to cause either of these problems. But too much food in the water, rotting, could have messed up water quality so badly a secondary infection kicked in. Or else, the wrong food might have been used, and exposed the newt to some type of nutritional problem. Really hard to say.>
How do I know what to do?
<I'm not sure you can. A vet is really the only person who can offer objective assistance here. In the short term, Epsom salt as per aquarium fish may help reduce bloating, see here:
But there's something called Amphibian Ringers Solution that's used to treat amphibians. Because amphibians don't have a watertight skin, if placed in a slightly saline environment, water oozes through their skin into the water around them. You can't do this for too long, half an hour is about the most, but it can work. It won't fix the underlying problem -- that will require antibiotics, e.g., a Maracyn 1 and Maracyn 2 combination -- but it can lessen the symptoms, making life easier for the newt. There's a recipe here:
I've never tried this myself, and I'd urge you to get in touch with the folks on this amphibian forum before tying it out yourself. Better yet would be finding a vet who knows how to treat newts, and have them take care of the newt for you.>
I tried to hand feed him to see if he would eat, but he did not.
<No, and don't try.>
He is acting normal in every other way, although not as mobile as he once was. He is not floating or flipping as suggested by other diseases.  I am nervous to take him to a vet who most likely will not know what to do and might stress him further.
<Understandable, but if the newt isn't getting better, you mightn't have much choice.>
He has been in the same habitat for over 20 years now, and has not had water "changes" like for a fish tank, but rather water added on a regular basis to maintain volume.
<Ah, now, this isn't ideal. Do remember, water evaporates, but salts are left behind. So each time you top up with water, you add more salts as well, Over the years, the water chemistry could become quite weird.
Conversely, if you only ever used distilled or RO water, the lack of any sort of minerals at all could mess up his kidneys too.>
His home has never been moved, ever, and he has thrived for all these years. I am quite nervous that he is seriously ill and I might lose him. He is part of our family. If he were your fellow, what would you really do to try and help him?  Please, any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.  
Thanks- Jane
and Jimmy
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Fire belly newt acting weird  11/25/09
hello, Jake here
<& Bob here>
I bought 2 fire belly newts a week ago, one small, and the other is a little bigger. anyways the bigger one is I think is doing ok. the small one is the one that I'm worried about. I looked in the tank today and the small one was on the leaf, I watched him for a little, I noticed he moves really really slow( twitching like) does not walk. he didn't use his hands or feet just kind of acting like a snake would crawl. then he curled up, I think he used his tail more then is ligaments on the dry area. my tank is water and land based with a water filter. I feed them live bloodworms. help . what do u think is the problem?? is there anything I can do??
<Mmm, can't tell from what you've written here Jake. And the fact that one of the two seems fine usually rules out environmental issues. Perhaps if you read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/amphibdisfaqs.htm
and the linked FAQs files above (in blue), "something" important will occur to you. Bob Fenner>

Fire-bellied newt behaving oddly 05/20/09
I am the owner of two Chinese fire-bellied newts and they've been healthy/happy for the 4 years I've had them (got them from a pet shop, not sure of their age). I fed them 2 days ago and feed them raw meat (they won't eat anything else) ~1-2x a week.
<Not mammal or bird meat, I hope? These are very bad for cold blooded animals: the lipids in mammals and birds that are liquid at our body temperature can solidify at the lower body temperature of newts, reptiles and so on not adapted to eating such fare. Over the long term, these solid
lipids -- fats -- clog up things like blood vessels. Not good!>
I looked at them today and one looked all sunken into the rocks like he was dead. Worried, I opened the tank and put him into my hand where he
remained very still. His eyes were half-open (I didn't know they could do that), his chest was flat on my hand and he looked dazed and confused.
<Doesn't sound good; really, veterinarian help is what you need here. We're fish people rather than newt people!>
Suddenly, he began to writhe in my hand and his back legs clamped against his tail. I put him back into his tank where this continued for 20 seconds
or so...more writhing and tail lashing (the other guy ran away from him!) Then, it stopped. He pushed up back to his normal stance and walked around
a bit like nothing happened. He's now walking around only semi-ok with his little elbows sometimes flexing backwards and his chin on the ground so he can't move. What's going on?
<Not old age, anyway: these things live well over 10 years! So start by reviewing basic conditions: things like water quality (0 ammonia, 0 nitrite) and temperature (cool, around 16-18 C ideal). Simply feeding the same (inappropriate, if bird or mammal meat) food can lead to obvious long term problems that manifest themselves in just the vague sort of way you're describing; indeed, that's where I'd put my money. A vet may be able to provide a vitamin shot, and certainly offering a proper, varied diet will help the other one do well and may turn the sickly one around too. Ideal foods including live earthworms, live mosquito larvae and live bloodworms; frozen equivalents should be taken, but forget about freeze-dried or pellet foods, not particularly useful.>
Can newts have seizures?
Thanks for any and all help!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Fire Belly Newt 3/27/2009
I put a lilac branch for the newts to climb on and now I have noticed a clear slime growing on the branch.
<Is this within a few days? If so, most probably fungal decay. Harmless in itself, but will be consuming oxygen and dumping ammonia onto your filtration system. Generally, it isn't a good idea to add fresh wood to an aquarium.>
I did some research and all I can find is a web page
that has what looks like that type of slime. Listed on the page under Slime Mold In A Fish Aquarium. Named plasmodium.
<Perhaps, but there is absolutely no way you can identify this either way, unless you're a mycologist. All fungi look very similar, once you realise the mushroom part is simply the fruiting body and the fungus itself is the mass of white threads.>
I was looking at one of the newts mouths and noticed what looks like a cut under the bottom lip. I am not sure how to treat this.
<Use an amphibian-safe anti-fungus medication.>
Can I use a anti fungus fish medication?
<If the package states clearly "Safe for use on Amphibians". If not, don't use it. Amphibians differ from fish in many ways, not least of all breathing through their skins, so some chemicals harmless to fish can cause major problems for amphibians. Your local amphibian/reptile specialist pet store should be able to help; failing that, call a vet.>
I took out the branch and I think I will change the water to be safe. Also, can I use salt treatments?
<Not with amphibians, no.>
After reading up on this slime on the web, I am worried about the newts.
<The two things are not really related. The fungi that cause fungal infections on fish and amphibians are ubiquitous to aquaria, being part of the normal nitrogen cycle. How do you think fish faeces and uneaten food is broken into the ammonia the bacteria use? Correct, it's fungi that do that! So the saprotrophic fungi are there already.>
Can you please help? Thanks.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Red-belly Newt (RMF, any thoughts?)  9/8/08
My name is Bryan.
<Hello Bryan,>
I have a fire belly newt that has a rather large wound on it. it started out as a sore actually I had 2 newts that each had a small red sore on it's skin. so I quarantined both of them in separate containers with dirt and some water I also applied a triple antibiotic to there sores well after two weeks one of the newts got better so I put him in the tank with the 2 others that are healthy.
<Which antibiotic? Not all are safe with amphibians. It's also absolutely critical to establish the source of the wound. While I agree that the infection is likely a secondary bacterial infection that should respond to antibiotics, amphibians are notoriously sensitive to poor water conditions (ammonia, nitrite) and if these are in the water, it's not going to recover.>
(He seems to be doing fine now) but the other one seemed to have gotten worse. At this moment he's been away from the others for about 3 weeks now and he hasn't eaten though I have tried to feed him. his sore however has seemed to have gotten huge. so huge that his entire tail is falling off, I can see his spinal cord, and his back legs seemed to have stopped working and now his tail is becoming fuzzy. I haven't taken him to the vet as I don't have the money.
<I hate to say this, but I'm not convinced this guy will recover. Amphibians do indeed have amazing powers of regeneration, but this looks just too far gone. I'd like to be proven wrong. At his point you really don't have much option but to maintain each Newt in its won clean container, with no substrate or anything likely to collect germs or detritus. Filter using Zeolite to remove the ammonia directly; an air-powered box filter will be fine for this. Replace/recharge the Zeolite weekly. Do not feed the Newt! I'd be using Maracyn (Erythromycin) in the water, and changing 75% the water weekly, re-dosing with Maracyn as required. Even with all this said, because multiple Newts have become sick, I'm really concerned that there's something environmental wrong with your system. Do check pH stability, nitrite and ammonia. I'd also be tempted to pick up the phone and call a vet.>
I also have stopped applying the triple antibiotic, and started applying a small amount of diluted hydrogen peroxide.
is there anything else I can do short of pray. he seems to be a resilient little bugger, but I'm afraid that his next step is death :(
<Would tend to concur with your gloomy prognosis, in which case euthanasia may be kinder. Bear in mind the methods useful for killing small fish are not necessarily appropriate for amphibians, so again, consultation with a vet or other expert would be relevant here.>
Help Please
<A bit out of my depth here, so have asked Bob Fenner to comment/pass on to someone who might know better. Cheers, Neale.>
I also attached a photo of his wound
Re: Red-belly Newt (RMF, any thoughts?) 9/8/08
Well thanks for trying. unfortunately he died today. I found him in his container, not moving and his wound seemed to have been decaying :(.
The other newts are fine. By the way it's not the water because he was in his separate container, and the other one that was sick I bought him that way, (and no he didn't transfer anything to the others. They're as fat and happy as can be lol) I also clean their water weekly and make sure everything is in tip top shape. Well again thanks for your help
Oh and here are a couple pics of my other fire bellies. (chuck he's the chubby one in the solo pic, buster and, Stewie the one who died his name was Dave. We'll miss ya buddy)
<I'm sorry (but not surprised) the poor chap died. Please do review the needs of these animals and act accordingly. I'm slightly concerned that you say you "clean their water weekly" -- usually when people say this, they mean they don't have a filter in the system, and simply change the water every week. This won't do! You do need a proper filter. I'm also a bit concerned about the substrate; it appears to be bright red gravel of some type. Other than looking a bit odd, the problem is that it is jagged and hard. With amphibians, you want the softest thing you can find, because their skins are extremely delicate and easily damaged. So Number 1 on my list of things to change would be the substrate, swapping the red gravel stuff for smooth, silica sand (not sharp silica sand and not coral sand). Silica sand can be purchased very cheaply at garden centres, here in England for the equivalent of 5 dollars for 50 pounds of the stuff. As a broad rule, bright coloured gravels appeal more to the aquarist than the animals -- in the wild animals rarely live in vividly coloured habitats, and the overwhelmingly bright conditions can stress them. You don't mention pH or nitrite levels, rather this vague "tip top shape" statement. Again, when people use phrases like that it's because they don't have (or use) test kits. Again, not good. At the very least get a nitrite test kit and use it to make sure the water is safely maintained at a zero nitrite level; anything above zero is dangerous, and between the sharp gravel and possibly (likely, if unfiltered) water quality THAT is why your Newt got sick and why the others are exhibiting symptoms as well. I'm grumpy and unsympathetic in this respect: I don't give a hoot about witty names for animals and whether or not someone says they love their pets. What I do care about is that their animals are properly cared for, and when animals get sick, especially in as dramatic a way as this specimen did, it means something is very wrong. So, I say again, review the living conditions, ensuring the water is filtered and the substrate is soft before doing anything else. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Red-belly Newt (RMF, any thoughts?) 9/9/08
Well thanks again I'll definitely change their gravel actually I do have a filter in the tank.
<Good to hear.>
my nitrate levels are at 0 and the Ph level is at 7 I do check them.
<Nitrate is immaterial, it's nitrite (with an I) or even ammonia I'm concerned about. It's perfectly possible to have zero nitrate but high levels of ammonia -- because the biological filtration process isn't happening! So please do consider this factor and use a nitrite or ammonia test kit. It is incredibly easy to kill amphibians by not ensuring the water is clean and the environment appropriate. Filtration, removing uneaten food, keeping the tank cool (under 20 C/68 F), zero ammonia, zero nitrite; that's what you're aiming for.>
and as for the fat one in the pic I've had him 6-7 months now with no problems.
Again the others are doing well they aren't exhibiting any symptoms I've been monitoring them daily since the one got sick
<Fair enough. But that Newt didn't burst apart for no reason; your job is to run through the possibilities, reviewing environmental conditions, and act accordingly. The lifespan of these newts is around 20 years if properly looked after. By that standard, 6 months is just the beginning.>
Thanks again.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Sick fire belly-newt... more info. pls.   7/8/08 Hi, I have 3 fire belly-newts in a cage, they all had white spot recently and now one of them is sick again. Its skin is started to become kinda brown and it hardly moves at all. It almost never goes underwater and it hides in a fake bush all the time. Also it eats very little. If you know what it is and how to cure it then please let me know. With best regards. Bergur Iceland <Could you send along a photo or two? Might I ask, what do you do to maintain these animals, water, food-wise? What did you do to "treat" the "white spot"... Bob Fenner>

Re: sick fire belly-newt  7/12/08Hey, I'm not quite sure what I feed them: (tore the paper off a long time ago) but its something those in the pet store recommended, ill send a picture. <Looks to be a Tetra product... need more than this...> I have fresh water in the cage, heat is always around 23-27°.And I treated them with 'fin rot and fungus control' <Ingredients?> I feed them 5-6 of these every other day (break 1 or 2 in half for the smallest one) I keep some water by the cage to let it warm by itself and never put hot water in with it. trying to prevent it from this green slime, and can you tell me how to get rid of it?, <Best by use of live plants... to compete for nutrient...> I Washed the cage about 2 weeks ago and its back already. L. Bergur <Likely these salamanders are suffering from a nutrient deficiency primarily... need vitamin supplementation, provision of UV light to help produce "D"... There is a huge mass of useful information re this species captive care on the Net... Bob Fenner>

Re: sick fire belly-newt 07/16/08 Hey, Thanks for all this, I'm really grateful:), but if you can I'd really like if you can recommend any of those stuff, like what type of plants, what kind of vitamins and food, and the light. I have one of those but its broken:( (my bunny got to the power cord). Ok, please let me know, Bergur. <Mmmm, no sense "reinventing the wheel" or other common/shared knowledge sources. Please peruse this search result: http://www.google.com/search?q=fire+belly+newt+culture&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-Address&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGIC Bob Fenner>

Fire Belly Newts, shedding, biting   4/6/08 Hello I have 2 fire belly newts one is Japanese and one is Chinese. I've had Floyd for about 9 years and ChaCha for about 7 years. Recently I noticed that Floyd (Chinese Fire Belly Newt) has been shedding a whole lot and he had what looked like to me a bite mark on his back. <Could well be fighting... doesn't happen much, I admit.> They used to hang out together a lot but now seem to stay on opposite ends of the tank. <I see.> I'm not sure if ChaCha is hurting Floyd or if it maybe something else but it seems to be getting worse. Do I need to separate them or get rid of one of them? I love them both so much and just want to know what is best. Thanks for any help you can give. <Time to separate them I'm afraid. Or at least use some sort of divider for the time being. There are "tank dividers" available in fish shops, but plastic egg crate or similar cut to size works just as well. Do also treat with an amphibian-safe antibacterial or antibiotic to prevent secondary infections. Cheers, Neale.>

Newt Shedding and Behavior Changes, Cynops pyrrhogaster care/fdg.   2/10/08 Hello! I recently purchased a fire-bellied newt and am currently concerned about some aspects of his behavior. I've had him for about a week and he hasn't eaten at all. <Mmm, should by now... what do you know re this animal's recent past? Was it wild-collected? It may be in a "resting state" if so metabolically> He also just shed his skin last night. <Do this> He wasn't kept in the best environment in the pet store that I rescued him from, and the staff there were far less than knowledgeable. The water in the tank was so dirty it was green and all of the other newts at this store had been eaten because they were kept in a crawfish tank. <What a nightmare!> My little guy looked so pitiful that I had to get him out of there immediately. Upon making this decision and informing the pet store employees of it, I started trying to set up a tank for him. Having no real knowledge of newt-care myself, I tried to ask questions and got answers that I later found out were completely bogus. I began to do my own research as soon as I got him home. Right now he is in a small tank with a gravel substrate, one plastic plant, and a small boat that he is rather fond of. <... and a place to get out of the water?> Knowing that the uneaten food can cause problems for him, I keep an eye on his tank and cleaned it thoroughly just last night. That's when I noticed the film covering him and helped him to shed his skin. I was hoping that would explain why he hadn't been eating, but his behavior hasn't changed. <Perhaps residual stress... simply being challenged from the shops lack of care> I've been feeding him Jurassic Diet Newt and Aquatic Frog Food; could it be that he just doesn't like it? <Yes... or doesn't recognize it as food...> What would be the best food for him? <Please read here re: http://www.wnyherp.org/care-sheets/amphibians/fire-belly-newt.php> Thanks for your time and help... I may not have anticipated newt-ownership, but now that I have my little Mac, I want him to be happy, comfortable, and healthy. -Annie Shattuck

Fire belly Newts acting weird -11/18/07 For a long time, I've had two fire bellies (Japanese). They have a knack for stopping everything they are doing and they will just sit for a really long time, until I just shake the aquarium to make sure they are alive. I am worried it might be from a sickness or something and I wanted to verify that nothing was wrong. <For the love of all that is holy why are you shaking the vivarium? Newts, like virtually all other amphibians, mostly do nothing for about 23.5 hours out of every 24. They have a low metabolism and when not actively foraging for food or engaging in breeding/social behaviour, they sit still. It's what they do. If you want an active pet, get a dog and take long walks across the rolling hills. Shaking the vivarium is only going to make the newts more stressed and less likely to move about when they see you. By sitting still they hope that horrible animal that hurts them and disrupts their world (i.e., you) won't notice them and will GO AWAY!!! So please, sit down, read a book about amphibians, and respect their biology. Once they've learned you're a source of food and not a threat, they're more likely to move about when you're in the same room watching them. Cheers, Neale.>

Bloated Newt  - 09/13/06 My sister has 3 Firebellied newt's.  Just before we went on holiday about 10 days ago we noticed that one of them was looking a bit fat.  A friend has been feeding them while we were away.  They will only eat bloodworm.  When we came back yesterday he now has bloated up to about 3 times the side he normally is.  I read one of the other posts on your website where it said that you just need to let is run it's course but he just looks so big around that neck that looks like it will choke him.  How long do you think that it will take to go down?  We have now separated him off into a tank with shallow water on his own as he just floats in deeper water.  Thanks, Sarah <Your newt may have eaten some decaying food that is rotting in his gut. The bacteria is multiplying and producing gas that is causing the boat. Usually they are able to vomit up any bad food. Sorry don't have a solution but I would suggest you check out some newt/amphibian websites. Start with Kingsnake.com and see if you can find a chat group or communicate with a vet that may be able to help.-Chuck.>

High nitrate and cloudiness... amphibian system   2/9/06 Hello I desperately need your help. <Really?> I have a 60 gallon tank with about 20 gallons in it. It has been running for 6 years. The past few months I have had cloudy water and nitrate levels over 160. <... yikes> I have done several water and filter media changes and lots of vacuuming and even taken some rocks out of my tank. I added plants and even tried leaving it alone for a while.  All I have in my tank is one fire bellied newt. pond stone. very little gravel. some plants. and two glass fixtures and two rocks that gave always been in there. no matter what I do the water does not clear up and the nitrates do not go down. I have a Fluval 2 plus underwater filter. I have tried all different kinds of media for this and  nothing helps. <... unusual...> I feed my newt live Blackworms/bloodworms. I was curious if I should add an air bubble thing. Or maybe different plants or some sort of gravel under the pond stone. <Does need a filter of some sort...> Or take everything out. Please help! I have been all over your web-site and tried some of your suggestions but nothing seems to work. I have checked the water and other than the nitrates its all right. the tap water I use has a ph of 7.6 but the tank is 7.2      they treat the water with chlorine and chloramine. I use Amquel. Some cycle. and some metal remover. please let me know what I should take out or add. Also whether I should restrict sunlight or my tank light or expose it too more. please help. I know you guys don't specialize in newt tanks but all the other sites have been no help. And your site is the best. Thank you very much  Jason <... First, I would check your checker... your test kit may be off... Next, I would start changing more of the water more frequently... at least a quarter every week, while vacuuming the bottom. Do please give specifics re the media tried... And lastly, if it is just the newts you have, are concerned with, I would not be overly concerned with nitrate per se. Bob Fenner>

Newts... env. dis.  - 04/05/2006 I have 3 fire belly newts in my cage. I have had them for about 3 weeks. I noticed that after two days the water gets really scummy and slimy. Also yesterday I was cleaning the cage and noticed that one of the newts' hand was missing like it was burned off. Also another one of my newts has what looks like burned skin, it is white and on the tip of the nose, tail and body. What is going on? Do they fight or is it bacteria and what should I do.                 Jaleesa <Mmm, reads like you may have environmental/water quality issues... You need filtration here... as the declined state of your habitat is allowing disease to mal-affect your amphibians. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/amphibians.htm the linked files above re Systems, Feeding... Bob Fenner>

Turtles Will eat The Newt 10/22/05 Hello, I would like to thank you for your extensive question database which has provided me with many answers! I was wondering  just how long one red-eared slider baby would be alright in a ten gallon tank. I've been researching and planning for providing a great home for one of these guys for a long time and realize that one day it will need a nice happy pond. < A ten gallon tank would only work for a few months depending on the temps you turtle is kept at.> Would a Whisper internal (10i) filter be good for about 5 gallons of water for the little guy? < Turtles are messy feeders. A filter helps but only as long as you are willing to clean it. Clean it often and do many water changes.> I also have one fire-bellied newt and was wondering (although I am quite doubtful) if they would be okay in the tank together until the turtle grows larger, or if a separate tank right at the beginning would be necessary. < Turtle will try and eat the newt every chance it gets. The newt may also be toxic to the turtle.> If this is possible, my newt tank is planted heavily with live plants. I would not mind if the turtle ate them, but have heard that some plants are not okay for a turtle to eat. I have Mondo grass, Anacharis, java moss, and a few other plants (I don't know the names of the others.) < Turtle would pick at the Anacharis and probably leave the others alone but it would be a bull in a china shop with all the plants being uprooted every chance he gets.> I also have a five gallon tank at home that is not being used and think that either the newt or the turtle could stay in it for a while. (I think the newt would be happier there than the turtle since it would only have about 2-3 gallons of water.) I previously had three newts, but the other two were VERY young and, like many pet store fire bellies, had a rough beginning and came to me with rot which I was unable to cure.  I eventually separated them from my adult, who is still living a happy and healthy life hanging out in her favorite plant, the Anacharis bunch. Also, what is your opinion on the occasional snack of a ghost shrimp for aquatic turtles? < Great.> (I know I am asking many questions here.) There is a very large debate over whether to use gravel or not. Of course cleaning is easier without it. I read where someone had used no gravel but had vinyl flooring in the bottom to give traction. Do you think the turtles really care? < No not really.> Like fish do, would turtles eat their own poo if there was no gravel to trap it? < They have been known to eat their own fecal matter if they are hungry and no other food is around. Many fish stores carry gravel vacs that will do a great job of cleaning your gravel while siphoning the tank water.> Thank you in advance for you time and patience with my plethora of questions. I appreciate what you do in an attempt to rid the world of people who improperly care for their pets. < Just plugging away one question at a time.-Chuck> 

Pimples on Fire Belly Newt   1/11/06 I bought a Fire Belly Newt the other day.  About 2 days later, he had two little white bumps on his back that almost look like pimples. I asked the store workers what they thought it was; they had no idea. Do you have any idea what it could be or if there is anything I can do to stop it? < Newts come from areas with very clean water. Dirty water often causes bacterial infections to their sensitive skin. Clean the filter, vacuum the gravel and do a 50% water change. If things get worse then I might try a weak Methylene blue solution as for treating a fungus.-Chuck>

Housing Newts with Other Species In addition to adding a shrimp to our ten gallon, we intend to get another ten gallon aquarium and move the frog (Pickles) in with two fire newts, for which my oldest boy is saving his pennies, is this going to work ? <Oh, wow, I have absolutely no idea....  I'll pass this along to Gage for his input; hopefully he'll be able to help you on that one better than I can.> Thank You <Batter up!  HI, Gage here I may have missed what type of frog you have, but I am not sure mixing anything with newts is a great idea.  I have never kept them myself, but there are some good reasons to keep them in a species only tank.  I found the article below while searching on Google, check it out, hope it helps you in your decision.  Best Regards, Gage http://www.livingunderworld.org/amphibianArticles/article0007.htm >

A question about a newt Hello, I am worried about a white spots and white areas spreading among the  Chinese newt's neck, spine, and tail. I think it is a fungal infection although  I am not sure, it is smooth to the touch. The newt hasn't been eating as much as it has been in the past. I think its the water conditions and I changed the water and the white areas haven't decreased but increased in width among the spine and tail. Any advice on how to solve this? I am having difficulty in finding web sites regarding newts. < If the spots are spreading and appear more like patches then I think you have a bacterial infection. Many times these infections are caused by  dirty water and high in nitrates. Without a culture this would be guessing. My best advice is to make sure the water is clean and the filter has been serviced. An antibiotic I would try is Nitrofuranace or Erythromycin. Good luck.-Chuck> thanks.

Belly o' Fire, Toe of Newt! Is it ok to keep [a] fire belly newt in my tropical fish tank with my fish and frogs? Thanks. < Fire-belly newts are mostly aquatic but do benefit from an area to get out of water for a short time. It could be some floating plants or a turtle raft. As long as the fish don't physically eat the newt or pick on him he should be fine. The main problem will be getting food down to him where he can eat it. Try earthworms or mealworms. Commercial aquatic turtle food is good too if he will eat it.-Chuck> 

Bloated Newt 3.28.05 Chinese Fire Belly Newt is extremely bloated. Any suggestions or ideas on possible causes? <I'd be willing to bet the bloating is related to the newts diet or something else that it has ingested. I would try varying the diet (I am not sure on what all a fire belly newt will eat) any roughage would be a plus, worms, avoid dry pelleted foods for a while. There is also the possibility that it ingested something foreign like a piece of gravel or other substrate which caused a gut impaction. Gage>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: