Okay, we are going to let you know what others think about housing fire-bellied toads and fire-bellied newts together.
Below our article are links that discuss the potential dangers of housing us together. They have very valid reasons NOT to put fire-bellied toads and fire-bellied newts in the same terrarium or aquarium.
We have been together for over a year and April or Tony has watched us for hours on end during that time and have yet to see any stress between us, etc.
We (all of us – newts and toads) are approximately the same size and that may be why us toads do not see the newts as a food source. Or, it could be pure luck that we do not eat the newts.
Randall1 and Randall2 (the newts) will actually decide on their own to come over to us toads and cuddle. That obviously shows they are not stressed by our presence in the tank.
Although we do not question the opinions expressed in the following links, we have decided to stay together for the time being.
Our recommendation to new owners or owners that have had previous bad experiences is to house us separately. Unless you will be watching us carefully and be prepared to separate us by having another housing area ready nearby if it is needed.
I received an email from someone who wanted to know how to care for fire-bellied newts so I decided to share a couple care sheets I found with you.
I personally do not have my aquarium set up the way explained in the care sheets. My aquarium is described in my blog: How we like our tank set up
My particular newts like to eat crickets, waxworms and nightcrawlers. I have to cut the worms into a reasonable size for the newts to swallow or they will ignore the food. I love to dangle the worm at the end of a toothpick and watch the newts go after it.
But, I imagine the people writing the following care sheets have more experience than myself so you may want to set up your aquarium like they describe.
Well, we made the big move from Denver, Colorado to a small town in Wyoming.
It was a long ride but we didn’t get cold and everyone lived through it.
April put us (Limey, Greenie, Brownie, Randal1 and Randal2) into a small aquarium with just an half-inch of water in the bottom. She was nice enough to add some plants for us to hide in and to soften any bumps along the way. Then we rode on the floor of the car in the front seat to be near the heater. Not too close–we didn’t want to get too hot.
We arrived at the new house just fine. We haven’t acted very hungry but we are just adjusting to the new environment.
We would like to add a note for future reference. Do not put crawfish in with toads and newts! April put a crawfish in with us because they eat guppies and she hoped it would reduce the number of guppies in the fish tank. Well, a crawfish will eat anything it can get a hold of and it holds on real tight! Randal1 is now missing about 1/8th off the end of his tail and Limey’s webbing on his foot was being chewed off when April saw what was happening and removed the crawfish.
We found out who was her favorites when the crawfish disappeared and we’re still here.
April read how we like the temperature of 68 F more than 70 F or above so she lowered the temperature in our home. Actually, she just turned off the heater in the tank.
She says it made a very noticeable difference in how much we move around now. Instead of sitting in one place all day everytime she checks on us we are either moving around or have moved to another area.
Also, she has seen us eating crickets which she never saw before. In fact, she said we may even have pot bellies now. What is a pot belly? It seems to have something to do with eating a lot.
She also cleaned and rearranged the tank yesterday. She found another large flat rock and gave us even more above water space. Now all 5 of us can be in different hiding places if we wish. It gives us more elbow room.
The other news is that the female guppy had a bunch more babies. April said if we don’t start eating guppies she is going to have to find someone to take them off her hands. There must be about 30 of them in the tank right now.
The male guppy died the other day. April is not sure why and we didn’t tell her what happened. But, that means there shouldn’t be any new guppies born for a while.
Well, got to go. There is an interesting look hiding place over there we haven’t investigated yet.
Fire-bellied newts like cool temperatures of 68 F or 20 C. But they can tolerate 70 F or 21 C. They may become sick if you keep your tank at higher temperatures. I’m going to go lower the temperature for Randal1 and Randal2 right now. Perhaps that is why they are sluggish and very seldom move.
Fire-bellied newt have glands on the side of their head that secrete toxins. This can cause skin irritations and may be poisonous to some animals. Do NOT handle your fire-bellied newts unless you absolutely have to and after touching them wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
There are two kinds of newts that are referred to as fire-bellied newts commonly kept as pets. The Cynops orientalis is the Chinese fire-bellied newt (also called the oriental fire-bellied newt or the dwarf fire-bellied newt) and the Cynops purrhogaster is the Japanese fire-bellied newt.
The Chinese fire-bellied newt, Cynops orientalis is approximately 3-4 inches long (6-10 cm), with smooth skin that is dark brown to black over most of their body. Their fire-belly usually has orange as the predominant color. They have poison glands on the sides of their head. Randal1 and Randal2 are Chinese fire-bellied newts.
The Japanese fire-bellied newt, Cynops pyrrhogaster, is approximately 3.5 to 5 inches long (9-12 cm) with a rough or bumpy appearance to the skin. Usually its fire-belly is more of a speckled pattern of red-orange. They have poison glands on the side of their head.
Fire-bellied newts will regulate their intake of food and do not usually become obese even if food is available at all times.
Today we’re going to tell you what we like and dislike about setting up a home for us.
First, we have seen some tanks that are just water and a small flat area of dry land. YUKKKK! How boring. Don’t they realize we are animals in need of variety and fun?
How do you know whether we like to spend most of our time in the water or on land? You don’t unless you provide us with a lot of both. For instance, Brownie spends almost all of her time in the water hanging on to the edge of the land area. Greenie spends most of his time on a rock that is submerged by the waterfall. And, Limey hardly ever goes into the water at all. He likes to sit up high and overlook his domain. Sort of like “King of the Mountain.”
Limey would spend more time in the water if he had to because there was only one small rock in the tank, but he wouldn’t be happy. Brownie would spend less time in the water if the tank had only a small area of water, but she wouldn’t be happy.
If you are going to keep pets, let them be as happy as they can be.
Here is how April has our tank set up right now so we can all enjoy what we like. She rearranges our tank every time she cleans it making new hiding places to find which keeps us interested in our environment. Toads can get depressed just like any other animal.
April has a 30 gallon tank and likes to keep fish in it so she has to have a lot of water in the tank. But, she wanted a lot of land for us and the newts also. So she put 2 vases in the water upside down. As you can see in the picture below the larger vase is clear so it doesn’t block your ability to watch the fish in the tank. She also has a tall underwater cave structure and puts a plastic baby fish holder on top of that. She used to use the baby fish holder to protect the baby guppies from the other fish when she raised guppies. She puts decorative rocks, shells and some small plastic plants in the baby fish holder to add weight to it before setting it on the top of the underwater cave. She places that structure and the two vases in a triangle to be the support structures of the land mass she is going to construct.
She has an upside down ceramic bowl on one of the vases to help start making the land mass above the waterline. She has a flat piece of plastic from the top of an older hexagon aquarium that she balances between the three tall support columns. Then she adds some large flat rocks until she has a large flat land mass (most of this area is still slightly under water).
You can see the underwater cave and plastic baby fish holder on the right side of this picture.
Now comes the fun part. She adds different size rocks to the land mass and builds hiding places by placing flat rocks across the top of round rocks. That way we can hide and she can still see us.
She also puts in extra long plants so their tops float on the water. We all love to sit on those sometimes.
Then we are almost set. One last thing she does is make sure the rock under our waterfall is placed just right. She doesn’t want us hopping up into the water filter but more importantly she knows how much Greenie loves to sit below the waterfall hiding under a rock for hours at a time. So, she makes sure the flat rock under the waterfall has a good hiding rock on it for Greenie.
Of course, Limey has to keep an eye on Greenie at all times.
We all like to climb up on the waterfall rock and take showers every so often. The newts don’t though.
Did you notice the piece of carrot in some of the pictures above? It is for the crickets. With all the rocks in the tank the crickets can hide from us so April sometimes puts a bunch of crickets in the tank. She puts the carrot in so they have something to eat and will be fat and plump even if they manage to hide from us for a few days before we catch them. She changes the carrot stick out for a new one every day though otherwise it would get moldy.
This is a good home for the fire-bellied newts also since they really don’t like to be forced to spend all or most of their time in the water. At least Randal1 and Randal2 would prefer to be out of the water in a damp area instead of directly in the water.
April thinks having fish in the tank keeps us entertained. She catches every one of us watching the fish every now and then.