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Sinopa 12-29-2009 11:57 AM

Fire belly newt compatability
I currently have a 9 gallon biube aquarium(biUbe 9-Gallon Aquarium with Halogen Light - Sale - Fish - PetSmart) set up in my dorm since dec 26 and have been visiting pet stores/researching fish before I actually purchase any.

I have had a 75 gallon the last five years and have had few problems with my tank.

My friend showed me a fire belly newt that was kept in a tank with other fish at a pet store. He could not tell me if the fish in the tank with it were tropical or not. I have been doing research to see if it was possible for me to keep a newt in my biube along with danio zebras and leopards and hopefully two shrimp i was planning to get (I have not gotten the names of the shrimp, so no research has been done yet).

The temperature requirements, I have found from other sites say "fire bellied newts do best at temperatures on the cool side - they tolerate room temperature (70 F/21 C) but will be happier at slightly lower temperatures - 68 F (20 C) or a bit lower are more ideal. At temperatures around 75 F (24 C) or higher, they will be stressed and susceptible to infections, particularly fungal infections." (Care of Pet Fire Bellied Newts)

But this member here: Says they would be fine in temperatures over 75 F where as the research I contradicts her statement.

The question is: WILL a fire belly newt be okay AND healthy with a temperature over 75 degrees? I know most tropical fish like temperatures around 75 F and danios have a range from 72 F. to 82 F.

Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated, I really can't wait to see fish in my new tank!

bettababy 12-31-2009 02:01 PM

First of all, the person who told you the newts do fine at temps around 75 - 78 is correct. Fire belly newts are tropical animals. They require both land and water in their environment and are extremely talented escape artists, so be sure to keep the tank tightly sealed. Newts are known well for their ability to scale the sides of the tank walls and use plants and other objects to help push themselves towards the top of the tank. The slightest crack or crevice opening is all they need to get out, and they dry up quickly once out of the confines of their tanks.

As for mixing a newt with small fish or shrimp... those fish and shrimp will likely become food before long. Fish such as danios are known to be nippy, and will endlessly nip and pick at the legs, feet, belly, and tail of the newt which can cause damage to the sensitive skin. Newts are prone to infections when injured or in poor water quality, and do not tolerate real low pH levels. You will want to keep the water conditions extremely clean for a newt.

Typical foods for a fire belly newt are crickets and live black worms. Crickets can be messy if they die in the water before eaten. Newts have poor eyesight, so if it doesn't move they don't often see it, or recognize it as food. High nitrate levels cause burning of the skin (as does any ammonia and nitrite), and high nitrate levels will drop the pH drastically and suddenly, which causes open sores on newts. I can't say enough about clean water when keeping newts.

Please be forewarned, newt tanks that are properly set up will trap a lot of humidity in their tanks, which fogs up the glass and makes for poor viewing. The humidity is good for the newts, and difficult to avoid when the tank needs to be so tightly sealed. Just something to keep in mind before you actually spend your money on a newt.

The best companion in a newt tank is another newt of the same size or a fire belly toad, which requires the same environment as the newt. Newts that differ in size are noted for the larger ones eating the smaller ones.

I hope this helps you to sort out your dilemma. Keeping a fire belly at 68 degrees is not something I would suggest. 74 - 78 is the safest range, provided it is stable.

Sinopa 12-31-2009 04:04 PM

Thank you so much for the information bettababy, it helped a lot!

I think I might hold off on the newt for now.

bettababy 01-01-2010 02:32 AM

Your welcome. I have seen too many people jump into buying newts before they were well informed on what to expect, only to end up with dead newts and messes in their tanks to clean up. They're awesome pets if you understand what to expect and are prepared for it. I'm sorry if I discouraged you from getting a pet you really wanted, but better you know now instead of later after finding a dead newt or spending tons of money to fix problems.

If the time comes you find you are ready to set up a newt tank, let me know. I can coach you through it, make it easy for you, and a lot less expensive than the average LFS will do. I love the little guys, but they can be a lot of work because they need a very specialized tank set up to keep them in and safe.

Let me know what you decide to do with the tank, I always love to hear about new set ups.
Happy New Year!

Roxas 01-24-2010 03:07 PM

(late reply i know) Being an owner of both the fire bellied newts, toads and danios some things have to be considered both the toads and newts give of two difrent toxins from there belly these do effect each other depending on land/water ratio if theres regular water changes and a good amount of water they will both live happily, As for danios they (depending if the ones you get are bullies) they shouldnt harm the newts/ frogs but its best to keep close eye on them for a while. I did at one point have shrimp in the tank but ive not seen them for some time... Hope you do get the newts a friend !

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