Red-spotted newts are attractive amphibians that are relatively beginner-level to take care of. They are around 4-inches long, have a light brown skin and beautiful red dots. They also prefer relative cold temperatures and require no heating, making them relatively cheap. They are commonly seen in the pet trade.
Red-spotted newts go through two life stages. The first, the "red eft" stage, leads a completely terrestrial life for 2-3 years before becoming the adult stage. The adults lead a mostly aquatic life, with only a small area to enter land.
Red Eft HabitatEdit
For the red eft stage, a terrestrial enviroment is needed. A 20 gallon aquarium is the best option. A layer of drainage is preferable, to keep the humidity high. After that, a substrate of coconut husk is suitable. A small hide can be used for protection. Leaf Litter can also be used to furnish the terrarium and provide hiding places. A small water bowl with round pebbles to prevent drowning will act as a water source. Artificial plants will provide security and reduce stress. Simple is better, as in 2 or 3 years (depending on the age) they will need a different habitat.
Adults are aquatic and need an aquarium, which can be converted from the red eft aquarium. 20 gallons or more is better for these good swimmers. The water level should be at 5 or more inches. Coarse gravel that is un-able to swallow is good for substrate. A well planted area in one of side of the aquarium provides security. A small land area is preferable. This can be aquired by placing cork logs or sloping rocks in one side.
Humidity levels should range from 40-50%. Heat should be at 65 F, and no hotter than 72 F. Flourescent compact lights are good for maximum viewing. A filter with a gentle current will mantain water quality.
Efts will eat small crickets, worms, fruitflies and many more small land invertebrates. Adults will eat daphnia, mosquitoe larvea and bloodworms. Remember, variety is important for a balanced diet. Leaving some food in the terrarium will allow the newts to hunt on their own time, but be sure not to overwhelm them.
These newts are slightly poisonous but will not make you sick, although handling should be restricted to a minimum. If you need to move newts, handle with care and transport to a plastic bin with water.
During springtime, males and females will actively court. After a few weeks, the female will lay up to 400 eggs. These will hatch in 4-8 weeks, and the larvea will eat suspended micro-organisms for about 3 months. They will then eat tiny daphnia.