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  1. #1
    Subscribed User ajvw's Avatar
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    My Babies Are Growing!

    The baby spotted salamanders (I have a dozen still in the tank; the rest I put back in the creek) are starting to lose their gills! I was so excited to look in yesterday and see the first one resting on top of a rock! This morning there were two!




    So how do I change the setup for teeny-tiny gill-less sallies? Will they go right to a moist soil-type environment, or do they still need to swim for a while? What kind of tiny terrestrial foods can I give them? They are only about and inch and a half long.
    Amy






  2. #2
    Founding Member venus's Avatar
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    Re: My Babies Are Growing!

    They are adorable Amy!!!
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  3. #3
    Frog Lover schlegelbagel's Avatar
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    Re: My Babies Are Growing!

    oh such little cuties. I have no idea what you should feed them but I"m sure someone will know.
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  4. #4
    Elite Member Typhanie's Avatar
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    Re: My Babies Are Growing!

    I don't know if this will help, but years ago I had a waterdog (that's what they called it, don't ask me) that eventually grew into a firebelly newt. (Yes, I know the newt is completely different than the salamander. The situations just seemed similar to me.)

    When he made that change, he went from an environment of almost all water, to an environment of a lot less water. For his cage it was about half and half. Enough land to live on, and enough water to swim in. Good thing the little guy was pretty small. I was probably way too young to have an animal like that back then (I was, I think, eleven or so) and I didn't have the foggiest idea what I was doing, but we had a good vet who gave us instructions, and he seemed pretty happy, so...

    Anyway, in his pre-newt stage, Zippy ate blood worms. I continued to feed those to him for awhile after he made the transformation. I think I switched out his food eventually, but I can't quite remember to what. Yikes. (That was over ten years ago, and he was the only newt I've ever kept.)

    Does your vet have any feeding suggestions for you? As I recall, bloodworms were pretty small and would probably be easy for the little ones to eat.
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  5. #5
    Elite Member Reptile Freak's Avatar
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    Re: My Babies Are Growing!

    Cool. they look great.
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  6. #6
    Elite Member steel rip's Avatar
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    Re: My Babies Are Growing!

    Awww just too cute
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  7. #7
    Registered User Koiscale451's Avatar
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  8. #8
    Elite Member furryscaly's Avatar
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    Re: My Babies Are Growing!

    Spotted salamanders are a terrestrial species, so since yours have already lost their gills I'd create a new habitat, primarily soil based, but with 1/3 or 1/4 water. The rest should mimic a forest floor to some extent, with a soil, moss, or bark-based substrate and plenty of hides. If you notice them spending a lot of time on land you may wish to switch them to the new habitat. Otherwise you may wait a while until they're less dependent on water, or create a half land/half water habitat until they're a little larger.

    This species loves to burrow and hide. I kept mine on soil with branches, logs, leaf litter, and other hides available to minimize actual burrowing (it's a lot easier to find them when they're under stuff rather than buried in the substrate). Of course be sure all substrates you use are free of any chemicals. I had a water area, but never saw any spotted salamanders in it, and the tiger salamander entered only rarely (a relative with similar requirements and habits).

    For the water portion it may be easier to use a Tupperware-esque container and use fine sand, bark, or another substance to create a slope so they may easily enter and exit the water. Whatever's easier for you, as long as it works. Of course this method wouldn't work if you did a half and half habitat. I would also recommend using water from their current habitat to fill all or at least some of their new water area.

    Pinhead crickets and fruit flies would make good feeders for salamanders that small. Small earthworms would also be enjoyed.
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  9. #9
    Subscribed User ajvw's Avatar
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    Re: My Babies Are Growing!

    Thanks very much for your advice, Matt. (And thanks for the links, Koiscale. I bookmarked them.) I actually went out the other morning and did just what you suggested with a spare 10g tank. I moved the four 'manders over that looked ready (they were mainly hanging out on the rocks in the aquatic tank, and only swimming when I stuck my hand in and startled them). I put them in the small container of water, but they walked out into the soil pretty quickly. The substrate is a mix of soils, leaf litter and humus from my woods (where their parents live). I added a fern and another small plant, some moss, and a small piece of rotting wood. There are lots of worms and other little creatures in the soil. I watered everything in well before adding the 'manders, and I'm misting well every night. They have disappeared, except for one that is hiding under the water dish (I discovered it today when I changed the water). I will probably move another one or two over when they are ready, then let the rest go in the creek. I want a few as pets, but I want as many as possible out in the wild to reproduce. But I figure most of the ones I release will be eaten, die in a drought, or something. Hopefully the few I keep will make it!
    Amy

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