Newts are really great pets. They don’t bite and they are clean. The only caution is not to handle them too much because this damages a sticky coating that protects the newt’s skin.
Newt is a small, low-maintenance and very active pet. It is suitable for first time owners of amphibians or aquatic animals. They are closely related to salamanders.
Before taking your pet newt, you should wash your hands thoroughly. Human skin contains oil that is toxic to these animals. Also these animals release fluids that are toxic to humans, so the advice is to wear rubber gloves and prevent anything harmful from passing between newt and person. While cleaning tanks or moving the slippery newt fishnets can come in handy.
The smaller eastern newt reaches only about 3 inches in length, including its tail, but the Oregon and fire newts can grow up to 6 or 7 inches.
To set up a home for your newt, cover the bottom of enclosure with gravel, or if you like a terrarium style, cover with moss. If you want to put gravel in, you must also buy a filter to keep the water clean. Also partial water changes help to keep it from stagnating. Above gravel should be about 4 inches of water.
Whether in tank or bowl, the newt’s water should not contain chlorine. Each time you open the lid of their aquarium, you must make sure to replace it carefully. If they get an opportunity, they will not find it difficult to escape out, because they are able to climb up steep, smooth surfaces thanks to their sticky skin.
All amphibians potentially carry infectious diseases, like Salmonella, so always wash your hands before and after handling your newt or its habitat to help prevent the potential spread of diseases.
The Most Common Newts Are:
Common Newt (Lissotriton Vulgaris)
Due to its smooth skin it is also known as the smooth newt. These slender looking animals have an orange belly and pale olive to brownish color.
Palmate Newt (Triturus Helveticus)
This newt is similar to common newts, but the most obvious difference is that the throats of palmate newts do not have spots.
Great Crested Newt (Triturus Cristatus)
These are much larger animals looking similar to both, common or palmate newts. They are also distinguished by their warty skin and their dark color.
Every pet newt needs a balanced diet. The best are live foods like worms, fruit flies, mealworms and beetles. Also fresh, clean, and chlorine free water must be available at all times. Feed them to 3 times a week at night, juvenile newts daily and adults every other day. Use the calcium supplement daily and sprinkle over their food and a multivitamin supplement twice a week.
Newts successfully breed in captivity, but because they eat meat foods, they will eat their young if they get an opportunity. Some newts reproduce by depositing larvae on the water’s surface and some are live-bearers. These larvae become baby newts, so if you see tiny newts or in your aquarium, immediately get them out them and remove them to other aquarium.
It is very difficult to know the right sex of these animals, but during breeding season, you will notice that the male’s color intensifies.