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Paddle Tail Newt Care Sheet
Paddle tale newts (Pachytriton labiatus, Pachytriton brevipes) are hardy, unique pets fit for children and amphibian lovers alike. They are commonly confused in pet stores as "Fire-belly Newts" because they share similar characteristics, yet are a completely different species of newt with different needs. If you are considering getting one of these cute, quite lively and entertaining creatures for yourself, please consider the needs and care prior to making your move. No two animals are alike and there is no such thing as a low maintenance pet if you want them to live happy, healthy, long lives.
- Natural Environment : Southern & Central China
- Size (average) : 6 - 7 inches
- Lifespan : 10 years (average in captivity)
- Appearance : (Commonly seen in the US) Smooth, dark brown to black skin with orange to red under belly, often seen in blotch patterns; Flat heads with a slight under bite which helps them eat; Short stubby legs; Long tail that comes to a compressed, rounded paddle toward the end.
- Personality : Aggressive to other newts, best to keep them housed single.
Habitat/Cage Set Up
- 10 gallons per newt minimum.
- No lighting needed.
- Water temperature should be around 50 to 65 degrees, Anything over 65 may cause health complications that lead to death.
- 4 to 6 inch deep water is all they need to be happy. Deeper water is okay so long as it is sloped (like a beach), in which case, a larger tank will be necessary.
- It is not a good idea to house your newt with fish, unless for feeding. You may not think so, but they live the happiest, healthiest lives when they are housed alone.
- One hiding area is needed per newt. They will not be happy unless they are able to hide and sleep somewhere dark.
- If you plan to feed the newt in tank, a quite filter will be needed or water changed every week.
- Best substrate is smooth river rocks large enough that the newt may not accidentally digest them.
- Fake plants are okay to use, so long as they are meant for aquariums.
- Worms (Wax,Black,Blood,Earth), Small fish, Dry food pellets, Small land insects and other meat sources. All food should be small, otherwise cut into small pieces to prevent fighting if more then one newt occupies the tank. If fed in tank, remove all uneaten food. *TIP* Use a small glass jar, big enough for the newt to fit in, to keep food in one area of tank for easy removal.
- Every newt is different with how much they are willing to eat. On average, every other day or 3 days a week is fine. Over eating can cause health problems.
*** Hibernation or fasting is not uncommon with these newts. If your newt appears healthy and lively, yet is not taking food, be patient and keep offering him/her food. They can go several months without food. Some will prefer to hide under a large rock during this period. You can also try offering other types of food as he/she may have lost interest in his/her basic diet. Contact a reptile specialist is he/she appears weak or ill while not accepting food.
If you need anymore information or have a question, feel free to leave it below!