Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Very far away from you!
I have these little guys swarming all around my yard right after we get a storm.
For now, since it's in the Red Eft Stage, which means it's bright red/orange with black/red spots on its back, it will not need water to climb in. All it needs is very moist substrate (which you have) and some misting a few times a day. But it wouldn't hurt to supply a nice shallow bowl of water.
Bloodworms sound like a good food to give them. However, if you can catch some teeny tiny bugs in your yard (just take a brine shrimp net and run it through the grass-- you'll definitely catch something), dump them in a jar with some water to wet down their wings, and you can dump them in the tank for the newt to hunt down.
1 gallon seems awfully small, even though the newt will not get down to much running. However, it's fine for a few days and just make sure you can get your hands on a larger tank.
Red Efts stay in this stage for 3-4 years, and eventually they'll, slowly but surely, start to turn green. Their tail will become more paddle-like, and the animal will enjoy spending long periods of time in water. So it miiiight just be a good idea to give a bowl of water, and the newt will let you know when it's time to do a half-and-half tank.
But when you DO do a 1/2 and 1/2 tank, it's good to leave plenty of little hiding spots in the water (mini terra cotta pots are perfect)......and when the newt turns completely into a fully aquatic adult, do a 3/4 tank.......yes, that's 3 parts water, one part land. The newt will do a lot of swimming, but it still will want to hop out and spend some time on land. When it's aquatic then you can start feeding in the water. Also the aquatic stage should be completed in a 10-20 gallon tank. Though you may not believe it, newts actually like living in small groups. Imagine how lonely he'd be alone.....Get him 2 or 3 friends and he'll be super-happy. But when the aquatic stage moseys along, it's a great idea to supply anacharis, flower pots, rocks, and lots of gravel (not sharp, please) for the newts to hang around on. It's amazing how comfortable they'll get if they have more natural surroundings.
As far as handling goes, these little guys have extremely sensitive skin and will not appreciate being picked up. If you do, they'll squirm and try to run away. But 5 minutes of holding a day wouldn't hurt, as long as you wash your hands first.
Feeding? I say feed 1-2 bloodworms a day. No matter how hungry the newt looks, try not to feed more than that. It's also alright to fast the newt for a day every week. Try feeding at different times so it's not so boring for the little guy.
And last but not least, they do not need to climb. At least not that much. In the woods next to the creek where I go each year to get a "haul" of newts (My dad and I used to go every fall. We would have to travel 1/2 hour through a thick pine forest to get to "Salamander Kingdom"....there were literally thousands of the red efts, and they would be absolutely everywhere. It wasn't hard to completely cover the bottom of a 5 gallon Kritter Keeper with newts) and not one would climb more than 3 inches up the logs and trees. The only thing they would climb is to go INTO a rotten log. Anything else will be pretty much ignored.
7 bettas, 2 goldfish, 50+ (accidental) snails, 2 parakeets, 1 dog, 2 cats
Rest in peace Butch, greatest dog ever, Omelette the Veiltail, and Chipita the Veiltail