Fire ship newts are among the most common exotic amphibians obtainable in pet stores. Hardy and reasonably easy to care for, they space a popular choice and a good option for the novice amphibian keeper.

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However, any kind of reptile or amphibian requires much more specific care than little domestic mammals such as hamsters or mice. In this guide, friend will find the straightforward tips for taking treatment of this fascinating Urodeles.

Quick Facts around Fire ship Newt

Species NameCynops orientalis, Cynops pyrrhogaster
Care LevelBeginner/easy
Temperature62°F come 68°F
TemperamentNocturnal, active, hardy, simple to care for
Color FormBack: dark brown, blackBelly: shining yellow or scarlet red v scattered black spots
Lifespan10 come 15 year on average and up to 30 years
Size3 to 6 inches
Minimum Tank Size10 gallons
Tank Set-Up70% water and 30% soil (e.g., gravel), aquatic plants
CompatibilityNot territorial or aggressive, can coexist with various other newts the the exact same species

Fire ship Newt Overview

The surname “fire belly newt” advert to assorted aquatic species of salamander, which have end up being popular as pets in recent years. This is in component due come the lull of their treatment compared to various other exotic amphibians. The Chinese fire belly newt (Cynops orientalis) is the most popular but can be puzzled with the Japanese fire ship newt (Cynops pyrrhogaster) because of its similarity in colors and also size.

However, you should know that return these 2 different varieties can be sold as pets, the Japanese newt excretes a toxin with its skin (tetrodotoxin) which can be potentially fatal because that humans and animals if ingested. The an excellent news is the it tends to lose its high toxicity as soon as bred in captivity.

Careful, though, because that doesn’t average their toxin becomes harmless!

In fact, both species excrete this toxin, yet the Chinese newt is just mildly poisonous. This method that you have to be extremely cautious when handling your newt, as even the mild variation of the toxin can cause skin wake up or numbness.

That said, you can still gain their exotic beauty in one aquarium tailored particularly to their demands for plenty of years come come, as they have an exceptional lifespan of as much as 30 years.

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How lot Do Fire ship Newt Cost?

You won’t need to smash her piggy bank to buy a fire belly newt. Indeed, you deserve to expect to pay around $20, i m sorry is fair sufficient considering their exoticism. However, be sure to gain them native a professional breeder or pet save with a good reputation because that exotic animals. Girlfriend don’t want to end up through a ailing newt because of improper pre-adoption care, which regrettably happens every too frequently due to negative living problems in some pet stores.

Also, you need to aim because that a brightly colored, well-fed specimen through no evident diseases.

Steer clean of specimens that present these symptoms of illness:

Typical behavior & Temperament

You have actually just purchased your an initial fire belly newt, and you’re for this reason excited to show it its new environment in the aquarium the you have actually spent hrs arranging because that its particular needs. However, your brand-new companion doesn’t seem to enjoy its new home at all: it continues to be in a edge without moving or even eating.

Don’t panic, though! the is usual for your tiny newt to feel a small out of place at first. Tiny by little, the will obtain used to its brand-new environment and lose the shyness. However, don’t hesitate come consult her veterinarian if her newt’s apathy lasts longer than 48 hours.

So, as soon as it gets provided to its new home, friend will uncover these vibrant amphibians’ playful and energetic temperament. However, they favor to spend an ext time in their aquatic environment and also are more active in ~ night due to their nocturnal behavior.

Therefore, nothing ubicate your aquarium in your room if the noise of your nocturnal explorations keeps you from sleeping!

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Appearance & Varieties

Cynops orientalis: The Chinese fire ship newt is a small newt; females room notably bigger than males. Their total length is around 3 inches because that females and also 2.4 inches for males.

Males have a shorter tail v a taller caudal fin. Your heads are flat, and their skin is smooth yet densely covered with tiny grains. Sexually mature males have dark brown taste buds and a puffy cesspool.

This species has a dark black color back. Most of this amphibians have a uniformly dark background color, when some have actually lighter markings and also some room tan gray. The color of the ago can vary from brown to black to gray.

Unlike other species in the genus Cynops, the Chinese fire-bellied newt go not have actually an orange note behind the eye. Their belly is bright yellow or red, dotted with black markings.

Cynops pyrrhogaster: The Japanese fire belly newt is slightly bigger than its Chinese cousin. This types also has actually rough skin. Its ago is black, periodically brownish, and also can likewise show yellow spots. Its ship is shining red, vermilion, carmine, v black spots.

Some individuals have a belly through dark eco-friendly mottling or ventral streaks. Other specimens have actually a lighter green-colored back and stole blue tail sides. Although most Japanese newts look at alike, several of their variations stem from their ventral patterns.


How to Take care of Fire belly Newt

Habitat, Tank problems & Setup


The fire belly newt needs an environment adapted to its particular needs come recreate that is living problems in the wild. This will allow it come be much less stressed through the sudden readjust between the pet store and also your home.

To do this, collection up an aquarium the at the very least 20 gallons, specifically if you setup to embrace other newts to keep it company. If you don’t setup on purchasing more newts, a 10-gallon aquarium will certainly suffice.

Recreate its herbal habitat in the aquarium: due to the fact that it is an essentially aquatic animal, that will require at least 70% that the surface submerged in water. The thrives in a wide selection of water bodies in the wild, such as rice paddies and also ponds. However it likewise likes to rest out the the water, so arrangement an area the ​​solid soil consisted of of a substrate, such as gravel.

Don’t forget come enrich its setting with plants, rocks, small branches, and pieces that bark; this will save your aquatic companion from gaining bored and maintain it active and healthy.

And why no install a little floating island in the middle of its private lagoon? It will certainly love resting on that is island after playing all night.

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Water filtration

Water filtration is crucial to the health and also well-being of your newt. Therefore, the aquarium must have a filtration system, as these amphibians require clear water free of toxicity agents. So, make certain to fill your tank just with dechlorinated water. Also, you deserve to use an aquarium edge filter to avoid generating too strong currents, together this could stress her animal.

Replace one-third of the tank water every mainly if friend have more than one newt in the exact same aquarium. Be cautious if you need to handle your pet as result of the toxin secreted by its skin. You deserve to place it in a sterilized container with a lid while you clean its habitat.


If you’ve set up sufficient hiding places and created an area of dried land with gravel for her newt, it will snuggle up in its favourite spot during the day come sleep. It is likewise common for two or an ext newts to huddle together to rest and also warm up.

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In the wild, fire belly newts flourish in cold environments. The right temperature for your aquarium should therefore be in between 62°F to 68°F.

They deserve to withstand higher temperatures, yet this is not recommended. In the long run, the warmth can diminish their immune system, rise their stress, and also promote condition development. You deserve to keep your aquarium in your basement, i beg your pardon helps prevent temperature fluctuations.


Newts carry out not must take refuge under a desk lamp to refuel UV rays, unlike chameleons and also other species of reptiles or amphibians. ~ above the other hand, they carry out require 12 hrs of day-to-day light. If you save your aquarium in your basement, you may need to install an synthetic light resource to recreate these conditions. A an excellent lighting resource is also required through the plants the inhabit the aquarium.

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Do Fire belly Newts Get along with Other Pets?

Fire ship newts room not specifically territorial or aggressive; it is therefore quite possible to accommodate two newts in a 20-gallon tank. However, you need to absolutely no mix the species due to the different toxins secreted by your skin. Obviously, therefore same toxin, your other pets mustn’t come into call with your newts.


What come Feed her Fire ship Newt

Fire belly newts are strictly carnivorous. They love brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, tiny or chopped earthworms, etc. Friend can easily get these little invertebrates in ~ pet stores.

Due to the little size of your mouths, friend should give them food in pieces. Aquatic worms, i m sorry are marketed frozen in “cubes” and likewise known as tubifex, are great food sources. However, her newt might prefer come eat “live” food the is not frozen. You might need come experiment with it a few times prior to you uncover your preferred power source.

When it pertains to feeding frequency, 3 days a mainly is typically sufficient. Observe her newt’s physical and also body condition very closely to identify if it is eat too much or no enough.

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Keeping your Fire ship Newt Healthy

Fire belly newts are sturdy small creatures. However, the dire conditions in which they space imported are regularly the cause of the health troubles encountered in these amphibians. If you an alert changes in skin color, cloudy eyes, swollen throat, or bloat stomach, it is often a authorize of condition or infection.

On the various other hand, the poorly filtered water in your aquarium could additionally be endangering the life of your newts. They are indeed really sensitive come bacteria and also other harmful microbe that flourish in dirty water. Clean the water in her aquarium regularly is necessary for your newts to be healthy. Aquatic plants, besides decorating her tank nicely, are an excellent natural filter for purifying water.

Either way, if you notice any physical transforms or suddenly lethargy in your newt, consult your veterinarian ideal away to discover out what treatments are available.

During this duration of hibernation, the is important not to disturb or feed the newts. Likewise, that is far better to avoid feeding the newts about ten days before the really hibernation to stop undigested food native rotting in your digestive system throughout the latency.

When lock come out of hibernation, return your animals to your richly planted tank, and if all goes well, they will certainly reproduce.

The duration of the larval stage counts on temperature, diet, and species. You have the right to feed the larvae with tiny aquatic worms, little bloodworms, daphnia, or brine shrimp.

Are Fire belly Newts an ideal For You?

Like most animals that attribute colorful, vivid markings, the fire ship newt’s flamboyant belly likewise serves as a warning come potential predators in the wild. Their toxin deserve to irritate your skin, cause numbness in your hands, and be exceptionally dangerous if swallowed. So keep your kids and also other animals away from her newts.

In a nutshell, fire ship newts space beautiful and unique creatures but should only be observed and also not handled. They additionally depend ~ above water temperature and its chemical characteristics to thrive. They should be surrounding by plants, rocks, and also shelters that recreate your habitat in the wild come not endure from stress.

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Despite its specific needs and potential toxicity, this amphibian is a fascinating small pet, and the aquarium the inhabits deserve to look choose a natural lagoon ecosystem if adequately put together.