Newts are tiny lizard-like creatures similar to salamanders. They're actually considered aquatic salamanders because they spend so much time in the water, although they do surface occasionally for a stroll on land or to float on a stick or leaf and just enjoy the view. Because of their carnivorous cravings, set newts up in their own place rather than housing them in a fish tank with your guppies and frogs.
If They Can Catch 'Em
Newts are small but they're fish-eating creatures who are skillful swimmers and will make a meal of your guppies if they catch them. In the wild a guppy may be able to out-swim a newt but in the confines of an aquarium a determined newt will win out in the end.
What to Feed a Newt
Your newt is a carnivorous little guy who enjoys eating a variety of meats in addition to guppies including bloodworms, earthworms, brine shrimp and mealworms. Mealworms might be the easiest item to find on your newt's shopping list but don't let availability dictate his diet. Meal worms don't provide complete nutrition so your tiny reptile can become malnourished unless you make the effort to feed him a variety of foods. If you don't relish the idea of stocking an entire pantry with various items for your reptile you can get newt and salamander food from your local pet supply store. It is a prepared food that will provide him complete nutrition.
Once you've created a menu fit for a newt the question might be how often your little guy needs feeding. It's usually sufficient to feed a newt every other day. You might even notice that he doesn't eat everything you give him. If this is the case, remove any uneaten food (unless it is live, like feeder guppies) from his tank after an hour or two and feed him less the next time.
What, No Veggies?
Your little newt loves his fish and thinks that worms are a delicacy, but you won't see him noshing on greenery. You'll want to include plants in your newt's habitat because he loves to hide and hang out in the vegetation. He won't, however, be harvesting it for a supplemental salad.
- Newts; Lola M. Schaefer
- Newts and Salamanders; Devin Edmonds
- Reptile Channel.com: Chinese Fire-Bellied Newt Species Profile
- BBC: Smooth Newt, Common Newt
- BSCS Science T.R.A.C.S.: Investigating Ecosystems; Nancy M. Landes, et al.
- Veterinary Partner.com: Salamanders and Newts
- Chad Elison; Reptile and Fish Associate, McKee's Pet Store; Pocatello, Idaho
Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.