Newts are creatures that can regenerate their entire bodies. Just as lizards grow back their tails, newts grow back their legs, jaws, hearts, and other organs. This article provides information about the largest species of this reptile, the Rough Spanish Newt.
Newt is not a very well-known reptile. It is quite similar to salamanders. In fact, it is an amphibian with wondrous properties. It is capable of regenerating basically every part of its body, whereas a lizard can only regenerate its tail. The legs, eyes, heart, intestines, or jaws, the moment a part of its body is lost, it simply grows back again.
This animal differs from continent to continent, so there will be a certain variety in the U.S.A., but another in Europe, and a different one in Asia, and so on. The largest variety in the world is the Sharp Ribbed Newt, also known as the Rough Spanish Newt, Spanish Ribbed Newt, Iberian Ribbed Newt, or Sharp Ribbed Salamander. Its scientific name is Pleurodeles waltl.
Its length ranges between 15-30 cm. It can be found in Central and Southern Iberia, as well as Morocco. It has darker blotches against the olive-green, brownish color of its skin on its back. It has yellow-orange warts marking the tips of each rib, and its belly is colored lighter in yellow and gray.
Due to its size, it needs enough room in the aquarium. Therefore, the aquarium should be large enough, with approximately 21-22 gallons of water for 3 to 4 adults. Make sure that you add a base substrate of sand to it along with some large pebbles. Also, this animal needs some hiding places, which is why you should position some aquatic plants in the right way to provide it with these hiding spots.
The water that you add to the tank must be clean spring water or de-chlorinated water. Not all newts like swimming all day long. Some species prefer a place where they can dry off. However, the largest species enjoy water, so a totally aquatic environment works perfectly for them. You also need to include some islands for your pet, usually represented by a few pieces of cork. It needs something to climb onto for a breath of fresh air.
A 20 cm (8″) water height will be enough for your pet, but along with it, you need to keep in mind that bacteria and ammonia might build up in the tank. That’s why a submersible power filter is needed to avoid such buildup which can seriously harm your pet, even to the point of killing it. The water temperature should ideally be maintained at 22 °C, ensuring an optimum level of comfort for your pet. Another recommendation is to provide the aquarium with an air-stone which will oxygenate the water, constantly refreshing the oxygen level in the tank. For the light source, a low-wattage fluorescent tube is recommended.
To sum it up, your 22 gallon tank has to contain sand, pebbles, and plants for the bottom, a few floating islands, a submersible power filter, an air-stone, and a low wattage fluorescent tube, along with the fresh spring water or de-chlorinated water.
For the youngsters, that is juvenile newts, Tubiform, insects, and white worms are required to be fed everyday. Some species have to be fed only every third day, which makes them a suitable pet for a busy person. However, in case of Sharp Ribbed Newts, the adults only need to be fed every other day. The food is a mixture of earthworms, maggots, slugs, and pellets. You can also feed it Tubifex, shrimp, and small fish. No plants should be included in your pet’s diet. Its stomach does not digest those. They will be a threat to its life. Hence, they should be avoided at all costs.