How to Care for Young Salamanders

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Salamanders are amphibians accustomed to moist environments. Some people do object to keeping these creatures in captivity, citing the possibility that salamanders, like many reptiles, don't do well in captivity and can become stressed. Caring for a baby salamander is much like caring for an older salamander. By setting up a clean environment, you can care for a baby salamander until you choose to release it back into its natural surroundings.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass tank
  • Moss
  • Water supply

Set up an environment suited to the needs of your baby salamander. This means a moist environment. Be sure the fish tank or container you keep your salamander in is clean. A salamander's skin (particularly a baby's) is absorbent and subject to taking in chemicals that can be dangerous. Line the bottom of the tank with potting soil (since this holds moisture) and sprinkle some peat moss around as well. This bottom will help hold moisture.

Place a small rock or two in the tank for your salamander to climb on. Add a rotted piece of wood, which your baby salamander will hide under. For water, a shallow dish in one corner of the tank will do. Press the dish down into the soil so the baby salamander can easily slither into the water, where it will spend much of its time.

Feed baby salamanders carefully. Salamanders are not picky eaters and will eat almost anything that moves. This includes flies, fish, shrimp and worms. Baby salamanders have more difficulty eating these things because of their size, so place food in the tank that is proportionate in size to your salamander. Feed your salamander in late afternoon or evening. Your baby salamander will eat the equivalent of two or three small flies a day. It will no doubt eat more, but you want to be careful not to overfeed.

Tips & Warnings

  • While your baby salamander will require light, avoid placing a light directly in the tank or too close to the salamander's skin. This can dry it out. Place the tank in sunlight for short periods of time (half an hour) two or three times a day.
  • Handle your baby salamander as infrequently as possible. Since its skin is so moist and absorbent, too much handling offers the potential for harmful bacteria to be absorbed.

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