Alternative species (click on the thumbnail to see the card)
Chinese fire belly newt
Oriental Fire-bellied Newt
Females are bigger and larger than males
100 L / 22 imp gal / 26 US gal
T°: 18 to 20°C or 64 to 68°F
6 to 10 cm (2 to 4")
How to feed the Cynops?
The feeding of this friendly newt will not be a problem. Carnivorous, you can give it bloodworms, worms, Tubifex tubifex, Gammaridae, small freshwater shrimps or even small crickets. Note that live prey is more likely to be consumed.
What kind of behavior does the Cynops orientalis have?
Very calm and discreet, it is a diurnal species. They can stay long periods at the bottom of the paludarium without moving, on the lookout for potential prey.
Who can live with the Cynops?
Very sociable, it will need the presence of its congeners. So, go on a group of 3-4 individuals in a 100 liters (22 imp gal / 26 US gal) paludarium for its well-being.
Particularly peaceful, it is never aggressive, and can cohabit with fish whose water parameters will be identical to its own.
To stay in the Chinese biotope, Tanichthys albonubes (White Cloud Mountain Minnow or Cardinal tetra) will be very good roommates! To avoid absolutely, the cohabitation with the Corydoras, which is dangerous for both the newts and the Corydoras!
How to breed the Cynops?
The reproduction of the Cynops orientalis is quite difficult. The main difficulty will be to imitate the course of the seasons which triggers the breedings. So, placing your paludarium on a terrace or near a shaded window can be a plus. Do not put artificial lighting and leave only the seasonal brightness. Change the water level from time to time and hopefully you can have some breedings. A ratio of 2 males and 3 females increases the chances of laying eggs.
Parents eat their eggs, you must remove them as soon as possible to place them in another container.
After hatching, the young will remain in the larval state for a few weeks. You will keep them in a container containing 5 to 6 cm or 2 inches of water and without filtration. Put some cork oak bark in case a larva evolves more quickly as a newt.
Once metamorphosed into a newt, the young are now able to drown if they remain in the aquatic environment. They will have to spend a period of about 1 year in terrestrial, but this can vary according to the individuals from 6 months to 3 years.
It will therefore be necessary to arrange them an paludarium, whose terrestrial part will be total at the beginning. Lay out with earth (peat for example), a lot of moss, rocks, pebbles, barks of oaks... There must be a lot of hiding places. The tank will remain very wet constantly (well ventilated to avoid mold).
Gradually, it will be necessary to accustom the young tritons to a submerged part in the paludarium, while being careful that they cannot drown.
Because of their size, pups can be difficult to feed. Try with aphids, Drosophila or mini insects. You can also offer small live insects in a small cup of water (in which they will have foot to avoid drowning): daphnia, mosquito larvae. If the paludarium has a lot of moss, they will find a certain amount of food already established. However, if they cannot feed themselves, you can prick some fish or meat to the size of their mouth and shake that food in front of them.
Which paludarium for the Cynops?
Although it spends a lot of time in the water and comes out very rarely, the Cynops orientalis requires an emergent bank on which it will rest, an paludarium is more suitable. The emergent part can be quite weak, but still existing (1/3 of the surface of the aquarium maximum). If you keep it in an aquarium, plan a piece of cork bark that floats for it to take refuge.
To get out of the water, you will only fill the water tank 3/4.
To get closer to its natural environment, opt for a dark soil and plant densely (Elodea canadensis are particularly popular). Also, avoid bright lights that it does not like at all and may heat the water. It is quite possible to do without artificial lighting in an paludarium for Cynops. Finally, avoid strong currents as newts live in stagnant waters. Install a gentle filtration and break the current on a wall of the aquarium or on pebbles. You can also choose a filtration under sand, perfectly indicated in this case.
Remember to always close your tank because the Cynops orientalis is the king of the escape! For example, install a fine mesh screen, a mosquito net...
To do this, simulate a winter period of 2 to 3 months, lowering the temperature of the water so that it is between 5 and 8°C or 41 and 46°F (for example by placing the aquarium in a cool garage). Be careful however that their possible roommates and plants support this treatment. Note that this phase is not mandatory, but better respects the biological rhythm of this species.
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It can sometimes be confused with Cynops pyrrhogaster, but the Orientalis is smaller, its skin is smoother and its paratoid glands behind the head are less pronounced.
Handle your Cynops orientalis only in case of extreme necessity (transport, treatment...). Indeed, it is very sensitive to stress that can have very serious consequences on its health (even heart attacks).
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