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Breeding Firebelly Newts (Cynops orientalis)

The Basics

Place some plants in the water if you don't already have them. Plastic ones will do nicely too. When you see her laying eggs, or spot the eggs on the leaves, remove the plants with eggs to their own tank before hatching. Otherwise the tadpoles may get eaten by their parents. The eggs look like mustard seeds inside a clear jelly ball. They're quite large and easy to detect.

When the tadpoles hatch, feed them with something small and preferrably live (=moving). I've grown brine shrimp ('sea monkeys') for my tadpoles. You can buy brine shrimp eggs from an aquarium shop. It's used as baby fish food too. You can also try some other suitable baby fish food. Just remember that they aren't vegetarians. :-) Consult your local aquarium shop. Keep the water clean and well aerated. An air pump is very useful.

As they grow up, you can start feeding them with something larger, such as freeze-dried bloodworms (crushed), etc. And eventually, with the same food as the adults.

When you notice that the baby newts begin to spend a lot of time near the surface and their external gills begin to atrophy, they are growing lugns. At that point, they tend to go through a terrestrial period. Provide them with a piece of land to climb on, a raft or something like that. You'll notice that they hardly ever go into the water once they climb up. That's why you'll probably have to feed them with tweezers. At this point they look like adult newts, only smaller. Be sure to cover the tank well (but don't suffocate them), because they can climb up the glass and escape. It may seem impossible, but they're very good at it! When they get dry, they'll die.

I should tell you that it'll take a looong time for the newts to grow up, so don't be alarmed if they don't seem to grow. It'll take months and months. Also, many of the tadpoles will die for no apparent reason. If they'll survive to the terrestrial phase, they'll probably grow up to be adults.

Good luck!

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