Sometimes pet lovers fancy keeping unique pets rather than going for cats or dogs. If you are interested in exotic pets, the idea of keeping salamanders as pets may come at the top of the list. So, you might wonder whether you can keep a salamander as a pet or not.
Salamanders can be good pets for both beginners and experienced owners. These pets are pretty popular for their easy maintenance. Because being carnivores, you need not take any hassle to choose their diet. Besides, pet salamanders can survive up to 20 years with proper care in captivity.
In this article, you will get to know about everything related to keeping pet salamanders. You should go through this article if you want to know about pet salamander’s diet, behavior, handling etiquette, and so on.
So, let’s go into the details of this article without any further ado.
Are Salamanders Good Pets For Beginners?
Salamanders can make good pets for several reasons.
Any beginner can take the courage to keep salamanders as pets. The house requirements, diet, and maintenance are pretty easy in the case of keeping salamanders as pets. But, the temper of salamanders can vary depending on the species of salamander.
However, the handling part of keeping salamanders as pets can be a little trouble for beginners. If you look for such pets to cuddle with, salamanders will not fulfill your demand.
Moreover, there remain risks of being sick while handling pet salamanders. Since salamanders secrete toxins through their skin, beginners should remain immensely careful to handling pet salamanders.
Also, these exotic pets can absorb water through their skin like frogs. Hence, the water quality of their habitat should be accurate for their well-being.
So, considering all of these things, it may seem that salamanders are hard-to-keep for beginners. But, compared with other pets, beginners can readily adapt to the care regulations for salamanders.
Are Salamanders Friendly?
Salamanders are one of the most amusing pets that can get tamed easily.
Unlike many other pets, salamanders are pretty friendly. These pets do not show any aggression too. Moreover, when salamanders get tamed, these pets may receive food from owner’s hands.
But, according to the researchers, the fire salamanders may show aggression toward the owners. So, the temperament of salamanders depends highly on their species.
What Do I Need For A Pet Salamander?
If you keep a salamander as a pet, you should provide the required supplies in captivity. Here, I’ve enlisted a small list of what you need for a pet salamander. Let’s go through the list.
1. Tank Of Correct Size
While choosing tanks for salamanders, you need to remain concerned about their type of species. According to the type of your pet salamander, you can buy terrestrial, semi-aquatic, or aquatic tanks.
For example- if you have an Axolotl, you should buy an aquatic tank for your pet salamander. Click here to get enlightened about whether salamanders can live in water or not.
In addition, the semi-aquatic tanks contain both land area and water area.
But, if you have a terrestrial salamander, you will need a terrestrial tank for these land-dwellers. After all, these terrestrial salamanders can not swim in the water.
A 15-gallon tank can be sufficient to house one salamander. If you keep 1-2 salamanders together, an ideal tank size should be approximately 60×45×5 cm.
Besides, you can choose a tank of various materials.
The experienced owners suggest choosing a glass tank for their adequate ventilation. A glass tank offers you to notice the activity of your pet salamander outside of the tank. Also, such tanks are waterproof.
Otherwise, you can also choose an acrylic or plastic tank. Further, a wooden tank can provide a naturalistic home for the salamander.
2. Tank Lid
After selecting a tank for your pet salamander, you need to choose a tight-fitting tank lid. Since these amphibians are good climbers, an open tank gives them an easy opportunity to escape. Moreover, the aquatic salamanders may jump out of the tank, if there is no lid.
Some owners tend to use both screen and glass cover. After adding a tank lid, you must ensure to keep the humidity within the ideal parameter. Also, you can make a few holes in the tank for proper ventilation.
The next thing which you need to keep at the bottom of the tank is the substrate. You have to choose a substrate that is gentle to the skin of salamanders and absorbs much moisture.
Since the skin of salamanders needs to remain moist, you should add dampened sphagnum moss, coco husk, cypress mulch, etc.
Besides, you should avoid sand, gravel, or such substrate of small particles. There remain risks of salamanders swallowing up these indigestible particles. Also, such substrates are abrasive to salamander skin.
Make sure to keep the substrate around 3-4” deep. Otherwise, your pet salamander will not have sufficient shelter to burrow.
Lastly, you have to keep the substrate moist so that the skin of salamanders can not get dried off. But, do not make this substrate soggy.
You need to keep the light on and off to maintain a day-night cycle. Besides, the lighting is essential for the plants of the terrarium. For this, you do not require any UVB lighting. You can use fluorescent light or LED lighting.
5. Heat Lamp: Do Salamanders Need Heat Lamp?
The thermal need of salamanders varies from species to species. But, maximum species of salamanders can thrive at warm room temperature. The ideal range of temperature is around 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Salamanders typically do not need heat lamps unless you live in a cold country. If your room temperature is lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you can keep a heat lamp, heating pad, water heater, and so on.
However, you should not keep the salamander terrarium under sunlight for more than one hour. Direct sunlight may overheat the terrarium which is harmful to your pet salamanders.
Since salamanders do well in a moist and damp environment, you should mist the salamander terrarium often. It helps keep the substrate moist too.
So, an ideal humidity range for salamander tanks should be within 50%-80%. For this, you should mist the terrarium twice a day.
The experts suggest keeping around 70% humidity in the terrarium of tiger salamanders. Also, keeping a water bowl filled with water contribute a lot to keeping the constant humidity level.
7. Hideaway Place
Salamanders require places to hide where they relax or take shelter after being stressed out. You can keep rocks, logs, barks, caves, etc. Also, you can buy several types of hideouts from online stores or local stores.
8. Water Bowl
In the terrestrial tank, you should add a water bowl. It will help keep the salamander tank cool during summer. Besides, the water bowl assists salamanders by keeping their skin moist when they soak themselves.
Do not forget to add dechlorinated water to the water bowl. Since these terrestrial salamanders are not good swimmers, you must ensure to keep the water bowl relatively small and shallow.
It is your must-to-do responsibility as a salamander owner to keep the water parameters right. If your pet salamander is aquatic or semi-aquatic, you should maintain the water quality within the ideal range.
For this, you can regularly change the water of the tank. Otherwise, you can go for an aquarium filter.
It will provide filtered water to your pet salamander. In addition, there will be beneficial bacteria in the filter that convert the harmful ammonia from salamander wastes to harmless nitrates.
However, you should choose a filter that does not have a strong current. According to several experienced owners, biological filtration can be a good choice as the water filter for pet salamanders.
Adding plants to the tank of your pet salamander will enhance the naturalistic vibe. In case of adding plants, you must ensure that the plants are non-toxic and safe for your pet salamander. Some common recommendations for plants are Pothos, ficus, bromeliads, orchids, peperomia, etc.
To fulfill the setup of the terrarium, you can add décor items. In this, you can add branches, climbing items, bark, hide box, large shards of pottery, etc.
12. Thermometer & Hygrometer
To maintain an ideal range of temperature and humidity, it’s essential to keep a thermometer and hygrometer.
What Do Salamanders Eat As A Pet?
Since all species and types of salamanders are carnivores, you need not take much hassle to select their foods. You can feed them varieties of insects, worms, spiders, and so on. Specially, these pets prefer slow-moving and soft-bodied creatures.
In the list of the diets of salamanders, you can keep slugs, live or frozen nightcrawlers, crickets, mealworms, tubifex worms, white worms, bloodworms, brine shrimps, snails, earthworms, mosquito larvae, flies, daphnia, small fish, and so on. Also, these salamanders prefer live prey.
You might know that salamanders are nocturnal. Hence, you can feed them at night when they remain most active.
Make sure to provide a well-balanced diet. Further, you should gut-load the insects with supplementation and vitamins.
Besides, you should not feed wild-caught food to your pet salamander. On the other hand, you should choose bugs or insects wisely. The size of the insects should not get bigger for small salamanders.
If you look for more details, you should go through this article about the salamander diet and feeding guide.
How Often Should You Feed A Salamander?
It depends on the age of your pet salamander. If your pet salamander is an adult, you should feed your pet 2-3 times a week. On the other hand, you need to feed your juvenile salamander every other day. But, you must give food to your baby salamander every day.
What Human Foods Can Salamander Eat?
You might want to feed vegetables, fruits, or meats to your pet salamander. But, you must not feed any human foods to your salamander. These salamanders can not digest these foods.
How Long Can Salamanders Go Without Eating?
Generally, salamanders can survive up to 10 days without any food. But, the survival duration can vary depending upon the physical health of your pet salamander. Also, the water condition needs to remain accurate in case of aquatic salamanders go without eating for 7-10 days.
Handling: Is It Ok To Touch Salamanders?
Salamanders are not the type of pets that like to get cuddled or touched like dogs or cats.
You must not touch salamanders for the safety of both your and your pet salamanders. Salamanders secrete toxins through their skin that may cause several health complexities to humans. Besides, the skin of salamanders is pretty absorbing.
Hence, touching salamanders can pass the salt, soap, or other harmful chemicals to their skin. These components can be deadly to salamanders.
On the other hand, the secreted toxins of salamanders can cause severe health complications like muscle weakness, dizziness, trouble breathing, etc.
However, the potency of salamander’s toxin is not too high to kill humans.
But, the ingestion of these toxins can make you seriously ill. Hence, you must wear gloves before handling your pet salamanders. Also, do not forget to wash your hands properly after touching these pets.
Can You Keep A Salamander In A Fish Tank?
You can choose a fish tank to keep a salamander in if your pet salamander is aquatic. But, you should make the fish tank suitable for keeping your pet salamander. In this case, make sure that the fish tank is of the accurate size.
If you want to keep terrestrial salamander in a fish tank, you must fill the tank with necessary items like substrate, land, plants, etc.
No matter what type of tank you’re using, you must fulfill all requirements to provide a comfortable habitat for your salamander. Do not leave your terrestrial salamander in a fish tank filled with water.
Do Salamanders Bite?
Seeing the small teeth of salamanders, you might be curious to know whether salamanders bite or not.
Salamanders are not aggressive. Being docile and shy, this is pretty unusual to expect salamanders to bite. But, these pets may bite you by mistake when you hand-feed them.
These shy amphibians are harmless to humans. So, even if salamanders bite you, it may be a mistake to consider your fingers as food.
However, if your pet salamander bites you, there will be nothing to worry about. These bites are not venomous at all. These bites leave only stretch marks.
But, if their teeth penetrate through your skin, you must clean your wound properly. Make sure that your wound does not get infected. If it gets worse, you can take professional help too.
Do Salamanders Like To Be Held?
You can keep wild salamanders as pets at your home. Moreover, these animals take little time to get tamed. If you fulfill all basic requirements and other conditions, these salamanders will like to be held.
Can Salamanders Live With Betta?
It’s not a good idea to keep your pet salamander with betta fish.
You might know that salamanders are pretty friendly and docile. On the other hand, the betta fish are highly aggressive.
Since the temperament of both animals is opposite to each other, you should not cohabit with them.
Can You Keep Two Salamanders Together?
As salamanders are not hostile to each other, these salamanders can coexist with each other. These salamanders do not have any tendency to eat each other. Due to their friendly nature, you can keep two salamanders together by providing sufficient food and other conveniences.
Can Salamanders Make You Sick?
Handling salamanders without any safety can make you sick. Such is because these amphibians are poisonous. These salamanders can secrete toxins through their skin that make you severely ill.
Also, like many other animals, salamanders are potential carriers of salmonella. So, you must avoid direct contact with your pet salamander.
Which Are The Best Beginner Salamanders?
People often look for the easiest salamander to care for. There are a few recommendations for the best beginner salamanders, according to the experts and experienced owners.
Tiger salamanders are considered the easiest and best salamanders for beginners. Besides, you can easily keep axolotl, Dunn’s salamander, marbled salamander, fire salamander, spotted salamander, and so on.
These salamanders are comparatively easy to look after. Besides, the average lifespan of these salamanders is within 6-14 years.
If you do not have much idea about the price range, you can go through this article as to how much does a pet salamander cost?
I hope this article helped you get enlightened about all the necessary information regarding keeping a pet salamander. If you bring a salamander to keep as a pet, you should fulfill your responsibility by accommodating a proper habitat for your pet.