Can Firebelly Newts & Turtles Live in the Same Tank?

Written by amber decourcy
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Can Firebelly Newts & Turtles Live in the Same Tank?
Turtles and firebelly newts require adequate space and temperatures to thrive. (turtle image by Canoneer from

Tanks filled with turtles and fire-belly newts are exotic and hard to resist for some, but knowing both species' special needs and living requirements is essential. Though having the two species together seems inviting, there are reasons why it is not recommended.

Reasons to Not House Together

Fire-belly newts have high amounts of toxin, enough to kill an adult human, if any part of them is ingested. Newts also can secrete these toxins through their skin. Turtles are omnivorous, and a fire-belly newt could be seen as potential food to the turtle. This will result in the death of the newt, but also the death of the turtle. Fire-belly newts require a temperature of 21.1 degrees Celsius, while turtles require temperatures around 26.7 degrees Celsius.

Fire-belly Newts

Minimum water depth of 4 inches is required for fire-belly newts to have adequate swimming room. Land area to walk around is necessary for exercise, and a break from the water. Fire-belly newts are small amphibians, so even a 10-gallon tank is adequate space for two or three newts. Heaters are not required if the room temperature stays at 70-degree Fahrenheit. Any higher, and the newt becomes sluggish and inactive.


Turtles require a 55-gallon tank, at minimum, with 40 per cent of land and 60 per cent of water. Heaters and UV lights are mandatory, along with a basking spot that is five to -12.2 degrees C hotter than the main temperature in the tank. Daytime temperatures of 26.7 degrees Celsius is vital, with nighttime temperatures dropping to 21.1 degrees Celsius. Turtles are omnivores, and will eat any newt, fish or other creature smaller than them, so they must be housed alone or with their own species.

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