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How to Care for British Newts

Updated March 23, 2017

British Newts, also known as Smooth Newts, are frequent sights in small, still bodies of water. Newts live in wet environments and subsist on a diet of insects and tadpoles. You can keep a Smooth Newt as a pet, as long as you provide the right conditions for their health. Smooth Newts are very small and you should not handle them often, as they are delicate and their skin reacts poorly to the heat of the human body.

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  1. Place the newt in a small aquarium with small islands of gravel substrate covered by bark chips or moss. You can find substrate options at your local pet store.

  2. Fill the rest of the tank with two to three inches of de-chlorinated water, as newts are predominantly aquatic creatures. Your newt will also need a fresh source of drinking water.

  3. Stick a thermometer in the aquarium and keep the temperature around 20 degrees Celsius. Newts live in cool but moderate climates, unlike many other exotic lizards.

  4. Give the newt a couple of rocks or small structures under which they can hide. Place these on both the islands and in the water.

  5. Place a lid on the aquarium and ensure it fits snugly -- newts are exceptionally skilled at escaping from tanks.

  6. Feed your newt small, live prey such as bloodworms or tadpoles. Give the newt one meal per day, during his nighttime feeding hours.

  7. Clean the tank weekly to ensure your newt has a safe and sanitary living environment.

  8. Tip

    Smooth Newts do not make the best pets and local laws may prohibit you from capturing or keeping them. If you want to keep a newt as a pet, it is best to stick with the newts offered by your local exotic pet store.

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Things You'll Need

  • Small aquarium
  • Gravel
  • Moss substrate
  • Water
  • Aquarium thermometer

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