best salamander to have as a pet?

Salamanders and newts are the one of the most popular pets around the world. They are also very attractive and friendly pets,

They usually do best with ambient moist environments and on both land and water enclosures.

We usually like to buy one but have confusion about which salamander or newt to start? What is the best salamander to have as a pet? Can a salamander live in a fish tank? Can 2 salamanders live together?

In this article I am going to discuss about 6 salamander species that are friendly for beginners.

Note: Some Salamanders species are poisonous and have harmful secretions on their skin

Do Tiger Salamanders make good pets?

Do Tiger Salamanders make good pets?
Barred Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium) smiling and crawling in moss

Choosing the Tiger salamander as a pet is something fairly common, but it is a totally different scenario between larvae and adult animals, as they have different needs.

The larvae demand an aquarium with clean water which ideally should be filtered.

Note: filter with strong flow, disrupts their natural inclination towards ponds that have still water.

Hiding spots within the vivarium ; They are quite secretive and want to be able to hide if they wish to, ,

Once their metamorphosis initiates, in some weeks or months, provide a land area to venture them out of the water.

Do tiger salamanders need water?

Yes Salamanders requires a fully organized aquatic setup with clean moderate or still water flow. strong currents can hurt their skin, and prevents them from breathing properly.

Having only adult Tiger salamanders demands no constant water presence, but there should be constant moisture in the terrarium, as they thrive in damp and relatively cool (65 – 70 F) conditions.

It is also very important to provide several inches deep of good quality and moist soil,

as they love to burrow and spend much of their time underground as noted above.

As pets they have straightforward simple dier both in their larval and adult stages, consisting mainly of worms and insects,

Being voracious eaters they tend to gain weight easily, making it important to regulate their feeding.

Can Tiger salamanders eat fruit?

Salamanders are carnivores in nature. we should avoid feeding them with fruits, vegetables or any herbivorous diet .

Do Axolotls make good pets?

Do Axolotls make good pets?
Axolotls in a vivarium

Due to their critically endangered status in the wild, it is virtually impossible to find them free, even if you travel to Mexico City and have a tour in the Xochimilco canals.

Instead, they are fairly common as pets, especially compared to their rare and reclusive nature in wild.

Choosing an axolotl as a pet is a totally different procedure as compared to their counterpart relatives,

Tiger Salamander, as they are strictly aquatic (except if you force-mature them, which can be very harmful and not advised).

Do Axolotls like hard water?

They somewhat prefer hard water, soft water causes temporary Anemia (also spelled anaemia). Axolotls can also live in tap water, but it should be free from chlorine and chloramines.

They demand a large, at least 10+ gallon aquarium with sufficient vegetation and rocks,

They hiding places can act as natural hiding spots, as they want to hide if they feel stressed for any reason.

Maintain clean water, filtered by a mechanism that does not produce a strong flow.

Keep them cool, as they prefer a temperature below 65 Fahrenheit and anything above can be dangerous.

They are also very sensitive to light and prefer dimmer conditions.

Feeding them is quite straightforward, as worms and insects are an easy and excellent choice for their diet.

Do Slimy Salamanders make good pets?

Do Slimy Salamanders make good pets?
A close up of a Northern Slimy Salamander in natural habitat.

Slimy salamanders, despite not being as beautiful, large or sought-after pets as the Tiger Salamanders or Axolotls, can be a good choice as a pet, due to being comparatively easier to handle.

Since they do not have an aquatic larval stage, the owner doesn’t need to create a more complex aquarium with water filters, etc. and a terrarium will suffice for their entire lifespan.

Where do slimy salamanders live?

Similar to other terrestrial Salamanders, they need a cool environment with elevated moisture and ample moist soil that they can use to dig a burrow.

It is also a good idea to include stones, pieces of wood, and some foliage that can act as hiding places, as they do like to regularly be out of sight.

Being primarily nocturnal animals, it is not a good idea to place them in a well-lit environment, as they will prefer to hide in such conditions and will generally be less active.

Their diet is easy and diverse, just like it happens with most salamanders, including insects, ants, and worms.

Due to their smaller size and lack of aquatic needs, they can be one of the best choices for a beginner in amphibian pets.

Why do salamanders have slimy skin?

Newts skin needs to be moist to perform basic bodily functions. The mucus membrane that they secrete from their skin helps these amphibians to breathe and other organs to work.

Do Fire Salamanders make good pets?

Do Fire Salamanders make good pets?
Fire Salamanders in water catching its prey

Fire Salamanders is most common pet amphibian, due to easy availability, great looks, and ease of keeping healthy.

The terrarium of a mature Fire salamander is relatively simpler because they do not have the habit of burrowing like most others of their kind, thus demanding significantly lesser quantities of soil.

Just some rocks or pieces of wood can easily suffice for their hiding spot, making it a much easier terrarium to organize and much cheaper to maintain.

Just like the rest, they are mostly nocturnal and are comfortable at a cool temperature with high humidity which is vital for their health.

Another great attribute of this species is that they tend to become more familiar with their keepers.

They can be taught how to eat their meals from a bowl, while most other salamanders forceps need forceps for feeding.

Why is it called a fire salamander? Do they live in fire?

No, they don’t live in fire nor they are born in it. European fire salamanders usually have fiery orange and yellow markings on their shiny black skin.

Ancient people’s erroneous belief was they were born in fire because

Salamanders often hide under logs and when put on fire they ran out of the flames to protect themselves.

Do Spotted Salamanders make good pets?

Do Spotted Salamanders make good pets?
A close up of a young Spotted Salamander on a green leaf.

many owners loves spotted Salamanders due to their beautiful looks and reclusive nature. even though they are not usual pets.

Spotted salamanders are avid burrowers so we should use thick and moist substrate, but not exceedingly wet at any time.

They are also nocturnal and can’t tolerate heat for prolonged periods. we should follow usual lighting and temperature guidelines.

How much do spotted salamanders eat?

The Spotted Salamander is known for its great appetite and it can eat just about everything that it can overpower, including a smaller specimen of its kind, thus it is best to keep alone or within a terrarium with adults of similar size.

Do Japanese Fire-Bellied Newts make good pets?

Do Japanese Fire Bellied Newts make good pets?
Japanese fire belly newt

Due to their striking colour pattern, the Japanese Fire-Bellied Newt is a very popular pet amongst those that choose to start a vivarium with amphibians.

Their toxins might sound like a problem, but as long as you wash thoroughly your hands after handling them it’s ok.

Are Japanese fire belly newts poisonous?

Do not let childern unattended in a room that has a newt vivarium, as they might try to catch them, without realizing their poisonous nature.

Their vivarium should have a mixed space that includes both a body of clean water and a land area with sufficient rocks and debris, as they tend to alternate within the day between the two environments.

Do fire belly newts need a heat lamp?

Feeding them is an easy and straightforward process, they have a characteristic tendency to prefer dimly lit environments.


I hope that you have learned quite a bit about salamanders and newts. this post will surely help you decide which salamander suits your requirements as a pet.

I also hope that the additional information provided was somewhat helpful and that you overall have enjoyed reading this post.

For Further Reading

Below are some more relevant topics that are related to this one and you might find them interesting to read!

Here’s an interesting article Do salamanders really bite?
Here’s another interesting article are salamanders poisonous and dangerous for people?

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