Newt or Salamander options in CA?

I have an extra 10 gallon tank that I have at home and I was wondering what I could keep in it. I’d really like to build a small mini paludarium type thing. Online I have seen suggestions for newts or salamanders, which seemed pretty interesting. However, I live in CA which can get pretty restrictive when it comes to amphibians. Are there any suggestions for what would be on the easier side of care? I also thought about fire-bellied toads but I haven’t seen any around lately and I remember reading about the wild-caught ones carrying parasites.


Wild caught animals will typically carry parasites/bacterial infections regardless of species. It’s just nature. So yeah I would recommend to avoid them. They can also be really picky about what they will eat if you aren’t providing what they want.

I don’t really have any experience with newts or salamanders. They always seemed more difficult to get started or wild caught when I was actively interested in them. Recently, I’ve seen some captive bred ones at a store in Orange County, CA. They looked really well started and the employee told me they were pretty easy once you set them up, but it’s getting the terrarium started before purchasing that takes work.

I do have some with fire belly toads.

Fire belly toads can be really cute and rewarding. They seem shy at first but once they have enough time with you, they will start hopping to the front of the enclosure to see you. They are very food motivated, lol. They get so comfortable with their humans that they will even sometime vocalize to them to beg for food when they know food time is coming.
As long as you get a well started toad, they are extremely hardy. They can also be escape artists so a front opening enclosure honestly wrks best, or a 10 gallon with a sliding top. I’ve seen them climb up the corners of 10 gallons and wedge themselves between the lid and the corners to escape.


Oh! I actually live very close to OC. Do you mind me asking which store it was? I’ve been around all the ones near Laguna/Irvine since I pass through regularly. My experience with reptile stores has been iffy, a lot of conflicting advice that makes me really wary haha.

My tank would be perfect then! I had it as a starter tank for a corn but I have larger ones now so I’d like to set up something a little longer lasting.


How about a watery paludarium w an axolotl?

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@ct_3 Reptile Factory! They have a couple different stores down here but the one in Garden Grove is where I saw them at the time.

@dlhirst I would worry a 20gal palu is too small for an axolotl as the reccomended tank size is 15-20 for one. the Palu would cut down on water space for land space. If it was a 40 gallon maybe.


There’s also the small fact that axolotls are illegal in California, making tank size moot.


Small detail. Ha, ha! Sorry, I’m on the other coast…


No apologies necessary, we can’t be expected to know every detailed state law re: species that can and cannot be kept. :slightly_smiling_face: