Last night I was pretty bummed that we’ve been unable to find any newts. After dinner I was checking out the empty terrarium. I bought a 26W bulb which hit the humidity mark but was 5 degrees too hot. I remembered that there was a 13W bulb and I still had the receipt so I left to go switch it out. Why do homework when I can go walk around Pet Extreme?
I told the cashier what I wanted to do and he said to shop around and we’d switch out the bulbs once I was ready. I found the bulb I needed and then took a look at the other tank items they had for sale. It is crazy how elaborate you can get if you want to. I am satisfied with my set up though and it turned out to be a low budget project compared to what could have gone into it.
When I went to check out I had just the bulb I was going to swap. The cashier was busy helping someone in the aquarium area so I decided to check out the stuff in the front window. I came to the tank of fire belly frogs and noticed that they also put fire belly newts there too. Petsmart wasn’t expecting to get another newt shipment for a few more weeks though. I was counting frogs and noticed a black clump underneath a pile of damp moss. It wasn’t a group of frogs because it wast solid black instead of green with black spots. I pulled my head around to the side to get a better view and THERE THEY WERE! There were three, yes three, fire belly newts in the tank.
I left the bulb on the counter and ran over to the plastic transport containers because I knew I wanted to change up my set up before they entered it. I went back to the front and piled the stuff on the counter and said “I want the three newts too”. She looked at me funny and said that they had no newts. I showed her where they were hiding and she boxed them right up for me. While she boxed them I grabbed a box of small crickets. Then I put the bag and the box into the car but remembered that I forgot something. I went back in for a more shallow water bowl than the one that was already in the tank to ease their access and egress.
On the way home I held the box in my left hand and drove with my right. I didn’t want the ride to be too bumpy for them. At each light I put my ear to the side of thier box and listened to hear what they were doing. I think they were doing acrobatics but I wasn’t sure. When I realized how silly I must look to the other drivers I wondered if they were asking themselves, “Why is that guy listening to his chinese food takeout box?” because that was what the newt box looked like.
When I got home I put gravel in the bottom of the plastic transportation container with moss on top and filled it to where the water was right up to the bottom of the moss. Then I carefully lifted each newt from the box and put them in thier temporary home while I readied their real home. I looked at the small crickets and realized that the holes in the lid of the terrarium were big enough for them to get out. I still had screen left over from when I put the gravel and moss in so I trimmed some and hot glued it in place into the lid. Now the holes were small enough to keep the food from escaping.
I periodically checked on the newts to see if they were okay in thier temporary home. One was hiding under the moss, another was pressing its belly against the side wall, and another was searching for an escape hole at the top of the lid. I positioned the water dish in the tank and filled it with water. Then I placed rocks around it and inside the dish near its edges. Then I repositioned the sticks to make my set up more interesting. Finally it was ready.
I had just put them in the tank when I heard Tasha turning her key in the door. She had been at BSF with Karin. I said, “We have newt babies! Where’s Karin?” Tasha tried to register what I had said then went running after Karin trying to catch her before she left the parking lot. Tasha returned out of breath and limping a little. She had lost her footing on the copperstone path running to get Karin. I called Karin on the cell and said to turn around and come see the suprise.