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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Care Guides > Newts Setup Steps


Experience Level: Beginner


Did you know? Newts can generally live together peacefully with similar sized tropical community fish. If housing multiple pets, be sure to watch for any territorial or aggressive behavior. Provide multiple hiding spaces. Newts have sensitive skin, and should not be handled.

Step 1Choosing an Aquarium

(A) Newts do well in a small aquarium (5-gallons), but if multiple Newts are desired, or if keeping with fish, then a bigger habitat is needed.
 • A good rule of thumb is five gallons (20 L) of habitat space for every two Newts.

 • Newts need a home with land and water areas.
 • You can create this environment by using a floating platform in an aquarium.

Aquarium Stand
 • An appropriate aquarium stand will safely support the weight of your aquarium.
 • Aquariums weigh as much as 10 lbs. per gallon capacity and require strong stands.

 • Locate your aquarium in a low-traffic area, away from direct sunlight and drafts.

Hood and Light Fixture
(B) Place a screen terrarium lid with (C) light fixture on the aquarium to provide light and prevent escape.
The light should be on for 8-12 hours a day. Turn it on in the morning and off in the evening, or use an automatic timer.

Step 2Filtration and Heating

(D) Use an aquarium filter to keep the water clean.

• Undergravel filters or power filters will provide aeration and filtration for the aquarium. Consult filter package for appropriate filter size.
• The filter should move the water in the aquarium through the filter media 3-5 times per hour (e.g., a filter for a 20-gallon aquarium should filter 60-100 gallons of water per hour).

 • Add beneficial bacteria supplements to your aquarium to promote biological waste break down.
(E) Use an aquarium thermometer to measure the water temperature.
• Newts require temperatures to be between 62-75º F (17-24º C).
(F) Use an aquarium heater to maintain the water temperature, if necessary.


Step 3Substrate and Decor

Aquarium Gravel
(G) Use 1.5 lbs. (680 g) of aquarium gravel for every gallon (4 L) of tank capacity to make a 2-3" (5-8 cm) layer on the bottom of the aquarium.

(H) Decorate the aquarium with live or artificial plants.

Ornaments and Rocks
(I) Use a floating raft in the aquarium to provide access out of the water for the Newts.
• Use ornaments and rocks that are designed for aquariums or terrariums.
• Rinse gravel, ornaments and plants prior to use.

Alternative Habitat Set-up

Alternate Habitat Set-up
• Semi-aquatic habitats can also be created by dividing an aquarium using aquarium gravel to create a gradual slope with a water side and a land side.

• Use a reptile thermometer to measure the air temperature. Temperature should be 65-80°F.

• An under-tank heater can be used on the land side of the terrarium to maintain the temperature in cool environments. Ensure there is at least 1" of substrate over the under-tank heater to protect the Newts from excess heat.

• Use a reptile terrarium hygrometer to measure humidity. Humidity should be 60-80%.
• Mist the terrarium with dechlorinated water to maintain humidity level, as needed.

Do not release Newts or any other pet into the wild. They likely will not survive, but they may transmit diseases to the wild animals or otherwise be harmful to the environment.

Things to Watch For
• Thinness or decreased appetite

• Swollen joints

• Excessive shedding of the skin

• Inflamed or discolored skin

• Abdominal swelling
If you notice any of the signs described above, speak with a PetSmart store associate or a veterinarian about the health of your pet.

PetSmart Cares

Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet Assured™ program; a program designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well-being of our pets.
The program includes:
• Specific standards our vendors agree to meet in caring for and observing pets for common illnesses.

• Specific standards for in-store pet care.
• The PetSmart Promise: If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.