An unplanned child…

…or, at least, the pet equivalent.  Meet Olivia NEWTon-John, everyone:

See, what happened was, I asked the pet store dude a couple of weeks ago to check with his distributor to see if Chinese Firebellied Newts were something he could order. And I even said at the time that I didn’t have a set-up for them yet, I just wanted to know if that was something he’d be able to order when the time came.  I hadn’t heard anymore about it the couple of times I’d been in since, so I figured probably they weren’t on the list, no big deal.

So yesterday, here I am at work, minding my own business, when I get a message from the local pet store:  “Hi, your newt came in today, and we don’t really have anyplace to put it, so we need you to come in and pick it up by the end of the day.”


No, seriously, O_O !!!!

There I was, suddenly expecting, only I didn’t have nine months to prepare — I only had about five hours.

I had wanted to take my time building a really kick-ass paludarium before getting any amphibians, but since time was of the essence, this is what I ended up pulling together last evening:

This is a 10-gallon tank with a substrate of Eco-Complete plant substrate, covered with aquarium gravel to reduce clouding of the water.  I’ve planted both aquatic and semi-aquatic plants, and harvested the moss from the back yard.  It even came complete with a small earthworm, AKA dinner for Miss Olivia.

The makeshift waterfall is just an internal power filter with a set of reptile steps and plants in front of it.  The rocks all came from the pile we collected when we dug post holes for the picket fence.  We grow good rocks here in Maine!

Olivia hanging out in the fern

My original plan had been for 3 newts, so I guess I’ll order a couple more and hope to have them in next week.

And from now on, whenever I ask the pet store if they can order something, I’ll make sure I wear a condom!


Posted on August 3, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. newts are great pets!!! i used to have them and loved to set up and rearrange their set ups all the time. Thanks to you I want them again. lol

  2. Dawn, that was a kick ass set up for Ms Olivia. Want to design a Koi pond? Vbg. Really, you got talent. I have to look that newt up on google. Sharp looking. Lori

    • I wish I could do a koi pond — koi aren’t allowed here in Maine. Neither are firebellied toads or red-ear sliders, apparently. Lots of restrictions up here, I guess because they fear them getting loose and overruning the native species. If they saw the price that large koi fish go for, I’m sure they wouldn’t be worried about people turning them loose in the lakes!

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