The tiger salamander is a shockingly vivid amphibian, which is at home both in the water and on land – in fact, it begins its life unable to exist on land, and by the time it grows to adulthood is able to subsist on either medium. They certainly prefer land by this time, and enjoy burrowing in sand and dirt, as well as wading in and out of shallow pools. One of their most fantastic attributes is their ability to regenerate, which goes far beyond the mere ability to heal wounds. It enables them to regrow limbs that have been cut off, and even replace some organs – extending even to brain tissue, which is truly amazing by human standards.
Indeed; it is this ability to regenerate that is probably somehow related to their exceptionally long lifespan for an animal their size. In a captive habitat such as a vivarium, a tiger salamander – called this because of the distinctive black stripes running along its green-colored skin – can survive for up to two decades and actually longer than this, with a good regimen of care. The first part of this task of properly caring for a tiger salamander is the provision of a large enough tank for the vivarium you plan to build. Because these amphibians are fairly large creatures at well over 6 inches in length, they will need a large enough environment to avoid feeling cramped in, and a twenty-fifty gallon tank should suffice nicely.
There is another reason why the vivarium tank should be this size, however; if you are planning to house more than a single tiger salamander, a tank that doesn’t afford them enough personal space will encourage fighting among themselves – and that’s if they are of a similar size and strength. If one salamander is larger than the other, he will feast upon the smaller every chance he or she gets, resulting in missing body pieces for a while before they regenerate. Indeed; too much feasting in a single sitting could even result in death for the smaller one. A good rule is a twenty gallon vivarium tank for each salamander you wish to house under one roof.
This talk of cannibalism brings us to the food they eat for sustenance – and not solely due to unfortunate proximity. Although tiger salamanders (and others of their species) tend to eat rather infrequently by our reckoning, the character of their food matters a whole lot: crickets and earthworms, blood-worms, mealworms, etc should comprise their diet. Not more than three times per week, with a good average being just once per week, should you put crickets and food pellets sold at pet stores (made of meat) in their vivariums. Pinky mice and large cockroaches also make good meals, but infrequently, as they will gorge themselves and become too big – which is quite unhealthy for them and causes restricted bowel movements.
As for the vivarium tank itself, make sure the dirt you use isn’t fertilized, because they don’t live in such places in their natural environments. Supply a substrate, then plant coco fiber and soil on it for best results. If you keep all these things in mind, there’s no reason why you won’t have a healthy twenty years-plus of tiger salamander roaming in the land you built.