Today, (3) three N. kaiseri arrived in the mail and I couldn't be happier. These are my first newts and are amazing creatures. Been keeping reptiles/amphibians for decades and never kept a newt. Hardscape setup was inspired by tanks at Aquarium Design Group in Houston. Wood is Spiderwood (Water Azalea root), white Nat Geo sand, and black Mexican beach rocks.
Get rid of the wood. Wood leaches tannins which the newts don't like as they come from areas high in limestone. I would also suggest going to a sponge filter instead of the unit you currently appear to be using