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Leucistic Axoltol - Natural Morphing

This is a discussion on Leucistic Axoltol - Natural Morphing within the Tiger Salamander & Axolotl (Ambystoma tigrinum, A. mavortium spp, etc.) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; I have a juvenile melanoid leucistic axolotl that recently started morphing under natural conditions and I wanted to make sure ...

Tiger Salamander & Axolotl (Ambystoma tigrinum, A. mavortium spp, etc.) The Tiger Salamanders and the Axolotl are so popular amongst hobbyists that they have been given their own topic. If you're particularly interested in the Axolotl, there is a large section of the forum devoted mainly to beginner Axolotl enthusiasts (not this topic).

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Old 7th May 2015   #1 (permalink)
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Default Leucistic Axoltol - Natural Morphing

I have a juvenile melanoid leucistic axolotl that recently started morphing under natural conditions and I wanted to make sure I was taking the correct steps as he becomes more terrestrial. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated as I want this little guy to be happy.

I setup a 20 gallon long aquarium with a glass divider partitioning a soil side from a water side. The dirt side consists of 5 inches of a coco choir, fir bark, and top soil mixture as outlined in this caudata article: Caudata Culture Articles - Vivarium Substrates There is a terracotta pot as a hide. The water is a 40% modified Holtfreter's solution. The water and the tank in general are kept at room temperature.

It's been roughly three weeks since I began to notice him morphing and he continues to be fully aquatic with no interest of transitioning to land. At night he raises his nose out of the water for prolonged periods of time to breath air. He has regained his appetite and has resumed eating small European nightcrawers and pellets, though there was a slight learning curve.

I have taken daily pictures detailing his morphing, which happened surprisingly fast, and can post them if there is interest. He continues to have his face markings which will be exciting to see how they change over time.

His conditions prior to morphing were very consistent. He was kept in a temperature controlled wine chiller at 64°F (17°C) in a 2 liter container with two other similar sized small juveniles. The water was a 40% Holtfreter's solution and there were daily to twice daily water changes. His diet was cut up nightcrawlers and Rangen manufactured sinking salmon pellets. He was kept under these conditions for roughly four months before he began to morph.
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Old 7th May 2015   #2 (permalink)
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This is awesome. I think u should put him on land and see if he runs back to the water or if he starts digging.



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Old 7th May 2015   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Leucistic Axoltol - Natural Morphing

I had an Axolotl metamorphose at 1.5 years of age. I maintained it in large plastic container on "Bounty" paper towels saturated with water. Paper towels were replaced twice weekly. During changings the salamander was allowed to soak in clean aged tap at a depth of about 5 cm. I maintained him this way for over 7 years.

The importaint concideration when keeping metamorphosed Axolotls is to remember, these animals have evolved for a very long time to live as a fully aquatic salamander. And, eventhough they look very much like their Tiger Salamander cousins, it is uncertain whether their metamorphosis is complete and their internal physiology has changed sufficiently to live a fully terestrial life.

Your set up looks great, but not sure about the terrestial aspect. Keep an eye on him/her. Your animal may act like Tiger Salamander and burrow down and stay buried, which could be bad. Again, this has to do with the unknown internal physiology of metamorphosed Ambysotma mexicanum.



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Old 7th May 2015   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Leucistic Axoltol - Natural Morphing

I personally would make it easier for him to climb out of the water, and to feed



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Old 9th August 2015   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Leucistic Axoltol - Natural Morphing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elise View Post
His conditions prior to morphing were very consistent. He was kept in a temperature controlled wine chiller at 64°F (17°C) in a 2 liter container with two other similar sized small juveniles. The water was a 40% Holtfreter's solution and there were daily to twice daily water changes. His diet was cut up nightcrawlers and Rangen manufactured sinking salmon pellets. He was kept under these conditions for roughly four months before he began to morph.
Hmm, a silly question on my behalf, but why was he and the other axies kept in the fridge in the salt solution for four months? I've never heard of axies being kept in the fridge unless something was wrong???



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Old 26th October 2016   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Leucistic Axoltol - Natural Morphing

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Originally Posted by AussieLux View Post
Hmm, a silly question on my behalf, but why was he and the other axies kept in the fridge in the salt solution for four months? I've never heard of axies being kept in the fridge unless something was wrong???

A wine chiller isn't the same as a fridge. It's more like an air conditioned room.

Holtfreter's Solution is widely used for axolotls and other hard water species. It's recommended in cases where the tap water is soft / has low GH and KH levels (low in dissolved minerals).

---

Source:

“Axolotl Water Requirements & Water Conditions in Captivity - Water Hardness and Dissolved Salts” by John P. Clare:

Axolotls - Requirements & Water Conditions in Captivity
-
Holtfreter’s Solution Ingredients:

NaCl (Sodium chloride)
KCl (Potassium chloride)
CaCl2 (Calcium chloride)
NaHCO3 (Sodium bicarbonate)



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