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Axolotl hasn't eaten for over a week...

This is a discussion on Axolotl hasn't eaten for over a week... within the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; I have 2 axolotls one is bigger than the other and seems to be growing a lot faster as they ...

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Old 6th April 2016   #1 (permalink)
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Default Axolotl hasn't eaten for over a week...

I have 2 axolotls one is bigger than the other and seems to be growing a lot faster as they used to be almost the same size although he was always a bit bigger since we first got them.

Ifed them worms for the first time, dendrobaena, nearly 2 a weeks ago. The bigger one loves them and eats them straight away. The smaller one has eaten one slowly but since eating one worm hasn't eaten anything since and I've tried feeding her worms, pellets and frozen bloodworms and frozen daphnia so its been nearly 2 weeks since she ate last.

Since feeding worms the bigger axolotl has been biting on the smaller ones tail a lot and so far has eaten a good centimetre of it so I've made a crude tank divider to keep them seperate for now. The small one now seems afraid of worms, freaking out whenever one touches her and refuses any food you put in front of her, like his biting her tail has made her really afraid of everything which i guess is understandable.

I think it's probably for the best to keep them seperate for a while at least until her tail grows back and maybe even until she is a bit bigger but I dont know what to do about getting her to eat? Apart from her bitten tail she seems fine in every other way. Im worried if she doesnt eat soon she'll start getting sick and eventually die...

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.



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Old 6th April 2016   #2 (permalink)
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Hi there! 🤗
Awe, sounds like the poor girl has had some stress with being bitten and all! I'm going through the same thing now, I have an Axolotl that's a good inch longer and much bigger in size than the other one I just bought and last night Jabu (the bigger one) caused Gideon (the smaller one) a great deal of stress trying to nip at its gills and tail! I have them separated as well now but Gideon hasn't had much of an appetite all day long!
I would say just wait for her to be a little less stressed out and eventually she'll probably eat something! :)
Remember what they say, hunger is the best cook! 😏



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Old 7th April 2016   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl hasn't eaten for over a week...

Is your tank cycled and have you tested the parameters? This is always a good first step of you notice changes in behaviour or body condition. This way, you can at least rule out any water quality issues that may be causing issues and ensure good water quality for the purpose of keeping stress levels down and provide a good environment for them. It is good you have separated them for now and you can reintroduce them once they are closer in size (within an inch difference) and both are eating well.

For now I would test the parameters and make sure you have optimum water quality and keep persisting with food. Have you tried blanching the worms? Earthworms sometimes excrete a foul tasting substance that axolotls sometimes don't like. If you run the worm very briefly under hot water (only for a second) and then immediately cold water, this will kill the worm and stop it excreting the foul substance. The smaller axolotl may be more tempted this way. You could also try chopping the worm into smaller chunks and see if that helps.



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Old 7th April 2016   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl hasn't eaten for over a week...

My tank has been cycling for what seems like an eternity but on testing today the nitrite has finally dropped off to between 0-0.25ppm, ammonia being the same and nitrate at 10-20ppm. So no doubt the water paramters have been adding to the issue but she had been eating previously...

In hindsight I would have done a fishless cycle first but took the shops advice that they would be ok afer a week of the tank running.

Hopefully she'll start eating again soon now they are seperated and the paramters are looking healthier!

I will try blanching the worms today so fingers crossed!



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Old 8th April 2016   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl hasn't eaten for over a week...

Looks like your tank is pretty much cycled.

My Axolotl would not eat earth worms (dendrobaena), it took a month of not feeding him since he's the most stubborn Axolotl alive. But as of the last 2 days he's eaten 4 worms. I blanche the worms in a plastic container, pour boiling water on them wait for a few seconds then pour the water out and add freezing cold water, if they don't cop it from the first boil repeat the process again. Blanching makes the worm secrete the yellow fluid which is supposed to be used as a deterrent to predators as its tastes bad and smells bad. I've never had success blanching/killing worms with hot water, always has to be boiling.

I found this thread with it being discussed:

' In case anyone else is curious... it seems that the secretion is called coelomic fluid and is a complex proteinaceous mix of antibacterials and immunogenic compounds. Some of the bacteriolytic factors have thiol-activated groups to coordinate metal ions. This makes me wonder if it these thiols may contribute to the foul taste... I'll have to keep digging to see if a more conclusive linkage is known, though.

Non-science definition - the worm's secretion contains a handful of proteins meant to prevent infection, kill bacteria, and ward off would-be-eaters. One compound contains thiols, which are type of sulfur linkage in organic compounds. Thiols can have a foul odor and can be found in familiar smells like skunk spray, skunked beer, onions, and garlic. This may or may not be what gives the worms a foul taste, but hey, you learned something.... '


Dendrobaena earthworms

Hopefully your Axolotl just doesn't like worms yet, if that is the case then it will just take time.



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