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New Axolotl owner. I need feedback and answers...

This is a discussion on New Axolotl owner. I need feedback and answers... within the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; I've had my axolotl for roughly 2 1/2 months by now, and I think it's time I get a bit ...

Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) A dedicated topic for those seeking help with Axolotls, showing off your photos, or just to talk about them.

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Old 26th January 2010   #1 (permalink)
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Arrow New Axolotl owner. I need feedback and answers...

I've had my axolotl for roughly 2 1/2 months by now, and I think it's time I get a bit of expert advice. She is called Aristotle, in original belief of her being male. I was proved wrong
She is a melanoid albino axolotl, approximately 19 cm from tail tip to nose and sexually mature. She has short gills.

I've really enjoyed having an axolotl, they're amazing creatures and are fascinating to keep.

Here's a list of her housing equipment and food etc.
  • 20 litre tank on polystyrene platform.
  • Aqua One Maxi 101F internal filter, maximum 350 L/Hr at 5 watts.
  • Medium and smaller gravel mix, mainly the rough size of a large bean.
  • Aqua Master solid sinking Axolotl pellets.
  • Water aged with aquarium water ager.
Upon further reading, I've heard that soft salmon and trout pellets are more favoured and don't dissolve as easier. I'm going to try hand feeding earthworms as well.
My list of things to get in order to improve the aquarium involve floating plastic plants, a cave and tunnel, vacuum pipe and soft food.

I switch her filter off at night, would that affect anything?

Sometimes she'll randomly flail around and swim madly against the walls of the tank, would putting a hide in there stop this behaviour? It's a little worrying.

Her eyesight is very bad, the only way to feed her is aiming and dropping pellets around her head and mouth. Otherwise she seems completely oblivious. This is normal, right?

Aristotle has six toes and fingers on her left side! I suppose this is normal. She has a long finger growing out of the middle of the palm (?) of her front foot. It's pretty strange, but useful in the long run I suppose.

I'd like to know what you experts out there think, how am I going so far? Is there anything I should know about? Suggestions? All would be highly appreciated

~Helix



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Old 26th January 2010   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Axolotl owner. I need feedback and answers...

Let me start off by welcoming you to the forums, I think it's great that you want to be the best Axie owner you can be, and are looking for advice. As for the gravel, I would suggest changing this...the size you described can be ingested while he feeds and can cause serious issues if it becomes lodged in his digestive system. The filter being off at night won't affect anything, as Axolotls don't even necessarily even need a filter as long as you are maintaining their tank correctly. The swimming frantically is normal when an Axie is frightened, as fleeing is their own natural defense. You should definitely have a hide his enclosure, not only to make him more comfortable, but also to avoid bright lights, as they have no eyelids to close. As far as his eyesight is concerned, that is normal, and Axolotls find their food based on scent, not on sight. I've heard Axolotls pellets are just fine as a staple, but I personally prefer worms, and I believe the Axolotl would enjoy the live prey too. And lastly, as far as the mutations on her foot are concerned, that's nothing to worry about, amphibians often have unusual characteristics like that, and it only makes your axie "unique".

I realize I have been referring to Aristotle as "he", but as you said he was proven to be a she..oops.

I hope this helped, and the more you read around here, the better you are going to be able to care for little Aristotle.



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Old 26th January 2010   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Axolotl owner. I need feedback and answers...

I'll also quickly add...20L is a bit small for a full grown Axie, you might want to think about upgrading at some point. And you also need to keep an eye on your water temperature, as internal heaters tend to become warm, and in a tank that size it could have a pretty large impact.



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Old 26th January 2010   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Axolotl owner. I need feedback and answers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helix View Post
I switch her filter off at night, would that affect anything?
Out of curosity, why do you turn it off at night? I would assume this has a negative impact on the beneficial bacteria.

Quote:
Sometimes she'll randomly flail around and swim madly against the walls of the tank, would putting a hide in there stop this behaviour? It's a little worrying.
A hide is a must for them to feel secure.

Quote:
Aristotle has six toes and fingers on her left side! I suppose this is normal. She has a long finger growing out of the middle of the palm (?) of her front foot. It's pretty strange, but useful in the long run I suppose.
It's not normal but it also doesn't pose a problem or risk to your axie. More than likely the toes were bit off while it was younger and it just regenerated oddly. If you think that's odd looking then you should see some of these with backwards feet and other abnormalities.

As a side note, the size of the gravel worries me a bit. This is almost the perfect size for causing impactions.

Edit: Looks like someone beat me to the post.



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Old 26th January 2010   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Axolotl owner. I need feedback and answers...

Yeah, but your response is fancy with quotes and smileys!



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Old 26th January 2010   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Axolotl owner. I need feedback and answers...

Thanks for the help, I've been meaning to upgrade my axolotl knowledge :)
I'll keep that in mind, maybe I'll put some big pebbles in the bottom temporarily. I'll make a start on a list of stuff I will have to keep an eye out for, as well as making a hide. The tank is in my room so the bubbling sound can be a little distracting at night. But it's place on my desk is a relatively shadier place.
When I have adequate money I'll get her a longer, lower tank.
Thanks for all your help! I'll be sure to get a start right away. No to go and dig some worms...



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Old 26th January 2010   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Axolotl owner. I need feedback and answers...

I'd like to make a few suggestions. Instead of getting larger pebbles I would switch to sand. Sand is much easier to keep clean. Uneaten food and other waste gets trapped in all the nooks and crannies that the pebbles create which can/will cause a nightmare with your water parameters. Another benefit of sand is that it is available in many different colors.

When you decide to buy a new tank just remember that floor space is more important to an axolotl than volume. For example, a 20 gallon long tank is better compared to a 20 gallon tall tank.

PVC pipes (make sure it is drinking water safe) make excellent hides if your wanting to make your own.



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