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Seeking Advice

This is a discussion on Seeking Advice within the Axolotl General Discussion forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Okay so I finally had the money for a new tank and I am new to the Axolotl community. I ...

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Old 11th February 2015   #1 (permalink)
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Default Seeking Advice

Okay so I finally had the money for a new tank and I am new to the Axolotl community. I have a 40 gallon tank ready to go with the pH at 7.0-7.4 but 0.05ppm of ammonia is present. I will work to fix that in the coming days. So my questions for you guys are:
1) What age should I get?
Personally I am thinking juvenile at at least 3"
2)If not cannibalistic how many do you think I could hold in my tank?
Food recommendations other then salmon pellets?
Any advice/tips are welcome, I am very excited to have my first axolotl.
Also I am looking to buy from a member so if you are someone you know wants to pm me I can email you. Thanks



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Old 11th February 2015   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seeking Advice

From what I heard, age doesn't matter unless your breeding or it is super old and at the end of it's life span, Ergo, 10-15 years. Feeding recommendation are small or chopped up earthworms, tweezer feed crickets and roaches, or to plumpen a skinny, sick or gravid female, waxworms. A feeding chart is here. Caudata Culture Articles - Food Items for Captive Caudates



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Old 11th February 2015   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seeking Advice

1. In my experience there's no such thing as totally non-cannibalistic axolotls--that's a myth perpetuated by breeders. That said, anything over 3" is big enough that if you keep them well fed they'll probably leave each other alone for the most part, assuming you have enough hides. Also, if you're buying online (from here or elsewhere) they probably won't sell anything under 3", maybe not under 4". You could also start with eggs, which is fun, but more difficult. It's also cheaper.

2. Get hides. PVC pipe cut into 7-10" segments does pretty well if you don't want to get fancy.

3. Salmon pellets are pretty eh--especially if they're younger, they'll take much better to live food. I know earthworms have something of a squick factor, because for the most part you have to chop them up, but it's really not that bad. If you're really not into that, bloodworms or blackworms are also great, and they'll sell you tupperwares full at any LFS.

4. 40 gallons is pretty big. The general rule of thumb is 10g/axolotl, but it's really more about floor space than overall gallons. I'd start with two, and then assess if I were you. But definitely no more than four.

5. How new is your tank? I've definitely fallen victim to the new-tank-new-pet thing before, and you can do it, but really keep an eye on the cycle. One crash can kill an axolotl, and the younger they are, the more susceptible to bad water.



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Old 12th February 2015   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seeking Advice

Thank you both and I have 3 PVC hides ready and the tank is not new new but I have been waiting for the right time to get Axies and I am ready.
Have you or anyone else hatched eggs before how much time do you put into it and what kind of equipment do you need?



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Old 12th February 2015   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seeking Advice

It doesn't take much equipment, but it does take time.

You need to keep them in individual containers once they get to the size where they have all of their legs, or risk cannibalism. (Experienced breeders have set-ups with plants and what-not to reduce this, but if you are only raising a few, it may be easier to go with individual containers.)

You will need to hatch baby brine shrimp or find some other very small live food to feed them until they are old enough to recognize non-moving food as edible. There are plenty of do-it-yourself brine shrimp hatchery instructions on the web.

You will need to feed then and change water twice a day, with dechlorinated water.

With individual containers and twice-daily 100% water changes, you don't need aeration or filtration.

It will be quite a while until they are ready to go in the 40 gal, unless you decide to go the "lots of food and plants" route to reduce cannibalism .

If you want to try hatching them, I recommend starting with no more than 20 eggs.



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Old 12th February 2015   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seeking Advice

For a 40 breeder, I would not get more than 3 axolotls. Once they grow up, the space will look much smaller. I have a 55 with 1 axolotl and I would only put 1 or 2 axolotls more in there because of the floor space, I like them to be able to move around and have space.

Before you get set on getting a breeding pair, keep in mind they lay MANY eggs. It's not something you want to do unless you're willing to raise dozens if not hundreds of axolotls, with casualties of course which could be many, or if you don't want to raise that many then you'll need to figure out what you're going to do, how many and how you will humanely dispose of the eggs before they develop.



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Old 13th February 2015   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Seeking Advice

Everything Laura said about eggs is true. If you're getting young lotls you won't be able to sex them for a while, but this isn't that big of a deal in a 40gal. If they turn out to be the same gender you're good, and if they turn out to be a breeding pair, 40gal is big enough to put in a tank divider with enough room on both sides.

If you somehow end up with unwanted eggs you can freeze them before disposal, which humanely ends growth. However, laying eggs is a big energy toll on a female--one accidental egg-lay isn't that big of a deal, but she'll continue to lay as long as a male's around, and that's really unhealthy.



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