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Newbie here *waves* with questions!

This is a discussion on Newbie here *waves* with questions! within the Axolotl General Discussion forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Hey guys! Just got my first Axol on sunday, and I *thought* I did my research... apparently I didn't. And ...

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Old 19th July 2016   #1 (permalink)
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Default Newbie here *waves* with questions!

Hey guys! Just got my first Axol on sunday, and I *thought* I did my research... apparently I didn't. And now I just feel like a bad mom. Haha. So, I have quite a few questions, some jut need clarification, some need answers. Please bear with me!

1.) I got a 20g tank and a filter, and ran it for at least 12 hours, which I am now learning is not enough. The water got cloudy by Monday, and I did a quarter water change, then did anothet quarter water change later that night. Still cloudy. He is now in a kritter keeper, because I wasn't feeling right about the water. I got a ph kit and an ammonia kit. Ammonia was at the DARKEST level it can be! So, what do I need to do??? I tested his keeper, and it was like the 4th darkest, but there were two poops, so that might have been why.

2.) Tank temp started at 78.1, and i got it down to about 73 over night with ice packs against the glass, and a fan above the water. But obviously the current created by the fan is not ideal, so any ideas on how to cool down? My dad is THANKFULLY a techy, and has everything needed to create a chiller out of a CPU water cooling system, but until then, what?

3.) Obviously the little dude is stressed. Im trying to keep him cool and dark in his keeper in my kitchen. I rarely use my stove (it's 110 degrees here, so no thanks) so no worries about it being too warm. But what else can I do to get him to relax? Just give him time? He's fairly active, with an appetite. But his gil feathers are turned forward a bit, and he seems to be floating a lot.

4.) He is fairly small, I would say maybe the length of my pointer finger, so how much should he be eating, and what? I read earth worms, but they seem quite large for him. I have a bunch of frozen blood worms from the reptile store, which he seems to like, and has been eating, just not sure the correct amounts.

5.) He spends a LOT of tme floating. Not sure if thats normal. Ive read they float when younger since they're not as heavy, but he tends to stay at the top of the water for quite an amount of time. He goes up for air a few times, which I read is normal, and considering the amount of ammonia in his tank, I'm not surprised. But is the floating a normal habit?

Sorry for the long post, I'm just super excited about my new lil guy, and I'm so worried about him.

I tried uploading some pictures, but apparently that's just too much for my phone to handle right now, so I'll add some later when I'm on my laptop. He has the cutest face with freckles ! He is a luecistic, who has not been named yet, but I'm leaning towards Einstein.

Thanks guys!



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Old 20th July 2016   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie here *waves* with questions!

Hi Savvy, welcome to the forum. Here are some answers for you:
1. Read up on cycling - you need to grow good bacteria in your filter to process the ammonia.
2. If your axie isn't in the tank don't worry about it for now. A chiller is the best option for keeping cool, if your dad can make one then great.
3. You need to change all the water in the keeper daily. If you keep it on the floor it might stay a bit cooler.
4. You can cut up earthworms with scissors into inch long pieces.
5. Floating isn't a problem as long as he can get to the bottom when he wants to.

Pictures would really help when you can organise it.



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Old 20th July 2016   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie here *waves* with questions!

auntiejude,

Thanks for the response.

I did a full water change, added a water conditioner, and am letting the tank run for a while. I have been doing daily tests on ammonia, which seems to be getting better.

The water in the keeper gets 100% daily changes, and I've been added water conditioner to that as well as testing it, just to be safe. I have a cat and a dog, so keeping him on the floor isnt much of an option, and keeping the keeper under 70 degrees seems to be an issue as well as the tank. I've got about 5 frozen water bottles and 3 cold packs in my freezer that I rotate, but I'm afraid that when the temp rises while I'm gone, it'll just stress him out when I cool him down when I get back. Should I keep the temp where it's at for now? He is active, and eating, so he doesnt seem TOO stressed.

I'll see if I can get some earth worms, but can I use up the blood worms while I have them? I have about 24 cubes left.

And yes, he can get to the bottom when he feels like it, just seems as though he prefers the top. Could it be the bottom is too cool, when sitting in an ice pack??

Thanks!

Lets see if this works... this is my little guy... if it works, I can add more pictures...
Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 20th July 2016   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie here *waves* with questions!

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

The tank after I changed the water, and am now letting it run. I read it should be run with all decor inside, so I set it up again.
Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 21st July 2016   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie here *waves* with questions!

Hey there!
Cute little baby!
For now blood worms are a fine food source for him, since he's still so small. When he gets to be about 5-6 inches they won't be a good source any more, and he should be switched to a better diet either of earthworms/red wigglers or even pellets, which mine are on (And they're 9", 10.5", and 11.75"). And as long as he can still get to the bottom whenever he wants floating is no problem. Sometimes my littlest axolotl, Nugget, likes to wedge himself up under the filter intake and just float there, and sometimes the big boy, Ogo, will spend hours on end at the surface. They just like to float at times! Also your tank set up looks pretty great. Just make sure you keep that bottom really squeaky clean, or it could cause sores on your axie's feet. If you're interested, sand might be a better option, as it's still relatively easy to clean, and easier to move around on for axies as they can get a good grip and stomp all over.

Finally, I have a question, are the ice packs your using the ones with the gel inside? I would personally be weary about putting those in tanks. I'm not sure if they have any sort of chemicals in the gel that could leach in to the water...



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Old 22nd July 2016   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie here *waves* with questions!

Kochebi,

Thanks! I figured I'd use up the blood worms until they're gone, and then make the switch. I have Brine Shrimp as well, but has yet to try him on those. I figured I'd have them on hand for a treat or something different for him.

I do plan on getting sand at some point, but I need a syphon before I get substrate. I figure a clean bottom is the best until then!

I use a few different ice packs, but never IN the tank. I eirher put the tank ontop of the ice pack so it cools the bottom of the tank, or against the sides of the tank. In the glass tank, I was wedge it between the wall and the glass to help cool the water. It helped a LITTLE bit, but not much.



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Old 22nd July 2016   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie here *waves* with questions!

Beautiful tank!!!
Only one concern is the hang on filter that you have that filter hardly good for axolotl especially at his age ( too strong of the current , stress axolotl, not much of a filter) I would recommending bio sponge and don't leave that much dead worms in tank , frozen food or dead food cause ammonia to sky rocket , cloudy water. I know I said this to other member before but I still think live black worms still best for axolotl especially any size below 6 inches especially it live in water. Sand also help to have especially white sand so you can scoop the poop out easier and keep water clean longer. As far as not enough bacteria to destroy ammonia .. Get water treatment call " stress zyme" API is a good brand for it . It will introduce good bacteria in to water. And while you at it get the liquid ammo lock too just in case. .. Aquarium fan ... Ah yes it does look like it producing current but believe me when I say this. .. It does not produce the actual current .. It just pushing the surface of water so when he float he might just flow around .. Just get some floating plastic plants for him that's all you need.



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Old 22nd July 2016   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie here *waves* with questions!

Tipnatee,

I am aware of the issues with the filter, but thanks for the advice! Unfortunately, it wasnt specified when I bought it that it created a waterfall and a current in the water. I have a fake plant with a suction cup, that when I position in front of the filter, it slows the current down to almost nothing. Until I can get a new filter system, it'll have to do. Once he's in the actual tank, I might get some earth worms and try feeding him that way, to reduce waste. Sand/substrate wasnr in the budget at the moment, so I figured once I'm able to get a better filter, and need to re- cycle the tank, I'll be able to add some aquarium sand. 😊



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Old 22nd July 2016   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie here *waves* with questions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Savvy1985 View Post
Kochebi,

Thanks! I figured I'd use up the blood worms until they're gone, and then make the switch. I have Brine Shrimp as well, but has yet to try him on those. I figured I'd have them on hand for a treat or something different for him.

I do plan on getting sand at some point, but I need a syphon before I get substrate. I figure a clean bottom is the best until then!

I use a few different ice packs, but never IN the tank. I eirher put the tank ontop of the ice pack so it cools the bottom of the tank, or against the sides of the tank. In the glass tank, I was wedge it between the wall and the glass to help cool the water. It helped a LITTLE bit, but not much.
Brine shrimp are kinda useless except as live food for hatchlings, honestly... But the blood worms will do for now until you go bigger! And good idea on keeping it clean until you have means to keep the sand clean haha.

And nice thinking on the ice packs. Outside of that and floating ice bottles in the water there's not much else to do until you get a chiller. If he gets ill or very stressed you could try popping him in the fridge, but that is only used for ill, injured, or severely stressed axolotls, so I wouldn't worry about that yet.



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