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Baby axolotl care

This is a discussion on Baby axolotl care within the Axolotl General Discussion forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Almost 2 years ago now, I decided to get myself a pair of axolotls. I now own 2 very healthy ...

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Old 9th February 2017   #1 (permalink)
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Default Baby axolotl care

Almost 2 years ago now, I decided to get myself a pair of axolotls. I now own 2 very healthy adults, 1 wild type male and 1 leucistic female. To my amazement last December they laid their first clutch (do you call them clutches?) of eggs! Me and my friend were so surprised and we immediately started collecting the eggs and setting up another tank to raise the young. A month later, after successfully hatching the 1st clutch, they laid another, more numerous bunch! I have had some casualties, which is expected in every batch of eggs, but the healthy ones are feeding voraciously on the live brine shrimp I hatch for them and are doing great! But I have some questions to ask:

1) I am keeping babies from 2 seperate clutches of eggs together in a 18 gallon tank with no substrate, a live plant and an air stone. There is only a month difference in between. Is there a risk of the older axolotls outgrowing and cannibalising their younger siblings? I have monitored them and seen no signs of misbehaviour so far, but would like to take precautions.

2) I intend to sell the young and know many people interested in buying them from me. I took the responsibility of writing a care sheet in my own words to hand out to all my customers. If an expert could take a look at it to see if it requires any corrections I would be eternally greatful.

3) Many of the people interested in buying my axolotls ask me if they can have a pair of 1 leucistic and 1 wild type but unfortunately I do not know how to answer them because of 2 reasons:

A) They are still so young they are basically transparent. I cannot differentiate between the colour morphs at their current age.

B) I am finding it difficult to understand the genetics of these animals. What are the possible outcomes of the offspring if i have a leucistic female and a wild type male.

Attached please find a photo of my 2 adults, a photo for size comparison of the young and my care sheet. I realise there is some dirt on the bottom of their tank, it is a combination of uneaten brine shrimp, waste and some sand particles from the adult tank which got transfered along with the eggs. I keep it very clean with water changes so please do not judge.

Thanks in advance! :)

Kevin
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Baby axolotl care-axolotls.jpg   Baby axolotl care-young.jpg  
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File Type: pdf Axolotl Care Sheet.pdf (659.1 KB, 33 views)



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Old 12th February 2017   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

1) There is a slight risk but if you keep them well-fed it probably will not happen because they should stay around the same size. 2) Your care sheet looks good to me, except the part about them growing lungs at the end might confuse the customer that their pet will eventually turn into a terrestrial salamander. 3) as for the genes I am not sure but wild type is dominant I think but you should have some leutistics and wild types but I am guessing the dark larvae in your photo are wild types and the ones that are transparent are the leutistics.



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Old 12th February 2017   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

Thanks for your help! I actually noticed one of the older ones attempt to eat the younger ones just now so I guess it's time to seperate them.



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Old 13th February 2017   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

1) Yes, there is a cannibalism risk, even among the same clutch of eggs. Some babies just grow faster than others and then cannibalize the smaller ones. And the size difference does not even to be that much for bigger ones to try to eat (and ultimate kill even though unable to eat) the smaller ones.

If my picture attached, you will see how much bigger the one with the arrow was from the others. That big one was from the same clutch of eggs.

2) Notes on your care sheet:
- Typo - (Some
suggest using large stones, but I have never tried this method, not does it sound effective.
) I have used large stones and ended up opting for sand. Food gets trapped between the stones, and the axolotl can't get to it.
- Axolotls generally live 10+ years, with a few outliers past 15 years. I think stating 20 years is optimistic...
- A strong current created by the filter will stress them out. Axolotls are messy critters, and I recommend people use a good filter. Strong current is bad for them, but filter output can be re-directed to make it not a problem. For instance I have a Fluval 206 on my 29g tank, but the current is directed towards the top of the tank giving the axolotls a gentle current at the bottom.
- Axolotl don't just like cooler temperatures... they require it! I would change like to require.
- I would mention Axolotls: The Fascinating Mexican Axolotl and the Tiger Salamander. That is an excellent site for additional information about axolotls.

A couple notes:

- I would put a divider between your male and female. The repeated breeding really tax their systems and could lead to illness/death. They will keep on keeping on unless you separate them....
- The leucistic baby in your photo will try to eat (and will kill) those little wild types if he/she comes across them. For your reference, in my attached image that large axolotl is easily big enough to kill the others in the container with him, and I separated him right after the picture.
- You can usually tell what general types of babies I will be getting from the larvae. I am pretty sure you will be ending up with wild type and leucistics. If you could attach more photos though that would help make a determination.

Best of luck to you!!!
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Old 13th February 2017   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

I have my juvies groing out in a rubbermaid container that was desiged to sort and pack christmas ornaments. It prevents them from biting off each others appendages and then once they get bigger I pull the dividers out and let them mingle.
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Old 14th February 2017   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

Thank you for your reply, i found it exremely helpful! I have updated the care sheet following your information. I was actually trying to figure out a way to divide them but I have asked every pet shop in the vicinity and looked up how to make DIY dividers, but none of those options are possible in Malta...

A DIY tank divider can easily be done with plexiglass or mesh with some report covers to act as a frame, or even PVC piping. but for me to find the materials I would have to scout every stationary/hardware store on the island without guarantee of finding what i need. It has always been a problem for me because in the US people just go to walmart and literally find everything under the sun in 1 warehouse, hence these things are much harder to acomplish where I live. Buying online is neither an option because shipping ends up being 3 times the price of the item and takes weeks to arrive. It's so unfair but one must adapt haha!! So i have a plan B, which is placing the female in the tank where the larvae are now and buying a couple of kritter keepers or tubs for the larvae setup, since they are easier to find.

Also, to boot, I am being forced to move out of my apartment and move back to the smaller island where I originate from called Gozo. It's seriously stressing me out as I don't only own axolotls but also ball pythons, leopard geckos, tarantulas, rodents and lots of other things and I really am not prepared. If you could provide any tips on transporting such animals through at least 2 hours of driving and a 30 minute ferry ride across the Gozo channel, that would also be greatly appreciated!



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