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Axolotl tank mates

This is a discussion on Axolotl tank mates within the Axolotl General Discussion forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; I got a baby axolotl about a month ago from a friend who discovered him floating behind a plant after ...

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Old 29th January 2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default Axolotl tank mates

I got a baby axolotl about a month ago from a friend who discovered him floating behind a plant after selling an adult pair. I am keeping him in a ten gallon tank with an overhead filter and change his water every week to two weeks. I feed him frozen blood worms and daphnia, but he seems to leave a lot of uneaten food and assorted debris at the bottom of his tank. I use a soft net to scoop it up but sometimes the worms fall between the rocks and i have a hard time getting them.

So...I was wondering if it would be a good idea to get a non-aggressive bottom feeder to help clean up that food debris. I was thinking some sort of fresh-water loach that can withstand a variety of temps. My little Upa-Rupa is big enough to protect himself but not yet full grown...so I don't know if the fish would be in danger of being eaten.

I just don't want him ingesting rotten worms and daphnia.
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Old 29th January 2009   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl tank mates

Hi.
The general rule is not to mix species or add anything other than axolotl to your tank. Your only real option is to manually remove the excess food and waste a turkey baster is fantastic for this. If there is a lot seeming to be left by your axolotl then you may be offering too much. What do you have on the base of your tank?
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Old 29th January 2009   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl tank mates

Bella is right. Its not good to mix species. Those bottom feeders are amored and usually have spines to name two problems. The other is that despite being "non aggressive" they are frequently opportunistic. Meaning they will have a nibble at his gills, tail, toes when they can. Leaving wounds open to infection.

What substrate do you have on the bottom of your tank? Get rid of gravel please, don't use marbles either. Large stones bigger than your axolotl are ok but leave awkward gaps for food to fall through, rot and make your water toxic to the axolotl.

I like slate pieces on a bare bottom tank. Sand is nice too. I had a bare bottom tank w/lovely black slate and large chunks of quartz & large "boulders" of marimo moss balls that looked really sci fi/pretty.

The turkey baster seems weird and non techy but it works!!! Especially in small water situations or with babies.

Sharon
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Old 30th January 2009   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl tank mates

I have very large rocks at the bottom of the tank and some plastic plants. A friend gave me a bottom feeder last night from another aquarium and I put it in with the axolotl for a bit. He immediately tried to eat it so I took it out an gave it back today. Guess maybe it's time to try feeding him some live food...he seems to enjoy that.

The turkey baster is a good idea. I'll try that for now. Thanks.
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Old 30th January 2009   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl tank mates

You could have a few coldwater snails - e.g., bladder snails, ramshorn snails - they are great little cleaners, and make a nice snack for the axolotl, too.

-Eva
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Old 30th January 2009   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl tank mates

Hi,

Best tank mate for an axolotl ..... is another axolotl and there is no substitute for cleaning. Turkey basters or siphon vacuums are good choices

Good Luck
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Old 31st January 2009   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl tank mates

G'day,

Quote:
Originally Posted by axolotl86
...but he seems to leave a lot of uneaten food and assorted debris at the bottom of his tank. I use a soft net to scoop it up but sometimes the worms fall between the rocks and i have a hard time getting them.
You could try the cup approach. Basically, you get a large cup and place the cube of frozen bloodworms/daphina into the cup. Then, it is just a matter of keeping the food in the cup while you immerse the cup into the water. Ideally, you would want an elongated cup but it would also have to be wide enough, that way the axolotl doesn't get stuck

Quote:
Originally Posted by axolotl86
A friend gave me a bottom feeder last night from another aquarium and I put it in with the axolotl for a bit.
Definitely not the best idea. Any newly acquired animal that is to be introduced into the tank must go through a stringent 30 days (minimum) quarantine process. Having said that, Ian is right about there not being any substitutes for cleaning.

Jay.
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Old 31st January 2009   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl tank mates

Yep, and Ian is also right about "Best tank mate for an axolotl ..... is another axolotl"!

-Eva
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Old 1st February 2009   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl tank mates

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueberlin View Post
Best tank mate for an axolotl ..... is another axolotl
This is very true!
Although, I have to admit that I have some Golden Inca Snails in my tank. They are great at cleaning up the little bits and pieces of left over food on the bottom of the tank, for instance, as a treat I will sometimes feed my axolotls mealworms. Bits of the mealworms outer 'shell' sometimes gets left on the bottom of the tank and my snails usually just eat it up. It works out well. Sometimes though my axies nip at the snails and the snails might lose bits of themselves, however it always seems to grow back. At the moment the snails are small enough that if the axolotls do eat them, they won't cause any problems yet. When the snails are too big, I will just swap them over with some smaller snails.

I will say that you have to be very careful adding snails to your tank, and its not something that you should do if your not sure.
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Old 1st February 2009   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl tank mates

I have three types of snails in my tank: ramshorn, bladder, and apple snails. I just learned that apple snails are tropical and that my usual tank temp of 18C is a minimum for them, but they do wonderfully and grew quickly to a size too large for the axolotls to eat. I can't keep ramshorn or bladder snails for long; they are dinner.

I also have guppies and platys in the tank (also intended as food).

-Eva
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Old 1st February 2009   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl tank mates

Out of curiosity, has anyone ever managed to keep both an axolotl and a weather loach in the same tank without any major problems?
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Old 1st February 2009   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl tank mates

Seriously - once again. If the fish doesn't harm the axolotl, the axolotl will eat it.

I watched a guppy creep in to get a nibble of axolotl food and as soon as there was a flicker - SLURP - guppy all gone bye bye! If I had blinked I would have had to wonder if the guppy had ever been there to begin with.

And once again - a slightly larger fish will damage the gills of the axolotl.

Sharon
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Old 2nd February 2009   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl tank mates

I have 2 apple snails with my axies
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Old 2nd February 2009   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl tank mates

Blueberlin-- you are keeping guppy and platy in the axie tank?

How long do they last?

I tried this live food approach ONCE, with several
grown up pregnant guppy females (I thought
they were too big to eat...)
They lasted TWO (!!) days...
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Old 2nd February 2009   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl tank mates

Hi Ellen,

Yes, they are feeder fish. I have lots of plants floating which provides them with cover so I also usually have baby guppies. The platy babies try to hide on the floor so they are eaten very quickly.

They used to survive a long time, I have a few that have been in the one tank for about half a year (since I started keeping live fish in the tank). That was with plastic plants, though. I have changed to live plants now and I have a theory (I love ungrounded theories) that the plastic plants were unpleasant for the axolotl to touch and thus provided better cover for the fish. Since replacing them with live plants, I am having a dickens of a time keeping fish in the tank. One adult axolotl in the one tank and two juveniles in the other seem to be going through about 15 fish a day. I will definitely set up a breeder tank instead and just move fish over to the axolotls once they are big enough.

-Eva
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Old 7th April 2010   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl tank mates

Ghost Shrimp they are small bottom feeders that are hard to see, like the temp axolotls like, are bottom feeders, and are really cool. You will lose some, but thats the same with anything in a tank with axolotls
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Old 7th April 2010   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl tank mates

I tried my axolotls with some baby guppies and algae shrimp. Put 4 guppies and 3 shrimp in there and within 2 hours, 2 of the guppies had vanished. Now 3 days later only 1 guppy remains, only seen one shrimp recently but they do like to hide in rocks. They are very fast and easily scared but the axies may have sneaked up on them in the dark! I also seem to have a snail in there, no idea what type as it must have stowed away on the plants I bought weeks ago, guess its too small for the axies to have found yet.
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Old 14th April 2010   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl tank mates

So do you have to quarantine those guppies or feeder fish before you feed them to the axies?
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Old 14th April 2010   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl tank mates

You need to quarantine for 30 days or so before feeding.
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Old 20th April 2010   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl tank mates

My experience with live feeders is that fish bred for food purposes by reputable farms are parasite free. Though I ALWAYS look at the conditions, condition, and general health of feeder animals.
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