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A few questions about diet and lifespan

This is a discussion on A few questions about diet and lifespan within the Axolotl General Discussion forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Hello, I'd first like to say that this site has been instrumental in my research on axolotls before buying one ...

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Old 13th December 2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default A few questions about diet and lifespan

Hello, I'd first like to say that this site has been instrumental in my research on axolotls before buying one yesterday. I am now the proud owner of a 15cm approx wild type named Maslow! She is living in a 95L 2.5foot tank which is fully cycled. I have a few remaining questions though...

1. We have in frozen blood worm, brine shrimp, daphnia and a mixed aquatic reptile food containing vegetables, beef heart and blood worm. Is this diet varied enough? And what proportion of which foods should I give her?

2. Earthworms: I have no garden and I live inner city so catching my own is not an option. I was considering ordering some from exotic-pets.co.uk and attempting to breed them. Is this possible? And if it is, is it worth it?

3. Are axolotl pellets a good idea? Again I found them at exotic pets, they are advertised as being better used occasionally rather than as a staple but it seems to me it might be a good idea to have in just in case I run out of frozen. Does anyone have any experience with them?

One more question. I have read that they have a life span of 15 years + however having trawled the internet for information I have only found one example of one livin up to that age. It could of course be that lots of axolotls are living to ripe old ages and no one feels the need to shout about it but people did seem overly impressed by that one example. What have peoples real life experiences ben with axolotl longevity?

Many thanks for any help!



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Old 13th December 2009   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few questions about diet and lifespan

Hello and welcome. Congratulations on your new axolotl! I'll try to answer some of your questions til someone more experienced comes along.
Firstly food. I think at 15cms they start ignoring brine shrimp and daphnia, well mine did anyway. They still took some bloodworm but preferred bigger food such as worms and pellets.
I believe you can breed worms, have a search for wormery on here and on google for more info. I'm thinkin of it myself for the new year.
Pellets i use for times when i cant be bothered to hunt for worms or have no live food in. They can take a while for your axolotl to get used to, mine took ages and ages to get used to them. Spitting them out constantly! But now they happily suck them up and munch them. I would get your axolotl used to them before relying on them for back up coz they may just not take them at first.
With regards to lifespan i have no experience whatsoever, my oldest ones are only 9 and half months.
Hope some of that helps! Mel



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Old 13th December 2009   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few questions about diet and lifespan

1. That diet is excellent with a great deal of variety. Bloodworms, earthworms, pellets, and daphnia are all great. The feeding of an adult axolotl is usually as much as they will eat in 15 mins, every other day.
2. I am not sure about the breeding of earthworms, but they aren't really necessary considering the varied diet you are already providing.
3. I am not a big fan of pellets, but I have heard they can be used as the staple of an axolotl's diet. I guess that is how they do it at universities that house axolotl colonies and they all do fine.
4. I owned an axolotl adult for about 5 years before he died...but I have no idea what his age was at the time I purchased him.



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Old 13th December 2009   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few questions about diet and lifespan

First of all, welcome to the forum, and congratulations for doing your research before buying your axolotl!

Do not offer the reptile mix. Mammalian flesh is not adecuate for them, and most of all, plant matter is not digestible, and potentially a danger for impaction.
Bloodworms, brine shrimp and daphnia are perfectly ok (although im not sure daphnia is a good choice given the tiny size).
The very best, as im sure you know, are earthworms, which brings me to the next point:

You most definitely can breed your own earthworms, you can find plenty of information on that matter in this forum.
I too live inner city, but what i do is i go to a safe area(no chemicals), harvest as much as i can until my back tells me to stop, and then i conserve them in the fridge in a tupper with a few centimetres of soil (and feed them sparangly). They can last for months!

Axolotl pellets are perfectly fine, specially if used as part as a varied diet. It may take a while for the axolotl to accept them, so be prepared to be patient xD

They can surpass 15 years of age, im sure some people here have had theirs for substantially longer.



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Old 14th December 2009   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few questions about diet and lifespan

Great, thanks for the replies. I think I will try breeding earthworms but I may leave it until she is a little larger.



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Old 14th December 2009   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few questions about diet and lifespan

" plant matter is not digestible, and potentially a danger for impaction."

does this mean you shouldnt have real plant in your tank? incase they eat them?



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Old 14th December 2009   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few questions about diet and lifespan

I did wonder this also. Only because freddie decided, even tho he is fed plenty, to chew a mossball. He was ripping clumps off and chewing them. Whether or not he actually ate it i dont know. But i did wonder if it was bad for him. Mel



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Old 14th December 2009   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few questions about diet and lifespan

Having plants in the tank is fine. Axies cannot digest plant matter so they either spit it out or small bits get passed out undigested in the poo.

They are unable to benefit much in terms of deriving nutrients from plant matter. Impaction risk although present is very minimal. As plant matter can be broken down to a certain extent into smaller pieces (mechanical digestion), unlike a solid piece of gravel, is still usually soft and into small enough pieces to be passed through.



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