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Some basics

This is a discussion on Some basics within the Axolotl General Discussion forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; I have some questions that I am sure have all been asked elsewhere but I wanted to get specific to ...

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Old 9th January 2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default Some basics

I have some questions that I am sure have all been asked elsewhere but I wanted to get specific to my situation so any help will be appreciated.
I am interested in starting up trying to keep a few axolotl and wonder what some of the thoughts are out there. I keep a lot of tropical fish, the temperature of the room is about 74, as I have found this a happy medium for most of the fish I keep. I can move the axolotl tank to the floor where it is somewhat cooler about 70 but I would prefer to have them up higher to watch them. I do lay on the floor quite a bit to observe some fish but quite frankly I am getting too old for this. Do you think these guys would be OK at 74, I might consider a chiller but this is a bit of an expense on an already over budget hobby.
Also my water hardness here is at about 130 ppm with most of that being carbonate hardness. Although this is considered moderately hard amongst fish keepers it certainly isn't "hard". Does anyone have any thoughts or experience here they would care to share? I can add dolomite if needed, but if it isn't I would prefer to keep it as simple as possible.
As for substrate, I can get some larger pebbles but I am thinking of going with a bare bottom tank (painted black). I will use some pots and pipes but have found that no substrate is easier to maintain when you have a number of tanks like mine. I already know these guys can swallow smaller objects so these will be avoided but are there any thoughts to having no substrate at all?
Thank you for any help you may be able to provide.



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Old 9th January 2010   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some basics

Hiya
Just a quick temp answer, 74 is a no no!! 70 is the maximum preferably lower than that to be comfortable.

Mel



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Old 9th January 2010   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some basics

OK thanks, I'll consider a chiller. I don't really have anywhere else I could keep them that is that well temperature controlled.



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Old 9th January 2010   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some basics

Quote:
Originally Posted by morgrid View Post
OK thanks, I'll consider a chiller. I don't really have anywhere else I could keep them that is that well temperature controlled.
If you can't care for an Axolotl properly, don't purchase one...seems you already have enough critters :-)



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Old 9th January 2010   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some basics

OH I can care for them properly - that is why I am asking questions before I get them, if I get them. I wouldn't go in to this blind. I won't be obtaining these creatures unless a suitable environment is ready for them.



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Old 9th January 2010   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some basics

If you haven't already read it, the temperature section of the link below has some ideas for cooling that you can play around with.

Axolotls - Requirements & Water Conditions in Captivity



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Old 10th January 2010   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some basics

Thank you. Yes, I did read that. That site has actually been on my browser for quite some time. It is where I found the link to this site. I have some other places I could put these guys in the winter where it wouldn't be a problem keeping them in their temperature range, however in the summer the temperature in my house can get up there. I really think I will not be happy unless I get a chiller.
I did think of an option of putting them outside on the shady side of the house in the summer and bringing them in for the winter months. I am pretty sure that they would stay within the temperture range that way but having the chiller just solves a lot for me.
I am curious as to how many out there use chillers with their salamanders, if you don't do you find you have issues in the summer? Obviously AC can solve some issues but I don't run it all the time, especially when we aren't here.



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Old 10th January 2010   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some basics

[QUOTE=morgrid;219174 I really think I will not be happy unless I get a chiller.
[/QUOTE]

Then get a chiller :)



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Old 10th January 2010   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some basics

Sorry, but I found that a bit rude Shizeric.........



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Old 10th January 2010   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some basics

I think shizeric has good intentions but the way it has been expressed could appear curt.

Morgrid is obviously an axie owner who cares deeply for her pets as evident by the active reasearching and contemplating over the options. Unfortunately, everyone has different difficulties to consider like finances or family members who may not be supportive of such an investment.

Bottom line is everyone so far has the common bond of wanting the best of the axies so it should be a happy ever after ending.



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Old 10th January 2010   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some basics

I have kept some axolotl outside during the summer as it was far easier to keep cool. Mine where in a plastic lidded crate , placed in a constantly shaded area on concrete. On the hottest days I found that if I put a damp towel on the lid it kept the temperatures nicely down. I did have to do daily 20% water changes.



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Old 10th January 2010   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some basics

I'm sorry if my comment came out wrong or was delivered in a rude manner, I only meant that it seems it would save a great deal of work by purchasing a chiller. I didn't mean to suggest that you weren't concerned with your animals' well being, but as you understand a chiller would be your best option by far. Again, I apologize.



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Old 11th January 2010   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some basics

Have you considered getting a fan? Screen lids will make the water drop a few degrees, and then having a fan blowing over the top of the tank will drop it a few degrees more. Best to experiment to see if this will get your tank cold enough first though. I was surprised at how much my fan caused my tank temperatures to go down!



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Old 11th January 2010   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some basics

No offense taken, so don't worry about the comment. It is quite honest and in fact what I am looking into. A chiller I would need is about $300. The fan option is a good idea, however it creates a lot of humidity and I don't want to have to buy a dehumidifier instead - lol. Also the fan does not control the temperture - it only lowers it. I am fairly well committed right now to the chiller so I will keep looking for a bargain. If anyone knows a good place to get one let me know.



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Old 11th January 2010   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some basics

I have heard of some people getting great deals on chillers from ebay.



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Old 11th January 2010   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some basics

What size tank you looking to use?



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Old 12th January 2010   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some basics

Hi there ... I am just new to all this, but I would like to let you know how my husband solved my temp issues for me - he is pretty handy, so he sacrificed our very old bar fridge for my axies.

He started by drilling two holes in the side, well away from the motor and stuff, and fed in a clear plastic hose, which is coiled round and round inside, then out again, and the ends are in the tank. He had to fill the hose with prepared water, and one end is fitted to a pump in the tank. The water simply is pumped down through the fridge and back into the axies tank. By turning the flow down on the little pump, there is only a small flow of water, directed onto the glass, but the temp has been a fairly constant 18 - 19 degrees since. He actually has the tank outside as we are living in a miniscule house, so we now have a hole drilled through the floor, and the fridge is covered with timber to prevent too much overheating of the motor. The only hassle was keeping the hoses just right so he wrapped some copper wire round them and hooked it over the tank edge. I will post pics for you shortly.

If the fridge dies, as it is probably about 20 years old, we will purchase another one second hand, probably get one for $20 from ebay.

Next chistmas, my silly kids who gave me the axies in the first place will be buying me a chiller.



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