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Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

This is a discussion on Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops. within the Axolotl General Discussion forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; I dont see a lot of axolotls in the pet stores in my area, i mainly breed african clawed toads ...

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Old 7th June 2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

I dont see a lot of axolotls in the pet stores in my area, i mainly breed african clawed toads and sell them to shops so i get to visit quite a few stores and whenever i see an axolotl it appears to be in very poor condition and ridiculously expensive, a lot of the time its down to the shops lack of understanding of how to keep them but quite often they turn up in a crappy state from the distributor. For example my friend Stuart , who owns a small pet shop, ordered two axolotls for £10 each from his supplier, when they turned up they were two inches long, misshapen and damaged gills , not knowing any better he asked my opinion and was suprised when i told him they were the sorriest specamins i had ever seen. Stuart was planning to sell them for £20 each(standard 100% petshop markup) and some unsuspecting first time axolotl buyer would have bought them, i know i got caught out like this my first time. So ive decided its time that i start providing cheap good quality axolotls to a couple of my petshop friends who i will advise on how to care for axolotls as long as they keep the price down(they can make their money on exorbitantly priced aquariums, food etc), if enough of us genuine axolotl fans start doing this,less sickly, inbred poor quality animals will be on the market. Would you guys agree with this tactic and like to take part in this worthwhile plan?




Last edited by xxianxx; 7th June 2011 at 08:16.
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Old 7th June 2011   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

Sounds like a plan. Sometimes though I think the pet shops need a kick up the behind. I went back to the shop that I saved my little axol from last week. When I brought mine he had no legs and his gills were down to little stumps where he was kept in a small plastic aquarium with 5 other juveniles. When I brought him I told the manager that they weren't being kept right, the plastic aquarium was tiny (about 5 litres), the water was disgusting, and they had nothing in it. The guy told me that that's how they should be kept and that they always nip at eachother when they are small. He honestly saw nothing wrong with the set-up and wouldn't listen. So when I went back nothing had changed, he'd replaced the axolotl I'd brought with another sickly looking little thing.

After asking some questions I found out that he buys his from a breeder about 2 hours away, and that they quite often have no legs/gills. He also told me that the breeder said it was fine to keep them like he does, the emphasis there I think meaning 'He breeds them so he knows, and you just keep them as a hobby, so go away.'. Cheeky thing was that when I told him I would have some to sell in around a month and that they all had legs and gills he offered to buy them from me for £5 each. Hmmmm let me think about that one..... NO!



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Old 7th June 2011   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

I flat out refuse to purchase anything from a petstore or similar that don't take care of their animals.

I've been lucky, I got my newest axie from a aquarist, and she was kept very well. kept in a dark 3 ft tank with one other axie, no missing limbs, all gills intact, plenty of hides and the right filtration and most importantly, no gravel.

she was very fat when I got her too! I think it comes down to many petstores assuming that axies are fish and they treat them as such.



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Old 7th June 2011   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

Im fortunate in the fact i have a good relationship with a number of pet shop owners , several of whom are in fact personal friends so they listen to what i advise concerning axolotls because they know i have kept them for years. To educate a pet shop owner you need to develop credability with them, for they are forever getting customers coming into their shops and talking rubbish about animal care and they get fed up with it. If you try talking to this guy again you could try telling him that you could initially provide him with a few axolotls at £5 each as long as he takes on board what you say about their care, when he sees your good condition axolotls you will develop instant credability and he could very well change his idea about his existing suppliers advice. Trust me on this , take a hit on your first delivery you get this guy onside improve his care on his axys and you gain may gain a friend who gives you mates rates on food , conditioner etc that bumps the price of you raising axys in the first place. Good luck, let me know how you get on.



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Old 7th June 2011   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

I've never even seen an axolotl in a pet shop, LoL!
All mine have been from private owners + have been in great condition. Plus, I paid £10 for 2 goldens + got a free wildtype with my 1st purchase, because the breeder had loads of wilds, plus I spent so long arranging collection, he could see I was determined.
The 2 leucies I bought recently were also £5 each.
Having said that, I did do train journeys of a couple of hours each way, to fetch both sets of axies, so that took the cost up a little, but has definately been worth it (the 1st set I got the same for my friend too - the guys I'm currently fostering + the new guys I ended up getting 8, as 3 other people I know wanted a couple each, so train fares have been reduced each time)



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Old 7th June 2011   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

Unfortunately this is all too common in my area, I've discovered that a few of the petshop owners are actually very receptive to my advice. I even got one of them to switch their axi's into a 3 foot planted tank (they were previously in the 24 cm tank) I was so happy



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Old 7th June 2011   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

i have never seen an axolotl in any pet shop!!! and i go to a lot of them!!! therefor i had to order mine from someone in FL but it all worked out.

have yall ever heard of axolotls being called water dogs? when i was calling pet shops to see if they had any they told me to ask for water dogs lol



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Old 7th June 2011   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

One pet shop I saw them at had one poor little axie in a goldfish tank. By goldfish tank, I mean the feeder fish tanks they keep PACKED full! Poor thing hardly had any gills left. Another kept theirs on gravel in about 2 inches of water with a filter pouring a waterfall of water all over the place. However, I know a privately owned pet shop where they knew a lot about axolotls, and while they didn't keep any in the store, they could have ordered some for me (they only get them if people request them), but, they wanted $79 for theirs!

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have yall ever heard of axolotls being called water dogs? when i was calling pet shops to see if they had any they told me to ask for water dogs lol
I haven't heard water dogs, but when I got mine they were also advertised as "Mexican Walking Fish."



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Old 7th June 2011   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

$79 for a axie? is that a joke? you can pick them up in Perth for under $20 or even get adults for about $30 each.



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Old 7th June 2011   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

Yeah, Water Dog is a common name for them. My Canaq is named so because of it - a blend of Canis (Latin for dog) + Aqua (Latin? for water)



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Old 7th June 2011   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

Our local pet shop (That Fish Place at Centerville, Pa.) carries axolotls and they are usually in good health. They pay attention to the breeder and follow his recommendations.



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Old 7th June 2011   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

I totally against pet shops selling animals. So I won't give my opinion about this because I don't think it should happen.
But, one thing I'd like to mention is, that it is probably not very wise to make them sell your axies cheap.
Why not? Well think about the people buying them... Axolotls look cute and could easly become object of impulsive buying people. When the price is low, this encourages this further. "Oh look, how cute! Oh it's only $...! Let's buy! We have a fish bowl left in the attic!" Not all of these impulsive buyers care enough about animals to find the appropriate info before buying, or after a purchase looking for info and make everything right. Think about how easily a goldfish is bought, being put into a way to small bowl. And then people say: our goldfish died, but we've had it for a year so he was old. While goldfish can become 20 years + They're way to cheap as well.

A pricey animal will be less impulsively bought...



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Old 7th June 2011   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

Quote:
$79 for a axie? is that a joke? you can pick them up in Perth for under $20 or even get adults for about $30 each.
No joke! When they told me that I decided to search more and managed to find a breeder who sold me 3 babies for $20 :)



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Old 7th June 2011   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

I think it's a good thing that breeders give lower prices... I'm not in for a high price for an axie in general, just in pet shops.
People who go the breeders often did more research than impulsive buyers (at least they had to search for a breeder of a specific species). And if not, the breeder is there to give proper advice. If he has a strange feeling he can decide not to sell animals.
In shops people sell animals whether they have a good feeling towards the new owners or not.



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Old 8th June 2011   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

my local pet store was very helpful with advice when i got my axies from them.. i went in every week for 2 months over my cyclng period to get my free water test and make sure the conditions were right before i got my axies.. which the petshop actually told me about.. i had no idea about cycling at the time.. so i figured they are really good to their axies, big tank, nice specimens etc.. well they WERE... the first batch where mine came from were great, healthy, pretty etc..

then they got a new supplier!! :O now the axies they have are so fat from eating gravel that i doubt they can walk!!! AND though i've told them not to keep them on gravel.. they still do! its so cinfusing that the people that gave me all the good advice in the start are now doing completely the WRONG thing for their axies! one of the poor axie that was only about 4 inches long.. was about 1.5 inches wide!!

how do i make them listen???



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Old 8th June 2011   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

i would not sell to pet shops.. it would be perpetuating a vicious cycle of them not caring about the animals and selling to anyone who had the money....

if anything i would sell online on craigslist and to people you know... at least you would have the power to say no! i wont sell you this animal so you can confine it to a tiny tank to live a sad short life.... cause once those babies that you painstakingly cared for are in the greedy hands of those money hungry pet store people you have no say and no control they will sell to anyone!! cause they do not care...



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Old 8th June 2011   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

also you cant force people to listen you can only give advice and hope they see the error of their ways...

i suppose you could involve some animal rights folks but i doubt much would be done....



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Old 8th June 2011   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

i can only keep trying i suppose.. some of the workers are my age (20).. maybe if i tell them all the bad things that can happen.. they'll talk to the boss and help put the pressure on..



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Old 8th June 2011   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

Most of the pet shops i have seen axies in have had a basic knowledge of appropriate conditions,all kept either on sand or on large river stones, and i have yet to see one being sold out of anything other than a proper filtered aquarium. On the other hand my newest axolotl i bought from a pet shop just because i couldnt stand seeing how skinny he was.



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Old 8th June 2011   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Poor condition of axolotls in pet shops.

I actaully just found a really great pet shop (well its technically a reptile emporium) the owner keeps his axi's really well and even know about keeping them one sand or really big rocks. But I'll probably never buy form him...he wanted $100 for a little salamander and $1000 for a sugar squirrel (< and it was sooooooo cute)... so I dread to think what he'll be charging for the axi's



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