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HELP FAST. Axolotl eating sand

This is a discussion on HELP FAST. Axolotl eating sand within the Axolotl General Discussion forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; So I recently got an axolotl and i had him all set up in his new tank with small aquarium ...

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Old 7th March 2012   #1 (permalink)
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Default HELP FAST. Axolotl eating sand

So I recently got an axolotl and i had him all set up in his new tank with small aquarium pebbles. I had read not to use this and use sand but i did it anyways. Well today, 1 week into having him, i noticed him get a pebble in his mouth while he was eating but he spat it out. This worried me so I quickly ran off to petco and got aquarium sand. I replaced all the pebbles with sand but now he keeps trying to eat the sand. He keeps taking up big mouthfuls of it and spitting most of it out but i dont know if he is swallowing any of it. What do i do? How harmful is the sand to him? He's only a juvenile and about 3 inches long.

Thanks,
Matthew



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Old 7th March 2012   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP FAST. Axolotl eating sand

It shouldn't be a problem, he should be able to pass the sand pretty well. However, if you notice him taking in large amounts of sand, you might want to consider a different kind of substrate. I got my axies some large slabs of slate and they love it. Its also super easy for clean up.



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Old 7th March 2012   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP FAST. Axolotl eating sand

He was taking up a lot of sand. like maybe 10-15 little pieces. But like I said he was spitting most of it up. I took him out of it and hes just in a plastic tub right now. I only had him in the tank for like 10 mins but he must of slurped up and spat out sand about 10 times. Im worried that he's going to keep trying to eat it. What other substrate would you recommend?



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Old 7th March 2012   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP FAST. Axolotl eating sand

It's unlikely to hurt him. You might want to keep one corner of the tank free of sand and feed him in that corner to minimize sand eating. I like bare bottom tanks, or pebbles glued down with dark-colored aquarium silicone.



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Old 7th March 2012   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP FAST. Axolotl eating sand

Alright thanks. Id go bare bottom but i have live plants in the tank and i heard sand is best for them. But i'll try clearing out a corner for feeding. I hadnt even put any food in the tank though and he was just going right for the sand trying to eat it. And he did it multiple times. Axies arent supposed to be stupid animals right? Because he didnt seem to be figuring out that the sand wasnt food



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Default Re: HELP FAST. Axolotl eating sand

If you'd prefer to keep your tank with sand in it you can also pickup a basking pool for reptiles and put it in there for him to eat out of. He may have been humgry and just been sifting through sand looking for food.



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Old 7th March 2012   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP FAST. Axolotl eating sand

Yeah I'll probably do that thanks. And I'm not sure how he would have been hungry. I fed him today already. Ive been feeding him once every day but he always seems to be really hungry. I dont know if im not feeding him enough. I usually break off a little bit of frozen bloodworms, which usually ends up being about 6ish half inch bloodworms. Is that enough food for one day?



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Old 7th March 2012   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP FAST. Axolotl eating sand

My little guys are just a bit bigger than yours, about 3 1/2 inches. I'm currently feeding them as much as they'll swallow in approximately 10 minutes every day. To flesh that out a bit, Piggy (who is quite aptly named) ate about 3-4 inches of chopped up earthworm tonight. It won't be long, however, before I switch them over to an every other day feeding schedule.



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Old 7th March 2012   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP FAST. Axolotl eating sand

I had a problem with my axolotl eating sand when I first got him too...he is a golden albino and he ended up eating so much you could see his darkened stomach and he became impacted.

He ended up having to be in the fridge and he threw up nearly two teaspoons worth of sand over the next few days.

I kept him off sand for a few months and have been "weaning" him back in...so far so good.



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Old 5th April 2012   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP FAST. Axolotl eating sand

I just got mine and put it in with the sand. I realized after I put him in that he might swallow some and started to panic. I think I see a couple inside of him but there isn't that much, and he seems happy and is exploring the tank. Seems like different people are saying different things on this issue so I'm just going to keep him in there for now as he seems fine!

How will I know if he is "impacted" and how long should I put him in a separate container for and how long in the fridge for?



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Old 5th April 2012   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP FAST. Axolotl eating sand

Do you have sand or gravel? If you can 'see a couple inside', it's probably gravel, and not sand. Gravel is deadly. It needs to be removed immediately.



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Old 6th April 2012   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP FAST. Axolotl eating sand

I've got sand, it's only roughly about 1mm in size but my axolotl is very young, about 2 inches long. It's eating fine so far and still being active, but it is only the second day I've had it. I just read that if it stops eating or becomes too bloated I should put it in the fridge for a few days until it passes... so I guess I answered my own questions :)



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Old 6th April 2012   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP FAST. Axolotl eating sand

At 1mm, that's the perfect size to impact a 2 inch axolotl gut. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you this can kill your axolotl. There are hundreds of threads out there regarding impaction, and not all of them end happily.

Remove the gravel. Keep your axolotl on a bare-bottom until it's 3 or 4 inches long.



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