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Do I need to fridge an axolotl not eating / stressed?

This is a discussion on Do I need to fridge an axolotl not eating / stressed? within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Hi all, My axolotl is around 3 years old and has stopped eating the past 3 weeks. She is refusing ...

Sick Axolotl? Axolotl looking down in the gills? The doctors are in.

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Old 12th November 2016   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Do I need to fridge an axolotl not eating / stressed?

Hi all,
My axolotl is around 3 years old and has stopped eating the past 3 weeks. She is refusing food that I dangle directly in front of her face and swimming away, which is not something she would normally do.

Her gills are slightly curled forward but her tail is not bent. I suspect she may be stressed due to the warmer change in weather here in Australia (it's spring). I often put frozen bottles in her tank most days otherwise I find it difficult to keep her water temperature below 24C. I did the same thing with frozen bottles last year in the spring/summer and she was totally fine throughout.

Water parameters are normal and I do water changes on a weekly basis.
I tried to change her diet up, varying from pellets to frozen blood worms to even frozen raw salmon, with hardly any luck.

Does this mean she might need fridging? Is there something I can do to stimulate her appetite?

Thanks in advance



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Old 13th November 2016   #2 (permalink)
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Il salmone ė troppo grasso.
Probabilmente ha difficoltà a digerire.
Dovresti dare loro un lombrico ogni 4/5 giorni e a volte cambiare con il pellet o pollo o pesce di fiume.

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Old 13th November 2016   #3 (permalink)
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It's most likely the heat, they shouldn't be above 18 degrees Celsius at all really. Just because she survived last spring/summer doesn't mean it did her much good or she wasn't severely stressed. Some are good at hiding their ailments. She will most likely die if you don't get her to a temp below 18 degrees and the damage may already be done.

Some suggestions:
1. Keep her in the tank, continue doing ice bottles. Buy some clip on fans off the Internet (Amazon was where I got mine from I bought 5 at £5 each, I'm sure there's something similar where you live, they're like clip on desk fans) and put as many on the tank as you can (I had 3 on) and aim it at the surface of the water. The evaporation will reduce the temp by a few degrees. If you don't want to do that or find it's not effective enough..

2. ditch the tank for now due to the summer and get a big Tupperware tub, you can get like 50/80L ones so plenty big enough for 1 axolotl. They really don't mind being there, take her favourite hiding place out the tank and put it in the tub with her. Now strategically place the tubs where you can attach fans near by and aim as many fans as you can at the tub, the tub water will evaporate fairly fast. You can do 100% water changes daily and that will keep it cooler.

3. Keep her in the fridge for the duration of the REALLY hot times. They're fine in the fridge and it means you don't lose her. Just put her in as big as a tub you can find that will fit in your fridge, change water daily. Being cool is most important for axolotls. People leave theirs in for 2/3 weeks straight. It won't hurt them. If she's not eating anyway then it'll mean her deterioration will slow down.

But if she's refusing food then that's usually the starting point of the deterioration. I lost two this summer that I'd had for a very long time as we'd just moved out and moved in together (my partner and I) and we didn't realise how hot our apartment would be. Couldn't get it cool enough in time. Lost 2 ☹️😢


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Old 13th November 2016   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do I need to fridge an axolotl not eating / stressed?

I live in Sydney and its really starting to warm up here too, although I would imagine it being much worse for you in QLD. I just bit the bullet and got a Hailea 300A chiller for my 4 foot tank - best thing I ever bought. Keeps them at 18 degrees constantly, regardless of the 35 degrees plus outside



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Old 13th November 2016   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do I need to fridge an axolotl not eating / stressed?

Thanks for the reply everyone!

Luca1980, I've been seriously considering getting a chiller. Is it expensive to run electricity bill wise? I've been eyeing off a second hand Hailea 130A I saw on gumtree.

Emily, thanks for your suggestions! I just purchased a few clip on tank fans from ebay :) Fingers crossed they're effective and can be more than a short term solution!



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Old 14th November 2016   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do I need to fridge an axolotl not eating / stressed?

Hi naterpie, I haven't noticed any huge changes to my electricity bill since I installed the chiller. It runs on a thermostat, so it only actually does something once the temp hits 18 degrees (that's what I have it set to, you can choose whichever temp you like). We had a really hot day here on Saturday and it only really kicked in during the afternoon and was on for maybe 10-15mins each hour.

I also run mine off my canister filter which makes it more efficient because you don't need a separate pump for it - happy to give you details on how to set it up if you need them.

Mine was expensive ($576 brand new was best price I could get) but really, in my opinion it was worth it. I don't have to worry about my 5 axies when I am at work (we don't have aircon and there is no-one around during the day to swap frozen bottles), and they seem really happy and relaxed.

As I said, if you need help or have questions please don't hesitate to ask :)



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Old 16th November 2016   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do I need to fridge an axolotl not eating / stressed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by emdalliance View Post
It's most likely the heat, they shouldn't be above 18 degrees Celsius at all really. Just because she survived last spring/summer doesn't mean it did her much good or she wasn't severely stressed. Some are good at hiding their ailments. She will most likely die if you don't get her to a temp below 18 degrees and the damage may already be done.

Some suggestions:
1. Keep her in the tank, continue doing ice bottles. Buy some clip on fans off the Internet (Amazon was where I got mine from I bought 5 at £5 each, I'm sure there's something similar where you live, they're like clip on desk fans) and put as many on the tank as you can (I had 3 on) and aim it at the surface of the water. The evaporation will reduce the temp by a few degrees. If you don't want to do that or find it's not effective enough..

2. ditch the tank for now due to the summer and get a big Tupperware tub, you can get like 50/80L ones so plenty big enough for 1 axolotl. They really don't mind being there, take her favourite hiding place out the tank and put it in the tub with her. Now strategically place the tubs where you can attach fans near by and aim as many fans as you can at the tub, the tub water will evaporate fairly fast. You can do 100% water changes daily and that will keep it cooler.

3. Keep her in the fridge for the duration of the REALLY hot times. They're fine in the fridge and it means you don't lose her. Just put her in as big as a tub you can find that will fit in your fridge, change water daily. Being cool is most important for axolotls. People leave theirs in for 2/3 weeks straight. It won't hurt them. If she's not eating anyway then it'll mean her deterioration will slow down.

But if she's refusing food then that's usually the starting point of the deterioration. I lost two this summer that I'd had for a very long time as we'd just moved out and moved in together (my partner and I) and we didn't realise how hot our apartment would be. Couldn't get it cool enough in time. Lost 2 ☹️😢


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This is spot on advice and should really be a sticky for Australian owners. A personal preference would be the fridge as a long term solution. You have a very consistent environment and constant clean water with daily water changes. I've kept rescue axolotls recovering in the fridge for over a month with positive results. I would only suggest it if you plan on keeping your axolotl fridged for over a few days though as the process can be stressful in itself if it were done too quickly.

I'm from Texas which has similar difficult summers and without a chiller, keeping these animals would be much more anxiety inducing. An expensive option but worth every cent.



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