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Axolotl Fridging Guide

This is a discussion on Axolotl Fridging Guide within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Fridging Procedure 1. Preparing the Fridge Set the fridge to a temperature between the ranges of 5 - 8 degrees ...

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

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Old 22nd July 2012   #1 (permalink)
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Default Axolotl Fridging Guide

Fridging Procedure

1. Preparing the Fridge

Set the fridge to a temperature between the ranges of 5 - 8 degrees Celsius, but no lower than 5 degrees.

To ensure the fridge space allocated for the axolotl is set within the desired temperature range (i.e. not too cold!) it is advisable to test what the water temperature will be before putting the axolotl in there. This can be done by placing a thermometer in a glass of water and situating the glass where the axolotl will be positioned in the fridge.

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

Fill some bottles of water and place these in the fridge. This fridged water will be used for the daily water changes in order to keep the water temperature at a consistent level for the axolotl, so it is not subjected to temperature shocks. If your water supplier uses chlorine or chloromines, you will also need to treat the water with a de-chlorinator.

2. Preparing the Axolotl for fridging

Select a container that has sufficient space for the axolotl to stretch out to their full length. Ideally, this container should have a lid.

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

Fill the container with as much fresh water as practicable, the more volume the better as this will help dilute wastes while the axolotl is living in this confined space. If possible, leave 1-3 centimeters clearance between the water surface and lip of the container in case the axolotl wants to take a gulp of air from the surface. Ensure the water is treated with a dechlorinater (if applicable) before adding the axolotl.

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

If the axolotl is being fridged to treat floating issues, put in enough water to cover the axolotl's back, but ensure the axolotl can touch the ground.

When ready, gently transfer the axolotl from the tank into the container.

If you are not confident in being able to grab the axolotl (too many attempts will stress the axolotl!) and then hold onto the axolotl securely in both hands (this is not easy, as axolotls are very slippery and quite strong if able to thrash about - this combination makes them very easy to drop) during the transfer, you can use a net (or immerse a small container) into the tank, coax the axolotl in, and then transfer it to the fridging tub.

Ensure that the container has a secure lid so the axolotl cannot jump out while in the fridge, fridge odours cannot permeate the water, and that foodstuffs are not in turn effected by the axolotl's mucky water.

Put the lid on the axolotl's tub, and cover the container with a tea towel (or similar) so the axolotl is not disturbed by the fridge light coming on and off, and things being moved about in the fridge.

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

Gently transfer the axolotl into the fridge.

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

3. Fridging

The water will need to be completely changed each day using the fridged dechlorinated water.

Before going to bed, check the axolotl's water and remove any poop or regurgitated food you find there (a turkey baster is the most ideal tool for this).

The axolotl's metabolism is slowed right down during fridging so you may find that the axolotl will not eat while being fridged (which is why fridging is not appropriate if you are trying to encourage the axolotl's appetite) but, advantageously, weight loss is slowed as well.

The axolotl can stay in the fridge for however long it takes for their health to improve.

4. Returning the axolotl to the tank

When the axolotl is starting to look "on the mend", this is the time to prepare for moving the axolotl back into the tank.

As the water chemistry of a cycled tank will be markedly different to the water used during the fridging procedure, it will be necessary to gently acclimatize the axolotl to this change of water conditions. Bear in mind that this process will add a few days onto your fridging schedule as axolotls need time to adapt to changes in water chemistry and therefore 'can't be rushed'.

Fill two to three bottles with cycled water from the tank, and place these bottles in the fridge. These will be used as well as the fresh water, so you may need to label which is which if you can't tell them apart.
  • 1st water change: Fill the tub with 75% fresh fridged water (FW) and 25% fridged tank water (TW).
  • 2nd water change: fill the tub with 50% FW and 50% TW.
  • 3rd water change: fill the tub with 25% FW and 75% TW.
  • 4th water change: fill the tub with 100% TW

On the next day, the axolotl should be ready to move back into the tank. Float the tub on the tank surface and leave for an hour or so. When you are satisfied that the temperature of both waters (tank and tub) are the same, gently lift the axolotl out, and transfer into the tank.
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Old 1st September 2012   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Fridging Guide

Thanks mate.
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Old 9th September 2012   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Fridging Guide

Thankyou for the guide, very easy to understand.
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Old 9th September 2012   #4 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: Axolotl Fridging Guide

**saving as PDF to computer**

Thank you for this helpful guide!
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Old 13th September 2012   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Fridging Guide

My two may need to be fridged but I have limited space and they will need salt baths as well so need to keep extra water in there for that too! Is it ok to put both axolotls together in one container? Also should the lid be completely closed?
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Old 14th September 2012   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Fridging Guide

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Originally Posted by axolotl newbie View Post
My two may need to be fridged but I have limited space and they will need salt baths as well so need to keep extra water in there for that too! Is it ok to put both axolotls together in one container? Also should the lid be completely closed?
Hi Anna,

I personally wouldn't put them in the same container if they are both being treated for fungus, as this will give the fungus two hosts to work on rather than one.

The water will also foul a lot quicker with two axolotls in a confined space, giving the fungus yet another advantage over the axolotls.

Is the fungus a severe infection? If it's not, the salt bathing is a must, but you may not need to fridge them at all. As long as you can keep the water cold, clean, and dark, this should be sufficient to give the axolotl the upper hand in fighting off the fungus.

If it's a severe infection though, fridging is highly recommended.

The lid just needs to be secured enough so the axolotl can't get out. I put the lids on as firm as can be when fridging axolotls (as I have nightmares of the greedy little opportunists helping themselves to the food in the fridge! ). If fridging more than one axolotl, I stack the containers one on top of the other.
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Last edited by Jacquie; 14th September 2012 at 09:38. Reason: Further info.
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Old 16th September 2012   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Fridging Guide

Thank you. I've been advised not to fridge after all after speaking to a vet, as nobody is sure what the condition is! But I will definitely bear all of the above in mind. Their spots seem to be improving slightly now with twice daily salt baths and lots of Indian almond leaves...
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Old 23rd September 2012   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Fridging Guide

I suppose it would be common for the Axolotls to not want to eat after a fridging, right?
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Old 23rd September 2012   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Fridging Guide

Also, I had read somewhere that fridging would/might help them pass rocks they may have swallowed - how does/is this supposed to work?
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Old 23rd September 2012   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Fridging Guide

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Originally Posted by fzchk View Post
Also, I had read somewhere that fridging would/might help them pass rocks they may have swallowed - how does/is this supposed to work?
From what I can understand the fridging process relaxes the body (probably border-lining numb) and therefore passing the gravel/stones isn't as painful. I'm not sure if there are any other reasons.. e.g. the fridging process helps to 'force' the gravel out via the mouth or bum
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Old 23rd September 2012   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Fridging Guide

When some poikilothermic (or 'cold-blooded') animals are cooled down, their body tries to eject any food left in the body. This is to prevent undigested food from rotting in the digestive tract. Luckily for us, this same process works for stones.
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Old 24th September 2012   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Fridging Guide

Amazing stuff. She vommed up the stone today whilst I was at work. Clever little bean.
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Old 11th November 2012   #13 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: Axolotl Fridging Guide

Thanks so much for this tutorial. I have used it twice on separate axolotls for impaction and fungus. Both times, along with salt baths, it has worked great.
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Old 12th January 2013   #14 (permalink)
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OK this could be a dumb question.

Does the lid need to have holes in it?

If its an airtight Tupperware container - if it's closed it won't get oxygen. =O





<3 >o_o< <3
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Old 15th January 2013   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Fridging Guide

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Originally Posted by Nikki71 View Post
OK this could be a dumb question.

Does the lid need to have holes in it?

If its an airtight Tupperware container - if it's closed it won't get oxygen. =O





<3 >o_o< <3
Not a dumb question at all!

Cold water holds more oxygen than warmer water, so there should be enough oxygen in there for the axolotl between each water change period. I personally don't put holes in the container lids when fridging axolotls, but, there is absolutely no harm in doing so if you are concerned about it.

I may add this to the guide though, as the last thing I want is keepers' stressing about a procedure that is meant to de-stress their axolotls (and them! ).

ps. Sorry it took so long for me to respond, I've been having issues with Chrome (internet browser) killing my pages while I'm trying to post. As. It. Is. Doing. Now .
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Old 21st January 2013   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Fridging Guide

thanks for a very informative post. Am using it right now to treat a case of fungus. I also have found that he might have had an impaction (or constipation) as there was a huge amount of poo in his fridge tank yesterday.

Am about to start the transition process back to his normal tank.

Again, thank you so much!!!!!
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Old 22nd January 2013   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Fridging Guide

Hi,

I bought a thermometer to check the temp of my fridge. A friend said that most fridges are set to below 4 degrees. I have checked the temp in a glass of water on the bottom shelf. So far it is 4.1 degrees celcius. I have turned the fridge down to less cold. Is there a way to make a fridge a bit warmer? So far I have blocked the current with some large milk cartons and food jars. Next I'll try the top shelf in case it is warmer. If anyone has any tips that would be great.

Cheers
Kerry
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Old 25th January 2013   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Fridging Guide

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Hi,

I bought a thermometer to check the temp of my fridge. A friend said that most fridges are set to below 4 degrees. I have checked the temp in a glass of water on the bottom shelf. So far it is 4.1 degrees celcius. I have turned the fridge down to less cold. Is there a way to make a fridge a bit warmer? So far I have blocked the current with some large milk cartons and food jars. Next I'll try the top shelf in case it is warmer. If anyone has any tips that would be great.

Cheers
Kerry
Hi Kerry,

The back area of the fridge tends to be colder than the front, so I would try moving the glass to the front of the fridge, waiting 24 hours, and then rechecking the temperature to see if there is a difference.

I've just discovered some frozen lettace in the 'cool room' of our fridge (always happens just when you really feel like a salad...*tsk* ah well) which spurred me to check out some fridge forums.

The best (and easy to understand) explanation I could find on this problem was from a tech on this fridge forum, who suggested checking the vents of the freezer to make sure that they are not being blocked/obstructed by items (bag of peas? box of fish fingers?) in the freezer. If the vents are blocked, this can cause the cold air of the freezer to flow back down to the bottom of the fridge section, causing items there to freeze. Also check the vents in the fridge section to make sure there is enough air flow happening, and that the vents aren't blocked up. If the fridge vents are blocked, this makes the condensor work harder which can cause an increase in (uncontrolled) cold levels in the fridge.

By blocking the current with the milk cartons and food jars, you may be adding to your fridge woes.

Hope this helps! (sadly, the lettuce could not be saved...).

Please let us know how you get on.
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Old 26th January 2013   #19 (permalink)
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Hi Jacquie,
Thanks for the advice. I have the water temperature at 6.6 degrees now. I just needed to adjust some of the settings.
Cheers,
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Old 10th February 2013   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Fridging Guide

Hello,

I am a new owner and stupidly had set the tank with gravels

We noticed one of them had his leg back. Do after reading some advice we decided to put the two of them in the fridge. Tequila had poo many gravels but she is fine, Lucio is our concern as he was the one with the sines. We he has being in the fridge for 7 days, we got only two gravels from him (Tequila so far 35 gravels).

Well we are very worried and we don't know if we should keep him in the fridge as it so far hasn't helped him that much all we can see is that he does not keep his leg backwards anymore.

We feed them bloodworms and lately we gave some fresh prawns. The fridge temperature is around 9 degrees.

I would really appreciate any help! Lucio used to be very activity and now the poor thing look just sad.

tks
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