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Help Please!

This is a discussion on Help Please! within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Hi all, I am new. (This is my first post, yay!) Anyway, I will be setting up an axie tank ...

Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate Discussions on tanks, temperature, filters, gravel, lights etc.

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Old 12th April 2006   #1 (permalink)
deahne
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Hi all, I am new. (This is my first post, yay!)

Anyway, I will be setting up an axie tank for the first time, most likely in the next week. But I am so confused, so much information, so many conflicting points, so much to know!

Ok so I just need help by someone or someones telling me exactly what I need and what I need to do for initial set up. Information from people in Australia would be most helpful, as that is where I am from, but any help will be greatly appreciated! This is what I have attained so far....

I need a tank. (duh!) I am looking at geeting one about 2 feet long and one foot wide. This is big enough right? I can get bigger if necessary, but don't want to if I don't need it. I am looking at getting just one axie, with the possibility of getting another later down the track if I become a successful axie keeper.

Ok, so i need a filter. Will just any filter do. Somke sites say it will some say it won't. All say I need one that won't create too much water flow. Is that the only requirement?

PH, Chlorine, Nitrate, Amonia....OMG sorry what? Ok this is the most confusing thing to me.... So I need something to test the PH levels? PH levels should be between 6.5 and 7.2 right? So if it isn't in that average, what do I do. Is there a chemical or treatment I should have? Chlorine... SO I neeed to remove the CHlorine from tap water? Do I do this with a treatment or with a filtration system or what? Are those the only two things I need to do to the water? Anyone out there from Sydney? How is Sydney tap water in teh scheme of things? Do I need to do much too it, please tell me it isn't complicated!

Thermometre. Okay so water needs to stay between 16 and 20 degree? Ok that will be no problem for me in winter. But I live in an upstairs loft type thing, with NO insulation. It gets so hot in summer it would be aout 10 degrees higher than ground level in summer. It is like sitting in a tin can. What should I do about this? is there a piece of equipment i could get to neutralise water temp?

Feeding? Okay this is the other confusing area. Some sites say live food, some sites say worms, some sites say beef or pork, some sites say cat and dog food... big HUH?? on this one! Ok obviously I want to feed my axie the best diet possible, but I also need food that will last a while without going off, as I don't drive and can't pick up food every 2 days! That is why, if the cat food thing is true, that would be most helpful.Also, in regards to beef and pork. Is that just like...left over dinner scraps? Sorry, I know this sounds like dumb questions, but I don't wanna do the wrong thing. Also, raw meat or cooked? Absolutely NO site addresses that question.

Okay, so I have read around hear and most say that say sand is the best base for the tank. That is easily taken care of. So in regards to other things in the tank...I plan to have smooth rocks, a couple of bigger rocks, some hidding place and some plants. Is there any plants or anything else that is a big no? (besides small gravel, which doesn't matter because I am using sand anyway.

I need a light for the tank right? Some sites say I don't but my place can get pretty dark, it is too hot to open the blinds and let the sun in.

okay, so is there anything else I should know? I would like a list when I go to buy all my stuff so that shop keepers don't confuse me. I trust you guys over shopkeepers for two reasons...you aren't trying to sell me anything, and you all have successfully kept axies.

Thanks again for any help provided!

Danglz



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Old 12th April 2006   #2 (permalink)
joleen
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Hey Deahne!!! Welcome!!

How excited are you about your axies?? Click the image to open in full size.

It all sounds confusing now (as it did to nearly everyone here in the beginning), but itís really quite easy when itís all explained etc.

.. Yes ur right.. a tank LOL Click the image to open in full size.
2foot X 1foot wide.. how tall is it? It may not be big enough for 2 adult axies. It all good in the beginning with juvies, but they DO grow. The bigger the better i say! Click the image to open in full size.

<u>re filter</u>
Youve done your reading ;) Too much water flow stressing the heck out of axies, they dont like it. You choose your filter based on your tank size and IMO what you like. Internals tend to create too much current, so ive noticed, UNLESS you have a spray bar (a hose that goes from the water output up into a tube/bar with holes in it that is placed on the back tank wall with suction caps). I use a HOB filter (Hang over the Back). It looks kinda like this http://www.aquariumproducts.com.au/category4_1.htm
With these (NOT CALL BRANDS) you can control the water output (for example. from pouring like a waterfall effect OR dripping - note waterfall - not a good move bc it creates too much water movement).

<u>Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and PH</u>
Im sorry.. this is really hard to explain.
See this link, its all explained here
http://www.axolotl.org/requirements.htm

<u>re Hot summers in OZ and temperature</u>
Based on your explanation on how HOT your loft gets, i think Iíd die in there, let along your axies! lol
You will DEFINATLEY need a chiller. Before you look them up, sit down and prepare yourself for a heart attack! They are expensive. Ppl here though, have alternatives. Given its not needed RIGHT now, do a search through the threads using the words ( or something along the lines of) "home made chiller".


As far as diet goes, i say earth worms. Cheap, easy, health as a staple diet and axies love them. Theres also a number of "treats" that ppl give to there axies on occasion, but earth worms (again IMO) are the BEST staple to have. I feed frozen beef heart squares as a treat (u can buy them at your local aquarium, easy AS to find).

Your got the substrate thing worked out. You cant go wrong. Sand looks good, its easy to clean and cant hurt your axies.

The only reason ppl have lights in their tanks is for their plants. Axies dont like light. They have no eyelids, therefore they cant shun the light. Image having the sun in your eyes all day.. OUCH! Apparently some axies adjust.
Plus, ppl that use lights generally have heaps of hiding spaces for their axies to get away and/or have plants (eg LILLIES) that prevent ALOT of light reaching their axies, so they provide shade. Your plants will thrive with a light. As to what plants to use... play it by ear. See what works for you. Some axies eat plants, some dig them up, some just use them as floaties Click the image to open in full size.
I LOVE PLANTS!!! IMO they are a set off to a tank, however l dont know much about them. Stipe or Rob are excellent when it comes to plants and what to do to make them thrive etc etc so maybe they can elaborate.

Regarding what you "need" in the tank (ornaments wise) its up to you. What is a "MUST HAVE" though, IMO, is a hide for each axie.



Hope this somewhat helps.
Read through some of the threads here though.. honestly... it really pays off. Theres so much GREAT info on this site. Its the best Click the image to open in full size.

Good luck!!!
Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 13th April 2006   #3 (permalink)
annabelle
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This site should help with cycling ur tank. http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/cyclingEDK.shtml . Getting rid of chlorine is pretty easy, there should be water agers or solutions to get rid of the chlorine at ur local pet/aquarium store as its an essntial for all aquatic, domestic animals. As for cooked vs raw meat, I havent seen ne thing conclusive for/against either but in my general pet experience, raw tends to be better as its more natural. Humans are the only ones that cook their meat. If you have a little balcony or something your could probably start up an earthworm farm so you have them on hand when you need them. I recently enquired about it myself and I got some good links but I cant find the thread at the mo, I think it was lost. I'll try to find the links and post them if u want. If you want to find out wat exactly is in your local water you could probably get the info from the council. There are a few sydney people on here who also might be able to tell u. The basic aims in the tank set up are to make the axie feel at home and also make it look good. I tend to go for the natural look (logs and plants and such) but so long as they have somewhere to hide they should be right. Have a look at some of the threads in the photo section. You might get inspired. Hope you arent too confused, Im still sorting through it all myself, so much to know. Good luck. This site is great so you're off to a good start.



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Old 13th April 2006   #4 (permalink)
joleen
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Dont use anything water "treatments" found at your aquarium (ie. ph down, ph up etc). Excluding SELECTED medical treatments for ur actual axies (if you ever have a sick axie). All you'll need to buy is dechlorinator (which is used for generally all fish).

Im in sydney. The waters PH is generally fine straight out of the tap anyawy. Axies like "hard water", i have no problem with my PH, nor have l ever had a problem.



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Old 14th April 2006   #5 (permalink)
deahne
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THANKS heaps for your help guys!! It was REALLY useful! I will most likely come back to ask a million more questions in the near future....the first one being...

Are the bloodworms http://www.theaquariumshop.com.au/shopexd.asp?id=230&amp;name=Wardley+Bloodworms+10g and these brine shrimp http://www.theaquariumshop.com.au/shopexd.asp?id=226&amp;name=Wardley+Brine+Shrimp+1 0g okay for food.

If not, is there anything else from this site http://www.theaquariumshop.com.au/shopdisplaycategories.asp?id=1&amp;cat=Fish+Food that would be suitable?



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Old 15th April 2006   #6 (permalink)
annabelle
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Dechlorinator! Thats the word for it! Couldnt think of it when I posted last. Does sydney water have flouride in it? And if so, is it a problem?



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Old 15th April 2006   #7 (permalink)
sharn
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brine shrimp are some teeny tiny things that adults wouldnt have a hope in catching let alone seeing lol. because they are salt water they die if they are left in fresh and you dont remove them (pretty hard cause theyre so small!!). bloodworms you should only buy frozen to eliminate any parasites, they are also very messy to feed adults and on substrate is even worse if they get dug in my axies doing their things.

i cant see anything on there for axies, closest would be turtles but because they would have different requirements i wouldnt feed em. if you can find a large moist carnivore pellet (might be something in the cichlid section of that page, ive heard hikari make a good one) they make good staples, i see salmon pellets being used a bit but not sure if theyre for salmon or made of salmon. make sure you read the ingredients, fish meal etc should always be first on the list not corn or something else. live earthworms are a great mess free food and are readily available or easy to culture. id look into them as they are a great staple with the odd sliver of fresh fish for a treat. theres so many things you can feed em, mealworms (they can cause constipation and also need to crush heads of live ones as they bite), black worms (can bury into substrate), whiteworms might be too small but i think they can be quite fatty, crickets are sometimes fed too. i see freeze dried bloodworms on there, not sure bout them :S also freeze dried tubifex are pretty fatty ive heard and they float.



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