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wanting to put live/real plants into my axolotl tank

This is a discussion on wanting to put live/real plants into my axolotl tank within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Hello Guys, Could any one help me with a few questions about plants? I want to put live plants into ...

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

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Old 11th August 2008   #1 (permalink)
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Question wanting to put live/real plants into my axolotl tank

Hello Guys,

Could any one help me with a few questions about plants?

I want to put live plants into my tank housing 2 axolotls.

At the moment i have a bare bottom with a few rocks /hiding places with fake plants attached, and fulvar 2 filter.s

Do i need a light or a heater for the live plants to survive? do i need sand on the bottom of the tank? and which kind of plants are best for starters?

Thanks guys
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Old 11th August 2008   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: wanting to put live/real plants into my axolotl tank

You can use low light plants. Java fern java moss mario moss balls. These are really hardy I have not killed any yet. I'am not really good with plants. There are more kinds I just don't know the names. Hope this helps.
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Old 11th August 2008   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: wanting to put live/real plants into my axolotl tank

You need some light, a single strip fluorescent will support quite a few sorts of plant, two lights are better. Axolotls need it cool, I found that if I house the control unit away from the tank two striplights produce only about 1deg Celsius warming.

Don't use a heater just use plants which like cool, often the ones recommended for outdoor ponds are fine. I find a mass of elodea and/or egeria is fine as an unrooted tangle lit with a single light and watercress is a good semi-floater but needs two striplights to thrive. Scan a few other threads in this section (and possibly in the vivaria section of the general forum)and you will find other recommendations, some of which will attach to rocks.

If the plants are dense enough the axolotls have extra hiding places. They are said not to like the light:Mine do not seem to mind it but I think they should be able to get into dark corners if they wish. I'm a dense weed choked pond style tank freak.
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Old 11th August 2008   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: wanting to put live/real plants into my axolotl tank

http://www.aquaworldnet.com/awmag/javaen.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anubias
Two links to information on two different plants. You can't go wrong with these. They will grow on wood, rocks , sand, lots of things and require little care and light. I keep them in my axolotl tank with good results.
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Old 12th August 2008   #5 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: wanting to put live/real plants into my axolotl tank

OK thanks for that guys!

if i put the plants in sand , how do i go around cleaning sand / tank.

I swapped sand to bare bottom because when i had sand , even though the tank/ water looked clean, if i moved the sand around , i noticed that lots of the axolotls waste was stuck in the sand.

I would like to go back to sand again but is there an easier way of keeping it clean? is it best not to disturb the sand.

Kind Regards
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Old 12th August 2008   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: wanting to put live/real plants into my axolotl tank

Ok when I do my normal water changes throughout the week I use a piece of hose to syphon out the water into a bucket.
Whilst removing water I also run the end of the hose through the sand back and forth. This helps remove any hidden waste and also removes any gas pockets that may be there.
The sand that has collected in the bucket is then rinsed through with clean water and replaced back into the tank. You don't need to disturb your plants ,just 'hoover' with the hose around them.
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Old 13th August 2008   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: wanting to put live/real plants into my axolotl tank

sand can be a little tricky to clean but it's not hard. Here's a vid that might help.

http://http://www.cichlid-forum.com/...aning_sand.php
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Old 14th August 2008   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: wanting to put live/real plants into my axolotl tank

Ok thanks for them !!!

Next question

How often should I completely clean the tank out??

I used to this about every 6 weeks leaving about 5 inches of water in.

Although after doing more research Iíve decided that this might be a bad idea after reading posts about the good bacteria cycling.

I have now stopped this and I am doing weekly water changes of about 1/4.

Could any one please tell me which one I should be doing!

( I think this is why I was getting so confused about plants and sand!)

thanks guys
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Old 14th August 2008   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: wanting to put live/real plants into my axolotl tank

The 1/4 changes once a week are what is recommended to keep levels under control, so you're right on that one! As far as complete clean out, I'm not really sure what the rules are on this. Obviously you don't want to change too much of the water at one time otherwise you'll throw your tank into another cycle. The same applies to cleaning the tank walls, ornaments etc. I notice you have already been given advice about cleaning the sand, I just tend to stir up the sand and siphon off any gunk that comes up. Apart from this I believe that all is recommended is to keep on top of the spot cleaning for uneaten food and Axie poo! This is what I do and my axies and my levels seem fine!
I'm sure others will add their comments in time! Hope this was slightly helpful, thanks, Kerry.
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Old 14th August 2008   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: wanting to put live/real plants into my axolotl tank

I'm looking at completely cleaning out my tank around once a year. Thats just to get rid of any algae and grubby bits of the tank that are hidden from sight. It will also give me a chance to refresh any ornaments that have faded .
The water would be syphoned out and stored in buckets.

I will also dismantle the hood and fixtures (lights) and thoroughly clean them and replace the bulbs if necessary.
I would be looking at trying to save as much water as possible so I don't need to re-cycle the tank, and all the plants and rocks would be kept in buckets of tank water to preserve the good bacteria.
I only clean the surface you see with regards to rocks so the good guys aren't cleaned away.
The sand will be swished through in a bucket of tank water and kept wet.

The filter will have its fine particle filter renewed but the larger sponges will be kept and just squeezed out in tank water. Again this will be stored in tank water until replaced back into the tank.
I don't use any 'cleaners' on my tank inside, just a green plastic pad and a bit of 'elbow grease'.
And that would be about it. Everything would be replaced and any water lost would be replaced with fresh.
During this time I would store the axolotls in a container somewhere cool, dark and quiet. They would be added back to the tank last.
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