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My axolotl seems to be acting strange!

This is a discussion on My axolotl seems to be acting strange! within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Hi Everyone! I'm from Jacksonville, Florida. I've only lived here for a few months but I grew up mostly in ...

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

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Old 25th June 2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default My axolotl seems to be acting strange!

Hi Everyone! I'm from Jacksonville, Florida. I've only lived here for a few months but I grew up mostly in Mid Missouri.
I'm 23 and I love keeping pets :-) My only other pet right now is just my kitten zelda.

I'm new to the axolotl community, I just got him about two days ago, He's still pretty tiny. I named him dagger :-)
Only about 2.5 inches or so.

He seems stressed, sluggish or unhappy but I'd like to figure out why.
His gills looks normal but a few of them are kind of bending at the ends, is that normal?
I've been feeding him Zoo Med newt pellets. I saw him eat a few when I first got him but I haven't
seen him eat any more after that. (he could be eating them when I'm not looking though ha)
He's in a ten gallon tank by himself with half black river rocks/half clear bottom.
I have a 5-15 gallon filter with a new cartridge in it.

I tried sand substrate and I hated it (it just made the water so merky and seemed unhealthy) so I switched to medium sized rock. Does he need time to adjust to the new water? I dunno if he's underwent too many water changes in the past couple days. Also is it fine to just keep one axolotl? I noticed a lot of people keep them in pairs or more.

( He has a place to hide now: a big piece of bamboo.) but I haven't seen him even move for like 8 hours except to go to the top to get air. He seems very sluggish and earlier when I was watching him he seemed to have trouble maneuvering with the filter on. Maybe it's just pushing him around too much? Also is it normal to have a red line on the bottom of his belly in the middle? He seemed to be a lot darker now I'm noticing a slight pink hue to him.
Maybe just my imagination, but is it normal for them to change colors?

He can swim great and fast once he gets going but at first he seems a little disoriented.
I did notice just now that he is missing the tips of two fingers on the front right hand. I don't know how this happened. He must have already been like that when I got him.

This is my first axolotl and I just want to make sure he's happy.
The current water temperature is 24 degrees celcius (around 74 f)

I've been trying to lower the temperature by putting ice cubes in here and there
but it doesn't seem to help all that much. Maybe it's just too hot in my room?

I took some pictures, maybe you can point out if I'm doing something wrong. I'd really appreciate it. Also, what age would he be roughly? The guy at the pet store didn't seem to be much help.
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My axolotl seems to be acting strange!-dagger1.jpg   My axolotl seems to be acting strange!-daggertank1.jpg  




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Old 25th June 2011   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My axolotl seems to be acting strange!

Caudata Culture Species Entry - Ambystoma mexicanum - Axolotl

Read this and it should answer some of your questions.

As far as food, try earthworms or chopped night crawlers. Axies seem to be the only caudate I've ever seen eat a pellet but I've never seen one turn down an earthworm that's big enough to eat one.

For getting your tank temperature down you could try a screen top with a light. I'm not sure how the waterfall filter would work with a screen top but the added ventilation should drop the temperature a degree or two. Is your filter producing some heat itself? I've never used one of those in any of my tanks for fear of escape artists, but I know some filters can give off heat.

How long ago did you switch from the sand set-up? Did your tank have time to cycle?



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Old 25th June 2011   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My axolotl seems to be acting strange!

hey thanks for the reply!

so I've been adding frozen blocks of ice to the tank and that's made it a little under 70 degrees in the tank if I add one once a day. I'm going to try the small fan method to blow on the water to see if that helps. I don't think the filter gives off heat but it's hard to tell ha.

He seems to be doing better, he's probably just adjusting to the conditions and being lazy.
I am having trouble getting him to eat the newt food, so i got some red worms to see if he'll eat them chopped up. And I didn't cycle the tank before I added him :-( I didn't know I should have. How long should I do that for before adding him for future reference? I've been replacing about 25% of his water a day. I'm sure he'll be fine, I just worry about my animals lol.

Thanks so much! I look forward to getting his tank set up better and taking pictures.
I looked up other peoples tanks on a thread on here and that gave me a good idea of what
others are doing. I can't wait til he gets big



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