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Buying a Juvenile Auxie & tank advice

This is a discussion on Buying a Juvenile Auxie & tank advice within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Hello guys, This is my first post, but I've been lurking for the past few weeks to gather information for ...

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

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Old 7th March 2014   #1 (permalink)
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Question Buying a Juvenile Auxie & tank advice

Hello guys,

This is my first post, but I've been lurking for the past few weeks to gather information for my Axie to be.

At the pet-shop nearby they recently got new offspring auxies that are about 3 to 5 inches. I'm thinking about going there tomorrow and getting a 60 x 30 x 41cm tank. (23x11.8x16.1 inch) Which has a build-in filter & heater. (Going to turn the heater off obviously) I'm planning to use small sand as a substrate, because it looks cleaner then bare-bottom. I've shortly been thinking about using Java Moss as a natural substrate (keep it down with a net-construction), but that didn't seem like the best idea I've ever had.

In regards to the tank I'd love to hear your opinion on the lightning. By default this tank has the following light: Link

Which produces 730 Lumens at 6500 kelvin. Is this alright or will it be too bright?

Secondly the pet shop has this really cute juvenile Leucistic axie in store. (They claim it's an Albino, but he doesn't have red eyes They also have copper, but they thought that everything except while color is albino) So I really want to take him home as he's just wayyyy too cute. They also said that they'll probably only receive wild colors later on and they don't expect any more Leucistics this breeding season. (I don't know anyone with an Axie / breeder myself)

Is there any way that I can take this Axie home or would you strongly recommend it? As you can understand I don't have a cycled tank, but he just looks at me with his sneaky smirk that I can't stop thinking about him and they can't 'reserve' him for me.

What do you guys advice for my situation?

P.S. What do you advice for feeding & especially which food? I've read so many opinions and I really want what's best for the Axolotl.



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Old 7th March 2014   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Juvenile Auxie & tank advice

How many gallons is the tank? lD I'll admit I'm bad at math and I have NO IDEA how much water that holds... Ten gallons is the smallest you should ever go with an Axolotl.

I would skip the sand while the lotl is still small and go bare-bottom. Juvies can get impacted from sand.

You don't really need any kind of lighting in an Axolotl tank - they have no eyelids and are bothered by it, so really the only reason you have a light is so you can view them. If they have PLENTY of places to hide and get out of the light it should be alright.


As for feeding - Juveniles can be fed on frozen bloodworms or live blackworms. when they're a little bigger, earthworms are THE best food for them, hands down. Adults are best fed earthworms. Salmon pellets are acceptable too.


I'm going to advise against getting the animal until you are totally prepared for it. Axolotls are very sensitive to water quality, so putting it through a fish-in cycle will be hard on it. Do all your research, prepare yourself 100% cycled tank and everything before you take the animal into your care would be my advice.



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Old 7th March 2014   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Juvenile Auxie & tank advice

The tank is 19.28 US Gallons / 73,8 Liter. so he'll be having plenty of space. I'm actually considering to keep him in a small tank (Seeing as he's still a very young juve) with a PVC tube as hide and just refresh the water daily in it while the main tank goes through it's cycle.

What do you think of this option? It's kinda similar to what I saw in the pet shop, with the except of that they've like 40 juve's (Only 2 Leucists) and a larger tank.



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Old 7th March 2014   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Juvenile Auxie & tank advice

Ah okay, that sounds great! A 20 gal is perfect.

You could do that I suppose - it's not something I'd personally do, but if you're diligent about testing and changing the water it's not a bad arrangement while the bigger tank cycles.



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Default Re: Buying a Juvenile Auxie & tank advice

Yea, if I'd do that I'll be sure to change the water before it reaches Ammonia level of 2ppm & I'll try to make sure it's de-chlorined. Luckily our pipe water is clean in the Netherlands.

What would be the minimum size for a temp. Juvi tank?

P.S. For anyone else visiting this topic, more insights on the initial posts are very much appreciated =]



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Old 7th March 2014   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Juvenile Auxie & tank advice

It shouldn't go anywhere near 2ppm, that's too high. Daily changes, keep it under 1ppm.
Try....? It should definitely be de-chlorinated... I'm not familiar with your water there (obviously lD) does that mean they don't use chlorine in the water...? You should use a dechlorinator as it also removes heavy metals which can be harmful.

At minimum I'd say five gallons. but anyone else's input is definitely appreciated.



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Old 7th March 2014   #7 (permalink)
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You will need to change the water daily, and if ammonia would get that high I would hope you would remove your axie.

I personally have done a fish in cycle(though i had seed material to help it along) with 5axies in the tank-not one issue. My other tanks I kept my juveniles in a 1.5gallon tuperware container(each) and did a 100% waterchange with aged dechlorinated water daily and just rinsed the tubs out. Otherwise you would need to still do a 100% water change daily or every other day in your temp tank. Regardless you need to be extremely diligent in keeping them in clean water if you want to go this route, which means a lot of daily attention, if you are up for it then i would say go ahead because ive done it and never had any issues with it, fish in or temp tub way i have done both.


I would highly recommend as well as researching axies, to thoroughly research how to properly cycle a tank, this will help with a fishless cycle, and if you decide(i would not recommend a fish in cycle with juveniles, and if you are not familiar with how to cycle a tank as spikes happen quick and can quickly kill or make your lotl ill) you can find some info about doing that as well(it involves testing the water daily and doing a daily water change, depending on the levels.

It takes a lot longer to cycle a tank with your axies in it, because you need to keep your ammonia and nitrite under safe levels at all times. I have only upgraded from a 25 to a 50gallon and took everything(even the filter) to help seed it, that took 4weeks with my axies in it because i did a 20% water change daily.


All ways involve a lot of work.. But i find fishless cycles have the least amount of pulling out of hairs, and less risk of problems occuring



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Old 7th March 2014   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Juvenile Auxie & tank advice

Yes a large tub for your axie would be fine while you cycle the tank.

As for your tank I have to agree that sand isn't really suitable for smaller juvies - bare bottom for now is best until the axie is about 6". Leave the light off too, axies can get quite distressed in bright lights.

I switch my juvies to earthworms (small ones or chopped up larger ones) at about 4", but bloodworms or blackworms are good for smaller axies, as are pellets.

Do the axies at the pet shop look healthy? Are they plump and do they have all their toes? The health of your new axies is more important than the colour, the last thing you want is to pick up a poorly axie.



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Default Re: Buying a Juvenile Auxie & tank advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaini View Post
It shouldn't go anywhere near 2ppm, that's too high. Daily changes, keep it under 1ppm.
Try....? It should definitely be de-chlorinated... I'm not familiar with your water there (obviously lD) does that mean they don't use chlorine in the water...? You should use a dechlorinator as it also removes heavy metals which can be harmful.

At minimum I'd say five gallons. but anyone else's input is definitely appreciated.
There's very little chlorine in Dutch water, but I'm going to ask the shop to give me some water out of the axie's tank so I can use that until the first cycle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alkylhalide View Post
You will need to change the water daily, and if ammonia would get that high I would hope you would remove your axie.

I personally have done a fish in cycle(though i had seed material to help it along) with 5axies in the tank-not one issue. My other tanks I kept my juveniles in a 1.5gallon tuperware container(each) and did a 100% waterchange with aged dechlorinated water daily and just rinsed the tubs out. Otherwise you would need to still do a 100% water change daily or every other day in your temp tank. Regardless you need to be extremely diligent in keeping them in clean water if you want to go this route, which means a lot of daily attention, if you are up for it then i would say go ahead because ive done it and never had any issues with it, fish in or temp tub way i have done both.


I would highly recommend as well as researching axies, to thoroughly research how to properly cycle a tank, this will help with a fishless cycle, and if you decide(i would not recommend a fish in cycle with juveniles, and if you are not familiar with how to cycle a tank as spikes happen quick and can quickly kill or make your lotl ill) you can find some info about doing that as well(it involves testing the water daily and doing a daily water change, depending on the levels.

It takes a lot longer to cycle a tank with your axies in it, because you need to keep your ammonia and nitrite under safe levels at all times. I have only upgraded from a 25 to a 50gallon and took everything(even the filter) to help seed it, that took 4weeks with my axies in it because i did a 20% water change daily.


All ways involve a lot of work.. But i find fishless cycles have the least amount of pulling out of hairs, and less risk of problems occuring
I got an Axie boost that has a 30 day cycle guide, so I'm going to follow that. Taking into account your advices, this is my idea right now:

Quote:
My other tanks I kept my juveniles in a 1.5gallon tuperware container(each) and did a 100% waterchange with aged dechlorinated water daily and just rinsed the tubs out.
I'm planning on getting the axie and do this. 1 full water change daily into a freshly cleaned container. (So 2 containers and switch containers each day, what would be the best way to switch him from 1 contained to the other?)

Meanwhile I'll cycle the main tank with plants etc in it to get it to the optimal level, however without substrate as per your recommendations until he's more mature. Once the tank is fully cycled I'll take the Axie to move it into his new home. Would this be do-able for a newbie like me?

P.S. Do you've a list of recommended water values? (pH's etc?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by auntiejude View Post
Yes a large tub for your axie would be fine while you cycle the tank.

As for your tank I have to agree that sand isn't really suitable for smaller juvies - bare bottom for now is best until the axie is about 6". Leave the light off too, axies can get quite distressed in bright lights.

I switch my juvies to earthworms (small ones or chopped up larger ones) at about 4", but bloodworms or blackworms are good for smaller axies, as are pellets.

Do the axies at the pet shop look healthy? Are they plump and do they have all their toes? The health of your new axies is more important than the colour, the last thing you want is to pick up a poorly axie.
Yes, they look very healthy & joyful. They are relaxing, sometimes they wiggle around and their small grills are looking bright / healthy. They obviously don't have a lot of color yet as they're very little. I'm going to upload 2 (bad) pictures I took when I was there a few days ago.

Update:

Foto's added, I also made also accidentally made a video. So I've uploaded that as well.

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Old 7th March 2014   #10 (permalink)
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Great! Looks like you are doing your research! I agree, i recommend the whole having two containers and switching over daily, cleaning dirty one and filling it back up for the next day. It is thefastest way to do the container thing.

A cycled tank will have

Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate between 10-40ppm is ideal

Ph ideally is 7.6 but a axie is okay between 7-8.5

In order to do a fishless cycle you will need ammonia, or a source of ammonia. You could dump the dirty water from your tubs into the tank every day, but pure ammonia would cycle your tank faster



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Old 7th March 2014   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Juvenile Auxie & tank advice

Just a small correction to my earlier post. I meant an Axolotl Book about the 30 day cycle, not Axolotl Boost

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alkylhalide View Post
Great! Looks like you are doing your research! I agree, i recommend the whole having two containers and switching over daily, cleaning dirty one and filling it back up for the next day. It is thefastest way to do the container thing.

A cycled tank will have

Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate between 10-40ppm is ideal

Ph ideally is 7.6 but a axie is okay between 7-8.5

In order to do a fishless cycle you will need ammonia, or a source of ammonia. You could dump the dirty water from your tubs into the tank every day, but pure ammonia would cycle your tank faster
Thanks for the compliment on the research. I read upon buying ammonia indeed, it said that I should shake the bottle / container. If the bubbles doesn't pop/disappear then the ammonia isn't good & I shouldn't buy it. I also recall that I should make sure that 2 ingredients aren't in the bottle that they sometimes add, but I can't remember those exactly? Any chance you happen to know the name?

Also, what's your opinion on how healthy these Axie's from the shop look & what would you feed them at this 'stage'?

P.S. I'm considering to pay a bit extra and go for LED instead of the T3 light mentioned in the start post. Which do you guys & girls think would be better?



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Old 27th March 2014   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Juvenile Auxie & tank advice

Hey - not sure if you already got that axie or decided not to, but there are also some great axolotl owners in the Netherlands who occassionally breed them ) You might want to consider getting one from them instead of the pet shop, since you'll be sure your little one is healthy if you get them from a good breeder.



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Old 27th March 2014   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Juvenile Auxie & tank advice

I'm confident in the pet shop, they actually get them from breeders

Anyways, I didn't get the axtie yet, but they promised me that they'll give me a call when only a few leucistics remain. Although they got a few that were kept with guppies at one of their breeders (I know not the smartest idea, they mentioned it themselves), they are actually taking pretty good care of them. Although they are definitely not specialist in them, they do come across as good caretakers and the axie's looked happy when I saw them a few weeks ago.



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Old 27th March 2014   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Juvenile Auxie & tank advice

Alright :) I've learnt not to trust petshops the hard way, so I'd rather not get my animals from them anymore unless I can't find them anywhere else. But I have to say that axie looks quite nice in the pictures, most are kept in a tiny tank on gravel in petstores!



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Old 27th March 2014   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Juvenile Auxie & tank advice

This is Guppy's in Ede. They also have snakes and other reptiles. They also added extra tubes etc. later on when they got even more axolotl's. There aren't any breeders that I know off nearby and my parents + other people I know always had healthy animals from there.

Anyhow, they seem to have a pretty good knowledge. They didn't recommend gravel either when I asked them which substrate as a trick questions. They said that they'd recommend bare, unless you really want it. Then they have 'nano-sand', which was indeed less then 1mm. (0.4-0.8mm if I remember correctly)

They are also selling axolotl pellets and such, but they also mentioned that they use fresh worms from their fishing department to feet their animals. (I think he mentioned it for their axolotl's as well, but I don't know if I remember that correctly)

Next to that I'm glad that I read how you can see if an axolotl is healthy. =)
It was a really big tank anyways, so I'm certainly not worried about that! ^.^



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Old 27th March 2014   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BinaryRun View Post
Yea, if I'd do that I'll be sure to change the water before it reaches Ammonia level of 2ppm & I'll try to make sure it's de-chlorined. Luckily our pipe water is clean in the Netherlands.

What would be the minimum size for a temp. Juvi tank?

P.S. For anyone else visiting this topic, more insights on the initial posts are very much appreciated =]


you can use plastic containers as a holding container until your tank is cycled. You don't need to buy another little tank which I'd more expensive than the plastic tubs. But at that size I'd say nothing under 5 gallons



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