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Axolotl newbie, Aquarium newbie, please help

This is a discussion on Axolotl newbie, Aquarium newbie, please help within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Alright, hey folks, you can call me Moo. Yesterday, I bought a 10g tetra tank with a built in filter ...

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

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Old 5th April 2014   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Axolotl newbie, Aquarium newbie, please help

Alright, hey folks, you can call me Moo. Yesterday, I bought a 10g tetra tank with a built in filter and decorated it, I think, as best as I could for the lottie. Click the image to open in full size. Someone pointed out on tumblr that the sand looked a little thick and would need disturbing to get rid of bacteria build up, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Things to know, I guess:
  • I'm not a chemist.
  • I used a couple squirts of the tetra starter stuff that came with my tank and a tetra bacteria bottle with the lack of better judgement. 1 2 3
  • I now know that tetra isn't the best brand and today put in 1/5 of seachem prime.
  • I have ordered the API test kit and Seachem Stabilizer, though I don't really know if I need the stabilzer anymore.

Basically, I'm really confused on what I should be doing so the water is okay for the lottie (that I haven't ordered yet, thank god) I've read that ammonia process is a good way to get the tank started, but I'm not sure if I really want to mess with that.
An employee at petco (2, actually) spoke that they suggest just letting the tank sit and put in conditioner (which I did today) and test the ammonia levels, but I've been fed SO much different information I really don't know what to do. Please please help and be gentle.



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Old 5th April 2014   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl newbie, Aquarium newbie, please help

You have to cycle the tank ... The " ammonia process" will happen when you add the lotl and can kill it. Look up cycling an aquarium. You need to dose ammonia and test daily. Tetra brand tanks and filters are fine ... its more foods and such that are crud.

Lotls are likely to ingest sand so you want just enough to cover the bottom :)

Employees know nothing ... Ammonia does not magically appear ... if not caused by waste it needs to be dosed.

We can help you with this but you will need additive free ammonia.



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Old 5th April 2014   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl newbie, Aquarium newbie, please help

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Originally Posted by mooflakes View Post
[*]I now know that tetra isn't the best brand and today put in 1/5 of seachem prime.
Be careful not to be brainwashed by the Prime Nazis. There aren't many on this forum but on one of the tropical fish forums I go on they are stamping about all over it. Prime is no better than any other dechlorinator on the market, except that it is claimed it "locks up" ammonia. And if you're about to start cycling your tank, the last thing you want to add is a product which reduces the food source of the bacteria you're trying to grow in there.

Tetra's dechlorinators are perfectly adequate.



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Old 5th April 2014   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl newbie, Aquarium newbie, please help

I agree ... I used Tetra for my lotls and have had no ill effects ... Now that I have babies I use stresscoat+ but thats only because they are in tubs and I have to do frequent water changes.

As long as it removes chlorine and Chloramines ... You are fine :)



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Old 5th April 2014   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl newbie, Aquarium newbie, please help

Welcome to the forum.

The nitrogen cycle is what you're wanting to get started in your tank. You need to grow bacteria in your tank which feed off the toxins your axolotl produces. So you start with ammonia > nitrite > nitrate. Nitrate being the end product and the least harmful. There's a really good guide to it here. Caudata Culture Articles - Cycling

To begin with you need ammonia which can be from waste, food, or you can even buy it in a bottle I believe. So you could start adding your ammonia, but you won't have a clue what's happening until your test kit arrives. :P

Anything you're unsure of don't hesitate to ask.. You'll be a cycling expert before you know it!

That's a nice tank but definitely keep an eye on the depth of the substrate so you don't get any trapped gas in there.



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Old 6th April 2014   #6 (permalink)
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Question Re: Axolotl newbie, Aquarium newbie, please help

Thank you guys! Hopefully I can get my test kit and add in the ammonia and purchase a siphon -- which, by the way, where would I get one??



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Old 6th April 2014   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl newbie, Aquarium newbie, please help

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Originally Posted by bugdozer View Post
Be careful not to be brainwashed by the Prime Nazis. There aren't many on this forum but on one of the tropical fish forums I go on they are stamping about all over it. Prime is no better than any other dechlorinator on the market, except that it is claimed it "locks up" ammonia. And if you're about to start cycling your tank, the last thing you want to add is a product which reduces the food source of the bacteria you're trying to grow in there.

Tetra's dechlorinators are perfectly adequate.
Prime actually takes ammonia and turn it into ammonium, which is still able to be used by the biological filter. So it will not cause harm to your cycle. No need to worry there. It is essentially the same as others in the job it does. It can bond ammonia and nitrite in an emergency, but not for long. It has a slime coat additive too which is good.
I agree with everyone else though: Tetra is perfectly fine and so is Prime.



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Old 15th April 2014   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl newbie, Aquarium newbie, please help

Just as a precaution, maybe put a sponge over the filter so nothing accidentally happens to the lotl. Its unlikely, but better to be safe than sorry.



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Old 15th April 2014   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl newbie, Aquarium newbie, please help

When I first got my Axoltols .. I bought the tank 2 weeks before I actually got them .
I set it all up , filter , water and all .
Just threw in the stresscoat+ that has the bacteria in it already .
I put a few drops in every 2 days for the first week and them every 3 days the second week .
After then , I got the Axolotls and they lived happily ever after !
Just make sure that the water has been sitting in the tank for a little period of time so that the good bacterias that eat the bad ones can settle in .
And as previously said , test ammonia , pH and nitrates often just to make sure everything is going well :)
SORRY IF MY ADVICE IS DIFFERENT . I was advised by the shop I got mine from .



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Old 15th April 2014   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl newbie, Aquarium newbie, please help

Olivia, that's poor advice. Cycling a tank doesn't happen simply by letting it sit (nor by adding stress coat) cycling is a process you have to actively participate in.

Here's an article on proper tank cycling, please everyone give it a read: Scales Tails Wings and Things, What is Aquarium Cycling? How to Cycle your Tank



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