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Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

This is a discussion on Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Hello everybody! I'm happy to announce that I'm getting an axolotl! He's a black melanoid, and will be shipped out ...

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

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Old 22nd October 2014   #1 (permalink)
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Question Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

Hello everybody! I'm happy to announce that I'm getting an axolotl! He's a black melanoid, and will be shipped out to my house on Monday. He should arrive on Wednesday. I just wanted to share my set up and make sure I'm doing everything right. (I plan on getting a tank mate for him later on so he isn't lonely.)

My tank is a ten gallon. It's has no gravel, but a little "dust" is left over from scooping out the gravel. It has lots of hiding places, with a live plant. I plan on going to the store to get axolotl food, and will get a larger artificial plant while I'm there. My tank is too warm right now, any ideas on how to cool it down without putting a hole in my wallet? My tank does have a filter, but I can turn it off and on as needed. The light will only be used for viewing, since they have no eyelids and it can hurt their eyes.

Here's my feeding schedule. The axolotl will be around 3 inches when he arrives, and I read he needs to be feed every day until he's about 6 inches. Then you can feed them every other day. Is this correct? The diet will consist of frozen bloodworms (which I will thaw accordingly), along with pellets, and live worms three times a week. (Monday, Thursday, Saturday) Nightcrawlers, which I will cut in half for easier eating. The nightcrawlers I will get are meant for fishing, and come in containers with recycled paper and other stuff. If I rinse them off, is this safe? Or should I buy earthworms?

Thank you! (Sorry for bad picture quality!)
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Old 22nd October 2014   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

Your tank is fine for now, but you'll need to upgrade to something bigger as he grows, and if you get another one. You really need to get rid of the 'dust' is you can, even sand can have an adverse effect on a little 3" axie.

Feeding should be daily until they are fully grown - which can be up to 12 months. Frozen bloodworms are fine while he is small, but earthworms should be a staple food from about 4-5".

You mentioned turnming your filter off - do you understand the cycling process and have you cycled your tank? If not you need to get reading, and prepare a small tub for your axie until the tank is fully cycled.



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Old 22nd October 2014   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

Thank you, what size tank should I upgrade to? And while my tank is cycling, will any kind of tub do? Do they need a lid? And when you say earthworms should be a staple diet, does that mean they need one everyday? And any ideas on how to get the "dust" out and how to keep the tank cool? Sorry, one more question- how would I cycle the tank? My tank has been running for a week or so (after a major water change) without any animals or food contact. There is a live plant in there too.) and as for the tub set up, I would just need dechlorinated cool water and a hiding place? Thanks!



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Old 22nd October 2014   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

Try siphoning the sand out with only a hose without the larger part at the end that is usually used to clean the substrate.
For cooling easy and cheap option is fans. You should also try to find the coolest spot in your house and put the tank there, for example next to an AC vent. Downstairs or a basement is also always cooler than the top floor.
For two adult axolotls I'd suggest a 3 ft tank. While you're cycling any big tub will do. Just make sure the water volume is enough to not get fouled in a matter of hours and that the axie will have plenty of room to move around. I have for example about 30 liter plastic storage boxes that come with a lid that I use (obviously you don't need the tub to be that big since your axie is still pretty small). Those work well even with adult axies if you have to take them out of the tank for some reason. A lid would be good to prevent the axie from leaping out of the tub.
Earth worms are nutritionally well balanced so you can feed those once the axie is big enough to eat them, they don't need anything else. You can still give bloodworms etc as a treat sometimes but that's like you eating at McDonald's so only very occasionally. Good quality pellets are good too if you want to feed those instead of earth worms.



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Old 22nd October 2014   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

Awesome! Thanks for the info, winter is coming and my room is always the coldest, so while my tank is cycling, I'll put him there. I found a 20 gallon tank, would this be a good upgrade once he's bigger? I'm so excited, and I just want to give him a good home! (Or her, I don't know yet lol) I also have spare fan, if I put by the tub will it help keep him cooler? (It's like a tower fan) I've found a test kit, and I found an article on cycling. How long should I keep the axie in the tub? Thanks!



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Old 22nd October 2014   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

Any tub that is food safe will work, and he will have to stay in the tub with daily 100% water changes until the tank is fully cycled; 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and ~40 nitrates. A 20 gallon tank would be great for a single adult axolotl, a 40 gallon breeder would be great space for 2. Always look for longer aquariums rather than tall. For the fan to work it will have to be angled so that it blows down into the water at an angle. Adding an air pump with an air stone will bring some agitation to the water, making it cool easier through evaporation.



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Old 23rd October 2014   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

Instead of earthworms, could I feed nightcrawlers? And since winter is coming, will I need a cooling source? The room the tank is in right now is generally warm, but my room is always the coolest. Should I move the tank there before putting the axie in? Thanks



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Old 23rd October 2014   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

Links on cycling:

Cycling tank help and general questions

Link on cooling methods:

Caudata Culture Articles - Cooling



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Old 26th October 2014   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

Thank you for the links, but can somebody please tell me if I can feed nightcrawlers instead if earthworms?



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Old 26th October 2014   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

Yes, Canadian night crawlers are actually preferred by many axies over red wrigglers. I would move the tank to the coolest room before putting the axie in since it would make it easier, and it will be hard to get too cold and is usually harder to keep them cooler, so the coldest room would be the best place.



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Old 26th October 2014   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

Ok, awesome thanks for the info



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Old 27th October 2014   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

Oh, and the nightcrawlers I would get are meant for fishing, they come in little blue containers with paper compost and soil. Is this okay to feed to the axolotls once I rinse them off?



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Old 27th October 2014   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

I believe that as long as there are no fish attractants added it should be fine. I got red wrigglers from PetSmart that were also meant for fishing, came in a blue tub also in some soil. The Canadian Night Crawlers I get are from Walmart, also meant for fishing. The brand from Walmart seems to be pretty big and they have a website that actually says which (all but 1) of their worms are safe for critters. The worms from them that aren't safe are green colored, so you can keep an eye out for green worms.



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Old 27th October 2014   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

So the actual worms would be green, or the container?



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Old 27th October 2014   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

The worms themselves would be green, I feed night crawlers from Walmart and haven't had a problem thus far



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Old 27th October 2014   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

Okay perfect, the worms is usually get are not green! I'm so excited, my axie shipped today! My tank is at a constant 70 degrees. Is this too warm?



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Old 28th October 2014   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

BOOM. Aquarium fan and screen lid. Not the best, but it'll do until I get a bigger tank and real fan! Lol
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Old 28th October 2014   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

Oh and when buying worms from walmart, Canadian Nightcrawlers, Red Wigglers(although some axies may refuse or spit out), and "Dillies" have worked fine for me. Dillies are just baby Canadian Nightcrawlers, so they're easier to cut into smaller pieces, whenever they have them I buy a few boxes of them. Just make sure you open the box before you buy it to make sure theres no fungus growing, if there is just put it back and look for a different one.



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Old 28th October 2014   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

Ok, thanks! I haven't heard of Dillies... Will keep an eye out for them!



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Old 28th October 2014   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl Tank Set Up Questions

Hey guys, really happy because within the hour, the fan has lowered my tank to 69! (Still not enough, but happy to see it's working) and the fan's on low! Lol awesome



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