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View Full Version : How much of this can she take? :-(

2nd August 2004, 16:04
Hello, I really hope someone can help!

I have a pair of axies who have been perfectly happy together for a year, but have recently started to fight.

They were originally in a rather small tank, but in the last month I've moved them into a 36 by 18 tank. I thought they'd enjoy the space and I was hoping to introduce some new axies to the tank in the near future, but now this.

I'm fairly certain that I have one male and one female axolotl, although I'm not an expert in sexing them. Any aggression that was ever shown in the past was always the female bullying the male (she is much larger than he!) but this has suddenly reversed. The female has suffered a cut on her leg, and has lost one gill.

She's taken to hiding away in the plants, which is a shame since she was always the more active of the two.

I have also had a recent nitrate problem in the tank, but this has since been resolved. Could the stress of this problem have brought on their aggression? Have they reached sexual maturity all of a sudden? (they're around 15-20cms long each.)

But mainly I wanted advice on whether I should be separating the two, and exactly how much danger she may be in. Just how tough *are* axolotls?

Sorry this was so long! Thankyou in advance for any tips you can give me.


2nd August 2004, 19:00
Anyone else come across this?

I would suggest putting her somewhere separate for a time while you watch her heal. It wouldn't harm.

Are there any sharp edged things in the tank that she might be blundering into e.g edge of slate, cheap plastic plant.

Does he look like he wants to mate? Is his cloaca open and pinkish? The change in environment can be enough to get him started.

3rd August 2004, 08:32
This sounds strange. Have you actually seen them bite each other?

3rd August 2004, 10:11
My 3 axi's have never had a fight before (so i thought!!!) untill yesterday - I was watching them for a few hours yesterday, I didn't have much to do and they were particually active, and i observed a strange thing. the black female was too interested in getting my attention so i would feed her but the yellow female seemed to be provoking the male and he snapped at her. She was walking slowly up to him and putting her nose on his (like a kiss) then he would snap and she would swim off, they did this a few times, then the male went off into his little house and she left him alone, and joined the black female in getting my attention. I didn't do anything, cause it kind of seemed like a game???? And i don't think they were like this today - but i wasn't in the room most of the day. they have never injured eachother though so i can't really help you bluefroggy. Maybe you should seperate them for a while????

3rd August 2004, 15:55
I didn't actually see the gill get bitten, but I did see him bite her leg, and it bled quite a bit. I can't really see anything in the tank that could have caused the injuries, either.

It's most concerning because it's such a role reversal, she was always the more robust of the two.

She's still sitting in the plants all day, and looking basically healthy other than the fact that she never ever stayed at the surface for a length of time before this. Not even to feed!

As for the male, he just seems generally crabby. And, he's taken to swimming about quite a bit, which he's never really done before. Is this a sign of anything?

Are there any other factors you folks need to know to make a diagnosis of some kind?

4th August 2004, 00:05
Mary Rose --

My two little axies do the same thing (nose touching) and I was wondering if that was a game too, since it seems to be the "tag - gotcha!" part of Hide-and-Seek. One will hide in the plant, the other will "find" it, and then they swim to the open part of the tank and touch noses. Then they do it all over again!

4th August 2004, 10:24
Yeah - that's what they do!!! It's cool

4th August 2004, 14:12
mine just touch noses caressingly, more like a nuzzle. there's no running away, they just nuzzle and then sit on top of each other. it's so sweet http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/happy.gif

4th August 2004, 17:12
Any advice on the hiding, then?

She literally never leaves the plants now, and is balancing just below the water surface at all times. I wouldn't say she is looking particularly ill, just not nearly her old self.


5th August 2004, 08:18
as long as there's hiding places - caves etc - for her to go, there's not much you can do. if they start to seriously injure each other, is separation an option? hopefully they'll settle down in time... sorry i can't be much more help.