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View Full Version : Complete Axolotl Beginner - Help!


nonstoprich
29th September 2009, 13:11
Hi all,

Everyone seems to be very helpful round these parts, which is very encouraging!
Just after some specific bits of advice really. I know there's plenty topics along the same lines as what i'll be asking, but I just want to ensure that i'm going to be doing everything right for my specific setup.

Now i've never kept any kind of amphibian or even tropical fish before, so i'm absolutely brand spanking new to all this, so go easy on me! ;)

Firstly, equipment.
From what i've gathered so far, this is the stuff i'll be needing to purchase before I get up and running with an axolotl:

Tank (clearly!) - I'm looking at a Juwel Rekord 96litre. Is this too big for just one Axolotl??
Filter - I'm not clued up about filters whatsoever, but I gather that as long as it's not too powerful, but working at a good enough rate, I should be fine? Any suggestions for specific brands/makes of filters would be great!
Substrate - Going to go for plain ol' sand I think. Seems easy enough to deal with from what i've read
Tank "furniture" - Plants, big secure rocks, maybe a half-plantpot type thing for the little guy to hide away under.

Now the bits that I'm getting a little confused with.

What do I need to do with the water before I introduce my little axolotl??

I've read up lots on the chlorine content, nitrate content etc, but what specific treatments to I need to give to the water? I live in an area with soft tap-water so is that going to make a difference with what I need to do??

Also, the biggest point of confusion for me, is do I need to leave the tank to "settle in" at all before I introduce my axolotl? The last thing I obviously want to do is introduce a creature to an environment that's harshly different to what they're used to, and end up causing illness or at worst, death.

So basically, any plain english advice for an ABSOLUTE beginner would be massively appreciated!

Cheers,
Rich

Azhael
29th September 2009, 13:45
Welcome to the forum!
Iīm glad to see you are reading and learning before getting your axolotl. Thatīs the way to go.

A 96l tank is not too big(if there is such thing as a tank too big). It should be a palace for one axolotl.
You do need to settle the tank before introducing the axolotl, the process is called "cycling" and you can read more about that around the forum or here:
Caudata Culture Articles - Cycling (http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/cyclingEDK.shtml)

Cycling the tank will help hugely with the aclimation of the axolotl to its new home. You can purchase test kits for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates, as well as pH, in petshops. Those will help knowing when the process is complete.

In a big tank, if planted adequately, you donīt really need a filter. If you decide to have one though, make sure it doesnīt make a strong current since axolotls are lake animals which donīt apreciate currents.

Sand is a very good choice. As far as plants go, bare in mind that the axolotl may make a mess of them, so you want hardy plants. Elodea and anubias are good choices which donīt need much light (and thatīs good for the axolotl, they like it shady).

Keep reading and learning, the more you know before you get the axolotl, the better.
Good luck!

CaveDweller
30th September 2009, 04:28
I, no question about it, Love you guys. I feel for you!! I have never in my life owned anything more complicated than a beta...
You guys are so much help! Wonderful questions! Wonderful answers!
I don't really know the conversion... but will 20 gallons work for 1 axolotl? Can I keep guppies with it?

Aimee
30th September 2009, 05:23
A 20 gallon tank will accomodate two axolotls...or a very happy single axolotl.

Guppies may be introduced to the same tank as a feeding source, but it is crucial that they are quarantined in a separate tank for at least 30 days with very close monitoring beforehand as they will most surely harbor ick, parasites, and/or other diseases.

CaveDweller
30th September 2009, 05:52
Thank You! I plan to keep a 10 gallon tank of guppies^.^ They are prime entertainment with my albino red-capped goldfish, but thus is the life of a college student. :wacko: