View Full Version : Question: New tank with new axies, one not eating, help!

25th January 2011, 10:17
I am a brand new axolotl owner with two adolescent axies - Dingus and Matilda. I bought them a week ago along with the brand new tank, and I was not aware that the tank needed to cycle for several days before getting my axies.

Matilda has not eaten since the first day I brought them home, although I've fed Dingus every second day and he still has an apetite.

I think the water temp may be too high, it's been sitting at around 23*C and has been difficult to cool as it is summertime here. The water was quite cloudy and I knew there was ammonia in the water, so I added Seachem "New Tank Stabiliser" which is supposed to establish the bio-filter, and have been adding the required amount everyday for a couple of days. It says to do so for a week. I also added Seachem "Water Clarifier". I have been vacuuming the waste and uneaten food also.

Matilda is still not eating and is not very active, I've offered many different foods but she won't have a bar of it. She hasn't eaten for a week and I am super worried she might die. I've read about fridging, how should I go about this??

Please help!

25th January 2011, 10:43
Cycling a tank can take weeks, so I would change some of the water every day or two (about 20%) to keep the ammonia down. How big is the tank?
I'm not sure about whether fridging is necessary, she's probably just still settling in and adjusting - but see what other people say. If it comes to that, there's a guide to fridging here (http://www.caudata.org/axolotl-sanctuary/Fridging.shtml).

do you know if they were kept with gravel where you got them from? She might have ingested some - this can make them not eat (that would require a trip to the fridge).

sorry I can't be much help - I hope she perks up soon!

25th January 2011, 10:47
I suspect there is a problem with your tank cycling. Have a look at this link below, this explains the process far better than I could :-

Caudata Culture Articles - Cycling (http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/cyclingEDK.shtml)

The only thing you should really use with the water is de-chlorinator.
The temperature of your tank is also too high, have you a fan that could blow across the top of the water...this will help reduce the temperature.

If you wish to fridge your axolotl while you cycle your tank, the article below is fantastic :-

Axolotl Sanctuary (http://www.caudata.org/axolotl-sanctuary/Fridging.shtml)

What else do you have in your tank ? What do you feed your axolotl ?

25th January 2011, 10:50
I have been changing about 20% of the water every two days, and just adding a couple of drops of the water primer to dechlorinate the new water. So I hope that's doing some good.

Matilda's gills are facing forward and sometimes she does seem to have a kink at the end of her tail which I read were signs of stress.

They had bigger pebbles at the pet shop, too large to fit in her mouth, but when i brought them home for the first day they did have some smaller pebbles in there, which I removed the next day when I read they could swallow them.

Thanks for your thoughts Siona

25th January 2011, 11:00
I did have a fan running for a couple of days which only cooled the temp to about 21 or 22*C, which really wasn't much, and my mum had a freak-out today whilst I wasn't home that the fan motor was burning out, but I think she was just exaggerating.

At the moment there is just a false plant in the tank, but so far I haven't got them anything solid to hide in, but they are kept in a room that is dark 95% of the time as I know they don't handle bright lights well.

I have been feeding a mixture of live meal worms, frozen brine shrimp, and frozen blood worms.

Do you recommend I fridge them for a couple of weeks until I cycle the tank properly? how long could I keep them fridged? and would I still need to feed them?
Also, to cycle the tank could I put a couple of feeder fish in there?

thanks for your help guys

25th January 2011, 13:43
I think if you keep a close eye on your water chemistry you should be able to get away with it, 30% water changes daily are a good idea.

what substrate are they on? keep in mind that normal aquarium gravel and river pebbles smaller than the animals head are huge no-noes as they usually swallow such items and become impacted, witch sadly can be fatal. sand or not having any substrate at all is preferable, I chose the latter.

axies also get stressed in flowing water, try to keep water movement and current in your tank to a absolute minimum, either by turning your filter down if possible or directing the outflow onto the side of the tank, or onto a decoration.

having a fan blow across the waters surface is a great way to cool the tank, try to keep it below 20, here in perth its just as hot and I use frozen Ice bricks too as well as a fan, I just rotate the bricks as they melt and just keep in mind too its easier to keep a cool tank cool than cool a hot tank down, insulating the tank with sheets of foam helps a great deal too.

hides are a must, a piece of PVC pipe works very well, it does not have to be fancy, just sand off any sharp edges. juvenile axies can nip and bite each other, so the more hides and visual barriers the better.

earthworms really should be a staple diet for axies, they love the wriggling, most can't resist, it should bring the fussy one around. I have my own worm farm, its were I source my axie's food. frozen and freeze dried foods are usually very low in the good stuff that they need.

feeder fish and the like should be avoided especially at this point because you don't want to overstock the tank because its not cycled and some tend to nip at axie's flowing gills, and commercially available ones are often riddled with parasites and disease.

if you feel you would like to add some live fish for them to feed on and hunt, a few healthy guppies should be fine, they tend to hang around the water's surface and should not nip the animal's gills, with the added plus that they are very easy to breed yourself.

good luck and keep us updated, and post some pics of your setup and new axies, it would help us a great deal.