View Full Version : Starting up an Axolotl tank.

28th January 2012, 23:16
Hi guys, I've just set up a new tank to put some Axolotl in, it's around 120L.
And, as I'm aware Axolotl can sometimes predate on each other, so I'm going to be very careful about mixing the wild variety with white's etc, and also to keep the 2 of a similar size, and age.
I'm going to let the tank run a cycle of 5-7 days before I put an Axolotl into it, should this be enough?
I know that 3 days is acceptable for most fish, but although I work in a pet/fish shop I've never had the joy of tending to/selling Axolotl, are there any tips you guys would give me when I'm starting out my tank?
I've researched a tremendous amount prior to this, as I want to ensure the animal's comfort etc.
Thanks, Liam. :)

28th January 2012, 23:48
Hi Liam,

If you've setup tanks before you probably know something about the nitrogen cycle. It can take around 4-6 weeks for your tank to finish cycling. For your tank to cycle you need a source of ammonia, so rotting food (some people use fish flakes) or animal waste of some sort. You can cycle your tank with your axolotls in it (which will provide the waste) but some will say this is inhumane and can harm your animals. If you do this you will have to monitor the process very very closely to make sure the ammonia levels do not rise. Ammonia levels of 2ppm or higher are considered fatal. You can look at this article for more info about cycling: Caudata Culture Articles - Cycling (http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/cyclingEDK.shtml)

120L sounds like a nice tank size for two axies, if your axolotls are adults (dark toe tips on an albino axolotl and white on a dark axolotl will indicate sexual maturity) I wouldn't be worried so much about mixing two different colour types. I have two albinos, a copper, a melanoid and a wild-type all residing in the same tank and they get along just fine.

The other tip I can give you is to definitely not use any kind of gravel as a substrate. If you want to have a substrate so with very large river stones, at least 5cm, definitely much bigger than your axolotls head. These can get dirty underneath quickly though so most people here recommend a fine sand. Pool filter sand is used, as is play sand you can get from hardware stores, just remember to rinse it well. Others use a slate bottom or no substrate at all and have a bare bottom tank.
You can look at this article for more info: Caudata Culture Articles - Aquarium Substrates (http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/substrate1.shtml)

Good luck and I hope you enjoy your new axie friends :D

28th January 2012, 23:56
Thanks so much for your time, and all that you've taken the time to tell me here.
So, would you advise against putting Axolotl into the tank after a week of having a full set up, i.e live plants, filter etc?
And yeah, I had read from a few sources/heard from people that anything smaller than their head can prove fatal, so I have fine sand in my tank at the moment, and I plan on having either that or very large rocks in the long-term.

29th January 2012, 01:51
Fine sand is perfect, it is what I use in my tanks.

Most in the aquarium hobby believe it is cruel to subject living creatures to tank cycling because ammonia can be fatal and even low levels of ammonia can be considered poison to aquarium inhabitants. It is best to avoid cycling a tank with anything in it for this reason.

There are other ways to help speed the cycling process however, the best is to use seeded filter media from an established tank. The 'bacteria in a bottle' products you can buy in most shops are basically useless and will not really help, so I would avoid them. If you have a heater, you can put it in the tank and turn the temp up high, this should help speed your cycling process - obviously you shouldn't have anything in the tank, especially not an axolotl, if you do this.

31st January 2012, 23:54
Okay, thanks for all your advice Dan.
I took in what you said, and I've decided to use old media.. i.e old foam pads and media from my filter that was very well established.
So, now my plan is to put that all in place, and leave it a week or so and then think about putting my Axies in the tank, after water tests obviously. :) my tank has been up and running for over a week now, and I've been occasionally adding a couple of fish flakes to help speed up the cycle of the tank itself.
Thanks again for the time you took to inform me about everything.