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Axietier
12th January 2014, 07:09
Hello everyone!
I'm sorry if a similar question has been posted before but I'm very worried.
Six days ago I purchased my first axolotl, researching as much as I could on the little critters before hand and setting up the tank two weeks prior. I monitor it daily and change about 20% of the water to keep the ammonia down, either daily or every other day depending on the levels ((which I am trying to keep between 0 and .25 ))

When I first got him he was kind of on the skinny side and was in a tiny cup with not the cleanest water and seemed happy to get in his new home, a clean 10 gallon tank. Here is a picture of his current set up. The log hideout was moved slightly recently because he seemed to have a bit of difficulty getting out of it where it was. The shade isn't open all day either and the water temperature is always around 63-65 degrees Fahrenheit.
https://31.media.tumblr.com/6861909b31ca7430651c592053986f26/tumblr_mza053chSe1r5ujc7o2_1280.png

The first three days I got him I fed him frozen bloodworms as recommended by the seller. I also bought aquatic newt pellets and carnivore pellets which he hasn't eaten yet. These past three days he refuses to eat, and even turned away from my hand when I was offering it to him today. His tail is not curled though sometimes when I check on him I think his gills are curled. But that usually only happens when I do the 20% water changes to keep down the ammonia and he did it again today when I moved his hideout to a more accessible position. (The picture below is what he looks like when I think his gills are curled)

I just wanted to ask is it normal for axolotls to not want to eat for three days strait? To the point where they even turn away from the food? I'm just very worried about him. Oh another thing is he is about 4 inches long so still young. Below is a picture of him I took after taking the tank picture from above. I am really sorry for the quality, but it's the only one I was able to get of him recently. ):


https://24.media.tumblr.com/2688c5e24a69dd0d386d0190a229de20/tumblr_mza053chSe1r5ujc7o1_1280.png

Here is one I got of him approximately the morning after getting him, just a better quality one-
https://31.media.tumblr.com/0b0b2fbeb094cece88a90b88328dba40/tumblr_mza053chSe1r5ujc7o3_1280.png

I was considering fridging him for a day just in case he might be coming down with something but that's just a last resort.
Any help at all would be great! And I'm sorry for adding so much information, I'm just very worried about not keeping him happy.

Thank you in advance!!! :happy:

layna
12th January 2014, 10:44
Hey there :D
You shouldnt only fridge axies for a day or a few hours, if theyre in there it should be a good few days but im unsure on fridging little lottles.

Have you tried him on any other food, or tried wriggling the worm so he can see it?

It may be that he shy of your hand, have you tried using a feeding jar instead?

You can usually source live bloodworm and these will do the wriggling for you so you wont have to put your hand in the water.
You could also try with some daphnia, just make sure you put plenty in for him as he will eat a lot at 4".
Little axies up until around 6" should be fed daily so you need to try different methods to get him munching again :D
Has he been eating any sand? He may be a bit too small for the sand and he may have eaten some and at that size the grains are a lot bigger inside him so he may be thinking he is full, or any ingested sand may be causing discomfort, has he been pooping sand?

Axietier
13th January 2014, 04:20
Hey there :D
You shouldnt only fridge axies for a day or a few hours, if theyre in there it should be a good few days but im unsure on fridging little lottles.

Have you tried him on any other food, or tried wriggling the worm so he can see it?

It may be that he shy of your hand, have you tried using a feeding jar instead?

You can usually source live bloodworm and these will do the wriggling for you so you wont have to put your hand in the water.
You could also try with some daphnia, just make sure you put plenty in for him as he will eat a lot at 4".
Little axies up until around 6" should be fed daily so you need to try different methods to get him munching again :D
Has he been eating any sand? He may be a bit too small for the sand and he may have eaten some and at that size the grains are a lot bigger inside him so he may be thinking he is full, or any ingested sand may be causing discomfort, has he been pooping sand?


Hi!
Thank you so much for the reply (:
I have tried wriggling the worms but it was the same thing with that too.
I did however just remove a very large portion of the sand from his tank. It is now mostly bare bottom with very few thin sheets of sand. His waste was sand colored.
I put him in a separate pet carrier while doing so and I tossed a pellet in with him and I am so happy to say he nibbled at it! I know it's not a lot but it's something (: I just hope he eats more soon!
Just to be safe I will also be looking to get a feeding jar and will be searching around to purchase live bloodworms for him.
Per chance do you know where I can get axie safe live bloodworms online? (:
Once again thank you so much for the reply! :D

Elise
13th January 2014, 07:17
Personally, I would remove all the sand and go with a bare bottom tank until he is a bit bigger. The grains of your substrate are large enough that it would cause impaction if enough was ingested. It really doesn't look much like sand as crushed-something. Do you remember what kind of sand you purchased?

Next, If you can take a picture showing him from the side with focus on his abdomen it might be possible to tell if he has ingested an amount of sand already.

You also mentioned he shows signs of stress when you do water changes. Do you match the temperature of water when you do the changes? Do you age the water? Are you adding too much water at a time causing turbulence? Consider these things when doing water changes. If he is comfortable with you handling him, you could put him in a tub while you do your tank maintenance and see if that helps.

layna
13th January 2014, 16:10
If he was pooping sand that sounds like it could be the culprit, it will be best to have him on bare bottomed until he is larger :D
I got my live bloodworm from my local fish store, they were just in the fridge, im in the uk.
You could always try ebay, ive bought axie food off ebay before :)
As stated above, make sure you are using the right amount of dechlorinator and dont just pour a full bucket in there, add it steadily, you could even use a siphon and just siphon it from the bucket to the tank.

Axietier
15th January 2014, 02:26
@layna
Ok thank you! Yes I managed to find live worms at my local pet store. They didn't have bloodworms at the time I went in but I got a cup of black worms (:

I am using a dropper to put the de-chlorinator in, like what people use for betta fishes. I am careful to add the right amount and mix it to spread it out. Is using de-chlorinator from a dropper not recommended though?

And hello Elise!
Thank you for the response!
I purchased aquarium sand from a petland discounts store, I don't remember the exact brand :( But I did remove a good 98-99% of it (there are a few grains here and there but it's only really visible near one corner of the tank)

Here is a quick picture I took of him. It's dark where I am right now and I didn't want to use the flash this close to him but if the picture is bad I can definitely retake it in the morning.

https://31.media.tumblr.com/f0ccf39be9c947bc3a8730569c7172d7/tumblr_mzf6noeWkt1r5ujc7o2_r1_1280.png


And ok I will try that! I did manage to get him in a separate tank while cleaning out the sand (doing a 90% water change as well because the water was also getting a bit dirty) and I did notice his gills did not curl so that must have been it :)

And an update on his eating- I did purchase live black worms from my local petstore and put a small clump in his tank yesterday night. This morning there was about half of the original worms so I'm assuming he ate some ((unless they are hiding and I just can't see them)).

If it was the sand that was in fact causing him not to eat what should I do? Will he start to eat on his own again?

Thank you both so much for your time and help!!!

EmbryH
15th January 2014, 15:30
Give him a couple of days and he should start eating again. Good on your for removing the sand. It's a good substrate, but sometimes it's not compatible with a person's preference for feeding their axie. I assume that you're bottom feeding him since you're using black worms, so removing the sand was def the best thing.

He should start eating again soon, but you should consider getting earthworms in the near future. He looks big enough for them, and they're cheap, clean, and the most nutritious for your axolotl. You can buy them at walmart for $3 :)

auntiejude
15th January 2014, 15:35
I am using a dropper to put the de-chlorinator in, like what people use for betta fishes. I am careful to add the right amount and mix it to spread it out. Is using de-chlorinator from a dropper not recommended though?


Don't understand this - are you adding water to the tank and THEN adding dechlorinator? You should be dechlorinating the water then letting it sit to equalise the temperature BEFORE you add it to the tank.

Elise
15th January 2014, 17:36
You can tell he is going to have some stunning markings on his face when he gets bigger.

Nothing obvious stands out in terms of him eating sand from the picture. Post an update in a couple days with how his eating progresses.

It's hard to tell from the recent image but if you notice some damage to his slime coat after handling, give him a couple days to heal before you pick him up again. It should happen less as he becomes more comfortable with the whole idea of being moved around. Did you use a net or your hands to move him?

Axietier
16th January 2014, 23:47
@EmbryH
Ok thank you! I will definitely pay walmart a visit and look around for some earthworms :)

@Auntiejude
I have been filling single gallon buckets, adding the dechlorination into the buckets, then dumping them in the tank.
I will let the water sit longer now though, thank you for that information!! :)

@Elise
I hope so! :D
I handle him with a soft net and am careful to make sure his legs and gills don't get caught :) I plan to use my hands when he gets a bit bigger (I'm afraid of hurting him right now)

And the past couple of days he's been eating up the blackworms! He still ignores the pellets but he loves the little clumps of blackworms. Once again I will be looking for earthworms as soon as possible and I found a local pet store that sells live blood worms :)

Thank you so much everyone!!! :D

EmbryH
17th January 2014, 02:29
No problem, just keep up the good work :)

I've gotta say that I'm very pleased with how ready you were to follow advice and do what was best for your axolotl, especially concerning the sand. (Again, sand is a great substrate, but sometimes it's not appropriate). I've seen far too many keepers, some who have had axolotls for years, refuse to stop bad and dangerous habits because they would rather protect their ego and be "right" about their pet than admit that they need to change something. SO many keepers who should know better are using gravel or keeping dangerous tank mates with their axolotls, which just spreads the bad habits to rookie keepers.

It always pleases me to see new keepers ready to do what they need to for their axolotls. I've always viewed keeping them as a privilege, and I feel like you understand that. Good on you.

Axietier
22nd January 2014, 22:34
I'm sorry for the late reply!
I just moved him to my dorm room where he is actually picking more at the pellets now too C:
And thank you so much EmbryH!!
I will continue to follow the helpful advice of all of you wonderful people
Thank you soo much! (: