PDA

View Full Version : Does she look healthy?


oxhhxo
21st March 2014, 10:20
Hi guys, I recently rescued a 2yr old female (I believe), leucistic axolotl.

I have wanted one of these fascinating little creatures for about 10yrs, but never got round to getting one, well when I heard a friends mum had one I was very excited to meet her. when I did, I was mortified, this poor little thing was living in a tank, with tiny easily swallowed gravel, that hadn't been cleaned in I think her whole life, it was disgusting! she was being fed one frozen bloodworm cube everyday and was clearly overweight... I explained how wrong this was and offered to buy her, she was clearly no great loss for them as they snapped up my offer... when I got her she was very pale, her gills were almost clear and she would not come out of her hide, except to eat. I just want to make sure I'm doing everything right now, as I've never owned one... I love her sooo much, well, I've now had her about 4 weeks, she's in clean tank where nitrates etc are perfect however the ph is around 8.0 I have tried using ph stabilisers but they don't seem to be making much of a difference, I removed the gravel from the tank completely, but she didn't seem to like that, so have added some glass stones. I've now cut her down to 1 frozen bloodworm cube every 2 days, and she is looking a lot happier, she does beg for food on days I don't feed her and although it's hard to say no to her cute little face, I stand my ground, she's become much more active, she likes to investigate her tank, she's nowhere near shy any more, always comes over to say hello if you go near the tank and has recently started to swim around (which I think she forgot how to do) and she now has pinker gills too, but does she look healthy to you guys?

Sorry about the essay lol

(Wanted to show you before and after, but it's only letting me do 1 pic for some reason, tried uploading 3 at a time, but only one shows??)

HayleyK
21st March 2014, 10:49
If the first photo you uploaded a recent one then yes she looks healthy.

If I were you I would lose the glass stones they can ingest rocks as large as their head. As a general rule if the stones/rocks are less than double their head size - ditch it, it's just not worth it! Secondly move her/him on to earthworms it's much more suitable nutrionaly :D. Set up a worm farm and you'll next to never need to buy earthworms ever again!

As for a healthy weight, if it's body width is the same as it's head - it's a good weight. Do adjust accordingly the feelings for your axolotl.

What are your actual readings? I ask this because sometimes people assume all 0 everything is good. If it's 0 ammonia and nitrites with a reading of less than 40ppm it's cycled and all good. The p.h is fine and I would refrain from using any chemicals with axolotls. They absorb much through their skin as they have no scales.

It would be interesting to see before photos :)

oxhhxo
21st March 2014, 11:08
Hi, thanks for your reply.

Oh that's annoying, the store said these would be fine as they would be too big/heavy to ingest... she couldn't seem to rest when I removed the gravel, even when in her hide she would be constantly moving her legs, looked like she was digging lol

Earthworms is something I've seriously been considering, but I don't know if I would have the heart to do it to the poor worms lol... I did buy some fresh bloodworms, but they just seem to irritate her.

As for the nitrate I'm not 100% sure they did one of the colour chart test kits and they was the top colour on all of them except ph which was the bottom one, which they said nitrates etc were perfect and ph may be an issue.

Yea that was a picture I took today... Uploading an earlier one this was around a week and a half after I got her, unfortunately as I had to wait for her new tank to cycle and her old one was so dirty, I couldn't really see her, let alone get a picture of her before.

Can I ask a really random question too? How to you add a profile picture?

oxhhxo
21st March 2014, 11:12
Just thought I'd add this too as it's my favourite picture of her too, she's sooo cute :D

Skudo09
21st March 2014, 11:20
Get yourself your own liquid test kit. Stores will often tell you its fine and not tell you the actual results and often, it is not fine. It is important to have your own kit so you can monitor the water paramters yourself on a regular basis. I would at least check on a weekly basis on a cycled tank but I would be checking every day if your tank is not cycled. I use API freshwater Master Kit. It has PH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate testing solutions.

I would also remove the glass stones. Use silica based sand instead.

To upload an avatar picture, go into your User CP. you will see this right at the very top of the page in the green ribbon.

Also earthworms are by far the best nutrition for an axolotl and would highly recommend earthworms as a staple diet. Whilst ok for young juvenile axolotls, bloodworms are not enough nutritionally for an adult axolotl.

HayleyK
21st March 2014, 12:15
Hi, thanks for your reply.

Oh that's annoying, the store said these would be fine as they would be too big/heavy to ingest... she couldn't seem to rest when I removed the gravel, even when in her hide she would be constantly moving her legs, looked like she was digging lol

Earthworms is something I've seriously been considering, but I don't know if I would have the heart to do it to the poor worms lol... I did buy some fresh bloodworms, but they just seem to irritate her.

As for the nitrate I'm not 100% sure they did one of the colour chart test kits and they was the top colour on all of them except ph which was the bottom one, which they said nitrates etc were perfect and ph may be an issue.

Yea that was a picture I took today... Uploading an earlier one this was around a week and a half after I got her, unfortunately as I had to wait for her new tank to cycle and her old one was so dirty, I couldn't really see her, let alone get a picture of her before.

Can I ask a really random question too? How to you add a profile picture?

Fish stores/pet stores generally know nothing - come to this wonderful site in future! Axolotls can eat pretty big things since their mouths are so big. Look at this x ray - http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-beginner-newt-salamander-axolotl-help-topics/f48-axolotls-ambystoma-mexicanum/f58-sick-axolotl/95633-axolotl-x-ray.html

Try not to look at the worms when you feed them to avoid the guilt :lol: and think about how much healthier and happier your lotl will be :D

Like skudo mentioned - buy and test your own. It's much more convenient and is easier to fix if you can test at home and water change right away compared to collecting water, taking it to the vets, coming back and then changing. Liquid kits are better, but more expensive and they last so long so it's definitely worth it.

She's a pretty cute lotl and I reckon she's lucky to have someone as caring as you, good job :). Just on a side note.. Your favorite picture, her toes look very stubby and rounded are they still like that? Was that an old injury?

P.s my mistake for wording the nitrate readings wrong, should have some readings of nitrate but less than 40

oxhhxo
21st March 2014, 20:37
Thank you so much for all the info, will definitely be buying a home testing kit, I do have a digital ph test kit already, but it doesn't seem to be as accurate as I'd like o.O

And as for her toes I have no idea why they look like that in that picture lol, as you can probs see in the first pic from today she does have long toes with quite long black tips, can't even see the black tips in that picture, must be bad lighting. She definitely doesn't have stubby toes though :)

Kaini
21st March 2014, 23:18
Thank you so much for all the info, will definitely be buying a home testing kit, I do have a digital ph test kit already, but it doesn't seem to be as accurate as I'd like o.O


You don't have to regularly test for PH so I wouldn't worry about it. As long as your PH stays stable it's not necessary. What is important is the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate readings. Ammonia and nitrite are toxic and anything above 0 is considered bad.

snuggly time
22nd March 2014, 08:28
What a cute axolotl!

It's obvious that you care about her, so I'm glad she's with you now. :happy:

You do get used to feeding earthworms if you decide to go ahead with it. You can buy small ones online from Yorkshire Worms, so they don't need cutting up.

Good luck

oxhhxo
22nd March 2014, 11:53
Thanks everyone I have removed all the glass stones and put some more large ones in as she seems to really enjoy climbing on them...
I had a panic attack this morning, came downstairs to find her floating on the top of the tank, lightly touched and she didn't move!! Then she moved and my heart removed itself from mouth, then I had all the thoughts going through my head has she swallowed a stone already, impaction, stress!! But took all the glass stones out and she seems perfectly fine now(guessing she really didn't like them, knows what's not good for her), now she's strolling around climbing over new rocks and happily eating her bloodworms, so I'm hoping all is good now, will definitely be checking with you guys before I do anything new with her in future!
she will be moving to a new tank in a few weeks as I've got her a new 3ft tank as I would really like to get her a friend, i'm guessing this would also have to be an adult so it doesn't get eaten right? I'm planning on using cleaned play sand in the new tank as this seems to be the most recommended on here... is that ok?
and also you'll be glad to hear I have bitten the bullet and ordered her some earth worms, I just want what's best for her.
Sorry for the millions of newbie questions lol

oxhhxo
22nd March 2014, 11:55
For some reason if I try adding more then one photo it only uploads the last one o.O

Skudo09
22nd March 2014, 12:48
Washed play sand is fine :)

Nice tank setup :)

Asking questions is how we all learn so ask as many questions as you like :)

If you get another one make sure it is of similar size or you can divide the tank or keep the new one in another tank until the new one catches up in size.

Ariel
25th March 2014, 00:20
That happened a few times to mine before I got used to it. Apparently they are very heavy sleepers and might not necessarily wake up if you touch them while they are sleeping. Also mine will occasionally float to the surface while sleeping, so the first time that happened, I panicked. I touched it with my finger and after no response I gave it a couple firmer pokes and it suddenly woke up startled and swam into the wall. We both had a scare that day.