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Turtledrew15 20th September 2017 01:06

First Axolotl tank
Hello all, I come to this website very frequently to research and find out everything I can in preparation for getting an axolotl. So far I have a 15g aquarium 24.24"L x 12.5"W x 12.75"H with a Fluval AquaClear 30 filter for a low flow and good tank filtration, some decor that provides a good hiding spot for the axolotl, some fake plants that are tall enough to disrupt current to things aren't stressful, fine substrate they can walk on but would pass through them if they ate it, and a cooling fan if needed. I live in a college dorm and I have been accumulating these parts piece by piece in preparation for getting an axolotl in October from a reptile expo. My biggest question is how to introduce the axolotl. Some people say they are okay to do an "axolotl-in" cycle while others say that the only option is fish-less cycling with ammonia and a lot of time. I have an API master test kit but I haven't done fish-less cycle before and I fear messing it up bad and also the huge amount of time it seems to take. I bought Tetra Safestart Plus that I planned to use when introducing the axolotl to its tank but I would like help please? Another thought was to buy some White Cloud Mountain Minnows and use them to start the cycle now and in a month introduce the axolotl and allow him to feed on them or just have them as tank mates if they aren't eaten?

milly124x 25th September 2017 20:20

Re: First Axolotl tank
The way I cycled my tank was by adding something called 'EasyLife'. It contains the useful bacteria, etc. as well as dechlorinating and clearing the water. I added this (90ml to start for a 90L/20g tank) with the filter running. Water was cloudy for a few days. At the end of the week, I did a 15-20% water change and added 30ml more. Repeated for about two-three weeks with regular water changes and constant testing. Ammonia starts high, then nitrites increase, ammonia drops to 0 and nitrites drop to 0, then you get a reading for nitrate over the course of a few weeks. After that, it's ready for the axolotl, but there are other ways of doing it. I would say definitely cycle before you put the axolotl in, that way the transition will be way less stressful.

I would also say be careful with the minnows - tank mates can nip on axolotl gills and stress them out, and they could be carrying parasites (which would just be a nightmare if it ate one). However, lots of people do find fish-in cycling easier.

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