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Old 27th August 2015   #1
Horser01
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Question Ignorant, Soon to be New Owner, Seeking Answers

So, I've been thinking of getting two axolotls. There is a couple that breeds them here, and after doing a ton of research, I went to see the two I was interested in... The guy who breeds them gave me some info that seems to conflict with info I got from here and other sites... So I'm hoping someone will be patient and kind enough to help me out? There is a lot of questions, so sorry for that... I want to make sure I know what I'm doing *before* their lives are in my hands...

Extra little piece of info: I was thinking I'd either get two from him, or order two from www.alotlaxolotls.ca . The only thing is I'm in Alberta, and they ship from Ontario. I've always refused to ship animals before and am quite nervous about it... A Luestic from them would be cheaper than buying his, and I could get a melanoid and a golden albino as well...

1. He has a purple Wild Type. The people from alotlaxolotls said they have purples as well, but the purple will disappear as they grow. The guy here's purple is 2 years old... What are the chances the purple will disappear? Especially since he showed me two purples in the same tank and said the other purple was the father of the one I would buy...

2. Are European Nightcrawlers a suitable earthworm for feeding?

3. The purple is 12". The leustic is 6.5". I thought I'd have to keep them separate with that much size difference. He says no.

4. The GFP leustic has two gills on either side, not three. It doesn't seem to be in any discomfort, but eventually, I'd like to try breeding them. After I'm comfortable with my original two... Would that be hereditary, and if so, would it increase or decrease the value of the offspring? I'd like them to go to good homes, not have to be culled or sold into questionable futures / conditions.

5. How safe is shipping them?

6. Does anyone know the size / age of the ones shipped from that company? I asked, but he didn't really answer me...

7. Is $80 for a 9 month old, 6.5" GFP Leustic a good price? Or $60 for a 2 year old 12" purple wild type?

8. How rare are purples?

9. Will a female breed naturally before 18 months?

I've also got a few questions about the tank, that I've put in that section, if you wouldn't mind swinging over there for a few minutes...

Thank you!



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Old 27th August 2015   #2
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Default Ignorant, Soon to be New Owner Seeking Advice

I was thinking of a 29 Gallon tank that is 30"x12"x16" for 2 full grown axolotls, or 3 juvies. Big enough?

This sand is safe? http://www.petland.ca/products/natures-ocean-aqua-terra-aquarium-sand

Also safe? http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B004...9640_122623040

How big do rocks / decorations have to be to avoid being eaten by a 12" adult? In inches, if you can...


Cycling: I wanted to add in some stuff from my betas tank and let it cycle chemical free and fishless. Everyone I talk to says that won't work.

The guy that wants to sell me some says to dechloranate the water and "throw them in", like it wouldn't be ideal, but they'll be fine.

The pet store says to buy some of their chemicals and treat the water for three days (what it says on the container), add the axolotls, and then "douse them really good with more chemicals"... And that I don't need to monitor the water quality, just do water changes every day or second day for the first few weeks...

I was thinking that I could do the pet stores option, but add goldfish to start with, remove the goldfish and then add the axolotls... But then I'm scared about the goldfish having parasites or disease...


I've never had a tank bigger than 10 gallons before, and that was for goldfish. No added air, no water quality, just plug in the filter it came with... I don't know how to use water quality testers, and to be honest, I don't think I could afford the amount of them that I'd need to cycle the tank for weeks... How much danger am I putting them in by not testing the water, just doing frequent water changes?

Would you go with just chemical, or would you put goldfish in until it evens out? If I get feeders, it may not be best for them if some die, but if they stop dying it should be okay for the axolotls, right? And the feeders that live through it will have a good home *after* that... How would you minimise the risk of parasites if that route was chosen?


Please let me know what you'd choose, or any other options. Thanks!



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Old 27th August 2015   #3
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Default Re: Ignorant, Soon to be New Owner, Seeking Answers

12" is full grown, no chance of any coloring changing at that point I'd say.

Night crawlers are very big and are typically fine for an adult, if not an adult then red bait worms are best, if juvenile then blood worms or black worms.

I'd keep them separated until at most 3" difference, a 12" axolotl could eat a 6" one I'm sure, but even if he couldn't he still might bully the smaller axolotl, nip his feet and such.

I'm not sure about the gills, I'd assume that is hereditary as they usually regenerate gills that are bitten off. I'm not sure it would effect the pricing, but I suppose maybe it would? Someone else could answer that better than me.

Shipping is very safe so long as you pay for overnight or express shipping and pack them with ice packs in a well insulated box. I've had 9 axolotls shipped to me and only one was lost due to the package being delayed and ending up taking 5 days to get to me, but the seller replaced him for me even though it wasn't her fault.

Not sure about the site, but in the FS: USA section on this site there are a lot of reputable and trusted breeders that you can contact to get the exact axolotl that you want.

I would say that $60 for an adult purple is a great price. I'm not sure the leucistic is worth $80, probably half that...

Purple are very rare. Wild = Leucistic = Albino < Golden < Mel < Copper < Purple < Crazy chimera/mosaic stuff. GFP usually doesn't make a difference to price.



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Old 27th August 2015   #4
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Default Re: Ignorant, Soon to be New Owner Seeking Advice

Sand is safe, made for aquariums and whatnot.
Volcano is safe, but very tacky if I may add my worthless two cents.
Decorations/rocks have to be bigger than their mouths, I don't want to say exact measurements and be wrong.

They aren't entirely wrong... You can add things to uncycled tanks so long as you don't over stock and maintain a strict daily big water changes routine, paired with regular testing of ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites to determine when it's finished cycling.

If you want to do fishless cycling you'll have to add a certain amount of pure ammonia and nitrifying bacteria to the tank until your filter builds enough bacteria to eat that ammonia. It's a lot less work than daily water changes.

A master aquarist can sometimes get away with less testing based off of many queues and lots of experience knowing when things will need to be taken care of. A novice should definitely save up for the testing kits prior to getting any aquarium pets.


If you don't care about possibly killing some cheap fish, I'm not condoning it but you could get some cheap minnows or tetras, I'd stay away from goldfish, and put a very under stocked amount into the tank, meaning just like 3-5 in a big tank, 1-2 in a small tank. Do water changes every other day or so, pay attention to how the tank smells, if it seems smelly do a big water change. After about two weeks you can slow down to water changes every couple days, then after a month it should be ready, but without testing there's no clear way of knowing. Also with frequent water changes you probably wouldn't kill or even hurt minnows and tetras, they're very hardy fish.



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Old 30th August 2015   #5
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Default Re: Ignorant, Soon to be New Owner, Seeking Answers

So, I've decided that I will just get the purple one for now. We'll start with one, after I get used to that one, I'll add in another, if I can get one the same size.

I'm in Canada. There are a few people advertising from Ontario, but most say local pick up... I'm in Alberta.

I know volcanos are tacky, but I've wanted one since I was a kid, and my mom always said no. I figure if I hate it I can always change it later. Lol!

Can their mouths open more than their body is around? I was scared they were like snakes and their mouth could be huge in proportion to their body... I'm trying to get the tank ready, but all the decorations seem too small...

I was thinking that I would do the "add this for three days" thing, add 4 minnows (it's a 29 gal). Do water changes once or twice a day, and test every 3.5 days... I can't afford a tester a day, but two a week is more manageable... Would that work? Or is it still too risky? I don't want to abuse the minnows either...

Going the above route, do you think it would be safe to add one adult axolotl in 10 days, after removing the 4 minnows? I know it depends on a lot, but anyone know good the chances are?



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Old 30th August 2015   #6
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Default Re: Ignorant, Soon to be New Owner, Seeking Answers

Trying to set up my tank, added the sand, and it's 'beading' and floating... After a few hours of letting it sit, thinking it would sink, I mashed it against the side of the tank. The normal grains fell away and sank. Stirred up the sand, and it beaded up and floated again... Is this normal!? I'm using this sand:

Aqua Terra Aquarium Sand; available in different colours. | Petland Canada

I was going to just skim the floating stuff off if mashing it didn't work, but as soon as you disturb the sand it does it again! So if there's a trick I'm missing, great. If not, there's no way I can use it for my boy!



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Old 30th August 2015   #7
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Horser01 View Post
Trying to set up my tank, added the sand, and it's 'beading' and floating... After a few hours of letting it sit, thinking it would sink, I mashed it against the side of the tank. The normal grains fell away and sank. Stirred up the sand, and it beaded up and floated again... Is this normal!? I'm using this sand:

Aqua Terra Aquarium Sand; available in different colours. | Petland Canada

I was going to just skim the floating stuff off if mashing it didn't work, but as soon as you disturb the sand it does it again! So if there's a trick I'm missing, great. If not, there's no way I can use it for my boy!

Keep stirring it up, keep skimming out the floating pieces with a net. Voila no more floaters (hopefully).



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Old 1st September 2015   #8
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Default Re: Ignorant, Soon to be New Owner, Seeking Answers

Any thoughts on my other post?


The sand is getting better. Some of it is still floating, but it's not as bad as it was before...



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Old 1st September 2015   #9
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Default Re: Ignorant, Soon to be New Owner, Seeking Answers

Hmm. In my experience, it's going to take longer to cycle a tank than that. Also, changing water every day could potentially wipe out your bacteria that you're trying to grow. So, to answer your question about adding an adult axolotl in ten days-- I wouldn't. I also think that the bioload difference between minnows and an adult axolotl is pretty significant, and I doubt your tank would even be cycled by then. Minnows can also bring in diseases as well, so there's that potential risk, too.

What I did to cycle my tank was the liquid ammonia method. I had a 40gal tank, and it probably took about 5 weeks for it to look like it had fully cycled. I tested every single day, as well. I would probably put aside money for testing kits, because I would test everyday to know where you're at. A lot can happen in a day, and sometimes it's life-threatening to the inhabitants.



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Old 2nd September 2015   #10
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Default Re: Ignorant, Soon to be New Owner, Seeking Answers

i purchased an axie from alotl axolotls kyanna and had him shipped. she was wonderful and answered my many questions. she shipped according to my schedule.and he arrived over night. i am in ontario so it was alot closer but i would contact her she was super awesome and i am so in love with my gfp leucistic zeppelin.



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Old 14th September 2015   #11
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Default Re: Ignorant, Soon to be New Owner, Seeking Answers

So the sand is still floating. I phoned the pet store after the first two days of stirring it, skimming it, letting it settle, stir it, etc. They said to keep stirring it because it needed to be "pre-soaked" and it would be fine after a few weeks. It's now been three weeks. When you stir it, it makes noise like rice crispies and floats again. Leave it alone for a while, some sinks, some does not. I've tried skimming it off several times, then as soon as the water is disturbed, the 'normal' stuff on the bottom floats and does a rice crispies.

I'm almost tempted to just take it out at this point, but I don't want a bare tank, and I don't really like any of the other suggestions... Anyone have experience with this type of sand?



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Old 14th September 2015   #12
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Default Re: Ignorant, Soon to be New Owner, Seeking Answers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Horser01 View Post
I'm almost tempted to just take it out at this point, but I don't want a bare tank, and I don't really like any of the other suggestions... Anyone have experience with this type of sand?
Bare tanks aren't so bad. This was my old 15 gallon, I painted the bottom and back forest green and I liked the way it came out. This was the tank that housed the little ones til they were big enough to go into the big tank with the big guys, so it wasn't exactly extravagantly decorated, could have looked a lot nicer, but then again I was also pretty new to tanks back then and didn't really know anything about the art of aqua scaping and such.
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Old 15th September 2015   #13
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Default Re: Ignorant, Soon to be New Owner, Seeking Answers

I know some people have done some really amazing things with their tanks with no substrate, but personally, I just really hate it... For several reasons. Theirs (and yours) look good, but for my own I don't like it... Kind of like "You have an amazing house! Not my style, I wouldn't want to live there, but it looks awesome!" If that makes any sense... (No offense intended, I'm not dissing yours!) I only want bare if it's *absolutely* no other choice. Plus, the axolotl I'm getting was raised on sand, and I don't want to stress him out. I've heard a bare tank can be stressful for them to start with, so... Also, I have no decorating ability what-so-ever, I have two moss balls, a java fern, a fossil fish, and a volcano (which Copper pointed out is pretty tacky, especially on it's own) at the moment. I plan on getting a couple more things, but I had this picture in mind and the sand color was the only thing that tied it all together...

Would turning on the filter ruin the filter? The actual machine? Or would I just have to clean it and change the media after the first two days? Someone said that's what they did and it worked. For the same brand of sand and everything. Someone else suggested putting an air stone or something else to agitate the water. I have one, I'm just worried about making the problem worse... I'll try it, but I thought I would ask first, in case someone else already had...

The pet store also suggested fine gravel. I know gravel is a no, but how fine does it have to be? Or only sand?

If I mixed play sand in with this sand, would it make any difference?



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