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Old 15th March 2014   #1
JessJesting
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Question Baby axolotl care

I will be getting an axolotl here in like 2 weeks. They will be 6 weeks old when I get them. I am getting one and he/she will be housed in a 20g long tank. I want to use sand as the substrate but from what I understand sand is worrisome because of impaction and I should wait until they are at least 5 inches long. I am currently cycling the tank with filter media from a fish tank I've had up and running for a long time. I have been keeping fish for years but this will be my first axolotl. I'm so excited! I've done lots of homework on these guys but I have a few questions...

Alright soo after all that my questions.. is does everything I stated above sound right? And what kind of special care do I need to know for babies? What kind of decor do you use? i saw a sweet diy hidey on here Im gonna try out. Annndd last but NOT least what is everyone's preferred method of filtration? Right now I have a HOB but I'm thinking I want to use a sponge filter.

Oh yeah on a side note has anyone used crayola colored sand long term In tanks? I googled it but no one seems to have used it for long enough to say for sure if its safe.

I don't think I left anything out lol... Thanks for reading my letter of a post. =)



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Old 15th March 2014   #2
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

You're right about sand not being suitable for 6 week old babies - it could cause impaction. 5" is about right for introducing sand. There has been debate about Crayola sand because we can't find out what it's made from - I wouldn't use it unless you can find this out.

Flow from a filter is likely to stress such a small baby, whatever type you use. I keep my larvae in unfiltered tubs with 100% water changes daily until they are about 3" and have established back legs. And a single 2" larva in a 20gal will look tiny and lost!

Axies are generally not too fussy on decor - mine like real and plastic plants to sit in and under as well as hides.



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Old 15th March 2014   #3
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

You are right, sand is best left out until the axolotl is at least 5 inches.

Definitely get at least one or two hides :) As for decor, make sure ornaments don't have any sharp edges or points. You might be able to file sharp edges/points down though to smooth them out. If you use fake plants, silk ones are the way to go as they have less sharp pointy edges.

I have a canister filter on my four foot tank and so far I love it. The only pain it has caused me was setting it up (the instructions were terrible) and priming it but now it is running, it is very quiet and running beautifully. I have read here that sponge filters seem to be a popular choice though.

Silica based sand is the best but I don't know about the crayola coloured sand and whether it would be safe.



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Old 15th March 2014   #4
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

Thank you for your responses. Do you think I should put him in something smaller for the time being? I'm not sure how big a 6 week old axie will be. Could anyone tell me? I wasn't sure if plastic plants would injure the axolotl. I have some live ones I'm gonna stick in there, java fern java moss. I just wanna make a good setup for my little one.

Edit: I was also wondering if frozen bloodworm and brine shrimp would be ok for a baby how long until he can eat earthworm?



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Old 15th March 2014   #5
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

6 weeks old...is still really tiny. You'll never find it in a 20. Like Auntyjude said, wait on the sand. Not only that but the babies really aren't that great at swimming and use their tummies to zoom around on. I have a baby that almost has fully formed front legs that started out in a betta cup, and got upgraded the day before to a betta view container. Just use a smallish container (make sure its big enough for him to grow into) and change water daily or every other day depending on what you feed. This gives you more time to fully set up his tank and whatever else.



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Old 15th March 2014   #6
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

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Originally Posted by JessJesting View Post
Thank you for your responses. Do you think I should put him in something smaller for the time being? I'm not sure how big a 6 week old axie will be. Could anyone tell me? I wasn't sure if plastic plants would injure the axolotl. I have some live ones I'm gonna stick in there, java fern java moss. I just wanna make a good setup for my little one.

Edit: I was also wondering if frozen bloodworm and brine shrimp would be ok for a baby how long until he can eat earthworm?
Plastic plants can also be ok, just make sure they are not too sharp :). I have live plants in my tank :) I think at 3 inches you can start feeding them earthworms though you might need to cut them into smaller pieces to start off with. I think bloodworm and brineshrimp should be ok but I don't have a lot of experience with juveniles at 6 weeks of age.



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Old 15th March 2014   #7
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

Theyre off brine shrimp at this size too I'm sure. If you can get black worms, do that, otherwise, blood worms all the way :3



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Old 15th March 2014   #8
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

Alright thanks for the info! So if I get say two small containers and do 100% water changes every day and switch back and forth so I can keep them clean it should be ok? And black worms.. Can I get them at like a bait shop or would I have to get those at my lfs?



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Old 16th March 2014   #9
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Spot on thinking. That's what I do and black worms are usually more challenging to find, they aren't regular worms. I'd say give a call around and see if anyone has any. An ounce will be more than you need. It might be easier to find frozen blood worms. I just like the black worms cause my babies always seem to grow that much faster on live food.


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Old 16th March 2014   #10
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

At 6 weeks an axie is likely to be no more than 2" - a little too big for BBS, but daphnia, adult brineshrimp and small worms (bloodworms, blackworms, microworms) are fine. You can start feeding earthworms as soon as their mouths are big enough, so if you have a worm farm and have baby worms from about you can try a 3" axie on baby worm pieces.

I use the 2 tub switch for my babies - I start my hatchlings in 1L food conatiners, then upgrade them to 5L shoe storer boxes, then at 3+" they go into a tank.



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Old 16th March 2014   #11
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

Alright I will get some containers to put him in until he gets bigger. How do I about handling him? Just pick him up carefully around the sides? Or scoop him up with a closed hand? If any of that makes sense lol. Im going to call my mom and pop fish store tomorrow. I'm pretty sure they carry live black worm. An ounce should do me good? I've been reading on how to keep them alive. And later when he gets big enough to eat them I'm going to make an earthworm farm for him. =)

Thanks again for all your help. You guys rock!



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Old 16th March 2014   #12
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I've perfected the art of transferring by pouring as much water out and pouring a little in with the axolotl. If you don't feel comfortable doing that then a net is the next best. An ounce is plenty for one baby. In fact to reduce waste if you have fish I would feed the worms to then the longer it takes.

I keep my worms in a long container with only a small amount of water on them and keep them in the fridge and rinse daily. I've kept them alive for a month at a time doing this.

Do yourself a favor and start the bin now and give the worms a chance to start reproducing. It takes them about a month to double and if you wait until you're feeding them to your kiddo and feeding one or more daily you'll run out faster than not. I learned that the hard way.


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Old 16th March 2014   #13
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

Alright I'll go tomorrow and pick them up. How do I go about rinsing them? I've read about rinsing but no one actually goes into HOW. Yeah I've got 3 tanks one with guppies and cories another with an angelfish and one with a betta. So feed some to them as a treat? And how long do I keep the water out to be considered 'aged'? Is 24 hours sufficient?

Edit: I've found a good article on rinsing them.



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Old 16th March 2014   #14
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

Thats because it's somewhat hard to explain not to mention everyone does it differently. I fill mine with medium water flow (COLD WATER) to stir them up but careful not to splash over. Once the water is about half way up the container I stop the water and let the worms settle (about 1-3 minutes depending on the amount) and pour the water out slowly while making sure not to pour out too many worms. Usually only the dead or dying worms will come out but you'll love a few in the process. This is a bit time consuming but faster over all. Next time I pick some up I'll take a short video if you'd like.



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Old 17th March 2014   #15
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

Thank you that was very helpful. Sorry for all the noob questions. You have been very helpful. =)



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Old 17th March 2014   #16
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

No, it wasn't a problem at all. I hope it can help at least a little. With all the adults I have and babies I've raised the least I can do is try to help out with some info!



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Old 17th March 2014   #17
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

You were a HUGE help. I can't say thank you enough.



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Old 21st March 2014   #18
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Default Baby axolotl care

I just talked to the breeder and he said they are ready to go! They are about an inch to an inch and a half. Will these guys be able to eat chopped up earthworm? My lfs won't have black worms in till next week possibly later. He also said that most will have front and back legs.

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Old 21st March 2014   #19
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

Ask the breeder what he has them on. At this size they wont be to interested in non live foods most likely.



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Old 21st March 2014   #20
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Default Re: Baby axolotl care

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Originally Posted by digitalxri0t View Post
At this size they wont be to interested in non live foods most likely.
A lot of people say axies need live food at that size, but I move my babies onto frozen bloodworm as soon as their front legs are established. I find that once they are physically big enough to take bloodworms it only takes one serving of live bloodworms for them to get the idea, then they take frozen ones.



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