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Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate Discussions on tanks, temperature, filters, gravel, lights etc.

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Old 30th August 2018   #1
Citronella
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Default Bare bottom or substrate?

Hi everyone! So I'm a brand new member and would probably call myself one of the less experienced axolotl owners despite being a pet enthusiast, as I never actually planned on owning an axolotl but wouldn't change it now that I do!
I have owned an axolotl for a year now and he has been doing absolutely great in his little habitat, however I originally had some aquarium sand as a substrate in his tank and at the time I was feeding him a lot of frozen blood worm cubes which worked out to be a nightmare. The cubes were extremely messy when it came to the sand and I wasn't exactly able to siphon it up so I decided it would be best to remove the sand.
Since then I have had him in a bare bottom tank and he seems to prefer it; I am able to feed him sinking pellets, earth worms etc. with ease and he is no longer taking in clouds of sand. I don't know if I'm just being inexperienced or completely blonde here but I was just wondering how does everyone else deal with this sort of situation as I know so many people use substrate in their tanks; do the axolotls not suck it up when snapping at food? I've also heard that bare bottom tanks aren't ideal as axolotls can become panicky when they have no grip on the floor, but my axie seems super happy and able to walk around. Thanks for any answers or advice, its all appreciated!



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Old 31st August 2018   #2
Hayley
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Default Re: Bare bottom or substrate?

Yep that's all normal! They can gulp up sand while feeding, so people often use a feeding jar on it's side (just a clean glass jar- makes clean up so easy too) or a reptile feeding dish. I moved my copper Steve into my main tank last night, his quarantine/growing tank was barebottom, and he just walked around taking in small gulps of sand. It wasn't even feeding time so was quite funny to watch. The good thing is the sand will either fall out of the mouth while they "chew" or will pass through the digestive system because of the small grains.
Barebottom is perfectly fine to use, but since they cannot grip onto it I suppose it could cause some stress to some. I wouldn't worry about it unless you notice your axolotl is showing physical signs of stress (curled gills, struggling on the bottom). Having lots of decorations or plants (fake or real) will help as the axolotl can grip on them.
I prefer sand as I can never keep barebottom completely clean, and I love seeing their little footprints. Your axie sounds perfectly happy with no substrate so no need to change back :)



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Old 31st August 2018   #3
Citronella
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Default Re: Bare bottom or substrate?

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Originally Posted by Hayleyy View Post
Yep that's all normal! They can gulp up sand while feeding, so people often use a feeding jar on it's side (just a clean glass jar- makes clean up so easy too) or a reptile feeding dish. I moved my copper Steve into my main tank last night, his quarantine/growing tank was barebottom, and he just walked around taking in small gulps of sand. It wasn't even feeding time so was quite funny to watch. The good thing is the sand will either fall out of the mouth while they "chew" or will pass through the digestive system because of the small grains.
Barebottom is perfectly fine to use, but since they cannot grip onto it I suppose it could cause some stress to some. I wouldn't worry about it unless you notice your axolotl is showing physical signs of stress (curled gills, struggling on the bottom). Having lots of decorations or plants (fake or real) will help as the axolotl can grip on them.
I prefer sand as I can never keep barebottom completely clean, and I love seeing their little footprints. Your axie sounds perfectly happy with no substrate so no need to change back :)
Okay, thank you so much for your reply and your advice. I will definitely keep Randall without substrate for now as he seems perfectly happy and I do find it super easy to keep clean at the moment. I do have to agree the footprints in sand are super cute though! I do have four fake plants in his tank as well as a fake rock cave sort of thing so there are plenty of things for him to grip on to and I have also considered some real plants. Thanks!



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