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Sick Axolotl? Axolotl looking down in the gills? The doctors are in.

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Old 11th April 2007   #1
adelle
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I have been reading up in books and on sites and have seen alot of pictures with healthy looking axies on there but they have alot of black in their stomachs. is this their insides?

And also, I want to handfeed mine when I get them, but the pet shop said to use tweezers like them cos they carry salmonella (sp?) I wash my hands thoughly before and after putting my hand in the tank. I rinse my hands under hot water after I wash them, dry them in a towel I got just for the tank, then do whatever I got to do (adjust plants etc) and then wash hands again.
I have seen pics on the net of people holding their axies in the water (just putting hand under then so they walk on you kind of) and people on here say they get bitten when they hand feed them sometimes. So how do i avoid salmonella if i want to do all that? I could make sure I wash my hands throughly afterwards I suppose and then put that 70% alcohol stuff on my hands seeing as Im washing my hands again anyway the next time I go in there. (my boyfriend is on dialysis at home and we have alcohol stuff for your hands etc)
I hardly go in the tank except to adjust stuff but Ill wanna go in there every day when I got them just to put my hand under them etc (not to actually hold them) or will that hurt them if I even touch them at all?
And If i do have to feed with tweezers plastic ones would be best yes? And they eat frozen food (eg bloodworms) straight from freezer?

sorry for the mixed questions. I havnt really got time to post many times and its all to do with the 'will it make them ill' theme. thanks.



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Old 12th April 2007   #2
kapo
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You should avoid handling them unless absolutely necessary as we can damage their slimecoat/skin with too much handling.

Handfeeding is fine, some people use plastic tweezers, we handfeed sometimes and use barbecue skewers in our tanks on stands/shelves (I'm short!) when feeding our adults (you just have to angle the skewer so when the worm dangles from it they grab the worm rather than impale themselves).

Check what they've been eating when you buy them. If they're young under 8-10cm you can still see some of their internal organs.

Some people feed frozen bloodworm cube, make sure to thaw them and rinse before adding to your tank (some people use a dish at the bottom to put the bloodworm on then entice their axie to the plate).



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Old 12th April 2007   #3
adelle
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A friend of mine had an axie once and she said she never hand fed hers for fear of it biting her, but she did feed it bloodworm cubes. She said she just got it out the freezer and dropped it in. It floated until it started to seperate and then sank. As far as I know she didnt rinse it or let it defrost. I did ask the pet shop about different types of food and they said they can have it frozen and just to pop it in or hold it with tweezers straight from the freezer and also that a cube between them is fine. I know that my friends axie (she only had it a couple of weeks) went to her friend who had two more and he fed them a cube each every day. Isnt tha too much? From what I heard they were the same size roughly than the ones Im getting if not a bit smaller. The ones Im getting are about 3/4inches long and you can see their insides still or whatever it is. Is that 8-10cm? Sorry- im no good with cm. hopeless.
I went to see them a few times and sometimes they had the black in their stomachs, sometimes they didnt. They are fed mainly on bloodworms I think and maybe brine shrimp every other day. The black marks are kinda round with a little curl at the end if you know what I mean...kinda like an organ shape. Or maybe its the fine sand gravel they got in their stomachs? I got that set up ready so I hope not.



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Old 12th April 2007   #4
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Yes they are still young, known as juveniles. That's normal until they reach about 12cm when their skin becomes less translucent.\

Alot of people don't rinse frozen bloodworm cube nd just drop it in, but what it does is when it defrosts it adds waste to the tank. Most people think this is minimal, but any extra waste can cause a water problem.

You'll have to work out how much they eat, if there's any leftover food or regurgitated food, it has to be removed within an hour or so as your waste/ammonia starts to build up. Try 1/4-1/2 cube, at that size you wll probably need to feed him daily, probably twice a day if he takes it. Try earthworms if you can get them, like Ian suggested, and they aren't as messy as frozen. Frozen are handy to hae if you don't have anything spare on hand and they will eat it. Trouble is ours won't eat frozen bloodworm or pellets, only live and occasionally the odd strip of ox liver/heart. The black stuff is actually whatever food they've had that's digesting. My friend's eat frozen bloodworm and they look black in the stomach leading back to intestines.

My sister's eat live bloodworm and mosquito larvae so you see bits of red (bloodworm) and black (mosquito larvae). My babies eat daphnia, live bloodworm, mosquito larvae and live baby brineshrimp, their tummies look orange, black or red depending on what they consume the most.

(Message edited by kapo on April 12, 2007)



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Old 12th April 2007   #5
connor
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What about when you need to get them out of the LFS tanks...can you pick them up and put them in the bags or do you use a net? The reason i ask is that i work at my LFS and when i have days off i sometimes go in and they make me get all the stuff i want out of the tanks myself lol



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Old 12th April 2007   #6
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It's best to use a net.



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Old 12th April 2007   #7
adelle
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So I pick them out with a net if I ever need to get them out and also pick out uneaten food with a net too?
So does an axolotl actually carry salmonella? Cos if people let them bite them on purpose sometimes at feeding time cos its funny (read it on a thread) and alot of you have been bitten in the past without illness then surely a bite doesnt effect you in any way or harm the axolotl?
I realise that touching or handling them on their bodies is harmful and I understand why.
Oh and the axolotls in the pet shop looked different when I saw them last. One of them still had stumpy gills that are mishapen but another one started growing bright red frilly gills and you could see him flapping them. i think i heard they naturally flap them although I dont remember why. is a pinky axolotl with bright red gills and black eyes an albino? cos they all have black eyes and not red.



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Old 12th April 2007   #8
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Uneaten food is best sucked up with a turkey baster.

Axolotls CAN carry salmonella, but rarely do people with good hygiene get sick from their animals. It's best not to touch your axolotl for THEIR sake.

Flapping of gills is to move fresh water with more oxygen over the gills. Bright red gills are a sign of stress or increased circulation.

Black eyed individuals with white bodies are leucistic.



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Old 12th April 2007   #9
adelle
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Ive seen gills that are bright red on the net and on the forum that belong to pink axolotls that looked healthy (Lorie's pic for example -thats the kind of red i mean). Seeing as their gills only just started to show coudltn this simply be their colour? What would cause increased circulation. And to avoid the axies getting too stressed and hot if the temp goes up did I hear that you can drop ice cubes in from the freezer straight to their tank- say if the temp was above 20c?Ice wouldnt hurt them if I dropped it in their tank if the temp is ok would it? cos they come from icy lakes dont they?
oh and as for the feeding I am going to use plastic chopsticks. Dont really fancy holding the bloodworms anyway. Only problem is I cant hold chopsticks properly so Im going to have to practice.

(Message edited by blackrose_uk on April 13, 2007)



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Old 16th April 2007   #10
kaysie
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Increased circulation can be caused by stress, or excitement (such as during feeding or 'chasing')

Instead of ice, most people use frozen water bottles, which are filled with tank water. This is in case it ruptures.



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Old 16th April 2007   #11
adelle
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ah, so its fine to get a clean empty pop bottle anf put some of their tank water in it so I dont have to treat it and then use that? How long for, how often and is it ok to use the same bottle of water every time the tank gets a little warm?
How is it done? Just bung it in the freezer and when needed take it out and dip it halfway in holding it there for about half hour?



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Old 16th April 2007   #12
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No you need at least 2-3 bottles.

You can't just dunk it in and hold for half an hour. Use either way tankwater or treated tapwater (ie dechlorinated water - the same water you use for waterchanges).

Fill the bottles 2/3s the way up, as the ice will expand as it freezes.

When needed place one bottle in the tank - before it melts completely; get another frozen bottle from the fridge, remove the melting one and replace with the new frozen one. Return the melting bottle to the freezer. When the 2nd bottle is nearly melted pop the 3rd bottle in tank, remove the 2nd bottle and return to freezer.



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Old 16th April 2007   #13
Ryan
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I only have 2 bottles, should I get another?

they are 1 QT each



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Old 16th April 2007   #14
kaysie
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For my big tanks, I use half-gallon jugs. For the small ones, soda bottles work fine.

I have usually 3 or 4 for every tank.



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