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

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Old 29th May 2018   #1
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(aalysaz)
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Default Axolotl not eating pellet food?

Hello!
I’ve just introduced my axolotls (~5.5 inches) to rangen’s 3/16” (I believe) pellet food. I’ve been mixing it with frozen bloodworm cubes, which is what I’ve been feeding them for a while now. I noticed that they would “hunt” the pellet down, suck it in and then after a second, spit it out (???). They are eating their bloodworms normally.

why are they doing this?



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Old 1st June 2018   #2
mdtaylor
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Default Re: Axolotl not eating pellet food?

Mine does a sort of similar thing... Are you dropping them dry and they're catching them, or do you drop them away from the lotls so they get a little soft before they find them? Or do you soak them in a little tank water before dropping them? I've tried all of those to slightly different results.

I'm using Hikari sinking carnivore pellets:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007QH89AI

I'd guess they're the same size pellets as yours. My lotl is about 4.25 inches now, so I usually break mine in half. With pretty much any food, once it hits the ground he tends to ignore it until I suck it up and drop it again, including pellets, so I've just got to drop them precisely or use soft tweezers.

I used to let the pellets sit in a drop of water to get a little soft before dropping them, but then they were impossible to pick up and he would usually spit them out after two or three chews if he caught them.

When I drop half of a dry pellet, he'll usually suck it right up, and it takes him awhile to chew on it (presumably to make it soft enough). He kinda bloops himself backwards because of the water coming out of his mouth when he chews but doesn't seem to mind terribly. If he's really hungry (like in the morning or right when I get home from work) he's got a much higher chance of not spitting it out. If he's had anything else though, he'll spit it out and stare at the sky hoping I'll drop something better.

This is just a guess... but I think it might be a combination of A) them being a little gummy and harder to get down than a worm or a brine shrimp, and B) all the chomping making them accidentally expel the lightweight pellet, and C) maybe just really liking other foods more. I know mine prefers, in order: Beef heart, brine shrimp, bloodworms, and pellets. Beef and worms are treats though, and he makes a horrid mess of the shrimp so... I try hard to get him to eat some pellets first.

Anyways, those are my guesses. Anyone else have experience with this? Maybe try breaking the pellet in half and seeing if he can get it down without blooping it back out? Also... it seems to be ok, but does anyone advise against feeding them a pellet that hasn't fully gone soft yet? They seem to soften pretty quick, but I worry about it being like an expanding noodle.



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Old 6th June 2018   #3
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Default Re: Axolotl not eating pellet food?

I usually drop food in with a turkey baster, and if they seem uninterested, I guide it to their face and then they’ll eat it (most of the time). If they don’t then I know that they are uninterested and I suck it back up and feed some to the feeder fish I keep for fun. So the pellets are usually in the middle, between soft and dry.
I know I don’t have to break it in half because when I feed my axies a huge chunk of bloodworms (still partially frozen together), they gulp the whole thing down; no problem. The pellets are far smaller.
I don’t know if they like it or not because sometimes they’ll eat it but I’m not sure if it’s because they’re hungry or if it’s just an instinct for them to grab ar whatever’s moving.

It’s not a huge problem; but I thought that I could switch them over to pellets from bloodworms because I know that bloodworms don’t give axies all the nutrients they need..



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Old 7th June 2018   #4
Hayley
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Default Re: Axolotl not eating pellet food?

I would recommend if you can get them to feed them nightcrawlers, they are the preferred option nutritionally. I give pellets as a supplement if Bucky is still hungry after a worm, and once a week he will get a cube of frozen axolotl food or bloodworms.
Bucky is probably about 7-8 inches long now so eats pellets without issue, dry or soaked. But the method I have always used with all of my axies is to drop it in front of their face so they can feel it coming (and stick their heads up ready) and gulp it down.
If they don't respond to the pellets stick with earthworms/nightcrawlers :)



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Old 7th June 2018   #5
Michael Shrom
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Default Re: Axolotl not eating pellet food?

The Rangen soft moist salmon pellets that I sell are moist and soft. They don't need to be soaked to soften up to make them more appetizing or to avoid impaction problems that are associated with hard pellets. To train your axolotl on salmon pellets add a few with normal feeding. Eventually lower the amount of the food your axolotl is used to eating and increase the amount of pellets. Your salamander should transition to salmon pellets easily.



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Old 7th June 2018   #6
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Default Re: Axolotl not eating pellet food?

Iím looking into getting them worms. How much do they eat? Like if my axies are 6 inches long can they eat a 6 inch long worm?

I am using Rangen pellets. But thank you for the offer!



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Old 7th June 2018   #7
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Default Re: Axolotl not eating pellet food?

Mine eats 1 nightcrawler a day, but is most of the time hungry for more haha. You can cut a worm up so the length is the same as the width of the axolotls head. Worms dont feel pain so don't worry about that.



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Old 8th June 2018   #8
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Default Re: Axolotl not eating pellet food?

I use Northfin Jumbo Fish pellets and honestly, I have never seen an axolotl who didn't love those pellets. I never have to do anything special to pellet-train my axies, and this includes rescues and axolotls I buy from other breeders who supposedly hate pellets.



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