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Old 10th July 2010   #1
MaddogJones
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Default Axl in his huge tank :)

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Anything I could improve? :)



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Old 10th July 2010   #2
Dan
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Default Re: Axl in his huge tank :)

Get rid of the gravel!, your axie will eat it and could die from it. Other than that looks good.



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Old 10th July 2010   #3
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Default Re: Axl in his huge tank :)

I know it seems strange but he is actually incapable of eating the gravel - I know all about them digesting it etc, I have had him nearly a year now :) but he has never once eaten a piece of gravel, or even managed to move one at all. I think they are too heavy for him - but I will keep a close eye on it whilst he grows.
Does anybody think they know what sex Axl is?



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Old 10th July 2010   #4
April
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Default Re: Axl in his huge tank :)

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Originally Posted by MaddogJones View Post
I know it seems strange but he is actually incapable of eating the gravel - I know all about them digesting it etc, I have had him nearly a year now :) but he has never once eaten a piece of gravel, or even managed to move one at all. I think they are too heavy for him - but I will keep a close eye on it whilst he grows.
Does anybody think they know what sex Axl is?
Just curious, how are you so sure that he hasn't/won't eat any gravel?



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Old 10th July 2010   #5
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Default Re: Axl in his huge tank :)

Well, he has been in my bedroom for a year - as I am so often in that room he is always in the corner of my eye :)
Mainly it is from watching him feed though - when he eats his axolotl pellets which sink to the floor, if he misses some, he will scout round the floor looking for them - when he does the axolotl snapping sucking thing, the pellets move, but the gravel does not.
I see it almost every day, and he just does not seem to be able to move the gravel at all - he does not even seem to be able to move it when diving into the gravel at full force. It is also quite a bit bigger than his pellets, and a different shape to his worms and other foods - so he doesnt have any training in eating it either.



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Old 10th July 2010   #6
A. Macxicanum
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Default Re: Axl in his huge tank :)

Maddog... Please don't take this as an attack. The tank is beautiful but he WILL eat the gravel . You've been lucky so far... but he WILL eat it and it could (and probably will) kill him. Switch to sand and you eliminate the problem and it'll be easier to clean as well.

How big is he?



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Last edited by Mac Myers; 10th July 2010 at 13:43. Reason: To ask size.
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Old 10th July 2010   #7
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Default Re: Axl in his huge tank :)

He is 17cm long :) and thanks for the advice, but I find it strange - I had sand before, and the axolotls used to digest it all the time. I think it was what killed his tankmate - it took it so much sand each time it ate - I also found it very difficult to clean.
I think I will get some nice pretty pebbles, boil them to cleanliness and make a layer over the gravel :)
And thnks for saying the tank is beautiful :)



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Old 10th July 2010   #8
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Default Re: Axl in his huge tank :)

By the way, does anybody think they know what sex Axl could be? :)



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Old 10th July 2010   #9
A. Macxicanum
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Default Re: Axl in his huge tank :)

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He is 17cm long :) and thanks for the advice, but I find it strange - I had sand before, and the axolotls used to digest it all the time. I think it was what killed his tankmate - it took it so much sand each time it ate - I also found it very difficult to clean.
I think I will get some nice pretty pebbles, boil them to cleanliness and make a layer over the gravel :)
And thnks for saying the tank is beautiful :)
Eating sand won't hurt them. When kept to a maximum depth of 1" sand is much easier to clean than gravel. Sand did not kill his tank mate. Completely covering the gravel with larger pebbles can eliminate the problem of gravel impaction... but will be a nightmare to keep clean. Food and waste will get down into the pebbles and then into the gravel and this will affect your water quality adversely.



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Old 10th July 2010   #10
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Default Re: Axl in his huge tank :)

I have a gravel cleaning sucky thing that works wonders :) I have had the trusty thing for about 6 years and it never fails to big everything up :)
Sand however, the axolotl likes to mix everything up at night - also cleaning the gravel with pebbles would not be as much as a nightmare as draining the whole tank - its a pretty big tank, all the plants are living as well!



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Old 10th July 2010   #11
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Default Re: Axl in his huge tank :)

Ok. I give up. You are going against commonly accepted mandatory Safe Axolotl keeping recommendations. But it is your animal I suppose.



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Old 10th July 2010   #12
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Default Re: Axl in his huge tank :)

I'm not going against it, I have just found from trial and error that sand does not work for me. It got too messy and was very hard to clean. It contained poisonous gas bubbles that required the sand to be shifted completely every few days, and for all dirt and waste to be cleaned off of the sand before then, otherwise be left to rot forever.
The gravel is quite large and I am going to switch to pebbles as my axolotl grows larger - for the moment, he is physically incapable of eating it - and it would mean destroying my cycling and perfect water levels to put sand back in, as well as causing the axolotl and plants unnecessary stress.
Its just not worth it till its necessary.



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Old 10th July 2010   #13
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Default Re: Axl in his huge tank :)

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for the moment, he is physically incapable of eating it .

That gravel is much smaller than his mouth, and he is surely capable of swallowing it.

Just use a barebottom (or slate), take all the gravel out and it will not at all affect your water parameters.



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Old 10th July 2010   #14
Ken Worthington
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Default Re: Axl in his huge tank :)

Maddog, if you read the "diary of Fred" thread you can follow the story of poor Fred and his experience with gravel.....luckily, he survived.

Although I'm very new here myself, I'd urge you to follow Fred's story as an example of axolotl/substrate issues, and maybe consider (well washed) play sand from 'Argos' at about 1 inch deep, or a bare floor, or slate, etc. as suggested.

This is a great site for information about caring for these little creatures, and the people here are only too willing to help........



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Old 10th July 2010   #15
Nathan
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Default Re: Axl in his huge tank :)

I'm not sure why there is so much debate over this. Wouldn't it be better to be safe than sorry? If you're so dead-set on using rocks rather than sand or bare-bottom, why not switch the whole thing to huge river rocks? Your tank is obviously very well decorated, and looks fantastic (by the way), so I can understand why changing substrate would be a pain, but If I were you I wouldn't want to take ANY chances, even after observing my animals behavior.

Of course, each animal is different, so it's ultimately your decision, and if you're happy with it and the axolotl is healthy, then that's good.



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Old 10th July 2010   #16
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Default Re: Axl in his huge tank :)

I really think you'd be better off with a bare bottom if you really can't get the hang of sand. I just keep a thin layer of sand in all of mine to prevent the gas buildup and it gives them a little grip too. Judging from all the footprints I find, I think they appreciate it. It was a pain to get rinsed out completely and believe me, I was anti-sand all the way for MANY years! lol

I am happy that you have not had any bad experiences with gravel, but unfortunately, the odds are stacked greatly against your continued success. Every story about using gravel ends the same way with an axolotl in distress and in the fridge. Sometimes they successfully recover, sometimes they don't. Your tank is beautiful so obviously you care a great deal about your axie, as we all do, please don't continue to put his health at risk.

Eric is right about the parameters, changing substrate but not the filter, ornaments, and plants all at the same time will have little effect on your parameters. I wish you well.



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Old 10th July 2010   #17
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Default Re: Axl in his huge tank :)

I guess advice like this is why I joined the site :) I am currently searching for jet black and bright white pebbles to replace the gravel, I think it will look even better than the gravel.
Although, I will upload a video of him eating so that you guys can see what I mean about him not being able to eat the gravel at the moment.



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Old 10th July 2010   #18
Dan
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Default Re: Axl in his huge tank :)

I'll just say this now, my flat mate's axie died because of gravel. Also if you get pebbles, make sure thay are huge enough so your axie cannot eat them.



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Old 11th July 2010   #19
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Default Re: Axl in his huge tank :)

MaddogJones: I'm glad to here that you are changing your gravel. maybe try Mexican pebble, just a suggestion.

i just want to take this opportunity to show you a picture. axolotls can swallow large rocks so make sure they are bigger then the head. it only takes one time to cause fatal results. this is my axie shamrock and the pet store owner told me she couldn't possibly eat these rocks. well SHE DID! it could have killed her but it didn't and i was lucky.

we all care and wish the best. just trying to be helpful
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Old 11th July 2010   #20
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Default Re: Axl in his huge tank :)

You really have to go very big or too small to be an obstruction. I run heavily planted tanks with muddy bottoms and a thick layer of gunk at the bottom with lots of gas pockets. The water quality usually remains good without any filtration.

It is surprising what axolotls eat when you are not looking. I moved an axolotl to a holding container due to a filter and water quality problem and found more pieces of vermiculite appear than I thought were in the tank.

It is my guess that if you move this axolotl to a holding tank you will find what it eats and it will include too many pieces of this gravel for comfort.



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