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Old 16th May 2018   #1
Apis
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Exclamation New Owner Ignorance (speedy replies appreciated <3)

Hi all. Putting a TL;DR at the end for those who don't care to read my mini essay.

Horchata and Chorizo seem to be doing well. Both are eating consistently and try to go after both my hand and the turkey baster whenever I put them in/near the tank at feeding and cleaning times. I just got A/C for my room (as it's beginning to get hot where I live) and their tank stays between 19-20ºC throughout the day. I just did another water change after noticing their levels were a bit off and rinsed their filter media (the sponge in their filter was ESPECIALLY grimy... looks much better now, but hoping to get a new one over the weekend to be safe) so all should be well there shortly. They're both about five inches from their noses to the tips of their tail and their bodies are round and just about as wide as their heads. Their gills are nice and fluffy and look very healthy—though Horchata's gills have always been a bit smaller than Chorizo's, but that's the same for all of him. I think he might've been the runt of the clutch lol!

Now, having established that, it's dumb new owner question time.

Do axolotls have pores? Both Horchata and Chorizo have tiny, evenly spaced spots that look like they could either be pores or perhaps just the texture of their skin on their sides, towards the end of their tails, and near the tops of their heads (close to their gills). I've seen them on Chorizo for some time now, and they don't appear to have changed—I've just now noticed them on Horchata, as his coloring is especially pale. They both have them in identical places. I've taken a good, long look at them both and these spots don't appear to be a fungus as they're not fuzzy or protruding off of their skin. I can attempt to provide a photo if needed, but as of so far, the spots/pores/whatever haven't shown up in any of the photos I've taken—another element that has me thinking that they may be natural and not a result of a fungal infection.

Additionally: is it possible for axolotls to get sunburnt? I have a window in my room that faces the sun in the afternoon/evening and though I keep my blinds closed at all times, a little bit of light inevitably slips through. Would it be wise to consider covering their tank with a towel before I leave home in the morning?

TL;DR
+ From what I've observed, both axolotls are the picture of health. Bright and fluffy gills, round bellies, hearty appetites, no abnormal lethargy, no major wounds or noticeable infections, no fuzzy white or protruding patches.
+ Water temp. stays consistently at 19-20ºC throughout the day
+ Water is changed every weekend, and I just performed another water change today and rinsed their filter.
+ Knowing all of that, I ask: do axolotls have pores/a specific texture to their skin? Both axies have near-identical, evenly spaced, tiiiiiny white/pale circles that are visible in the same places on both. They do not protrude and they are not fuzzy. Both axies are leucistic, and one is also GFP. I can try to take a photo, if need be.
+ Also: is it possible for axolotls' skin to be damaged by sun exposure, even if sunlight is minimal?


Thanks in advance for the help! <3 And please pardon my ignorance!



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Old 16th May 2018   #2
Hayley
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Default Re: New Owner Ignorance (speedy replies appreciated <3)

See if you can get a photo, it'll help heaps :)
Everything sounds fine to me, I don't know if they have pores necessarily (although the skin is porous), they could be colouration/freckles.
Pop a aquarium fan on to make sure it doesn't go over 18 degrees (they are super cheap on ebay).
When replacing filter bits do one media at a time with a few weeks in between so you don't need to restart your cycle. If replacing a filter you can either run both for a few weeks or put the old filter media in the new filter and replace each media one at a time. This makes sure you aren't losing a lot of beneficial bacteria. I find the first easier.
I wouldn't worry too much about sunlight, especially if there are blinds. I'd imagine the glass on your window would filter out most of the uv. As long as there isn't full sunlight, and there are places the axolotls can hide :)



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Old 16th May 2018   #3
Apis
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Default Re: New Owner Ignorance (speedy replies appreciated <3)

Hi there Hayleyy. Thanks for the quick reply (and sorry for my slow one!) I managed to snag a few pictures of the kids with the flash on so you should be able to see what I'm talking about—they uploaded sideways for some reason though, so sorry about that! (and they're really big... opening in a new tab should fix it) The first two are of Chorizo—his coloring makes it a bit easier to see than Horchata's. And if the images don't load, here's a link to the album they're in: https://www.caudata.org/forum/album.php?albumid=5000 (let me know if that doesn't work either ^^)

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Thanks for the advice on the filter and the fan too! Just rinsed their filter media with tank water, so the bacteria should still all be fine (from what I've read, ahaha) And thanks for reassuring me about the sunlight—wouldn't want to harm their delicate skin! Also, my tank thermometer only goes down to 19º C, but I'm under the impression the temp. is actually below that but can't be read accurately—my A/C is set to 62º F, so hopefully their temp. is actually lower and I'm not just fooling myself!

Edit: I forgot to mention that Horchata's gills have always had a slight curl to them ever since I got him, and not because of stress. I've been told that it's not uncommon in juveniles for their gills to do that, and it's also worth noting that his tail is straight/relaxed and unbent—good signs, I believe.




Last edited by Apis; 16th May 2018 at 05:09. Reason: Forgot to say something important!
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Old 16th May 2018   #4
Hayley
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Default Re: New Owner Ignorance (speedy replies appreciated <3)

Pretty sure that's normal, if it's not hopefully someone else can point it out haha
Goodluck with everything :)



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Old 16th May 2018   #5
Apis
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Default Re: New Owner Ignorance (speedy replies appreciated <3)

Ahhhhhhhh what a relief!! The more reasonable part of my brain was telling me, "Y'know, I think that looks how it's supposed to," but my Anxiety Hell Brain™ disagreed. ^^;; Thanks for so much for all your help!



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Old 16th May 2018   #6
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Default Re: New Owner Ignorance (speedy replies appreciated <3)

Looks normal to me as well.



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