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Old 6th October 2018   #1
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Default Axolotl refuses to eat pellet/prepared food

Hello everyone. I just had a couple of questions regarding feeding my axolotl. Hereís a bit of a back story. (This post will be a little long).

So Iíve had my axolotl, Puddles, since September 15th. (Almost 3 weeks). The only thing Iíve managed to get him to eat this entire time since Iíve had him was a bunch of mealworms with their heads cut off, as my mom was mistaken and bought me mealworms thinking he could eat them. They are the only live food I have at the moment. I know that these arenít the best for them which is why Iím trying to get him off them. His previous owner says that he is prone to hunger strikes. He is approximately 7 inches long I believe. Wild type. No signs of stress. Swims and moves around actively. Water temp is usually around 16-18 C. He is in a cycled 20 gal tall with some live plants, a hammock, sand, 2 pipes as hides, some large rocks and a food bowl that Iím trying to get him to eat out of. I tested the ammonia in his water yesterday and it read 0 ppm. I do 25-30% (occasionally 50%) water changes every week and suck up any extra food or poop.

He will not accept most foods that I have. Iíve tried repashy meat pie, and cobalt aquatics sinking amphibian pellets for newt and salamanders. Heís just not interested in anything thatís not live food. I decided to try the pellets again and the meat pie last night. He didnít care for them at all. He seemed interested and sniffed it and stared at it but turned away and didnít care. However, he accepts mealworms readily but I donít want to have to feed them often since I heard they arenít that great for them. His owner said that they used to feed him in a feeding tub every other day but I thought that was maybe stressful for them so I Iíd like to be able to feed him in his tank, which Iím currently doing. They said that if they left him in the tub for 10-15 minutes with the repashy meat pie then heíd eat it, but Iíve tried feeding it to him with tongs in the tank and he doesnít want it. They also said that when he was younger he would accept Reptomin food but he doesnít now.

So I have these freeze dried tubifex worms for my fish that I rarely use, and theyíre in little cubes that would be the perfect size to fit in his mouth. Iíve googled it and found mixed responses whether or not to feed. One person said they feed it all the time and others say feed it only as a treat as it is fatty and oily? This is the guaranteed analysis on the back: Min. Crude protein-54% Min. Crude fat-9% Max. Crude fiber-2% Max. Moisture-5% Any advice is appreciated. Really just want my boy to eat as heís worrying me. Otherwise if that doesnít work the previous owner is willing to trade with me and give me her Arcadia brand amphibian pellets in exchange for the meat pie that I currently have to see if itíll make a difference. donít really have access to much live food since I live in a small northern town and the nearest pet store is a 3 and a half hour drive from here. There is a local tackle shop that sells nightcrawlers but I donít know how often he has them in stock. I was thinking of breeding them so Iíd have a constant supply but I hear that this is difficult to do. Since I canít always have live food on hand I really want to get him on pellets or at least some kind of staple like that so I donít have to keep worrying. And of course I will feed worms when I have access to them, I just canít guarantee that Iíll have accesss to them constantly. I canít really dig any up either right now because weíve already had some snow and I believe the ground is frozen or is starting to freeze. Any advice or help is appreciated. I just really want him to start eating pellet food again.

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Old 8th October 2018   #2
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Default Re: Axolotl refuses to eat pellet/prepared food

You sound like you're doing your best to keep your axie happy so that's great to see! Yes the mealworms aren't great as they struggle to digest the exoskeleton. You could feed them to your local birds though! When I got my axolotl Steve it took him about a month to get on a regular eating schedule. He was scared of worms and me, would eat a couple of pellets every few days out of sheer hunger.
Contact the bait shop and ask about the nightcrawlers, if you can get them that's a great option. Check around online for places that deliver as well. Nightcrawler's aren't naturally occurring in my country, and the worms in the ground are not well received by my axies, so I have a worm farm send me a box every month. There's heaps of guides to making and caring for worm farms so that would be worth doing! I don't farm my nightcrawlers at the moment but I do see eggs so I put them in my earthworm (red wriggler) farm once I've gotten through that lot of worms and hope for the best haha.
Try the tubifex worms until you get get a hold of nightcrawlers, it's better than no food. You can also try digging around in your garden for worms, see if he likes them!

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