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Old 11th April 2007   #1
sharon
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Hi,
I am new here, I was given an axolotl who is rather small, I been told he does not seem to be growing ...what can cause this? He seems healthy enough, could it be a food thing?
Please help!



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Old 11th April 2007   #2
kapo
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How long have you had him?

How big is he?

Do you know how old?

What is your tank temperature?

Have you tested your tankwater for ammonia, nitrite and nitrates?

What was he previously fed by other owner?



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Old 11th April 2007   #3
sharon
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I have had him for 1 day, not sure of age but he is not a baby, maybe 4 months, the person said she thinks he is runt of family as the others a re growing well and bigger. He is approx 8cm in length, not sure of tank temp have not got round to that as yet, I am going to pet shop today to get things I need. Perhaps you can help with what I need in tank etc, like ammonia and nitrite. I already have sand for bottom, thats about all.
thanks for your help and quick response.



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Old 11th April 2007   #4
sharon
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Oh yes feed, was told he eats earth worms.



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Old 11th April 2007   #5
kapo
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If you don't have any earthworms, see if the person who gave him can give you a supply. It is normal for some axies to be smaller than others, depends on how many are in a tank together when fed, as the stronger ones will always get the food first, hence faster growth and there are likely to be the smaller ones who aren't as quick.

If you can get some live food, don't use feeder fish, like earthworms (or start a wormfarm), mozzy larvae, live bloodworms/blackworms.


(Message edited by kapo on April 11, 2007)



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Old 11th April 2007   #6
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Look I'll assume you didn't since you only had him for a day. Let's assume you haven't and if that's the case you will need to do daily spot cleaning, turkey baster comes in handy if you have one, and daily partial only waterchanges (20-30%) to keep any ammonia/nitrites low.


Main things you will need are a bottle of water ager/conditioner, if you don't already, to remove the chlorine and chloramine from your tapwater.

A spare bucket, for waterchanges, if you don't have any

Turkey baster (an axie person's greatest cleaning tool!)

Thermometer, need to keep the temps below 24C

oh and if you can afford it a Freshwater master test kit (has test kits for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate low pH and high pH). If you can't afford those, try and buy the ammonia and nitrite at least then within a week or so, wehn you next afford it, buy the nitrate test kit.

These are important for reading your tankwater/knowing what's happening and when it cycles.


Don't buy any of the following:

* a chemical that supposedly speeds the bacteria/cycle in your tank; and/or
* fix/lock the ammonia, or
* fix the nitrite or nitrate, or
* pH up or down.

Most of these things are only temporary fixes and can muck your tank cycle up.

Best thing to do is partial frequent waterchanges (never more than 50%). There are also other natural methods to fix pH levels, tho axies can live in 6.8-8.0 .

Have you visited: www.axolotl.org

(Message edited by kapo on April 11, 2007)



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Old 11th April 2007   #7
sharon
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Thank you for that info, much appreciated. I have the water ager and I am going to buy a turkey baster and new tank. What is the best water level for axolotls?
cheers



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Old 11th April 2007   #8
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We have ours about 2 inches from the top. Some people have their tanks half full. Lower water isn't good though if your tankwater temp is over 22C; its better higher. Make sure you have a lid for your tank



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Old 11th April 2007   #9
sharon
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Cool thanks, could not find a good tank will go again tomorrow and look, I managed to get some earthworms from aquarium shop and he snatched it up real quick. So guess he was hungry. I hear you should only feed once every couple of days is this right? And what kind of plant can I put in with him?
cheers



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Old 11th April 2007   #10
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AS he's a juvenile, under 12cm, you can feed him twice a day, any uneaten/regurgitate food or poo that's there an hour or so after feeding should be removed.

When axies are 15cm+ they get fed every other day or every 3-4 days. I have axie babies (under 2cm) and my sister's 5 6-8cm axies which I feed twice a day with mozzy larvae, blood and earthworms. My husband feeds our adults every 3-4 days with earthworms.

Do you just have him in a container/bucket at the moment?

A good size tank for one is 2ft long (axies prefer floor space rather than height). If you think you may get a few extras, better to buy a bigger tank. See if you can find a 2nd hand one or get a local glass merchant/glazier to make one. Over here it's far cheaper to buy a decent sized tank through the glazier rather than an aquarium/petstore

Wait till your tank is cycled as I think some plants effect nitrates. We started of with a few plants, but axies pulled them out and they died. We had some java moss which did last a few months longer than the rest, but that also died a sudden death. Ours just have caves/several large schist stones and plastic plants floating on the top.



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Old 11th April 2007   #11
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Okies, he spat the worm out not sure if any eaten, I will give him some blood worm (frozen) for dinner and remove the worm. I have him in a small plastic container at the moment, as I have my cichlids in my 2fter. gunna look around tomorrow.
cheers



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Old 11th April 2007   #12
kaysie
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Sharon, if you don't purchase an actual aquarium, large plastic bins make great tanks. I've kept various species in them on and off. They're much cheaper.



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Old 11th April 2007   #13
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Its ok to keep him in the container, just change majority of water daily to keep any toxins down. He may not have been tried on blood worm but its a good time to introduce them; my sisters took a little but spit it out and prefer the live stuff - worms, mozzy larvae and live bloodworm - as we have plenty at the moment its not a problem.

If the earthworm was too big you may need to chop it. Start with the tail end and chop a 1/2 or 1cm end. Worms regrow tails! I spent months just chopping the tail ends of my worms for our axies when they were young and putting the partially chopped ones in a different worm bin so I wouldn't hack at them again and the tails would regrow.

(Message edited by kapo on April 11, 2007)



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Old 11th April 2007   #14
sharon
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Cool thanx guys, this Q is aimed at Kaysie...What type of plastic bins do you mean? I would like to move him as this one is small, and I want him to have a nice home to live in as well as a playmate. To Kapo...great advice there thanx, a Q for you again...how would I introduce a playmate for him as I was told he is a bit of a loner...but he looks so lonely, I would dearly luv to give him a mate, also I was told he is a HE, but how do I tell??
Is it safe to give him mozzie larvae from my comet pond?? I think I read earlier it wasn't.
Sorry I have so many Q's but as I said am new to the axi game and I have been reading thru the forums, but I find it quicker to ask...
I will prob have plenty more Q's lol. (As I think of them and progress)!
cheers



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Old 11th April 2007   #15
kapo
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At the size you mentioned, it's hard to sex them. I call mine he and her (habit I think more than anything else) even though you can't tell their sex until they're sexually mature, in some cases at the earliest 8 or 9 months or 18months).

Can you still see part of the internal organs of your axie or is it a dark wildtype? Are you able to upload a photo?

When introducing a companion, you need to quarantine any new editions for at least 30 days to ensure it's healthy and doesn't make your one sick.

Axies don't have playmates, and do just as well on their own (saying that we have 10 adults , 5 foster juveniles (my sister's) and 20 axie babies (due to be rehomed with new owners in about 2 months ) amongst our menagerie of pets!

I use mozzie larvae, also found some in my vases of flower, gave them a quick rinse then popped them in (they were popular).

Any plastic bins, you can use plastic fish bins, or those plastic storage ones on wheels in differing sizes that are quite cheap, over here they range from $5 for smallest to $20 for a 60litre sized one.



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Old 12th April 2007   #16
sharon
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He is a dark wildtype I guess, will upload pic when I have all set up, and it looks like he has a good appetite now, as he was devouring the bloodworm, (spitting what he could not fit lol). Going on a shopping spree soon to get rest of what I need. Ok, I got that kind of bin, what would you use for top?? Would flyscreen do?
Thanks for all your help by the way!
cheers



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Old 12th April 2007   #17
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That should do but anything basically that will stop him from jumping out (has been known to happen) and/or keep out any animals paws (if you have cat).



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Old 12th April 2007   #18
hayley
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Hi Sharon! It's Hayley, the person you got him from Click the image to open in full size.
I have no idea what sex he is, I call them all he until I know. He is way too young and small to know.
His colour is melanoid, that is what I was told when I got him anyway.
As I said I was feeding him live earthworms and he was eating well, I was feeding him twice a day, or if the worms were small 3 times a day. He wouldn't eat frozen bloodworms for me, I tried a few times but he just spat it out. I think the lady who gave him to me was feeding him bloodworms successfully though.

Please keep in touch and let me know how he is going. I'm sure he'll be fine after he settles in, ever if he remains a mini-axieClick the image to open in full size.



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Old 12th April 2007   #19
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I do the same too with our axie babies Hayley! All the dark ones I call he, and the light ones she. Husband was so disappointed when two of our white ones he thought were female turned out to be male.



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Old 12th April 2007   #20
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LOL @ mini axie ...Hi Hayley good to see you here, how did you find us lolol! (By the way I lost your email, wanted to get in touch with you to find out his age as I forgot). Maybe I should call him mini me lol. He is eating bloodworms now and is doing just fine, and I am giving him earthworms as well, he done some exercises today as in high jumping a couple of times, scared me as I have him near me comp. Lucky I have a lid that stays on, so he is secure and I don't have any cats so he is safe also. I will keep in touch and let you know how he goes, I am fixing a tank for him now, and bought him a hidey hole log thingy, hope he likes it. Looks like he is pretty much settled in, anyway, he seems happy enough. Sooo is a melanoid a wildtype??



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