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Old 23rd April 2009   #1
LamD79
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Default Advice for a newbie please.

I have been browsing ths site for 2-3 weeks, since i decided that i would like to keep an axolotl. Must admit that am impressed with the knowledge of the users.

I will be picking a tank up at the weekend that currently houses tropical fish (red tailed shark, a fighting fish, mollies and a few others.) off a relative and the filtration is made up of a fluval 3 along with a fluval 2+ internal filters running together.

The tank overall size is 80cm(L) x 30cm(W) x 40cm(H)

Am planning on changing the substrate from gravel to aquarium sand, adding live plants and more caves and rocks to create hiding places for the axolotl. Also give the fish away to a neighbour. I plan on keeping as much tank water as possible when i transport the tank to my home.

My questions being :-

Since the tank is currently housing tropical fish, would it be safe to use the existing filter media?
Are the current filters suitable to be used on an axolotl tank if i was to use a spray bar or use decor to slow the flow?
If they are, Would i need to run the 2 of them together to be adequate?
As i would like to have live plants in the tank, what bulb or bulbs are needed/ best?
How many axolotls would i be able to keep in the tank of this size?


Sorry for all the questions but i want to make sure eveything is spot on before i buy them.

Thanks in advance.

Liam




Last edited by LamD79; 23rd April 2009 at 19:00. Reason: Typing error
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Old 24th April 2009   #2
Johnny O. Farnen
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Default Re: Advice for a newbie please.

Hello Liam.


The fish in that tank prefer soft, slightly acidic water. That is not the best for axolotls. Also they require warm water temperatures, which again are not ideal for axolotls. What I recommend doing is this:
Get the tank home, no need to save much water, a liter or two is plenty. Get new filter media.
Set the tank up and add the two liters of water you saved from the set up. Keep the mollies and add the live plants. Keep them there for a month. This should get the tank properly cycled again. Then remove the mollies and add an axolotl.

The tank is room enough for one axolotl. Your Fluval filtration system should be more than adequate, in fact you will probably need to adjust it to slow the water current. As for lighting, Fluorescent aquarium lighting is best, however keep in mind axolotls do not like bright light so you will need to provide a cave of some sort for it to hide under when the plant light is on. In choosing live plants, I suggest getting types that thrive in moderate lighting conditions.


Not sure if you have been here yet:
http://www.axolotl.org/housing.htm
Or here:http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/articles_axolotl.shtml



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Old 24th April 2009   #3
Rayson
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Default Re: Advice for a newbie please.

Hi Liam,

I like members who research and make the right preparations before acquiring a pet. This has to be highly commended and promoted widely. I have given you some rep points for a good start. I also urge other forum members to encourage new members when recognition as this site aims to promote a conducive, educational and amiable environment.

Your current proposed plan looks good. I shall try answer your questions.

Since the tank is currently housing tropical fish, would it be safe to use the existing filter media?

The current filter media would likely be established with beneficial bacteria. That is the upside to it. However, the proportion of bacteria types may differ in view of the different water temperatures and chemistry. Although chances of parasites and other pathogenic microbes are low (the tropical fish seems healthy and established according to your description), i must still alert you of potential albeit low chance of spread of illness. The chemical filtration component will also need renewal (zeolite and activated carbon cartridge or pellets) as they exhaust in their function.

If you are in no particular hurry to get an axolotl, i actually would recommend you start from scratch and restart a new tank. Caudata culture has some articles which would assist you with tank cycling methods. Also, i would recommend you get a thermometer for your tank as well as water testing kit (colourimetric solution type).

Are the current filters suitable to be used on an axolotl tank if i was to use a spray bar or use decor to slow the flow? If they are, Would i need to run the 2 of them together to be adequate?

They should be adequate. It largely depends on your tank husbandry routine and stocking density as well. If you perform regular water testing, 20% water changes and siphon up detritus and uneaten food, the water quality should be able to be maintained very well. Filters ensure good aeration that supports the colonisation of beneficial bacteria as well as ease the job of maintaining good water quality.

As i would like to have live plants in the tank, what bulb or bulbs are needed/ best?

I highly recommend the following plants that i am confident of thriving in axie tanks. They have low light requirements and can do well in cold waters.

Anubias, Elodea, Java fern, Java moss, some species of amazon swords, water trumpet.

There are other plants you can experiment with. In general, plants that have broad dark green leaves and thicker stems do better. Delicate plants with easily broken off leaves and stalks are not recommended as axies tend to uproot them or just break them into a sad decomposing mess. Plants that have reddish, purplish or orangey shades tend to have higher light and nutritional requirments so are not hardy. They normally end up ugly and rotting. I also advise against some hardy but annoying species of plants like duckweed. They do thrive but they soon overwhelm your tank and get sucked into your filter. They are extremely messy.

I recommend you get plants already mounted on rocks or driftwood. If you have an aquarium light, you can automate it for up to 6 hours of lighting per day. That would also allow you to keep species like banana lilies.

How many axolotls would i be able to keep in the tank of this size?


Your tank is actually not very big, so if you are keeping 1 axie, it should be fine. However, if you want to squeeze in a pair, you would have to be extra meticulous and religious with your husbandry. You have to also consider that feeder fish, shrimps, snails etc. do contribute to bioload.

Cheers.



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Old 25th April 2009   #4
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Default Re: Advice for a newbie please.

Thanks for the feedback guys.

I have got the tank home. The fish are healthy, which is a good thing i suppose but the tank could do with a new hood. Been hunting high and low for a new hood but to no avail.

Am now in two minds in what do to, continue with the proposed plan of converting it to a home suitable for an axie or buy one of these and keep the current tank set up as it is in my daughters bedroom.

http://www.aquariumsdelivered.co.uk/...lmoai0s8nqij55

Opinions on the above tank and equipment?

Thanks.

Liam

I




Last edited by LamD79; 25th April 2009 at 18:40. Reason: typing error
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Old 25th April 2009   #5
Sharon
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Default Re: Advice for a newbie please.

Hi Liam!

Can you skip the hood and buy a screen top? It will help keep the temps down (if thats an issue) versus a solid hood & or glass top...



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Old 29th April 2009   #6
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Default Re: Advice for a newbie please.

Finally made a choice and opted for the fluavl roma 200 tank set up.

http://www.aquariumsdelivered.co.uk/...ly-p-1158.html

Tha tank has been set up since sunday night (26.04.09).

Live plants were added on monday (27.04.09)

Mollies added on the (28.04.09) to help the cycling of the tank)

I also took advantage and used the free bottle nutrafin cycle that was incuded with the tank.

Driftwood/ Mopani wood is soaking in buckets in the back garden to get rid of much of the tannins as possible.

Now for the questions. Sorry

As am using an external filter, am i right in thinking that the inlet and outlet pipes are best at opposite ends of the tank?

Is it worth while having a couple of airstones in the tank to disturbe the waters surface since the outlet pipe is 4-5 " below the waters surface?

Is this the test kit that people recommend? http://shop.coxwellaquatics.co.uk/ap...-kit-322-p.asp


The water is still a little cloudy in the tank but is clearing with each day that passes and out of curiosity (And cosidering i aint got a test kit yet) i took a water sample to a lfs to take advantage of the 'free' water tests they do. According to them my tank is cycled after only 3 days and ready to be stocked.

Results are:-
ph 7.6
ammonia 0ppm
nitrite 0ppm
nitrate 5ppm



Sorry for the questions.

Thanks in advance.

Liam



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Old 29th April 2009   #7
big a little a
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Default Re: Advice for a newbie please.

Hey Liam

I too am new to axies - began researching them at the start of this year and finally got my first, Petrie, on Monday.

I was under the impression that my tank had cycled really quickly too, but I think I just hadn't given long enough for a good ammoinia source to kick in - my tank eventually took around 2 months to cycle.

So, to be on the safe side, I would probably wait at least a couple of weeks and then test again.

But I'm sure experianced people on here will be able to advise you better

Cheers

Zoe



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