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Old 20th April 2016   #1
Eyezax
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Red face First time Axolotl parent

Hi everyone,

My family and I have just bought our first Axolotl. A male (I'm pretty sure) wild type. His name is Yoda. We've run into a couple of problems already, hence me finding this website. Obviously there is a lot more to keeping a healthy happy Axolotl than was explained to us at the Aquarium store! I look forward to getting some expert advice from you all.



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Old 20th April 2016   #2
Sweetie
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Default Re: First time Axolotl parent

The first advice you need is that water quality is everything to these little guys. Buy a good test kit (not strips - the API Freshwater kit is often recommended) so you can keep a close eye on readings of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates (the first two should read zero, the nitrates 20-40). This is the most important thing you can do.

Other tips include correct temperature (must be no higher than 20 celcius, and try to keep it fairly stable), not too much bright light (they need hides to shelter from the light) and not too much of a current (they don't like it, so baffle outlets or direct them against the glass to minimise water disturbance). Earthworms are the most nutritious food for adult axies (or as soon as they can manage them really).

Finally, do NOT put anything in the tank that is smaller than the axie's head. Seriously. It will probably end up inside them, which is no fun for you or the lotl. Pebbles are a disaster. For youngsters, a bare-bottom tank is safest, as even sand can be ingested and cause nasty compactions in babies.

The advice on this site is second to none. Ask here before you go to your LFS (local fish shop), where staff may seem knowledgeable but often give downright dangerous information. Axolotls ARE NOT FISH so do not assume fish-shop staff know about axolotls. The people on this site do. They are your best source of help.

You will adore your lotl. Weird little creatures that they are, they will steal your heart (and hours of your time, watching their antics). Best of luck!



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Old 20th April 2016   #3
Eyezax
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Default Re: First time Axolotl parent

Thanks Sweetie. I specifically asked the aquarium guy if I needed any kind of test kit for the water and he said no! ( that I should be fine for now and consider getting one in the future). He also said I shouldn't have to worry too much about temperature as it is autumn coming into winter (but here in Sydney daytime temperatures are still well into the 20's!) Almost everything he told us I now find out is wrong He also suggested the coarse sandy gravel base which I'm sure contributed to Yoda's tail injury. (and I also now understand could be swallowed!).... So, I have no water readings at all, I think I was just lucky I am using a second hand tank and filter which I filled up and left running for a couple of days before buying the little guy. It definitely smelled 'fish tanky' so maybe some residual bacteria in the filter had begun to..'cycle?' the water. At least I knew enough to use water conditioner. So I will go buy a test kit and a thermometer. In the meantime I have moved him into a holding container which I am keeping cool by sitting it on top of a first aid gel cooler pack (swapping with a cooled one from the freezer every couple of hours) and I'll change his water daily until I can make sure his tank is safe. Even in the cooler water he is still moving constantly. Honestly, if I had known how complicated it is to care for an Axolotl properly I don't think I would have bought him. If he gets sick from all this I will be returning to the aquarium store one very unhappy customer!!



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Old 20th April 2016   #4
Donna
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Default Re: First time Axolotl parent

Unfortunately a lot of people receive poor advice when purchasing these little fellas. Water testing is essential, and I hope that the following information is useful:
Axolotls - Requirements & Water Conditions in Captivity
Caudata Culture Axolotl Articles
I know it seems like a lot of information, but the more information you have the more prepared you will be. When you get your set up sorted and the water parameters correct, you'll find these little bundles of weird adorableness aren't too difficult to keep and are absolutely worth having around.



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Old 20th April 2016   #5
Chris
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Default Re: First time Axolotl parent

This thread has continued here:
http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-beg...tml#post464173



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