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Old 14th July 2009   #1
Fiona
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Default Ambystoma mexicanum tank

Today I have started aquascaping my axies tank. Before it was just a glass tank with a ceramic hide and a few pieces of quartz for her to climb on. However, after seeing photos of a few members tanks (specifically Franks) I became desperate to jazz up Fumi's tank.

So, today I've been working on the substrate in her tank. Although a glass floor might make it easier to clean out the tank, I've been watching her and she spends most of her time on the stones. My guess is she had no grip on the glass bottom. I put her in a bucket and kept all of her tank water as she's only recently had a water change. In goes the sand, then two of her old rocks and her ceramic hide. I decided to bury the hide in the sand so effectively she now has a cave, which is far more stable than it was before. The sand is piled high in some parts of the tank so she has mini hills she can explore rather than the flat surface she had before.

I gave the water a while to clear before I put her back in the tank. It is still quite cloudy, but I assume this wont upset her. And the results of this tank make over is that ever since Fumi has been back in the tank, she hasn't stopped swimming around it. She's exploring everything! It's great to see her so active, she's never really done that much before.

I want to get some plant to go in there too. Not too much and nothing that will grow like mad. In one of my fish tanks I have a plant that needs to be cut back every week as it keeps taking over the tank. It's a nightmare and I'd like to steer clear of that in Fumi's tank. I do really like the grass like plants. It must be nice for them to swim through. So I'd like to get some of that. I've heard people mention Java moss. Are there any other plants that are good in an axolotl tank?

Also, I'd love to see some more photos of other member's tanks. They are so inspiring and it's great to see others creativity.



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Old 14th July 2009   #2
Mike
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Default Re: Ambystoma mexicanum tank

I use Cabomba, although Java Moss seems to be very popular.

Also, remember the sand substrate should only really be 1-2 inches think, as anything deeper can house gas pockets contributing to poor water paramiters. You must be sure to 'stab the deep part of the sand' around when cleaning to release any build up of these gases and any detritus which may escape into the substrate.



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Old 14th July 2009   #3
Johnny O. Farnen
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Default Re: Ambystoma mexicanum tank

I am a lazy tank gardener now a days. I swear by the low maintenance plants: Vesicularia dubyana (one of the plants called java moss) and Aponogeton sp. (often sold as "Betta Bulbs")

They are plant them and forget them plants- hardy and adaptable to many different tank conditions.

I really like Anubias sp. but they can be tricky in axolotl tanks due to temperature preferences.



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Old 14th July 2009   #4
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Default Re: Ambystoma mexicanum tank

Java fern, Java moss and anubias are the best I've found so far. I've tried with a couple of grass-like plants but they've not proved very tolerant to an axolotl crashing through them. I've found the most hardy, both in terms of tolerating low temperature/low light and clumsy axolotls, to be Java fern. It's cheap, easily available and if you're lucky will soon fill up the gaps in your tank!

I'm on my second lot of Java fern as the last ones didn't take too well. I've tied the fern onto the large pieces of bogwood I've got in the tank and so far it seems to be doing OK, the anubias too.

If you're wanting to plant directly into your substrate you need to think very carefully how you do it. Axies are expert at uprooting plants! I notice Frank has some large pebbles on the tank floor, these might help in keeping your plants where they should be.

Good luck with it all and remember, photos are always appreciated!



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Old 14th July 2009   #5
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Default Re: Ambystoma mexicanum tank

Thanks for all your advice guys.

Now, I know this is a bit strange to ask, but I mentioned earlier how when I put Fumi back in the tank she was swimming all over the place. Which was great to see as she'd never done much before. Well it's been about 7 hours and whenever I've looked up she's still swimming, with hardly a moments rest. Most of the time she seems to be swimming up against the glass of the tank. Gently swimming into it which moves her sideways. Is this okay? I mean 7 hours nearly constant moving around seems a lot for a creature who hardly moved much before the tank make over.



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Old 14th July 2009   #6
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Default Re: Ambystoma mexicanum tank

I think if she's only gently swimming around and not frantically thrashing from one end of the tank to the other, she should be fine. Just keep an eye on her, just in case there is something that's upsetting her.



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Old 14th July 2009   #7
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Default Re: Ambystoma mexicanum tank

Thanks. It is only gentle swimming about. Her gills are forward, but I put that down to the fact that she's been through a lot today and the water is still cloudy. I really thought it would settle quicker than this. Hmmm... Hope she's okay. I've only had a little while, but I'm very, very fond of her already. She's so sweet. Is it common for axies to inspect your hand or even come and lay on your hand while you're in the tank?



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Old 14th July 2009   #8
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Default Re: Ambystoma mexicanum tank

I wouldn't think you'd fit in the tank would you?

Axies are often curious about what you're doing in 'their' domain! I wouldn't think it's usual for an axie to sit in your hand. To actually touch your axolotls more than absolutely necessary isn't a good idea, but I think if she is choosing to sit on your hand then who can complain? Realistically though, be very careful because a human touch could damage the axolotls delicate skin.



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Old 14th July 2009   #9
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Default Re: Ambystoma mexicanum tank

Oh really? Okay, thanks for the advise. I wont encourage her too much then.

She's still swimming back and forth. She's making me dizzy! No, I think you're right, I don't fit in her tank very well. That may well be why she was touching me. It gets a bit cramped with the two of us in there.

I've been thinking of getting her a play mate. When I asked at the store, they said that axies are better off alone. But it seems that most people on here have several in a tank. Do you think she would enjoy having a friend? If I got a second axie, would she be less likely to interact with me? And is it very common for axies to fight and eat each other? I don't much like the sound of that. Also, as I'm not 100% sure that Fumi is a girl. Should I make sure that I get one of the same sex as "her"? I don't want spawn. I don't have room for that. What do others do when they have breeding pairs? I mean, there must be thousands of eggs laid every year from a singal pair. I take it there's no such thing as axie contraceptives?



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Old 14th July 2009   #10
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Default Re: Ambystoma mexicanum tank

Right, firstly axies don't 'need' company. It's us who fall in love with axies that want more (and more)! They are perfectly fine on their own and don't get lonely.

If you got another axie for your tank I don't think it would change how Fumi relates to you (in basic terms, you are the food provider!)

If you ARE seriously considering another axolotl, keep in mind that it will need to be quarantined for 30 days before being put in the tank with Fumi. It would need to be a similar size as Fumi so that there is no bullying or cannibalism, also unless you want lots of eggs you would have to get an adult axie (or near adult) so that you could be sure of the sex. From what you have said, Fumi must still be a young (unsexed) axie so the best thing to do to avoid unwanted eggs would be to with until you know what sex she is, then you'll be able to get a same sex, same size axie.

The only way to be sure of no eggs is to keep male and female axolotls in seperate tanks. That is the only contraception that works 100%. I have my female in a seperate tank from my males, I used a divider at first, but she still managed to get over it to the male!

Axies will usually only bite each other when one is mistaken for food (or if one is significantly smaller than the other). They are not aggressive animals, just a little dumb with poor eyesight!

Right, I'm off to bed now! Hope I've helped you out a little, take care, Kerry.




Last edited by Kerry1968; 14th July 2009 at 23:58. Reason: I'm tired!
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