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Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate Discussions on tanks, temperature, filters, gravel, lights etc.

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Old 13th March 2012   #1
SapphireTigress
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Exclamation Cycling with axolotl in tank & more noob questions

Sorry in advance for my first post being sooo long! I have been perusing the forums for the last 3 days, but my account JUST got approved so i couldnt see some of the information/pics/etc.
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I know this is highly frowned upon, but a friend was trying to sell some of her axies, I had 2 empty 10 gallon tanks at home, and have always wanted an axie sooooo... I did the unthinkable...I bought my first animal without months of prior research. I have NEVER done this. I got Aarna the axolotl on Sunday Mar 11.

Now i'm concerned, because I know absolutely nothing about fishtanks and cycling, had no idea cycling even existed. Now i've read that you CAN cycle with the axolotl, but its harder on it than if you had cycled the tank before. I think I know what my levels need to be, and found out i need a test kit, so that will be picked up today.

I got a filter (not sure of the different types yet) yesterday, but it turns out she HATES it. It is the Aqueon Quiet Flow 10. This is the same type of filter that was recommended to me, just a little bit more expensive. She spent all day in the farthest corner away from it and kept looking like she was trying to get out. As soon as I turned it off and she had some time to calm down, she was swimming all over the place...She is really curious about my cat lol.

Now I am going back to the store as I have been reading that I cant cycle without a filter, and have read that a sponge filter would work better?

I know that the more details about my setup the better, at least thats how it works with reptile questions, so here is what I have/know right now:

Basics:

~9 month old axie, believed to be female, Golden albino. May or may not have the GFP gene. Roughtly 4 inches long.
~10 gallon glass aquarium.
~9.5 inches of water out of a possible 12 inches
~Good sized hidey cave for her to hide in.
~Bare bottom floor for now.
~Thermometer (glass suction cup kind), Temp reads ~70* F (I know thats high, but i'm concerned putting an icepack in will drop it too low to fast)

Supplies I have:

~Pelleted food (API brand bottom feeder pellets) She didnt want to eat these for me so I gave her 2 realllly small Dubia Nymphs
~Aqueon QuietFlow 10 Filter (pet store told me to get this, but she hates it, like i said)
~Siphon Vacuum Cleaner (5'')

Supplies I now know i need:

~water test kit, i'm planning on purchasing the
API freshwater Master Test Kit if my local store has it, if not, just a kit to tide me over until i can get this.
~earthworms
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I feel terrible that I did this impulse buy, but now that i have, I need your help. Any suggestions on items that i need, when to do water changes, what to do if my ammonia/ph/nitrites/nitrates are too high or low, and any other information you can give me. A lot of the information seems to be so common sense to aquarium people that it is usually left out or assumed, which leaves me confused being a reptile person lol.

Also, where is the best place to buy earthworms? i already have Dubia roaches and Hissers, and my bf refuses to let me breed anymore feeder species.

I'm planning on making cut up earthworms (eww) her main diet as I went to get live bloodworms and nearly vomited in the store. Can I feed her live dubia nymphs fairly regularly or should I just give them as the occasional treat?

Thanks in advance!



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Old 15th March 2012   #2
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Default Re: Cycling with axolotl in tank & more noob questions

got my answers from some random facebook people...guess i'll become a lurker. NOT worth waiting 3 days to get approved here.



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Old 15th March 2012   #3
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Default Re: Cycling with axolotl in tank & more noob questions

The advice given here is going to be much better than random people on FB.

To answer your questions: yes you can cycle the tank with the axolotl in it, just make sure that the amonia/nitrite doesn't get too high. Do a water change if it does. The absolute best thing you can do is go to the pet store and buy some plants. Look for anacharis/eloda, hornwort, or duckweed (you can find duckweed in any pond pretty much) These are all fast growing plants that consume ammonia like crazy. Java moss is a good one too.

Dubia roaches are a good food source to start out with, but you can buy worms at baitshops, Walmart, or even better from your yard for free. You can also buy frozen bloodworm cubes that can be thawed and fed.

If you want to keep your tank a little cooler get a desk fan and have it blow across the top of the water. This causes evaporation which cools the water, you should see a couple degree change.

To make your filter less stressful on your axolotl, you can block the outflow with plants, filter floss, or follow this build along Filter Currents: A Betta's Worst Nightmare.

The forum just moved servers which may be why it may have taken longer for you to get approved. Things usually don't take long around here so I hope you reconsider our community.



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Old 15th March 2012   #4
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Default Re: Cycling with axolotl in tank & more noob questions

heh sorry, just "broke up" with a forum i'd been in a long time because they started not helping anyone and just giggling about cute pictures, so I was a little frustrated, and thought that maybe this forum was the same way . Thanks for the explanation :) I had heard reallllly good things about caudata so was quite frustrated when my facebook people started helping me before the forum had even accepted my membership. To be fair though, one guy is quite helpful and has been breeding them for several years, and was able to answer my immediate questions.

I did end up picking up some earthworms and got her to eat them today :) They are suuuuuuper tiny, about an inch long each worm, but i cut them in half just to be safe as she was sick yesterday because they were to big

I went out and got a sponge filter, and shes not freaking out anymore.

I got about a square inch of java moss at the store because apparently they didnt have any more than that.



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Old 25th March 2012   #5
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Default Re: Cycling with axolotl in tank & more noob questions

If you can, try to find other underwater plants that don't require heat or light. I'm ordering my plants from AquaticMagic.

I don't know much about plants, so I don't know if they have necessarily "reasonable" prices or not, but it seems reasonable enough for me.

The pH for Axolotls should be around 6.8 to 8.



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Old 25th March 2012   #6
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Default Re: Cycling with axolotl in tank & more noob questions

java moss, java fern, anubias, and cryptos seem to do well in cool water low light conditions, hornwort works but messy, and recently trying giant hairgrass and having success, and my recently acquired axies seem to really enjoy it, sword plants seem to hate temps under 70, and need higher lighting needs, so best to stay away from those



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