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Sick Axolotl?>Axolotl not eating
Yasumi 09:43 8th March 2012
I'm worried about my axolotls. For 2-3 weeks now, they're not eating properly. I usually feed them one earth worm every day. But due to the cold winter, my pet shop couldn't deliver healthy earth worms anymore. I started feeding them frozen tubifex, but they didn't eat it or very little of it. So I ordered some live tubifex, which they luckily ate. However, the sand in my tank now got totally covered with the leftover tubifex. I don't know if this is a good or a bad thing. Im thinking of totally changing the sand to get rid of them.

So recently, my pet shop got healthy earthworms again. However, one of my axolotls (Oliver) cannot eat them. He sometimes snaps at the worm, and puts it into its mouth but the worm just struggles its way out of it mouth. It then seems that he gets scared and moves away from the worm. My other axolotl Charlie is having some problems with consuming the rather wild worms, but he seems to get them eventually. I haven't seen Oliver eat in 5 days and I'm really worried now. Do you guys have any suggestions on how I can get them to eat?

Jacquie 10:28 8th March 2012
Hi Yasumi,

The leftovers should be removed promptly after feeding so they don't rot and foul up the water.

Have you tested the water parameters? If the water quality is off, this may put the axolotls off their food.

Have you tried cutting the worms into smaller portion sizes? I would try offering pieces that are about as long as the axolotls mouth is wide. I would try giving Oliver the dead pieces (using tongs, you can gently wriggle the dead worm to attract Oliver's attention, and when he grabs it - gently pull the tongs away - and see if he eats it. If you don't have feeding tongs, you can use a skewer and impale the worm piece on the end...sorry for the truly charming imagery, there...).

Some worms let off a foul odor when cut or bitten into (some axolotl's don't care for the bad taste). Leaving the worms to soak for twenty or so minutes before feeding will help get rid of this bad smell.

Yasumi 10:42 8th March 2012
Hi Jacquie,

Thank you for your quick response! The tubifex on the sand is still alive, so thats why I left it for a little bit since I saw Oliver nipping on it once. But I think I'm still going to remove it, because it looks weird and I have no control over their growth. I always remove excess food. The water parameters were not good for some time, but I got them corrected 1 week ago.

I usually feed them with chopsticks, but I didn't try cutting the earth worms in pieces. I'm going to try this, hopefully this will encourage Oliver to eat! I didn't know about the odor, thank you for the tip I will try to take this into consideration!

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