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Old 5th January 2012   #1
KingCanon
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Default Behaviour

Hi all,
I've been watching with glee the antics of my two albinos but of course in my own way I wonder "Why?"

Why do they wave their gills, why do they like to sit in plants? what do they do when I'm not looking. I've kept tropical fish for a while and I can tell just by looking at general behavior patterns if they are distressed, hungry, lonely and so on.

I think we would all agree that to know an animals habits, to know what makes it tick allows you to provide a better quality of life.

I've done a quick search here and come up with no direct source of information. So I'm interested if any one has any observed information, if there are any more scientific answers for the antics our axolotls display. I'm sure there are well documented musings on breeding behavior but I'm interested in peoples thoughts and knowledge on all the quirks that make up our pets routine.

I look forward to seeing what people have to say.

N.B I apologize if there is already a thread dedicated to this and I'd love to read it cover to cover



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Old 5th January 2012   #2
Vagus
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Default Re: Behaviour

There are a few pages and threads that talk about this in the context of other issues.
The gill flicking is part of how they exchange oxygen. If mine have just fed, they will often flick more. when they are asleep, they will flick less or even not-at-all.

Speaking of a few general behaviors, I would break it down to the "The 3 F's" (feeding, fighting, and reproduction)

Axolotls are opportunistic carnivores. They feed by sucking food into their mouths at great speed. Most axolotls will tilt their head down when considering prey at head level, and will take a splayed "standing on hind legs" when considering prey above.

Axolotls quickly learn that "the big thing the approaches the tank" means food, and will approach the glass or take up the standing posture.

With a long dorsal fin and trim profile, axolotls are well equipped to dash away from predators at great speed. They can also startle pretty readily. In a small tank, this leads to them "ping-ponging" from one end of the tank to the other until they settle down. For this reason, it is good to avoid sharp tank decorations.

Mating comes with its own set of behaviors and reading the breeding section of axolotl.org covers that.



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Old 5th January 2012   #3
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Default Re: Behaviour

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Originally Posted by vagus View Post
Speaking of a few general behaviors, I would break it down to the "The 3 F's" (feeding, fighting, and reproduction)
You forgot doing nothing for 90% of the time, it is technically behavior.



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Old 5th January 2012   #4
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Default Re: Behaviour

Hey now, they may look like they're doing nothing, but at the cellular level, they're rockin'!

heheh, no you are absolutely right. Or, as my wife puts it, they are "at one with the plastic plants"



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Old 5th January 2012   #5
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Default Re: Behaviour

Correct lol, they are doing a few things whilst stationary, conserving energy, waiting for something to pass by to eat and avoiding attracting predators, it must be exhausting.



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Old 7th January 2012   #6
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Lightbulb Re: Behaviour

you mentioned the three F's and yet one was an R? lol

A behavior I have recently noticed is that of exploring the tank when anything changes. Due to some initial teething problems (none of which affected the axolotls) Their tank went through a few minor changes. When this happened their level of activity increased.

Noethier one demonstrated any swift or aggitated movements that would denote stress but still they both seemed to wander the tank and even took to "taking the high ground" I've an amusing pic I'll post of Ponyo placing "her" self on top of the thermometer. This all occurred after feeding and after I removed a plant that I thought wasn't fairing as well as it should have.

I wonder if axolotls have developed or have always exhibited some form of territorial nature or are they generally curious little tykes?

Thanks for all the feed back so far I'm more then a little fascinated.

and for the record mine only seem to be inactive for 60% of the day. The remaining 30% is split 1/3 Eating 2/3 contemplating the deeper meaning of pink.



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Old 7th January 2012   #7
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Default Re: Behaviour

Does watching the tv count?

My males tank used to be directly opposite the tv, and he would come to the cornet where he could see it best and sit for ages watching the pictures.

He moved tanks into a different room months ago, and is next to the table I sit at all the time.
Last week I got a new stand for my I pad, and occasionally I watch tv on it. Well bubba came over and floted over my left shoulder for about an hour to watch with me.


Seriously though I would imagin it's down to there curious nature that he likes to watch the changing images.



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Old 8th January 2012   #8
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Default Re: Behaviour

Being a predator that stalks movement I would assume moving images are pretty interesting to them. I've noticed a similar behavior in mine. And yet if I clean the tank with a magnetic cleaner they want nothing to do with it? Go in with a siphon and they watch from a distance and potter about getting the best view.

I'd be interested if any one has any thoughts on the vantage point behavior? Why would they be so interested in being higher up when it's well established they like things to hide in?

N.B This is not a floating behavior. They just seem to want to gain a higher vantage point on rocks, plants and even the thermometer for an hour or so before casually floating back down to the bottom?




Last edited by KingCanon; 8th January 2012 at 13:39.
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Old 8th January 2012   #9
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Default Re: Behaviour

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Originally Posted by KingCanon View Post
you mentioned the three F's and yet one was an R? lol
I'm sure you can think of an alternative word that begins with F, but Vagus was being polite so as not to offend anyone or use naughty words in front of kids



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Old 9th January 2012   #10
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Default Re: Behaviour

of course but it's no fun if people are coy and you can't tug at their legs.

No new beaviour today save a kind of "kissing" I've noticed them do. More likely them simply bumping into each whilst romping about the tank.



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Old 9th January 2012   #11
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Default Re: Behaviour

I have seen the "kissing" thing going on, and I wonder if it's a smell thing. When bubba was little and I needed to stick my hand in the tank he would come right over and nuzzle my hand the same way.
Now he just tries to take a chomp out of it gets very indignant if there is no worms attached to my hand.

But as they can scent food I wonder if that's a recognition thing. Failing that it could be related to the other f. ( thought that stood for fornication, that's a polite word.. Isn't it)



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Old 13th January 2012   #12
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Default

Indeed I hang thought I that polite phrase to it. From my encounters here I believe that the topic of behaviour is one more vast then I could have imagined. Whilst a few ideas are thrown here I've noticed very definable personalities between my two. Pronyo is far more mosey and will often investigate anything new in the tank whilst sosuke is more prone to a routine. Sosuke will prefer one hide over another and enjoys nipping the tongs often missin the food. Often if the worm piece escapes he'll still go for the tongs. Ponyo seems to be more interested as to what's in front of "her" face (I really do need to get them sexed at some point).
So what is behaviour and what are personal quirks?

In the case of the third F I believe it's well documented that instincts are animal lol


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