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Old 24th March 2016   #1
SethTheMuffin
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Question New to axolotls! Some advice and questions

Hello!
I am new to taking care of axolotls; i'm going to be getting mine this Saturday!
I've wanted an axolotl since my best friend taught me about them (i was around 12; i'm now 24) and thought i would be in a more educated situation when i purchased one. (Un)Fortunately this is not the case; i stumbled upon some juvenile axolotls going for sale locally for relatively cheap. I'm grabbing one for myself (Leucistic GFP) and one for my friend (leucistic) to take care of until it's old enough that i feel comfortable transporting it to her/when she moves out of state.

The thing is.... i've never really taken care of "needy" fish before; i've had Pea-Puffers as a kid... but that didn't last long when one ate all the others (i guess that's common...) but i'm no stranger to taking care of needy pets in general (i have 4 ferrets, and grew up with at most 3 pitbulls at once)

I've done tons of research (mainly thanks to this forum) and i'm finally feeling that i'm at least competent enough to take them into the family. There are still some questions i have since i'm still a little too unfamiliar with water-animals.

Here is a list of supplies i've obtained so far:
Advice questions:

Am i missing anything?

I know axolotls are best suited in colder conditions, but is 59F/14C too cold?

I do have the heater that came with the tank (the previous person had a beta so i got a bunch of stuff, so it's available if need be); and i do live near a large creek, so in winter the water might get colder which i'm afraid of... but 69F might be too hot for them :/


Care questions:
I have the two separate containers i want to feed them in; when the proper germs have implemented themselves in tank should i take water from the tank into the containers to feed them? Or is there another way?

Is Primer and Stress Coat the same thing? (takes out chlorine in the tapwater, and adds "good germs for stable environment into the water") What about Quick Start?
At which order should i put these in when the axolotls are in the tank? Or should all of them be added in a separate bowl and then added to the tank?

I want to have a black light to show people who visit my GFP ; i don't want to have a heat-lamp, but i can't seem to find a black/blue light that does have crazy heat source from it. Recommendations for this? I obviously won't have the light going on for long periods of time, just a little bit to take pictures or to show people every now and then.

I have an air pump attachment that's a long black stone; should i also add that into the tank along with the nautical diver attachment? I'm afraid the flow might be too much for them and stress them out with multiple bubblers going on.

I'm at work, but i can provide pictures of items and (current) tank set up when i get home if need be.

Also sorry for SUPERDUPER long post; i just want to make sure i don't hurt the babies!




Last edited by SethTheMuffin; 24th March 2016 at 23:15.
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Old 25th March 2016   #2
Killian J
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10 gallon is ok for juveniles but eventually you will have to move up to a 20-30 gallon long when they get bigger


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Old 25th March 2016   #3
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Default Re: New to axolotls! Some advice and questions

59 is not too cold. Don't worry about a heater unless it gets below like 50. Low 60's is perfect, but 59 is totally fine.

I wouldn't mess with feeding them in separate containers, assuming you mean transferring them into them every day to eat. I would just use feeding dishes if you're concerned about clean-up. Put the food on a little saucer and put that in the bottom of the tank. Especially if the tank is divided, that should work fine since they won't be able to fight over food.

By frozen blood worms, do you mean freeze-dried cubes or actual blood worms? The cubes won't work. They float and are too big, plus they disintegrate quickly and foul up your water.

I would not do an overhead UV light, even just to turn on for short amounts of time. They hate those lights, and frequent exposure is bad for their skin and can potentially lead to skin cancer. I would suggest a little UV flashlight. You can shine it for a few seconds here and there to show people.

Bubblers are fine. That won't be too much current. In fact, some axolotls (mine for sure) seem to enjoy hanging out IN the bubble stream. The problematic current comes from your power filter. Yours shouldn't be too much of a problem. A filter rated for 10 gallons, if anything, won't be powerful enough. With axolotls, it's generally a good idea to have more filter power than you need. Get a pump rated for 50 gallons if you've got a 29-gallon tank for example. Either way, the filter pump produces the current that can be troublesome. Spray bars are a good option, but some DIY options are to just put a loofah or some sponges (I use thin scrubbing sponges) to interrupt the flow of the outlet. On a regular hang-on-back filter, it's also not a bad idea to put a pre-filter sponge on the INLET pipe, just to make 100% sure that fragile axolotl gills are safe. You can find them on Amazon.

Before you worry about which API product to put in your tank, I would make sure you've read up plenty on the nitrogen cycle. You haven't mentioned it, so I'm not sure how much you know about it. There's tons of information on this forum about it, so you can just search up in the top for the keyword "cycle". It's extremely important. If you put your axolotls in an uncycled tank, you'll be forced to do a "fish-in" cycle. It's much easier and faster to do a "fishless" cycle. You basically add pure ammonia in small amounts to induce the growth of the bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrite. You keep adding small amounts of ammonia (this is all over the course of at least a few days. I haven't done it myself--I did a fish-in cycle with goldfish, which takes longer--but I know it's actually the preferred and faster method) to keep that cycle developing. Then the second type of bacteria will come in, the ones that convert nitrite to niTRATE. There's lots more detail written about this all over this forum, and if Axolotl Chris sees this I'm sure he'll give you links. Basically, a "fishless" cycle will be faster and won't be as stressful for your axolotls. You'll just have to keep them in some containers of fresh de-chlorinated water (doing 100% water changes daily). Those containers don't have to be very big. Just a couple of gallons is totally fine since you'll be changing all of the water every day. If you put them in an uncycled tank, you'll have to do at 25-50% water changes pretty much every day anyway, and it'll take a lot longer for your nitrogen cycle to develop. Adding pure ammonia without axolotls being in the tank yet provides a much bigger boost for the bacteria and theoretically creates a capacity to deal with a lot more ammonia than your axolotl will actually produce (which is a good thing).



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Old 25th March 2016   #4
SethTheMuffin
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Default Re: New to axolotls! Some advice and questions

Thank you very much!
I have these guys: http://ep.yimg.com/ay/yhst-334773913...20-count-5.jpg as far as the bloodworms are concerned. Is this not good food?

I have looked at a lot of "cycling" posts and websites; but most of them assume that i know the simple knowledge of taking care of fish and Ammonia goes to Nitrate and balancing the levels of adding ammonia to become the appropriate PH levels@___@ i will look up some products to safely add ammonia and get that working.
The breeder essentially told me that the juvies will be fine in an uncycled tank (i was going to do the guppy-in-cycle method, but they told me that the juvies might be too small and the guppies will pick at them > : ) as long as i check it every day (which i was planning on doing twice a day) but i was still iffy about it. I really appreciate this knowledge!

also, sounds like there isn't much of a none-UV-heavy black bulb ; i'll invest in the LED flashlight, then!



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Old 25th March 2016   #5
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Default Re: New to axolotls! Some advice and questions

Here's a link on cycling: Caudata Culture Articles - Cycling

The link below also has useful information on the cycling process using ammonia - it is important that the ammonia used is pure ammonia. You will need ammonium hydroxide or ammonium chloride for the cycling process.

A Quick Guide to Fishless Cycling | DrTim's Aquatics - the link advocates for the use of their nitrifying bacteria, but there are mixed reviews on whether this is helpful or not. I cycled my tank without the use of any 'added bacteria' and it will cycle just fine that way.

Hope this is helpful.



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Old 28th March 2016   #6
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Default Re: New to axolotls! Some advice and questions

Looks like that's a floating food. It might be hard to get them to eat that unless you give it to them with a tweezers or something.



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Old 1st April 2016   #7
Kasye
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Default Re: New to axolotls! Some advice and questions

Floating foods will usually sink though if you soak them in tank water in a separate container before feeding!



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