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Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) A dedicated topic for those seeking help with Axolotls, showing off your photos, or just to talk about them.

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Old 25th December 2016   #1
jonatanlieby
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Default Food issues. Is Monstrito too skinny?

Hey guys.

I could use some some help here.

We received an axolotl as a gift around 1 month ago. Everything was great until I decided to change his food from fish (in small pieces, but I found out later that it is not ideal) to a balanced food (pellets) that our local pet story guy said it was ideal for axolotls.

Yesterday Monstrito (lil monster) was floating on the surface a little sideways. Whenever he tried to go to the bottom of the tank he could not avoid going back to the surface. It looks like he was not heavy enough to keep himself at the bottom.

He was still eating whetever I put in front of him (looked almost desperate) but we realize that he was vomiting/puking everything a few minutes later. Of course we never realized until that point.

He has no visible damage and does not look sick. Water seems to be in the right parameters (Im still getting it checked next week).

Yesterday after seeing him not doing well we decided to clean his tank (there were a lot of dirt under the rocks) so we took him out, empty the tank and put him right back in there with little clean water just for him to be on the bottom covered by water but without the need of being struggling to get there.

Stress aside (poor little guy was pretty stressed for a while) he seems to be doing great. Moving a lot but still his back legs and tail tend to float.

Today we changed his food to earthworms from our indoor compost (we have thousands but because I like them so much I never wanted to sacrifice any them) and he ate a few small of them and seemed to love them. A few hours has been passed an he did not spat any.

I have been reading a lot on these formus trying to find similar cases and luckly I found some good info. Some people say that it may be because the axolotl needs more food. He does not looks sick at all and he still moves a lot.

Honestly as we did not realize the guy was vomiting all he ate we dont know how long he has been without food.

There you have a couple of pictures we just took.

Here in Argentina is hard to find food for axolotls... let alone a vet who knows what they are.

Thanks guys!
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Old 25th December 2016   #2
Felix
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He looks a little skinny. How many inches is he?

I would keep the tank filled up all the way with water. Do you have a regular water change schedule? And are the rocks small enough for him to accidentally swallow? What's the water temperature? Did you cycle your tank? You might want to invest in a liquid test kit so you can check the parameters whenever.

The floating can mean a couple things. Floating sideways could mean the water quality is bad. If just his back half is floating it can mean he's a little constipated. Sometimes they float if they've swallowed some air but it shouldn't last long.

I would try and use earth worms as the main part of his diet. They're best nutritionally. It's also good that he likes them and isn't spitting them back up.

Hopefully things work out :)


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Old 25th December 2016   #3
jonatanlieby
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Default Re: Food issues. Is Monstrito too skinny?

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Originally Posted by Felixtacat View Post
He looks a little skinny. How many inches is he?
6 inches long.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Felixtacat View Post
I would keep the tank filled up all the way with water.
Will add some water. I read that it was good to de-stress them if they are struggling to get down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Felixtacat View Post
Do you have a regular water change schedule?
Not yet... I change the water regularly but not as organized as I should be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Felixtacat View Post
And are the rocks small enough for him to accidentally swallow?
No. The rocks are pretty big (1 or 2 inches and round). Not chance of him eating them but big enough to accumulate a lot of dirt below them. I decided to keep enough of them to hold the plants.

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What's the water temperature?
Water temperature is around 20C but the day before I changed it it was really warm (I would think +25C) because it was really hot here in Buenos Aires. Maybe it helped.

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Originally Posted by Felixtacat View Post
Did you cycle your tank? You might want to invest in a liquid test kit so you can check the parameters whenever.
I did not cycle my tank (which I think it is like a crime) and yes.. Im buying the kit next week.

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Originally Posted by Felixtacat View Post
The floating can mean a couple things. Floating sideways could mean the water quality is bad. If just his back half is floating it can mean he's a little constipated. Sometimes they float if they've swallowed some air but it shouldn't last long.
He has been like this a couple of days (2 or 3 max). Maybe is is constipated. Only his back half.

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Originally Posted by Felixtacat View Post
I would try and use earth worms as the main part of his diet. They're best nutritionally. It's also good that he likes them and isn't spitting them back up.
Great.. I will feed him strictly with earthworms for a while. Lot of them I think until he is a little fatter.

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Hopefully things work out :)
Thanks! Appreciate it.



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Old 26th December 2016   #4
jonatanlieby
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Default Re: Food issues. Is Monstrito too skinny?

Update!

We added a little more wather (approx twice the height of Monstrito) and he was with his front legs on the floor and his half-back suspended (the point of the tail was floating).

A while after that he was chilling on the bottom like a king :)

Then he went back to half floating and now is again standing with his 4 legs in the bottom.

He ate a few more earthworms and has not spat any of them. He seems to love them :)

Im going to slowly start filling the tank again and never give him processed food.

If someone would have say a couple of years ago (or even months) that Id be worried about a constipated axolotl I would told them to go off. LOL.



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