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Axolotl Eggs, Larvae & Breeding Eggs everywhere, how did that happen? Will it be albino or wildtype?

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Old 13th November 2017   #1
Tonnerre
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Default Many babies have died...I'm sad...

First, hi to everyone! This is my first post on these forums, even though I have been a behind the scenes reader for almost a year. The forum has helped me raise three healthy and happy axolotls, as well as hatch a clutch of unexpected eggs, and help the ones who are thriving grow to where they are now. However, I am having some issues.

My axolotl larva are 2 weeks old at this time, and there have been babies dying intermittently since they were born. I have them separated into small tubs, they are getting fed, their bellies are nice and pink (I set up a brine shrimp hatchery and am loving it), water changes are happening, I test our tap water and the tank water regularly, so all of that is good...but I have had so many die. I started with 131 larva, and am down to 98 at this time.

The confusing part for me is that the deaths are happening in all of the tubs, and while some have grown to the point they are large enough to be separated from the others (they are doing awesome) others are dieing. The ones that are dieing look newly hatched, like they look like they haven't developed at all, and at this point I am down to about a half a dozen left which don't look like they are developing.

I have read that a young mother can be the cause of genetically unhealthy babies. I have two males and one female (I thought 2 females and one male ) I took the male out of the tank and thought I had two females together -- imagine my surprise when I found about 150 eggs, and even more surprised when they started developing. The female is now by herself -- I'm not wanting more eggs! But anyway, all my axies are only about 8 months old. I have kind of resolved myself that this may be the cause of the deaths, just a weak genetic batch of eggs...but it is still making me incredibly sad. Does anyone have any insight into this, seen any situations similar that have happened, or can confirm this may be what's happening. (If it makes any difference the female is a golden albino and the male a leucistic)

Thank you!



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Old 15th November 2017   #2
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Default Re: Many babies have died...I'm sad...

Well, I don't won't to be harsh sounding, But sometimes they just die for no apparent reason, All your conditions seem right, Test for ammonia maybe?



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Old 15th November 2017   #3
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Default Re: Many babies have died...I'm sad...

You say the ones dying look newly hatched do you mean they hatched with the healthy ones but just didnít develop? Did they start off eating ok without any issues? Do they float before dying? Are their eyes opaque before dying?



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Old 15th November 2017   #4
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Default Re: Many babies have died...I'm sad...

Thank you Cloppy -- it's not harsh, it is the way of life -- especially for r-selected species. My ammonia levels are fine. I test for PH, Ammonia, Nitrates, and Nitrites regularly and have been using cycled tank water --the same water they were laid and hatched in -- their whole lives.

Blackbun -- They look newly hatched like they look exactly the same as the day they were born -- and they did hatch at the same time as the others. All the eggs hatched within 48 hours of each other. Some that died were born day 1, some day 2. They are not growing, not really eating well (as far as I've noticed none that have died have shrimp in their bellies). They are absolutely tiny. They don't seem to show any signs of physical illness, they are just listless, little to no reaction to stimuli -- like to the point you can touch and touch and touch them and you might after the 5th or 6th time get them to swim an inch or two.

I did lose the remainder of the ones I thought I would, and since then have not lost any more. It's been over 24 hours since I have lost any, which is a change from losing a handful every day for at least the last week. The ones that are left are all developing great, very active, and eating like pigs. I am hoping this was just a genetically weak bunch that died and the rest continue to do fine.



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Old 17th November 2017   #5
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Default Re: Many babies have died...I'm sad...

So...I lost 2 more today :-( I'm posting some pics so the contrast between the one's dieing and the ones doing fine can be seen. They're all using the same water, same type of tubs, same food, on the same feeding and cleaning schedule, and they're all 2 weeks old. Is this normal?

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 23rd November 2017   #6
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Default Re: Many babies have died...I'm sad...

Just a quick update; Lost one more since my last post. The larger ones are now growing their front legs, the medium sized ones are getting noticeably larger...but several of the babies are still teeny tiny and don't seem to be growing at all.



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Old 26th November 2017   #7
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Default Re: Many babies have died...I'm sad...

I find myself if in the first few days i see wich ones dont seem to be eating,ie filling bellies...and any that look wrong I start culling..rather than try to save them,as they are defective and will just die a slow death anyways...from my experience...saves the heartacheand gives the others a fighting chance. I also transfer them to really small tubs to feed so the bbs shrimp dont spread out too far...good luck,and donít be too hard on yourself!



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Old 8th December 2017   #8
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Default Re: Many babies have died...I'm sad...

Thanks for the advice Hellcat -- I did cull a few that just looked really bad off and miserable but couldn't bring myself to do it for all.

I lost my last tiny guy a couple days ago. He wasn't much bigger than a grain of rice. The ones that are left seem healthy and happy, my biggest ones are showing signs of back legs growing in soon, everyone has front legs now (or at least leg stems, only the ones that look like back legs will be coming soon have developed feet).



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