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Old 15th August 2013   #1
Rhiannon
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Default Some Axolotl Questions

So I recently came across a little 3 or 4 month old axolotl. I've been doing research on them for the past couple months and I'm well acquainted with the basics on caring for them, the do's and don'ts of feeding, housing, temperature, filters, etc. But I have a few questions that pertain mostly to just my little 'lotl.

For starters, what kinds of foods should I get for him while he's still little? For the time being, I've got him on a diet of blood worms and the occasional betta food pellet, which was recommended to me by his breeder. I've heard earthworms are a good thing to start off with, so I'll probably get some of those the next time I make a run to the store. Other than that, is there anything else I should get?

Also, for the time being, I have decorative, rough-textured rocks in the bottom of the tank. Would it be better to get sand instead? I was afraid to just get gravel because I know that axolotls will sometimes swallow pieces of it. I hadn't thought about getting sand until recently.

Lastly, is it normal for juvenile axolotls to become hyper when feeding time comes around? I've been hand-feeding mine, and usually after I give him the first blood worm, he'll swim to the surface and dart around there for a while until feeding time is over and I put the cover back on the tank.



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Old 16th August 2013   #2
Hayley
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Default Re: Some Axolotl Questions

If he's really little blood worms, black worms and brine shrimp are great and when he gets bigger earthworms are the best. Just make sure they come from somewhere without chemicals that are sprayed/watered on the soil. Sometimes they excrete this weird smelly stuff just wash them and dry them before giving them to your mate.

With the rough textures decorative ornaments or rocks axies tend to do some extreme aerobics and might damage their slime coat which can lead to fungal infections and problems. With sand it looks great - but you have to clean it well and make sure there's no pockets of gases that can harm them so it all depends how committed you are to cleaning your sand. Also they can eat sand which can creates problems - make sure you feed them off the ground by hand or tweezers or have a food bowl / cup they can crawl into and eat and is not affected by the water flow.

My axies get super excited right before and after feeding time and like doing laps and flips for 15-20 minutes then they have a super cute snooze :)



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Old 16th August 2013   #3
Rhiannon
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Default Re: Some Axolotl Questions

I'll look for some brine shrimp next time I go out, then.

Is there any other substrate option I could use, then? I tend to be forgetful when it comes to cleaning sometimes, so something that's low maintenance but won't cause any problems to my axie would be great. Would something like slate rock work?



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Old 16th August 2013   #4
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Default Re: Some Axolotl Questions

I've read and seen other people silicon sand or gravel down, like REALLY silicon it. Others have silicones large pieces of slate and other smoother rocks. Astro turf or like fake grass looks nice and is easy to clean but you might have to read around more as I haven't had experience with anything but sand and gravel (big no no and is super messy). With siliconing things down I tend to get the idea if there's pockets that are unsealed, food and poop could leak under and would be extremely difficult to clean and if you ever decide to change the landscape or design, it'll be hard to remove things that are stuck! I know I get really bored with the design and also want to shift things around



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Old 16th August 2013   #5
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Default Re: Some Axolotl Questions

I was reading around for a while, and I read that some people like to use fairly large sized pieces of slate rock. Pieces large enough to cover the bottom of the tank with only a few pieces. It's easily manageable, has a good grip surface, and the 'lotls obviously can't swallow the pieces. I may try that, it seems to work fine for most axolotl keepers.



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Old 16th August 2013   #6
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Default Re: Some Axolotl Questions

When you have it all done can you post a picture? I've kind of starting thinking about it on and off.. The only problem I have with it is I can't put real plants in that look good, they're normally in ugly pots so if you have a solution let me know please :)



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Old 16th August 2013   #7
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Default Re: Some Axolotl Questions

I definitely will. As for the "ugly pots" issue, you could always decorate them. Or there are nice decorative looking pots in places like Hobby Lobby or other crafting stores.



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Old 16th August 2013   #8
Hayley
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Default Re: Some Axolotl Questions

I've looked around since my buddies love being a pain and dig up the plants. In sydney there's only ceramic pots or cheapo pots in the 2 dollar stores but I don't trust their paint I'm scared it'll leak out chemicals



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