Substrate undoubtedly has a lot to do with it. You need one they like and one you can separate them from. Paper is one they like but becomes a mess.
Assessment of Alternative Substrates for Culturing Lumbriculus variegatus
2007, Lasier, P.J.
28th Annual Meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry North America, Midwest Express Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA), 11-15 Nov. Abstract:
The freshwater oligochaete, Lumbriculus variegatus, is tank-cultured to provide organisms for aquatic-habitat assessments, regeneration research and as a clean source of live food for aquarium fishes. Shredded paper is the typical substrate in cultures used to rear L. variegatus for these purposes. However, the effort needed to separate large numbers from decomposing paper can be prohibitive. Burlap and nylon mesh material were compared to paper as potential alternatives that could reduce this effort. Oligochaete production and the amount of time needed to separate animals from substrate were compared for eight weeks among experimental cultures containing burlap, nylon mesh and paper. Cultures with paper substrate increased in number and weight two to three times faster than those with burlap or nylon mesh substrates. The time needed to separate animals from substrate was initially two to three times longer with paper substrate than with burlap or nylon mesh substrates, but this difference increased to between 10 and 40 times longer after six weeks as the paper substrate decomposed. Feeding rates varied by treatment and were based on average wet weight at the time of water replacement. Elevated ammonia and nitrite concentrations resulting from excess food may have reduced production in nylon mesh treatments and was lethal in paper treatments during the final phases of the study. The type of substrate recommended may depend on the desired production rate of oligochaetes, space available for cultures and the amount of effort available for substrate renewal and separating the animals from the cultures.
I feel a substrate experiment coming on but first catch some worms and think about setups.
Snake in another thread on this forum manages to say the same but much more briefly and succinctly:
Black worms are easy to raise, a little burlap or brown paper sack some old tank water and there you go. Brown cardboard is good but hard to retrieve your worms from. Make sure you do water changes because it stinks.
A quick survey of the lake turned up remarkably little and no blackworms. I've still got a bucket of mud to try filtering which I dug up from the silt at the upstream end, but it is not promising. I'll hunt wider when I've a bit more free time.
Do all impacted axolotls float? I'm worried about my two juvenile axolotls as they both have bloated stomachs and I have some plant substrate in my tank. The substrate is very small and breaks apart easity but could this still cause impaction? They are not floating at all and still eat a lot. I've been feeding them bloodworms.
@SunnyAxies, It honestly depends on how much space you have. Two axolotls in the same aquarium would need a minimum of 30 gallons. (at an adult size) If you end up with opposite genders, you would need two 20 gal tanks. Males and females can't be kept together since they will breed and overbreeding the female is harmful to her body. Another factor would be if you think both eggs would survive. Sometimes axolotls hatch with defects and either die or should be euthanized to prevent them from living an uncomfortable and/or stunted life. It's sad, but it's for the good of the animal.
I made a huge error, I’m about to cry because I don’t know why I was so stupid. I decided to clean the sponge and other stuff in my filter while I left the filter running. (I took out the parts in the filter to swish around in dirty tank water). Bc I left the filter running, all the gross stuff at the bottom of the filter filled into my axolotl tank. My tank is like brown now. I was trying to unclog something in my filter cuz it wasn’t running right and idk why I left it on I literally don’t know. I tried to take a bunch of water out snd replace it with fresh water but it’s STILL brown.
Hello! New caretaker of a paddletail who is supposedly 24, and seems to have been poorly cared for. Supposedly was fed earthworms or redworms, but every time I've pet-sat for her, she just chomped at the worm once or twice and left it, to be removed a day or two later. Now I have a bigger, clean tank and have been trying mainly frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp, thawed with spring water and fed with a dropper. She ignores bloodworms, goes for the brine shrimp eagerly, but seems to spit a lot out, and ignore most. I'm not sure I can make myself chop up worms () but I want to help her. She also regurgitated an inch-long, seemingly stiff, straight, dried up bloodworm! I don't even know where that came from!!! All help appreciated. Thank you.
Hello anyone that can help! I’m a breeder and was wondering how to make pellets as well as salmon pellets! I’ve seen some recipes around but they contain crickets which I thought were no good for axolotls because of the chitin. The amount taht I have devours 2 pounds of pellets in a week so any help would be great. There was another lin las well for two other pellets but I’m not sure if it lets me open it because I am in the Us?
I have had an axolotl hatch from its egg it's Friday today and they were only laid on Saturday this little lotl has appeared to lose its egg sack and is swimming in like a circle every now and then is this normal?