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Axolotl Fridging Guide

tammyaxie

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How long after adding dechlorinating chemical is it ok to put Mocha and Chai (my 2" 3 month olds) in. One has a floating problem, the other has a sink/diving problem. They both may be constipated. I used tank water to fridge Mocha for a few hours last night and saw to lumps after a couple of hours. Thought he/she was good to go but he/she is floating again. Chai is a constant crawler but when gulping air she makes a nose dive and sinks like a dumbell. So this morning I'll be fridging them both with the help of this guide. I just want tot know if I have to wait for the Prime or is the effect immediate? Btw is the size/age ratio correct? The store told me they were 2-3 months and I measured them yesterday. Both are 2 inches.
 

Cwall88

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Hey everyone, I am a novice salamander owner who started out with one axolotl about 7 months ago, I have since then added 2 more to my aquarium. I have a large 50 gallon with an external filter and slate floor; an axolotls dream. Salazaar my first axolotl has been great hence the additions, he is already 8 inches long at just 8 months old! I added the second, Toby, in September and the third, Athena, 6 weeks ago. I came home 4 days ago and noticed that Salazaar seemed to have the ick, the first time any thing like this has occurred. I set up two separate 10 gallon holding tanks one for Salazaar the sick one, and one for the other two who seemed to be fine. After a day Salazaar seemed on his death bed, staying at the top and barely moving or breathing, I decided the best option was to fridge him. I checked my fridge and it was right at 5.5 degrees Celsius so I put him in there and waited giving him daily water changes and today I arrived home to find him dead after just 3 days in the fridge. What went wrong and has anything like this ever happened to any of y'all? Insight please
 

Skudo09

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From my understanding it is unlikely that axolotls can get ich. Do you have any photos you could post? Have you tested the parameters for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, PH and temperature?
 

Cwall88

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No i regret fully didn't get any pictures, it was white fluff all over the gills. Today when I got home the white fluff had spread to cover body of the axolotl. It was some sort of fungal infection. I checked all water parameters and everything check out good. Keep the water a little on the low side, between 65-67. The other two axolotls are still perfectly fine. When fridging I used bottled water so that should be all good.
 

Skudo09

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Yes it sounds like a fungal infection. These usually occur due to a break in their protective slime coat which can be caused by trauma or injury, damage from poor water quality or as a secondary infection due to other illness.
 

AxolotlChris

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Doesn't seem like you cycled your tank, are you aware of the Nitrogen cycle?

Do you test your water for Ammonia, Nitrites, NitrAtes, and PH ?
 

Falkor1104

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Fridging Procedure

1. Preparing the Fridge

Set the fridge to a temperature between the ranges of 5 - 8 degrees Celsius, but no lower than 5 degrees.

To ensure the fridge space allocated for the axolotl is set within the desired temperature range (i.e. not too cold!) it is advisable to test what the water temperature will be before putting the axolotl in there. This can be done by placing a thermometer in a glass of water and situating the glass where the axolotl will be positioned in the fridge.

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Fill some bottles of water and place these in the fridge. This fridged water will be used for the daily water changes in order to keep the water temperature at a consistent level for the axolotl, so it is not subjected to temperature shocks. If your water supplier uses chlorine or chloromines, you will also need to treat the water with a de-chlorinator.

2. Preparing the Axolotl for fridging

Select a container that has sufficient space for the axolotl to stretch out to their full length. Ideally, this container should have a lid.

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Fill the container with as much fresh water as practicable, the more volume the better as this will help dilute wastes while the axolotl is living in this confined space. If possible, leave 1-3 centimeters clearance between the water surface and lip of the container in case the axolotl wants to take a gulp of air from the surface. Ensure the water is treated with a dechlorinater (if applicable) before adding the axolotl.

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If the axolotl is being fridged to treat floating issues, put in enough water to cover the axolotl's back, but ensure the axolotl can touch the ground.

When ready, gently transfer the axolotl from the tank into the container.

If you are not confident in being able to grab the axolotl (too many attempts will stress the axolotl!) and then hold onto the axolotl securely in both hands (this is not easy, as axolotls are very slippery and quite strong if able to thrash about - this combination makes them very easy to drop) during the transfer, you can use a net (or immerse a small container) into the tank, coax the axolotl in, and then transfer it to the fridging tub.

Ensure that the container has a secure lid so the axolotl cannot jump out while in the fridge, fridge odours cannot permeate the water, and that foodstuffs are not in turn effected by the axolotl's mucky water.

Put the lid on the axolotl's tub, and cover the container with a tea towel (or similar) so the axolotl is not disturbed by the fridge light coming on and off, and things being moved about in the fridge.

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Gently transfer the axolotl into the fridge.

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3. Fridging

The water will need to be completely changed each day using the fridged dechlorinated water.

Before going to bed, check the axolotl's water and remove any poop or regurgitated food you find there (a turkey baster is the most ideal tool for this).

The axolotl's metabolism is slowed right down during fridging so you may find that the axolotl will not eat while being fridged (which is why fridging is not appropriate if you are trying to encourage the axolotl's appetite) but, advantageously, weight loss is slowed as well.

The axolotl can stay in the fridge for however long it takes for their health to improve.

4. Returning the axolotl to the tank

When the axolotl is starting to look "on the mend", this is the time to prepare for moving the axolotl back into the tank.

As the water chemistry of a cycled tank will be markedly different to the water used during the fridging procedure, it will be necessary to gently acclimatize the axolotl to this change of water conditions. Bear in mind that this process will add a few days onto your fridging schedule as axolotls need time to adapt to changes in water chemistry and therefore 'can't be rushed'.

Fill two to three bottles with cycled water from the tank, and place these bottles in the fridge. These will be used as well as the fresh water, so you may need to label which is which if you can't tell them apart.

  • 1st water change: Fill the tub with 75% fresh fridged water (FW) and 25% fridged tank water (TW).
  • 2nd water change: fill the tub with 50% FW and 50% TW.
  • 3rd water change: fill the tub with 25% FW and 75% TW.
  • 4th water change: fill the tub with 100% TW

On the next day, the axolotl should be ready to move back into the tank. Float the tub on the tank surface and leave for an hour or so. When you are satisfied that the temperature of both waters (tank and tub) are the same, gently lift the axolotl out, and transfer into the tank.
Do you complete the water changes in two days total? And also do you leave them in a tub out of the fridge while you do the water changes?
 

babymochi

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Thanks for this, it's very clear. Our little baby axolotyl is only about 3cm long, I'm wondering if gradually putting fridge-cooled water into its tank might help with the floating? I worry it's too little to go in the fridge? Also if we only put enough water to cover its back, there could only be 4cm on water in there, is this enough?
 

John

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Thanks for this, it's very clear. Our little baby axolotyl is only about 3cm long, I'm wondering if gradually putting fridge-cooled water into its tank might help with the floating? I worry it's too little to go in the fridge? Also if we only put enough water to cover its back, there could only be 4cm on water in there, is this enough?
Floating due to gas in the gut is usually caused by over activity of bacteria, frequently due to warm water. The fridge is no harm but I suggest you keep the animal in just enough water to cover it - that will prevent it truly floating and reduce its stress.
 
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  • Shane_Yogurt:
    yeah, im heading over tomorrow morning to move him to this house and feed him. Thanks for the help!
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  • Shane_Yogurt:
    So my axolotl tank cycle just crashed and while i was in the middle of a water change my bucket overflowed and spilled water all of the ground in my brand new home. This is going super well 👍
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    ooff
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    good luck recycling the tank!
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    do the classifieds still exist?
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    nevermind! off my game tonight
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  • Shane_Yogurt:
    Im so frustrated right now. My axolotl WONT eat and my tank still isnt looking too good. Some extra stress i needed.
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  • John:
    Sorry to hear that Shane. Did you post about it?
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  • Shane_Yogurt:
    No, I havent. Im not really sure why he wont eat. Hes in a 1 gallon tub and still a juvenile. When i offer food he swims away from it. Does he need some extra time? or is this something I should be worried about.
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  • JulMl:
    Hello everyone! I’m new in this world and i need some advices please! I have 2 axolotl babies and currently the water from the tank is from bottled water ( all parameters are good) but i want to change 50% of the water with city tap water. My question is how to change it? Do i need to get axis out, do the change, add the prime, wait (how much?) until its dechlorinated or i can add the tap water directly into the tank with axis in it, and add the prime conditioner? Thank you!!
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  • Asmold1:
    1. You dont need to take them out of the tank to change the water as long as you pour it in slow as to not rattle them around too much
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  • Asmold1:
    2. add the prime to your tap water, for most conditioners the consensus is 5 minutes of waiting time
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  • Asmold1:
    3.After 5 minutes it should be safe to add
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  • JulMl:
    Thank you so much !!
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  • Asmold1:
    I private messaged you a bit clearer instructions just in case
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    Where can I get blackworms?
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    Ebay or Eastern Aquatics
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    Does anyone know someone who can ship axolotls to hawaii? I recently did a water change and my axolotl died and there are no axos for sale right now.
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  • Sylvia88:
    Hello I'm wondering if fridging axolotl is necessary when giving it a salt bath? My fridge is unpredictable it just changes from freezing temperature to melting by itself. And driving me crazy. So I would not be keen to put my axie in these because of the sudden temperature changes it may experience. Can I leave him in a clean dechlorinated water tub in some of the room? Would I then need to refrigerate the salt water ? Or would I just keep it in a same room temperature?! I have everything ready for him to get a salt bath but just wanted to check about this fridging before I do ( waited for approval to join the forum:)
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  • Sylvia88:
    FYI I noticed a white fluffy strings on his gills yesterday. And looking through the forum and some pictures it looks like fungus .
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    Sylvia88: FYI I noticed a white fluffy strings on his gills yesterday. And looking through the forum and... +1
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