Illness/Sickness: Axolotls wont eat, please help me!

Starboy

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Sorry this question is so long!! Please stick with it, I need the help!

I have two adult axolotls. I got one in January and the other in April. They get along very well and have not shown any aggressive tendencies so they share a tank and they act fairly normal.

However, they have problems with food. I got both of them from the same place but they came from different breeders and they both seem to have the same problem, which is to say they have no prey drive at all. When i put food in the tank, they'll eventually eat but they don't pay attention to it and they don't go after it the way i see everyone else's axoltols doing.

Apollo (the one i got in January) always had a problem with earthworms, even the really small ones, and he would just bite them and immediately release them, so i started feeding him bloodworm cubes and brine shrimp. He ate that just fine for several months, even when i switched out the brine shrimp for mysis shrimp since i was told that mysis shrimp were better for them. I got my second axolotl, and noticed immediately something was wrong. Apollo, while he wouldn't eat worms, would play with the turkey baster i used to put the frozen food into the tank, so i knew he at least had some sort of prey drive? Junebug, the new one, wouldn't react to anything i put in the tank except to startle away from it. She wouldn't eat worms, and would in fact run away from them in a panic. So i switched to frozen cubes for her, too. I added carnivore pellets into their diet for some variety since they weren't eating what they were supposed to, and they ate every night basically everything i put in there (1 cube of bloodworms and 1 cube of mysis shrimp each + 1/2 tablespoon of carnivore pellets).

Starting a couple weeks ago, they started eating less. I put jars in their tank for feeding so that food wouldn't go everywhere and i could make sure they were both eating, and it went pretty well. Some nights one would eat less, but that wasn't a big deal. About a week ago, they stopped eating almost completely. They're still acting the same, their tank has the exact same parameters, they just stopped eating. This, of course, concerned me.I started trying to feed them worms again, this time nightcrawlers that i bought in the hopes that they would soon start eating like normal axolotls, but they would just run from them when i put them in the tank. It didn't matter how much i wiggled them or just set the worms in front of their faces, they weren't having it. I even tried chopping one up into small pieces (not something i would like to repeat, thanks) but still nothing.

A couple days later, i pulled one axolotl out and put it into a little critter carrier with a worm in the hopes that being alone would help. And lo and behold, it worked! This axolotl had never eaten a worm before but it did! So i repeated this with the other axolotl and again it worked! I thought i had gotten it figured out! The next night, i tried again and one axolotl ate. I said alright, the other one's not hungry. No big deal. The next night, neither of them ate the worms, so i put them back in the tank with a bloodworm cube in case they changed their minds. They didn't eat that. I've been repeating the process the last 3 days and they won't eat anything. Not the frozen food, not the worms, not the carnivore pellets.

I'm getting worried. They're still fat and still as active as usual (which is to say, not very) but it's scaring me that they won't eat and that they never seem to go after any food no matter what i do.

They're in safe water conditions, they show no signs of distress or sickness (other than this), and their water is being chilled twice a day with ice bottles since it's summer.

TDLR; Why don't they have any sort of prey drive, why won't they eat worms (even cut up), and why aren't they eating lately?
 

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Popcqrn

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Depending on the size of the worm, axolotls may go a week without eating. Think of how much of the small food they eat compared to the worm you gave them. They may just not be hungry for a while.

If they continue not to eat and lose their chubbiness, then I would seek help. But for now, I think they are just fine :)
 
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