Baby Axolotl Food Questions

NellyAxolotl

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My axolotls recently had another batch of babies. Last time I fed the babies micro worms but they grew very slowly and many died before they were very big at all. This time I want to feed them daphnia.
Question: I know that green water is the best food for daphnia but I do not have the time to grow it. Also it is winter so I would have to grow it indoors which I also hear is hard. SO, I was wondering what the next best food for the daphnia would be?
Would crushed algae tablets work as their food source?
Also, I live in Pittsburgh PA and I was wondering if anyone else in the area might know where I can buy some daphnia.
Please help.
 

LSuzuki

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Consider baby brine shrimp. Once you get a good set-up and a little practice, they are pretty easy. Plus, brine shrimp eggs last a very long time in the freezer, so you can always have them on-hand.

I found out recently that the local high school has daphnia for their biology class. Perhaps they can help you get some if you decide daphnia are the way to go.
 

NellyAxolotl

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Thank you for your suggestion, but I have heard from many people that brine shrimp are dangerous to use because they can fail so easily. And I have tried several times in the past to start brine shrimp with no success.
 

AxolotlChris

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I use Daphnia as my preference, brine shrimp seems like a simple process if you follow a guide like this: http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-beginner-newt-salamander-axolotl-help-topics/f48-axolotls-ambystoma-mexicanum/f61-axolotl-eggs-larvae-breeding/88172-raising-baby-axolotls-baby-brine-shrimp-bbs.html

If you want green water for Daphnia, leave a large transparent box like this S01L80x---Large-Storage-Box.jpg full of water outside where it can get good sun light, it will allow algae to grow from algal spores which are carried by the wind. It can take up to two weeks for algae to being to colonize, try source some 'green water' or algae from friends/family or a aquatic store, this will seed your water and speed up the process greatly. I did this and had my own culture within a week.

Since you want to do this indoors - I've also used pellets to feed a Daphnia culture, instead of using the green water method, you can feed Daphnia from the bacteria as the pellets decompose in the water. You can use the same large box inside and use an amount of pellets dependent on the volume of water, too many pellets will foul the water and feed too much bacteria.
 

xxianxx

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Culturing daphnia is an art and requires practice, you can't rely on it as a sole food source if your raising lots of larvae as the daphnia cultures are prone to boom and bust, the skill is in preventing crashes and maintaining the boom part . At some point you culture will crash and your larvae will be in danger of starving unless you have brine shrimp ,or another form of micro food as a back up. If you have struggled hatching BBS your going to struggle with daphnia. BBS are very easy to hatch, if you follow the instructions in the link previously posted you shouldn't have any problems.
 
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NellyAxolotl

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Many of you think that I should use baby brine shrimp instead. I have read up on them more and they seem do-able. Though they have not worked for me in the past I am willing to try them again. Do I need aquarium salt for this? Please help me by describing the things that I would need if they are not in my list below. Also please correct me if I am wrong about any of the items below.

I know I would need:
-2 2Liter bottles with the bottoms cut off
-An air pump
-Some tubing
-Airline tubing volume control valves (to control amount of bubbles)
-A fine mesh net
-Hatchery stations
-And of course brine shrimp eggs

So I would set up one station the first day, and the second station the day after. This way I would have baby brine shrimp available every day (right?). I have read that into the 2Liter bottle I would add 2 cups of tank water and 1 cup of deionized water and have the air pump bubbling before I even put the eggs in. Then I would put in the eggs (how much???) and let them sit for 48 hours until they are hatched. Then I would harvest them and set up the station once again.
Do I leave the air pump on all the time?
Also I have read that they like higher temperatures, how would I keep the temp up?
Do I need aquarium salt to add to the mixture of water?
 

xxianxx

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Tap water is fine, leave the pump on all the time, table salt is ok, 500 newly hatched axolotls would need about a teaspoon of eggs. Room temp is fine for hatching BBS.
 

xxianxx

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Tap water with some salt, I don't measure it but about a teaspoon per half liter should be ok
 

Nina Willis

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I have my bbs in a plastic shoe box with a small tank light over the top. This keeps the water warm enough, wit the help of a small towel over the top. I have an air stone in one corner.

The source I found online was 4 cups water to 1 3/4 TB salt. I use table salt. This supposedly supports 1/2 ts of eggs, although I have added more every 2-3 days, and they seem to do fine.

The only problem I had was when I did not measure the salt. I'm not sure if I added too much or too little, but nothing hatched.

To harvest, I suck up the brine shrimp with a turkey baster and run them through a coffee filter. It seems to be working well.

Nina
 

LSuzuki

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RE the coffee filter - I believe the kind of coffee filter they use is the paper kind, not the really nice permanent metal mesh kind, if that helps. (I have this scrap of fine-woven polyester fabric I line a small net with - I've used it for years. So I haven't had to try the coffee filter trick.)

Important things:
1) Get good quality (high hatch rate) eggs.
2) This time of year, you will probably have to heat your hatchery. I heat mine by putting the hatcheries in a small tank part full of water with a water heater.
3) Light is important to the hatch rate - a strong light on the hatchery helps.
4) You will probably want to have two hatcheries going to keep up with lots of baby axies, alternating start days.

I use 1 heaping tablespoon aquarium salt for 1 quart of water.
 

NellyAxolotl

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RE the coffee filter - I believe the kind of coffee filter they use is the paper kind, not the really nice permanent metal mesh kind, if that helps. (I have this scrap of fine-woven polyester fabric I line a small net with - I've used it for years. So I haven't had to try the coffee filter trick.)

Important things:
1) Get good quality (high hatch rate) eggs.
2) This time of year, you will probably have to heat your hatchery. I heat mine by putting the hatcheries in a small tank part full of water with a water heater.
3) Light is important to the hatch rate - a strong light on the hatchery helps.
4) You will probably want to have two hatcheries going to keep up with lots of baby axies, alternating start days.

I use 1 heaping tablespoon aquarium salt for 1 quart of water.
Thanks for all the information!
Do you know a good place to buy the eggs?
I hadn't heard about the importance of a light, do you think a desk lamp would work for this?
 

LSuzuki

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I got my "good" eggs from this site: Brine Shrimp Eggs (I have a container of "bad" eggs I got elsewhere.) It looks like they are out of the premium, but the grade A would still be better than most. Don't be scared by the per pound price - the smallest container will last a while.

The instructions here are pretty good. Brine Shrimp Resources | Brine Shrimp Hatching Instructions They include info about lighting. I use a desk lamp.

Note: I don't use one of the "good" cone shaped hatcheries - you can improvise a lot as long as your hatchery provides what is needed. Also, don't buy the shrimp nets/sieves - from what I hear, the coffee filters (or in my case, the scrap of fabric) work better.
 

Franckw

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I got my "good" eggs from this site: Brine Shrimp Eggs (I have a container of "bad" eggs I got elsewhere.) It looks like they are out of the premium, but the grade A would still be better than most. Don't be scared by the per pound price - the smallest container will last a while.

The instructions here are pretty good. Brine Shrimp Resources | Brine Shrimp Hatching Instructions They include info about lighting. I use a desk lamp.

Note: I don't use one of the "good" cone shaped hatcheries - you can improvise a lot as long as your hatchery provides what is needed. Also, don't buy the shrimp nets/sieves - from what I hear, the coffee filters (or in my case, the scrap of fabric) work better.
The brine shrimp eggs are an excellent food for fish, I always buy it from this site: Brine Shrimp Eggs and hatch in my house.

You have a good instructions page and help me to know more about the brine shrimp eggs, thanks!
 

axolotlmom89

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I tend to use chopped black worms, it is a pain but it promotes growth and they seem to adapt well to the diet.
 
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