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baby axolotyls died after being fed chopped up earthworms. why?

EvankingM

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New here. hope this is the right place to post my question. I had 27 axolotyls aged 2-3 months old.
First fed them on brine shrimp. no problems. After a month, their main food has been finely chopped up bloodworms. no problems.

I decided to introduce earthworms from my earthworm compost bin for variety. I rinsed and then I finely chopped up 4 small earthworms and fed them to the babies.
Within an hour 20 of the babies were dead. The remaining 7 (the smaller babies) survived and are now fine on bloodworms.

Any ideas why the chopped up earthworms killed many of the babies?
No other changes prior to them dying. water change twice a day after feeds (water taken from chilled main tank and left for a couple of hours for temperature to equalise with the water in the babies bowls.

Adults have previously eaten whole earthworms from the compost bin with no ill effects.

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Otterwoman

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I have no idea. Maybe there is something toxic in the bin you raised the worms? Otherwise worms are supposed to be the best food.
 

EvankingM

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I have no idea. Maybe there is something toxic in the bin you raised the worms? Otherwise worms are supposed to be the best food.
Earthworms are soo sensitive to their environment. Had their been anything toxic - it would have knocked them off first. I.E. I have been feeding quite a lot of banana skins to the worms. Had the bananas been fumigated and still toxic then the worms would not survive. I did consider that as a possibility. Thanks.
 

Herpin Man

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Were they red wrigglers?
Many people have claimed that they are toxic, and have reportedly lost animals after using them.
 

Lamarca

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If there was any remains left and you left them in there too long, it could have fouled up the water with ammonia and *edited for language by admin*. Especially if even the larvae were young and maybe a few parished naturally. I always take out bloodworms after about an hour or so.
 
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Lamarca

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If there was any remains left and you left them in there too long, it could have fouled up the water with ammonia and shit. Especially if even the larvae were young and maybe a few parished naturally. I always take out bloodworms after about an hour or so.
Also sometimes, some clutches(usually smaller ones) have under developed larvae. Like bent tails and such. These larvae almost never survive. I haven’t been keeping salamanders for too long but ammonia has got to be the culprit. Maybe there were too big of pieces, but usually they just regurgitate. And no way that could have killed off a bunch of em. I’m sorry I hope this helps, that’s a always a huge disappointment:(
 

John

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There are 2 possibilities, both of which have been covered here.
  1. These worms do contain distasteful compounds that, in sufficient concentration, might be harmful to the animals.
  2. I think the most likely issue was the high surface area of the uneaten worm pieces rapidly releasing ammonia and killing the axolotls. Earthworms are well known for this. Chopping them finely can exacerbate the problem.
 

EvankingM

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If there was any remains left and you left them in there too long, it could have fouled up the water with ammonia and *edited for language by admin*. Especially if even the larvae were young and maybe a few parished naturally. I always take out bloodworms after about an hour or so.
Thanks but no. I returned after an hour to find most of them dead.
 

EvankingM

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There are 2 possibilities, both of which have been covered here.
  1. These worms do contain distasteful compounds that, in sufficient concentration, might be harmful to the animals.
  2. I think the most likely issue was the high surface area of the uneaten worm pieces rapidly releasing ammonia and killing the axolotls. Earthworms are well known for this. Chopping them finely can exacerbate the problem.
Hmmm would the ammonia be released before decomposition? It all happened within the space of an hour.
The bowls were reasonably small with 4-6 babies in each.
 
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