Darwin's Tale

EasternRomioi3

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Pittsburgh, PA
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I've wanted to write this for a bit now and I figured I might as well just do it. So, in February 2018, my friend bought a baby axolotl. When my friend had to move suddenly and very, very far away, I inherited the axolotl in 2020. It has been a struggle taking care of the little girl. One, I didn't know how cycling work, which I learned about. Two, I didn't know about their temperature requirements, which I do now. Three, I learned how to treat all sorts of issues.

So my house has no AC, and the water temp, without any interference, will easily break 70 degrees. To combat this, I bought a cheap chest freezer, got ice packs, and I freeze them, put them in zip lock bags and float them on her water. Plus, I have ice cube trays that I fill with her treated, dechlorinated water. Between them, I can keep the water at a comfortable 62-64 every day, I just have to rotate the ice packs. She's very used to it now.

Last October, 2020, she had fungus on her shortest gill stalk. People on this site were able to teach me how to treat it properly with a salt bath routine and we got her back to normal. Her gills are longer and bushier than ever!

She's clumsy though. When she was about a year old, she developed this growth on the side of her face, that got cut or tore open somehow, giving her the distinctive bump and scar she has. We never knew what happened there. She's cut her tail twice since I got her, so she has scars from that, and then one day she smacked her face off her driftwood, got a cut that didn't scar this time. Is this average axolotl injury or is she just exceptionally clumsy?

Last year, last August, I crashed her tank cycle unintentionally trying to deal with her detritus worms. We had like 40 of them sliming around on the walls of her tank and I freaked trying to get rid of them. Every now and then I see a single one slithering across her tank now, I just get the turkey baster, suck it up, and that's that. I learned not respond so...actively to things with her.

She eats earthworms and pellets, at least once a day. Maybe just 3 pellets, or just a small worm. She goes to the bathroom regularly. I just hope I'm doing well by her. She eats, she's inquisitive, and friendly. I haven't taken her out of her tank since April when I had to do a big cleaning of her tank. I've stopped doing such drastic water changes, instead of taking like 75% out of her 20 gallon tank, I do like 50% now and I think it works. I've learned that the less I'm in her tank, the better. I just hope I'm not causing issues going in and out with the ice packs... I have no other way to really cool her tank. On top of that, my parents are on blood thinners so they have the eat on in like June.

Do I have control of this situation? Am I on a good course with her? I will post photos from over the course of her development too. The first one is when she was real little, then filling out, then right when she hurt herself/got that growth, then after, then her from the front now, then her in her tub while I rearranged her tank, and then the one of her standing is from like 2 weeks ago.

She look healthy? Let me know, no hurry. Thank you. This forum has made taking care of her possible and I am eternally grateful to the community.
 

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  • Anxious Axie Mom:
    Hello, I need some help please ASAP. All bets are closed. I just posted a thread
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  • Anxious Axie Mom:
    Under sick axolotls
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  • HakuandCoral:
    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.
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    xxianxx has left the room.
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  • SunnyAxies:
    I have a question, I’m looking into getting one or two Axolotls and I don’t know if I should just get one or get two. Planning to get them as eggs.
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  • CrazyForLotls:
    @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.
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  • Toothpickthelotl:
    Hi guys I need help relatively fast
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  • Toothpickthelotl:
    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.
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  • Toothpickthelotl:
    also my filter is like not running right. It’s not a consistent flow it’s more like little droplets of water. :( I’m so confused
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  • Toothpickthelotl:
    Is the stuff in my tank gonna harm my lotl? Should I just let the filter clear it up? I’m confused
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  • Toothpickthelotl:
    Seems to be clearing up slightly with the filter running. Axie is okay also no signs of distress or anything
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  • MorganeW:
    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.
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  • Alyssamuniz06:
    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?
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    Gis has left the room.
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  • Camnp97:
    @MorganeW, Where are you located with that paddletail?
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  • BluFreya:
    Hi guys,
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  • jnerdx:
    Hey guys.
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  • jnerdx:
    I’m looking for another fire Sal. Any available at the moment?
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  • jnerdx:
    I also want to get a Kaiser newt! 👏🏽
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  • Kstimson97:
    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?
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  • jnerdx:
    Super rare but I was looking for an Iranian Kaiser newt. If anyone has any info please send me a PM
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    jnerdx: Super rare but I was looking for an Iranian Kaiser newt. If anyone has any info please send me a PM +1
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