Doubts about my axolotls alimentation.

Binditheaxolotl

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not that i want to contradict you, but want to understand, i've read around here that that ph was alright, and for impactation how long should i put it on the fridge? i've seen at least a post about someone setting them inside for 2 weeks. but i guess they meant every day for 2 weeks.
about the ph test kit yes, it was a liquid one not strips.
how would you recommend i deal with gh/kh defitiency?


Constipated/impacted axolotl that's the post i've been basing a bit my care
If you have doubts or confusion about Calagarys advice, which I totally get, Murk has tons of experience and is very helpful. He/she was on this thread earlier I thought.
 

Magess

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I take my information from both exotic veterinarians and the research labs that have been housing, studying and breeding axolotls for decades.

pH - While 6.5-8 is acceptable range for axolotls - optimal is 7.4-7.6
KH - 3-8 degrees
GH - 7-14 degrees (124.6-249.2 mg/L) they prefer somewhat harder water.

I have an exotic veterinarian I have continually consulted regarding my protocols of how, when and what to treat with.
With the preventatives I use such as water parameters and additives I have almost no issues in my breed stock. My surrenders, rescues and palliative crew have occasional issues from previous neglect which my protocols work like a charm on.

I have dealt with gravel impaction, severe constipation and severe emaciation.

Are you testing for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate at all?
pH alone does not tell us the state of your nitrogen cycle.

GH/KH issues varies as to which one or both you are dealing with.
It means adding different things or combinations.

By all means follow posts. I was sharing what I have always been advised by the Vet and other long long term hobbyists including our original breeders here in my province who have been my mentors.

Thank you. again, i just wanted to make sense and knowing that helped a lot. what can i do to strenghten the water then?
No, haven't been told much about ammonia, nitrite and nitrogen in the aquarium i bought them. so i haven't tested it much. next time i leave my house i'll look for the supplies in my trusthworthy aquarium.

update: just checked on lambda, took her out of the fridge and saw that she pooped a bit. gravel included. should i leave her out for a few hours and then put her inside again?
 

Binditheaxolotl

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Thank you. again, i just wanted to make sense and knowing that helped a lot. what can i do to strenghten the water then?
No, haven't been told much about ammonia, nitrite and nitrogen in the aquarium i bought them. so i haven't tested it much. next time i leave my house i'll look for the supplies in my trusthworthy aquarium.

update: just checked on lambda, took her out of the fridge and saw that she pooped a bit. gravel included. should i leave her out for a few hours and then put her inside again?
She’s fine to stay in the fridge. Calgary puts something called Johns Solution in her tank? I have a link to a. Recipe I think
 

Magess

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If you have doubts or confusion about Calagarys advice, which I totally get, Murk has tons of experience and is very helpful. He/she was on this thread earlier I thought.
Yes! Murk gave me advice about alimentation. it was really helpful for this spoiled girls. And now Calgary is explaining me well about the minerals and nutrients in water for them. it's proving really informative! once again, i'm greatful to everyone.
 

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She’s fine to stay in the fridge. Calgary puts something called Johns Solution in her tank? I have a link to a. Recipe I think
If you do have it, it's awesome. i can easily talk about it with my father so we can get it.
 

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I'm glad you had some success getting some gravel moving through her!!!

You want her to warm up a bit to feed her - they don't have an appetite when down to fridge temp.
I'd cycle her through in and out. No more than 12 hours total in. Offer food after at least 1 hour out.
The drop in temperature will stimulate her to poop generally within the first 15 or so minutes so watch for that.

Pure garlic juice is an amazing appetite stimulant - it can help her to eat food you want her eating.

The nitrogen cycle is a big learning curve. Its hard not knowing what you have access too.
To cycle a tank you need pure ammonia in liquid or powder, a freshwater test kit (ammonia, nitrite & nitrate) and ideally a nitrifying bacteria supplement. The test kit and bacteria would normally be available in an aquarium store. The ammonia can be the pure ammonia no additives (scents or surfactants) for cleaning or ammonium chloride powder which we can order online.
Its daily testing and dosing which takes a few minutes, this is for a few weeks BUT the pay off is a happy healthy safe aquarium that should only need weekly water changes there after.

The GH and KH - With your pH I'd say you could use crushed corral to help increase the pH and KH and Holtfreters or at minimum Johns solution to help the KH.

Holtfreters is a bit harder to source your supplies to make.

Johns is very easy. its 3 ingredients pickling/aquarium salt, pure epsom salts and baking soda mixed in the correct ratio. This helps raise your GH and also prevents fungus and slime coat issues when your aquarium is kept at 15-18 degrees.

Speaking of how are you managing tank temperature?

Thank you. again, i just wanted to make sense and knowing that helped a lot. what can i do to strenghten the water then?
No, haven't been told much about ammonia, nitrite and nitrogen in the aquarium i bought them. so i haven't tested it much. next time i leave my house i'll look for the supplies in my trusthworthy aquarium.

update: just checked on lambda, took her out of the fridge and saw that she pooped a bit. gravel included. should i leave her out for a few hours and then put her inside again?
 

Binditheaxolotl

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Yes! Murk gave me advice about alimentation. it was really helpful for this spoiled girls. And now Calgary is explaining me well about the minerals and nutrients in water for them. it's proving really informative! once again, i'm greatful to everyone.
Yep I agree! I like having having 2 opinions i find it very helpful
 

Magess

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This is my handout on Johns Solution
2 questions, per the language barrier. what is tbsp? table spoon perhaps? tsp tea spoon?

update. put lambda again in the fridge, seems like she has a lot more and will take some time until she recovers properly. in the mean time, taking out all gravel and replacing it with sand. then i'll treat the water with this solution as soon as i get the ingredients. thank you a lot
 

Magess

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2 questions, per the language barrier. what is tbsp? table spoon perhaps? tsp tea spoon?

update. put lambda again in the fridge, seems like she has a lot more and will take some time until she recovers properly. in the mean time, taking out all gravel and replacing it with sand. then i'll treat the water with this solution as soon as i get the ingredients. thank you a lot
Isn't distilled water the one that is for cars? Maybe there some language barrier there too. Showed the list to my father and he asked if it wasn't too much salt for 2 15ish cm axies?
 

Calgarycoppers

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TBSP - Tablespoon
TSP - Teaspoon

Distilled water - you can use dechlorinated tap water if you dont have access to distilled water

Salt - Axolotls and freshwater fish can easily handle up to 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons of pure salt.

Make the mixture in a gallon jug as you only use a small amount per gallon in your tank.

The bigger issue is your nitrogen cycle - you need to get that test kit

2 questions, per the language barrier. what is tbsp? table spoon perhaps? tsp tea spoon?

update. put lambda again in the fridge, seems like she has a lot more and will take some time until she recovers properly. in the mean time, taking out all gravel and replacing it with sand. then i'll treat the water with this solution as soon as i get the ingredients. thank you a lot
 

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Calgary really has all the basics down by now (and it seems to be working great!), so I'm just popping in with some things that might make the cycling easier:

You want to replace the gravel with sand, which is a good idea. As you noticed gravel can easily lead to impactions (sand can do this as well, but it's less common than with gravel).
If you haven't replaced it yet, you could also consider putting the sand on top of the gravel instead of replacing it. Like a thick layer of sand on top of it, so the axolotls can't reach the gravel anymore.
Even though your tank is uncycled, there are likely some beneficial bacteria living in the gravel at the moment (they like rough surfaces). If you can keep those, it might give the cycle a little head start.


To cycle a tank you need pure ammonia in liquid or powder [...] The ammonia can be the pure ammonia no additives (scents or surfactants) for cleaning or ammonium chloride powder which we can order online.
Pure ammonia is absolutely fastest to cycle the tank (and it's easier to keep tabs on), but any source of ammonia will do. If you can get some pure ammonia, great, use it!
If you have to order it and this could take a few days, you can easily get the cycle started with other sources of ammonia, while you wait. Axolotl poop, rotting food, etc. - this is the stuff that will feed the cycle when it's done.

No, haven't been told much about ammonia, nitrite and nitrogen in the aquarium i bought them. so i haven't tested it much. next time i leave my house i'll look for the supplies in my trusthworthy aquarium.
Cycling a tank indeed has a bit of a learning curve, but there are tons of articles on it on the internet. Let us know if you'd like a basic summary/guide.
Honestly, I think 95% of axolotl issues can be prevented or solved with just good water quality and tank set-up. So that's good news! Once you've got it going you'll be set :)
 

Binditheaxolotl

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Calgary really has all the basics down by now (and it seems to be working great!), so I'm just popping in with some things that might make the cycling easier:

You want to replace the gravel with sand, which is a good idea. As you noticed gravel can easily lead to impactions (sand can do this as well, but it's less common than with gravel).
If you haven't replaced it yet, you could also consider putting the sand on top of the gravel instead of replacing it. Like a thick layer of sand on top of it, so the axolotls can't reach the gravel anymore.
Even though your tank is uncycled, there are likely some beneficial bacteria living in the gravel at the moment (they like rough surfaces). If you can keep those, it might give the cycle a little head start.



Pure ammonia is absolutely fastest to cycle the tank (and it's easier to keep tabs on), but any source of ammonia will do. If you can get some pure ammonia, great, use it!
If you have to order it and this could take a few days, you can easily get the cycle started with other sources of ammonia, while you wait. Axolotl poop, rotting food, etc. - this is the stuff that will feed the cycle when it's done.


Cycling a tank indeed has a bit of a learning curve, but there are tons of articles on it on the internet. Let us know if you'd like a basic summary/guide.
Honestly, I think 95% of axolotl issues can be prevented or solved with just good water quality and tank set-up. So that's good news! Once you've got it going you'll be set :)
I agree! I didn’t I know a thing about the nitrogen cycle, now I’ve got my tank cycled and I’m much less stressed and can finally enjoy it
 

Magess

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Calgary really has all the basics down by now (and it seems to be working great!), so I'm just popping in with some things that might make the cycling easier:

You want to replace the gravel with sand, which is a good idea. As you noticed gravel can easily lead to impactions (sand can do this as well, but it's less common than with gravel).
If you haven't replaced it yet, you could also consider putting the sand on top of the gravel instead of replacing it. Like a thick layer of sand on top of it, so the axolotls can't reach the gravel anymore.
Even though your tank is uncycled, there are likely some beneficial bacteria living in the gravel at the moment (they like rough surfaces). If you can keep those, it might give the cycle a little head start.



Pure ammonia is absolutely fastest to cycle the tank (and it's easier to keep tabs on), but any source of ammonia will do. If you can get some pure ammonia, great, use it!
If you have to order it and this could take a few days, you can easily get the cycle started with other sources of ammonia, while you wait. Axolotl poop, rotting food, etc. - this is the stuff that will feed the cycle when it's done.


Cycling a tank indeed has a bit of a learning curve, but there are tons of articles on it on the internet. Let us know if you'd like a basic summary/guide.
Honestly, I think 95% of axolotl issues can be prevented or solved with just good water quality and tank set-up. So that's good news! Once you've got it going you'll be set :)
Thanks a lot for that brilliant idea with the sand. I just got up and was planning on going to buy the kit in a bit. and checked on the girls. they are both in the fridge and pooped some more gravel. i'm happy to see them getting a bit better. hopefully, by tomorrow i'll start cycling and stuff the water. i'll keep you all updated <3
 

Magess

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I'm glad you had some success getting some gravel moving through her!!!

You want her to warm up a bit to feed her - they don't have an appetite when down to fridge temp.
I'd cycle her through in and out. No more than 12 hours total in. Offer food after at least 1 hour out.
The drop in temperature will stimulate her to poop generally within the first 15 or so minutes so watch for that.

Pure garlic juice is an amazing appetite stimulant - it can help her to eat food you want her eating.

The nitrogen cycle is a big learning curve. Its hard not knowing what you have access too.
To cycle a tank you need pure ammonia in liquid or powder, a freshwater test kit (ammonia, nitrite & nitrate) and ideally a nitrifying bacteria supplement. The test kit and bacteria would normally be available in an aquarium store. The ammonia can be the pure ammonia no additives (scents or surfactants) for cleaning or ammonium chloride powder which we can order online.
Its daily testing and dosing which takes a few minutes, this is for a few weeks BUT the pay off is a happy healthy safe aquarium that should only need weekly water changes there after.

The GH and KH - With your pH I'd say you could use crushed corral to help increase the pH and KH and Holtfreters or at minimum Johns solution to help the KH.

Holtfreters is a bit harder to source your supplies to make.

Johns is very easy. its 3 ingredients pickling/aquarium salt, pure epsom salts and baking soda mixed in the correct ratio. This helps raise your GH and also prevents fungus and slime coat issues when your aquarium is kept at 15-18 degrees.

Speaking of how are you managing tank temperature?
Didn't see this before, sorry!
The temperate is basically not managed. It may fluctuate a bit, but if it does get hot i use frozen water bottles. My room is mainly cold, so everyday i touch the water a few times to check.
 

Magess

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Calgary really has all the basics down by now (and it seems to be working great!), so I'm just popping in with some things that might make the cycling easier:

You want to replace the gravel with sand, which is a good idea. As you noticed gravel can easily lead to impactions (sand can do this as well, but it's less common than with gravel).
If you haven't replaced it yet, you could also consider putting the sand on top of the gravel instead of replacing it. Like a thick layer of sand on top of it, so the axolotls can't reach the gravel anymore.
Even though your tank is uncycled, there are likely some beneficial bacteria living in the gravel at the moment (they like rough surfaces). If you can keep those, it might give the cycle a little head start.



Pure ammonia is absolutely fastest to cycle the tank (and it's easier to keep tabs on), but any source of ammonia will do. If you can get some pure ammonia, great, use it!
If you have to order it and this could take a few days, you can easily get the cycle started with other sources of ammonia, while you wait. Axolotl poop, rotting food, etc. - this is the stuff that will feed the cycle when it's done.


Cycling a tank indeed has a bit of a learning curve, but there are tons of articles on it on the internet. Let us know if you'd like a basic summary/guide.
Honestly, I think 95% of axolotl issues can be prevented or solved with just good water quality and tank set-up. So that's good news! Once you've got it going you'll be set :)
Murk, let me ask you something else if you don't mind. So far i've been giving them raw meat, diferent kinds. and per suggestion, tomorrow i'm giving them fish or shrimp. Can they eat cooked meat? or would it be a bad idea?
 

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@Magess

Your axolotl was definitely impacted, correct? Did you get all that to pass through? Just asking out of concern.

And if you're using water bottles to cool your axolotls' tank, I do the same thing but I take some floral wire and wrap them around the two ends and hang them like little hooks across the tank, that way they float on the top and don't sink down or bump into my axolotl, since I'm fairly sure she can't see them since they're just plain, see-through bottles. But when I need to get my girl's tank cooled fast, I use 4 frozen bottles, within an hour, it's down and I can add a few more. I have like 6 bottles and maybe 8 cold packs for like, lunch boxes. I float them on top in a bag with a thread of string so they don't drift around. Also if your axolotls are exposed to the sun at any point of the day, floating stuff on top would blot out the sun, which they would prefer.

I see many people have been helping you and I'm glad.
 

Magess

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@Magess

Your axolotl was definitely impacted, correct? Did you get all that to pass through? Just asking out of concern.

And if you're using water bottles to cool your axolotls' tank, I do the same thing but I take some floral wire and wrap them around the two ends and hang them like little hooks across the tank, that way they float on the top and don't sink down or bump into my axolotl, since I'm fairly sure she can't see them since they're just plain, see-through bottles. But when I need to get my girl's tank cooled fast, I use 4 frozen bottles, within an hour, it's down and I can add a few more. I have like 6 bottles and maybe 8 cold packs for like, lunch boxes. I float them on top in a bag with a thread of string so they don't drift around. Also if your axolotls are exposed to the sun at any point of the day, floating stuff on top would blot out the sun, which they would prefer.

I see many people have been helping you and I'm glad.
Yes! that's an awesome idea, i usually leave the bottle hanging on top of the water to avoid their bumping into it. i'm fairly sure they are blind. At least my girls. I just put the sand in the tank and i'm waiting for it to settle so i can take a picture.

took them out of the fridge for a while, and tried to feed them. they didn't feel like eating. i tried to use the garlic juice (aka grabbing some garlic and mashing it, using only the liquid) and they seemed distressed. they started gasping as for air. changed the water and no more clues about that.

they did poop a fair amount between yesterday and today, but as for today, they didn't do poop at all; but i'm sure it's not all they have inside. i'll keep them in the fridge for a few more days based on this. i'll try to feed them when it gets dark
 

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Murk, let me ask you something else if you don't mind. So far i've been giving them raw meat, diferent kinds. and per suggestion, tomorrow i'm giving them fish or shrimp. Can they eat cooked meat? or would it be a bad idea?
I'm sure they can eat cooked meat, but... why?
Seems easier and somewhat more natural to just give it raw.

The variation in food is good! Do try to get a hold of "whole" foods, though (like worms) - those hold a lot of nutrients that are lacking from the more "human" foods.
 

Magess

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I'm sure they can eat cooked meat, but... why?
Seems easier and somewhat more natural to just give it raw.

The variation in food is good! Do try to get a hold of "whole" foods, though (like worms) - those hold a lot of nutrients that are lacking from the more "human" foods.
Yes, there are snails around here so whenever i find them, i feed them with it. or worms, i have lots of plants in my blacony so there has to be some.

about the cooked meat, it's more something a friend asked and was curious. I agree on the idea that raw food is better.
 
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