Filters, substrates, setups: please read before posting

Jennewt

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Here are some links to basic info to get you started before you post.

Basics of housing axolotls:
Axolotls - Housing in Captivity

Photos of fully-aquatic setups (not all of these are suitable for axolotls):
Caudata Culture Articles - Setups, Aquatic

Filters
The most common types of filters used for axolotls are the hang-on-back waterfall filter, the canister filter, and sponge filters.
Basics of various types of filters:
Caudata Culture Articles - Filters

Basics of substrates for aquatic setups (not all of these are suitable for axolotls):
Caudata Culture Articles - Aquarium Substrates

Vivarium building projects, including examples of glued-down substrates:
Caudata Culture Articles - Vivarium Building Projects

What rocks are safe?
http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-be...-substrate/71428-what-rocks-axolotl-safe.html

Information about algae, snails, worms, and other "critters" that show up in aquariums:
Caudata Culture Articles - Aquarium Invaders: Algae, Snails, Worms and Other Critters

Avoid using gravel, small stones, or marbles
Gravel, small stones and marbles pose a serious risk to axolotls, due to ingestion. Here are just a FEW of the many horror stories we have had on this forum to demonstrate this:

http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-be...um/70200-my-gold-axolotl-has-eaten-stone.html
http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-be...4-how-can-you-sure-if-stone-impacted-not.html
http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-be...ble-swimming-no-appetite-odd-shaped-head.html
http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-be...-please-yet-another-stone-related-thread.html
http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-be...ssion-free-all/79208-she-pooped-rocks-dx.html
http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-be...otl/82033-axolotl-swallowed-large-marble.html
Includes X-rays:
http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-be...sick-axolotl/70292-axolotl-bloated-belly.html
Includes X-rays:
http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-be.../f58-sick-axolotl/68478-large-rock-belly.html

 
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Ax0lotl

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Is turtle or reptile sand okay? I searched for several hours in stores for sand with a silica base but couldn't find any I was sure about. Thank you.
 

evolveatrandom

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I find that Play Sand (sand you find in sandboxes) is very good. Don't need to wash them because they're already sterile, comes in an attractive light brown colour, and can be bought in bulk and cheaply in places like Rona.
 

Mgrimson

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Would there be any issue with using a large flat piece of filter foam (new) instead of substrate?
 

Aschneider8

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Hello, I am new to Axolotls and set my tank up with a substrate that was advertised as sand, however I think it looks a bit coarse and wanted an opinion.:confused:
I also heavily planted the tank with live plants that they seem to love sitting in. Is there any negative aspects of doing this?
Thanks
 

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Mama Mia

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Hi,
I too searched for silica based sand, I found some at Home Depot, it's the sand that they put in those smoke or cigarette things that sit outside, places, i.e. stores, offices buildings, and malls.
I have no clue if it is safe for axolotls or not.
But I did find it. The price wasn't bad.
 

Possum63

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Aragonite causes a high pH. And depending on the size of your lotl, it could be a little coarse. Aragonite is commonly used in cichlid set ups who like a pH of above 8. I've also heard it clouds for a while and can be problematic espesh with spazzy lotls. So, if your lotl is adult sized or close to and your prepared to closely monitor pH and probably lower it frequently you could try it.

I would recommend play sand though as it is cheap or I highly recommend fine sillica sand which I personally use. The white stuff is relatively cheap (Here in NZ we can actually get it just as cheap as play sand if not cheaper). Its super soft to the touch I have no problem with clouding and it settles real quick when my lotls go nuts.
 

nadinemccarthy

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Thanks. I guess I'll be taking out the sand and putting in play sand. And start testing the water again.
 

Nancy Haggerty

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I've been considering getting some axolotyls. I currently have a bare bottom planted tank.I painted the bottom outside of the tank to create the look of old sand colored brick. I also have planted driftwood. The idea was to make the tank look like underwater ruins and be easy to clean waste from the tank. Do axolotyls require a substrate or will my bare bottom planted tank work for them too?
 

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sde

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Bare bottom is fine, but if the paint is on the inside of the tank and is not sealed correctly of at all it might harm or kill your axolotl. And if you put a axolotl in that tank with guppies the guppies will get eaten.
 

Nancy Haggerty

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The paint is on the outside of the tank. The fish in the picture are HM female bettas ( not guppies)and already know that I can not keep them together.
 

Nancy Haggerty

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Most people are not familiar with female bettas, I like them cause you can have more than one in a tank and are just as colorful. You would probably recognize this more as a betta it is a male and has to be kept seperate or they fight.:happy: I just wanted to make sure that I am setting up a tank properly for axoltyls and this is the only tank that I have done at the moment.
 

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Nancy Haggerty

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My next question is the size the tank that I am considering using is an odd size 63 cm long or 24.5 inches - 50 cm wide or 20 inches - 26 cm high or 10.5 inches. It is actually a modified 20 gal high tank and was wondering how many axolotyls I could have in this tank? I would be using a canister filter with a spray bar and a homemade bubble wand for filtration and aeration. This has worked well for me with the bettas who also like a low water current.
 
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  • Not Albino Alex:
    And even .25 ammonia is bad what you want for nitrite and ammonia is 0 and .25 for short periods
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  • faebugz:
    @DarthNyQuil, what's your ph? Ammonia is non-toxic at lower ph so might not need to panic, however if you have hard water (think calcium deposits in a tea kettle), you likely have a high pH and thus should be maintaining 0. Either way, use seachem prime to dechlorinate your water and get the added benefit of making ammonia and nitrite non-toxic for 24 hours, the peace of mind is worth it.
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  • faebugz:
    @DarthNyQuil, to cycle more quickly/safely, see if you have a friend or trusted LFS with some filter media you could add to your filter. It will cycle it almost instantly, far better than bottled stuff. Speaking of bottled insta-cycle, some people swear by tetra safe start, although I've never used it myself so can't vouch for it. And finally to make it more safe, feel free to do larger water changes to get that ammonia lower- 90% of the bacteria you're growing is in the filter, 9% on surfaces, and maybe 1%> in the water column. So even a
    100% water change won't really effect the cycle process
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  • lvlyvoa:
    hey thank you all so much for your help!! i shouldn't have been so careless, but I love my axie very much and her behaviour has improved as I have started a tank cycle and gotten some good food for her
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    @lvlyvoa, good to hear, np. They love nightcrawlers and worms if you have access to them, they're the healthiest thing they can eat since they're a complete prey
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    hey, does anyone have any brine shrimp eggs??
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    i do!
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  • Jaeger:
    My axolotls were doing fine until the cycle int heir tank crashed. I currently have them tubbed and they wont stop shedding their slime coat, and my golden albino looks a little red, and his gills dont look too good. Theyre both flaoting and im keeping the tub at 18 degrees celsius and doing 100% water changes everyday, any help on anythingelse? can anyone help?
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  • AkemiYousei:
    @Jaeger I would try to double up on Prime to combat the slime coat shed when doing the 100% water changes. Also, if it's bad, might want to consider a tea bath as a preventive measure.
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  • AxolotlMama:
    I just wrote this on the post ^
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    Haha, great minds, right?
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    They sure do 😄!
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  • Jaeger:
    @AkemiYousei thanks so much. Will do. I have also given them a tea bath before, seems to work their gills are looking so much healthier, my golden albino is swimming around frantically trying to jump out, should i be worried? my wild type is fine
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  • AkemiYousei:
    Might be the stress, or the shedding bothering it
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  • AkemiYousei:
    Make sure s/he can't jump out, and maybe keep her in a undisturbed, darkened place for a bit. See if that calms the goldie.
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    I woke up to my golden axolotl covered complete white. what do i do
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    Just found out, hes dead. :(
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    :'(
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    @Jaeger, Oh no! Sorry to hear. :(
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    my axolotl has white balls on its gills and the feathers have shrunk
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    AxelTheAxolotl123: my axolotl has white balls on its gills and the feathers have shrunk +1
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