First time breeder needing advice asap :)

JodeeC

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Hi thanks for such a great site!!! I have accidentally (not intentionally) bread my axolotls and have successfully had over 100 hatch Until today all seemed to be going fantastically - They are eating baby brine shrimp that I hatch myself (something I had to learn to do very quickly!). Anyway today I came home to find a lot of the babies are floating around the top of the water and some are swimming around erratically (kind of thrashing about). - What could be the cause of this?? I tested the water for ammonia PH and both are in the allowable ranges. The temp is 19deg. They are in a container approx 30cm x 20cm and have an air stone to aerate the water...I change part of the water every day and suck up any uneaten food.... Am i missing something?? Im new to this site so apologies if this is in the wrong section of the forum (I'm a little more than lost lol).
 

keiko

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What are your exact water parameters? To me it sounds like there's something wrong with the water. Also a 30 x 20 cm container for over 100 babies seems pretty small -> the water will go bad fast.
 

JodeeC

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Thanks for your reply :) Ok so temp is 19 Ammonia was showing at 0.1ppm and PH is 7.3 - I have a bigger container ready for them to go into - should i move them into asap?
 

auntiejude

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I would be separating them about now, into smaller groups. Firstly to ensure that if there is a problem such as water quality it doesn't affect all the babies, and secondly because they will grow at an amazingly fast rate and will need more space.

Sounds like you have a water quality issue to me, most people do a 100% water change daily with babies as they are more succeptible to ammonia.
 

axowattyl

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I would be separating them about now, into smaller groups. Firstly to ensure that if there is a problem such as water quality it doesn't affect all the babies, and secondly because they will grow at an amazingly fast rate and will need more space.

Sounds like you have a water quality issue to me, most people do a 100% water change daily with babies as they are more succeptible to ammonia.
Hi Auntiejude,

Is it OK to change 100% of the water and not shock them?

I mean fair enough you can get the temps the same sitting the new water in the same place, but there's going to be inevitable differences in parameters (which is why its got to be done), are they going to upset the babies?

How would you go about it, like would you pour the lot through a net then drop them in a new container of water?

How many babies (max) in what sized containers would you use?

Obviously I've got a batch about to come off and am a little concerned now...
 

auntiejude

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I have never had a problem with 100% changes as long as the temp is the same.
I keep the babies in groups of 20 until they get their front legs, then thin them out to 10s in 5L tubs. And yes, I find the easiest way to move them is with a net - and TBH the little darlings learn to avoid a net very quickly so gently pouring the whole tub through a net is easier than trying to catch them!

But I guess it depends on how many babies you are raising - if it's 50 or so it's not hard to change 5 tubs, if you're going for 200 it might be harder.

I have found that 2" is the smallest they can cope with a filter, before that they get stressed by the current and get buffetted about too much, so I move them into cycled tanks at about 2.5-3 inches.

I'm sure other breeders have other methods too.
 

JodeeC

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Ok so an update on my babies, Ive taken the advice above and have now transferred them to a larger container and sectioned them into groups. I have done a 100% water change (making sure temp was the same). I have noticed that the ones floating have air bubbles in their bellies...... what would cause this after 6 days of eating and how can i help them to expel the air?? also thanks for taking the time to reply :D - I have an air stone in the water to keep it aerated - would this be causing the problem??
 

auntiejude

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The airstone won't be contributing to the floating, but it's not really recommended for tiny larvae as the current created can stress them.

It is very common for small larvae to get air bubbles, it's just one of those things that happen, some of them will survive and some won't. Give them something to wedge themselves under, such as some floating weed, and make sure they are able to feed.
 

JodeeC

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Oh ok - I will buy them some weed today. Ill also reduce the water level to feed them so they get a chance to eat :). Thanks again for replying
 

axowattyl

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Oh ok - I will buy them some weed today. Ill also reduce the water level to feed them so they get a chance to eat :). Thanks again for replying
So we're buying WEED for our axolotls now!!??

Talk about pampered...

(sorry, couldn't help myself)
 

Zaddiegirl

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Hope this post isn't to late to help! When my babies were still under 2 inches, I noticed if I was late feeding them they would float and "wobble" around. I also concluded it was air in their bellies. So, in addition to feeding them on time every 12 hrs, when they had trouble with bubbles and could not feed well, I put them in a small dish (2-3 cups volume) with only an inch of water and fed them there, they were always better within 12 hrs.
 

JodeeC

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Hope this post isn't to late to help! When my babies were still under 2 inches, I noticed if I was late feeding them they would float and "wobble" around. I also concluded it was air in their bellies. So, in addition to feeding them on time every 12 hrs, when they had trouble with bubbles and could not feed well, I put them in a small dish (2-3 cups volume) with only an inch of water and fed them there, they were always better within 12 hrs.
no not to late to help at all :D i will give that a go as they were still floating today :(
 
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