Food switching for juvenile axolotls

Ambercran

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Hi all!

My axies are roughly 2.5 inches now, and I’ve been feeding them exclusively bloodworms for the past month or so. I was doing a combination of baby brine shrimp and bloodworms before that (I got annoyed with the hatching process, and they seemed less and less interested so I bailed on the BBS).

I’ve just bought their larger tank, and will be starting to cycle it now for their eventual move in about another month (that’s probably longer than I need, but since I’m new I want to leave time for issues before they’re too big for what they’re in now). But now to the point of this: I want to start them on nightcrawlers, and have bought some from a pet store. How should I go about introducing them? They definitely need to be cut up to fairly small pieces now, and my axies don’t seem to like them. My wildtype will take a piece in and then just spit it back out. My albino just swims away. I don’t want to be cruel and just stop feeding them until they take the nightcrawler pieces out of desperation (if that can be avoided).

Other pertinent information: they usually eat twice a day. I soaked the nightcrawlers after I cut them up. I want to start changing food now so they don’t have two big changes when they move homes. They take the bloodworms just fine, so it isn’t a case of them not being hungry.

Thanks in advance!
 

Wyvell

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Nightcrawlers have a slime coat that is not very tasty to axolotls, I feed mine Red Wigglers because they are smaller and easier to clean the slime off of. If you are set on feeding Nightcrawlers try dipping them in really hot water first, this will kill the nightcrawler but also gets the slime off.
 

Hayleyy

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Nightcrawlers have a slime coat that is not very tasty to axolotls, I feed mine Red Wigglers because they are smaller and easier to clean the slime off of. If you are set on feeding Nightcrawlers try dipping them in really hot water first, this will kill the nightcrawler but also gets the slime off.
That's interesting, in my experience it's the opposite :wacko: Bucky gulps down whole nightcrawlers in a second, but if I try and use red wrigglers he will refuse them or spit them out. The wrigglers we have in our compost also leave a nasty smell on my hands (and sometimes a yellow discolouration). I've read quite a few people on here that it happens to as well. Are yours from a garden/compost or store bought?
 

Biev

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Just rinse the worms in water first. But if your axies still ignore them or spit them out, they are probably just not able to eat that big a piece yet. A good transition food you can use is frozen brine shrimp, which you should be able to find at your local fish store. They are larger than the freshly hatched nauplii, but less than a piece of earthworm, and more nutritious than bloodworms.
 
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  • MuggleMiChu:
    Help! I got my first axolotl two days ago and they have stopped eating. They ate a few frozen blood worms the first day and haven’t eaten or been interested in food since. I feed them frozen blood worms and the tank is around 64 degrees. I do have a filter that moves sometimes and I noticed them swimming up to it, I have a new filter and a fan coming today or tomorrow. I leave the worms in the tank or a little bit before taking them out so I don’t know if they ate when I wasn’t looking. I know it takes a while for them to digest. Does anyone have any tips or knowledge they can share? The pet store I bought them from didn’t have gravel or sand in the tank so I’m not sure if theres an issue or if I’m just impatient. Thank you!
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    @MuggleMiChu, how big they are? also for substrate, i would not do gravel at all I would either do sand or none at all!
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    They are about 2-3 inches long and I have them in a bare bottom tank
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    @MuggleMiChu I would say try live black/blood worms untell they are full or just turn there head away ( that's what mine do) if that does not work try to get some live brine shrimp and see if they eat that. baby axolotl prefer live food over frozen food as the frozen food is too cold for them or they can't eat it in one go( that's if you do the blocks) mine eat chopped up frozen thawed shrimp. as for them not eating from what I have experienced with my second axolotl, I got her when she was about an inch long and she ate every day, when they start getting 3-4 inches long they will gradually slow down there eating. and if you really want to do substrate I would do sand because if they do ingest a little bit it won't hurt them.
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    Thank you so much for the information and advice! They are eating again, they ate a lot today. I think it might have been stress from the move or digesting old food, I also noticed they ate some of the food left in the tank (I removed the rest). I’m going to keep the tank bare bottom.
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    @MuggleMiChu,your so welcome im glad to be of help! and I'm glad that they are eating as well!
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