How much to feed- skinny axolotl

notaphrodite

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Can anybody clarify for me please how much my axolotl should be eating??

I feed him freeze-dried brine shrimp, frozen bloodworms, and am trying to get him an appetite for a good carnivore pellet. I thought he was growing well but a recent forum response tells me he is VERY skinny. I feed him as much as he will eat twice a day.. can anybody give me a better idea of the quantity he should be eating?? He is about 4 inches long, i'm not sure his exact age, but approx. 6 months.

Any advice helps, please.. he is my first axolotl and I want nothing more than the best life for him!!:confused:
 

Kitan

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First, you are being a wonderful new owner. You clearly love this little guy a lot and asking for help is fantastic ? So let's work on that diet and get him beefed up!

Freeze dried anything is going to be bad. Freeze drying actually damages the nutritional value of what you are giving them not to mention its likely to make a mess while they eat it, since it breaks up so readily. Please make sure you are keeping an eye on your ammonia since both things you are feeding can cause a spike if you aren't very careful.

While good pellets are fine, getting 'lotl's to actually eat them usually requires light starvation as they don't "appear" to be good to the amphebian brain. Given that he's skinny, it maaay work. The BEST choice by far is Canadian nightcrawlers. You can get these at your local fish store (lfs) or a bait shop, though the former is highly preferable as you can be gaurenteed there are no unsafe additives. If you do go with bait, please do not get the colored ones (ie green).
 

notaphrodite

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Thank you SO much!! I had been staying away from the larger worms because I thought he was too small! When feeding them I know that they will need to be cut up to the right size for him to swallow, but overall how much should he be getting a day- nightcrawler wise??
 

Kitan

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You're welcome :)

So you can expect him to eat anywhere from a half to 3/4 of a worm a day. When I first got mine, she was about 5.5" and that is how much she would eat, but I had to cut the worm up into like 8 pieces. You are looking for pieces no bigger than the width of their head to begin with and if it is too long they will try and try to get it down before just getting fed up and spitting it out. They will also spit them out when their tummy is too full to fit any more. Once I got the sizing down pat, I would feed until she started spitting a piece out. I would try one more time with the same piece and if she refuses or spits it out again, I know she is done. at 6-6.5" she is now taking a whole worm daily, cut into 4 pieces.

So, tf do you do with all the rest of the worm, right? What I do is put the remainder in a small container with a small amount of water and fridge; if the worm is moving the next day, it is fed. If it is dead, it is tossed :)

Also, get yourself a pair of long tongs to make feeding easier and keep a piece of paper towel handy. Tongs will make it so you dont drop pieces as often\they are easier to retrieve and the paper towel is because the worm will produce a LOT of slime once cut as a defensive mechanism, so you might need to wipe the pieced off before feeding them so you dont drop them :grin: I keep the worm that is about to be fed in cold water in dish, cut it in half to start and then just work at one piece until it is finished being eaten before moving on to the next half. Also USE SCISSORS. Clean snips. Try not to be too concerned about them suffering; worms have a very simple nerve system and, as such, just register damage as opposed to pain, apparently.

Let me know if you have any other questions :)
 
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