Johnny's Pellets for Axolotls

SludgeMunkey

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Here is the recipe I came up with for axolotl pellets. I feed these in the off season around here once or twice a week when many live foods are unavailable to me.

A few notes before we get started:

Go to the thrift store and buy a used blender. Your significant other/parents will kill you if you use the one in your kitchen.

This is a messy process with quite a bit of stink involved. It is best to do this project outside.

These pellets, while dry, should be stored in the freezer in an airtight container. I use a vaccuum sealer to package mine.

You get to kill live bugs and worms for this project, if you are a bit squeemish, you may be better off buying pellets.


Equipment/ Materials needed:

-Blender with GLASS pitcher and metal blades
-Disposable plastic storage containers (like Ziploc disposables)
-Vacuum sealer and bags (Ziploc makes a cheap one that works great!)
-Disposable Frosting bag, and nozzel (use the nozzel with the 1/4 inch hole, or make the hole bigger)
-Waxed Paper (like for baking)
-Large Plastic Mixing bowl
-Rubber spatula
-Paper towling
-disposable spoons

-1 lbs (1 bulk packages) San Fransico Bay brand or Hikari Brand Frozen Bloodworms (The bulk slabs, not the cubes)

-1lb frozen Bulk Brine Shrimp

-1 lbs live worms (I prefer Lumbricus terrestris, avoid Eisenia foetida) preferably gut loaded with Goldfish Flakes

-1200 Large Live Crickets (about 1/4 lb), gutloaded on Goldfish Flakes (or use grasshoppers, Brown Junebugs, brown may beetles, etc)

-1 Box of Knox Unflavored Gelatin packets, or equivlent

-1 gallon of Spring Water


1. Place the container with the crickets in your freezer for at least one hour. Warm up the spring water in the microwave. DO NOT BOIL! Lukewarm (130F) is perfect.
2. Thaw out the Bloodworms and the Brine Shimp in a plastic bowl, keep all the liquid!
3. Place the worms a handful at a time in the blender and set it to Whip, untill all the worms are blended into a disgusting milkshake. Add small amounts of spring water to ensure an even consistency.
4. Add the thawed brine shrimp and bloodworms and all the liquid from thawing to the worm slurry. Liquify untill you have a nice even consistency. Your mix should be a pinkish brown by now.
5. Fetch the now dead gut loaded crickets and blend them in also. If you blender is not big enough to hold the entire mix, pour some into the bowl you used to thaw out the shrimp and bloodworms in.
6. Continue blending on the Whip setting until the whole mess is of even consistency. Add warm spring water as needed to get it about the same consistency as warm gravy.
7. The mix should be thin enough to pour easily. If it does not pour easily, add more spring water and continue to blend untill it is. Try to get all the lumps blended out.
8. While the blender is running, lay out some sheets of waxed paper and get your frosting bag ready.
9. Blend two packets of Knox Unflavored Gelatin (dissolve the packets into one cup boiling spring water first) into the warm mix. Blend It thouroghly!
10. Now you need to work quickly! Pour some of the mix into the frosting bag and sqweeze it out in long, thick (about 1/4 inch wide) even stripes on the waxed paper. Continue to do this untill all the mix is on the waxed paper.
11. Go have lunch and clean your blender and bowl.
12. The pellet mix will set up into a thick stick. Let this dry in direct sunlight for a few hours, or use your oven set on warm. A food dehydrator works best!
13. Once the sticks have dried up, but are still somewhat moist, break them into pellets about 3/4 of an inch long and store them in vacuum pack bags in the freezer.

These pellets have a high nutritonal value, and can be fed as a staple to axolotls and other salamanders/newts when live foods are not readily available. They have a shelf life of about one year when kept frozen in an airtight container. These pellets do not float when thawed out and are readily eaten by my axolotls.
 

SludgeMunkey

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Ohh!

Mysis shrimp!

Now that is something I had forgotten about.

I will have to try your recipe out! Agar-Agar is the vegetable alternative for gelatin, however I have never worked with it. Guess I will have to give that a try too. I cheat on the vitamin supplements and go for what the good folks at Hikari add, in addition to those loaded worms and crickets.
 

Melmo

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I have to say, this is revolting. If I ever try this it would be the first time I would actually blend insects. Props to you though, this is a great idea.
 

SludgeMunkey

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The worm blending is the worst part. I usually have to step away and get some air after the initial blending...:eek:
 

AU SalamanderRG

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Oh wow. These sound too good to simply JUST be for salamanders/newts. These sound good enough to be MONSTER fish pellets!:D
 

SludgeMunkey

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Just a bump as this has come up in conversation recently. And, it is old enough to be a bit hard to find in the archives.

Any yes, I still use this process, though I use the pellets only when I cannot get worms.
 

Coastal Groovin

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I just was caught by the wife grinding up dried leaves in the blender. I'm sure this will go over any better.....lol.
 

SludgeMunkey

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My wife gave up long ago. Now she just asks by weight, what I need from Petco. :crazy:
 
J

jcj57

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Lucky I'm able to access live food all year round and my axis are quite happy eating the commercial pellets. I'm glad the net does not come with smellavision, must look disgusting, lol
 

axiesoph

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If you did not want to blend worms... Ewwww. What kind of pellets available in stores can people recommend?
 

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Would freezing the worms kill them? Whilst I can feed them live, I couldn't do the blending thing *shudders*
 

Otterwoman

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Freezing worms will kill them and when you defrost them you will be greeted by the most putrid, foul-smelling unusable mess you have ever seen or smelled.
 

Waterdog2017

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I was wondering how much does this make and if you feed it regularly how long does one batch last
 
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    This is regarding the California slender garden salamanders.
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    I had a axolotl hatch after 7 days of being layed and my brine shrimp won't be ready till Monday for feeding. Will he be able to make it or is there anything I can try feeding him in the meantime?
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    I do not have my Axolotl’s yet waiting for my cycle to complete! I am towards the end of my 30g fishless cycle. It has been a long journey. I have easily been processing 4ppm of ammonia in 24 hours for about a week.Each night I add 4ppm ammonia ( Dr Tims) and test every 12 hrs and nitrites read around 2ppm but when I test after 24hrs they are at 0 nitrites. I am using API master Kit. Should nitrites be constantly 0 in a 24 hour period or is a spike 12 hours later normal? Is my tank cycled? PH- is 7.4 Nitrates- 40ppm and will do water change once I am sure tank is cycled
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    I'm not a Axolotl keeper but that sounds good
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    Also, she was fine at the higher temperature. Perfectly healthy and never showed signs of de stress. Just thought it being colder would make her happier and digest a little slower! (She’s a pig :p )
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    @Paige1warren That should be fine. I wouldn't suddenly put her in very cold water without acclimatisation, but a few degrees over the course of two hours shouldn't be a problem at all.
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    Is anyone online? I need help badly
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    I have had my 2 axolotls since June 2020 and I had hoped they would mature the same gender but unfortunately they are not. I am currently on vacation and planned to separate them once I returned, my axolotls are currently being cared for by a friend who knows the basics to care for them properly. A melanoid and a leucistic. I had a feeling but didn't prioritize it enough and now I have many many eggs in the tank with both of my axolotls. I have zero experience with eggs and cannot really care for juvenile axolotls but I really DO NOT want to kill them. What should I do? Are my axolotls okay being in the same tank with them? would the eggs be okay all together in a tank by themselves? Where can I find someone to care for them and hatch them?I'm so stressed and worried I just want the best for them all.
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    you are going to have to get a bucket and put the eggs in that. they can hatch anytime between 11 and 20 days. order in brine shrimp eggs and get your friend to watch a video on hatching them. make sure your friend does 100% water changes every day. keep the water around 64digres and make sure your friend sends daily updates on them. i found kitchen salt works for the brine shrimp eggs. hope this helps.
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    @Paige1warren, Since you took it out straight away it should be ok but I'd still be doing a big water change. When I was a teen, I took some rocks from outside, washed them (probably in soap) and put them in my turtle tank. He died a week or so later and I've never used any rocks from the garden since because you just don't know what's been on them, such as pesticide and I suppose the mineral composition of the rock comes in to play too. Letting them dry for a few days before adding them also would have helped so you should be fine
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    @Saturn, okay, thank you so much! Firstly, I’m so sorry about your turtle :(. My lotl seems to be fine, I haven’t noticed any changes or signs of destress. I do 25% weekly water changes (I have a fully cycled tank), but I will do a 50% change today. I hope that everything turns out fine. Axies are pretty good at showing they are not well or stressed so I’m hoping that I got the rocks out fast enough. Thank you again!
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