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:
 
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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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    We have an axolotl called Jasper who is approx 3 years old. He was being attacked by his companion so we separated them. He has healed his wounds now but has got very thin. his lips have turned black. he was just looking still and dead at times but ears moved so we knew he was still alive. Hold earthworms right in front of him which after some time he will take you think good he is eating but then it pops straight out again. At the moment he is in the fridge. Not sure what else to do if he can't or won't eat !!
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    Hi Jasper 2021,
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  • Wyn1993:
    I am new to axolotls myself and one thing I learnt was that earth worms when in distress give off an awful taste - have you tried live river shrimp? Mine really like these and are always happy to 'bite' - I also give them live crickets and pellets which are really pungeant in smell and they always take these - even wait at the glass for them! So sorry to hear he was being attacked by his companion!
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    Hi, just wondering if anyone could help with our axy, she absolutely loves her food and we've notice tonight after her worms( that she ate in one mouthful) that she ue was struggling to get up to the top for air. She's never done this before, she usually goes up every 5-10 mins or so. She is 6 months old and seems very healthy. Could it be a problem with our water level or water quality or could she just be to full?
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