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Keeping axolotls by Linda Adkins

Bellabelloo

Julia
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Keeping Axolotls by Linda Adkins.
Interpet ISBN 978-1-84280-6215-5
Hardback,64 pages.


The author is a senior member of staff at Hertfordshire Fisheries, specialising in ponds, wildlife. She started out writing a short guide.


The book is very easy to read and well set out. Plenty of photos through out covering axolotl, development, tanks. plants foods and so on.. She covered setting up the tank, cycling etc really well. The development of the eggs and larvae where helpful too . Over all as a guide to keeping axolotl , I found the book very helpful.

There where a number of areas however caused mild concern. Early in the book in a chapter headed 'Metamorphosis and peculiarities' she says the axolotl can spontaneously turn into a salamander, She describes ways that this may be achieved, but does stress that they may well be short lived and are less interesting.

The substrate she advises is 4-6.5 mm pea gravel ( small rounded gravel), she does not recommend sand as this can lodge in the stomach and cause death.

In the feeding section she suggests pond dipping, spring time is great as you can catch tadpoles to feed your axolotl.

One point that she does mention fairly often is how sociable axolotl are, that they can form strong bonds with their tank mates and on occasion may pine if one is removed. I found her comments here interesting.
 

Jadore axolotl

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Thanks for that Julia!
I ordered this book about a week ago and will have it in about another two weeks!
The joys of shipping from US to Ireland eh... (and then the next day on amazon the book was there cheaper and shipped from UK so I could have had it by now!) Hope it's worth the wait.
 

Jadore axolotl

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Just got this book about10 minutes ago and on page 4 "introducing axolotls" it states that an axolotl is a reptile... I wonder what other discrepancies are in the book.
 

Darkmaverick

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I have not read or seen this book for sale before, however based on the reviews and comments made so far, i am appalled that such a publication can actually reach the shelves in the first place.

For books that are meant to educate, and which will greatly impact pet welfare, factual accuracy backed up by peer-reviewed scientific literature as references is paramount.

One or two mininformation is really quite unacceptable already, much less so many accounts of misleading information. The 'axolotl is a reptile' bit actually get me rather livid. This book should be reported and taken off the shelves.

I can understand the possibility of some discrepancies if the book is published a long time ago before recent advances. However, this standard is completely unacceptable, especially for a person with a background 'specialising' in this area.

:violent:
 

Jadore axolotl

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She seems to class amphibians in general as reptiles in the book ans when she was explaining colours she calls "wildtype" the "greentype" although i guess it doesn't really matter. I'm going to read it all now and then list out what i see that is wrong.
 

Bellabelloo

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Today I visited Hertfordshire Fisheries, Linda Adkins is a senior member of staff here.
I have to say it was an accidental visit, and that I had forgotten about this book until I saw a tank of axolotl and her books displayed all around it.
My initial thought had been seeing the axolotl on small gravel...I tutted and was about to make a bee line for the first member of staff. But I then looked more closely at the axolotl and they all looked really well. The tank was large with plenty of plants. It looked clean, the filter seemed to be a little strong, but the axolotl looked very happy. There was no signs of stress and their gills all looked perky and no curled tails. Every axolotl had all its limbs and gills..in fact they looked great. The whole site was impressive. Next time I visit I will see if I can find Linda ;)
 

darkfaerie

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She states on page 4 that they are "not fish but reptiles, specifically amphibian neotones" which suggest to me she knows what she's talking about by providing an explanation. All in all, I found the book to be really useful. I guess I was more interested in the information rather than pulling apart any generalisations.
 

peter5930

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She states on page 4 that they are "not fish but reptiles, specifically amphibian neotones" which suggest to me she knows what she's talking about by providing an explanation. All in all, I found the book to be really useful. I guess I was more interested in the information rather than pulling apart any generalisations.

That's rather like describing humans as 'not fish but reptiles, specifically mammals'. In fact, that would be more accurate (but still horribly wrong), since humans at least had reptile-like ancestors way back in the Carboniferous and Permian, whereas modern amphibians have never had any reptile-like ancestors.
 

Paivi

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Hi Julia,
Thank you for your review! I have this book, it's the only one I found available on Axolotls here in Australia, and its differing instructions on gravel etc has had me confused and even infuriated :happy: I would very much like to know, if you ever went back there and spoke to her, how did she explain this totally opposite point of view. And has she actually had experience of Axolotls dying of swallowing sand (as she does point out this could happen). Our Axolotl tank has the pea gravel, based on her advise, and I'm somewhat concerned of the whole issue.
Having said that, my kids love the photos in the book, and my daughter just made a speach about Axolotls at school, and used the book as part of her research material. She found it easy to read and understand (she is 9). :happy:
 

Klasta

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I would really just ignore everything, that somebody who says amfibians are a sub-species of reptiles, says. It's complete nonsense and it would be correcter to state that an axolotl is a fish than stating it's a reptile. amfibians in their early larval stages are near identical of macroscopic build as some fish-species and an axolotl is a neotenic amfibians, hence it's stuck in the larval phase.

I have gravel in my tank because it's the best thing you can have for a healthy bacterial activity in your tank. To counter the risk of gravel-caused constipation, I handfeed my axie. It's not always fun (since they can be quite bipolar on terms of food) but it is one of the better options.
Another thing you could when you have a gravel-covered tank, is putting a large flat stone in a corner on which you feed them, again minimizing the risk of swallowing gravel.
 

Boidzy

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"Unique resource for a growing audience of axolotl owners"
Was this book really a good guide for people in 2009?
I have been sent it by a relative that thought they were being helpful.
It should have a new title "How not to keep Axolotls"
Is this woman still a "Leading Breeder" and if so why would she allow this book to still be sold?
There are people that would use this book as a keepers bible!
:eek:
 

mrmorrell

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I have just read the reviews on Amazon and stayed away from this book based on the comments. basically, the points mentioned here were brought out along with the recommendation, "only for the beginner". It is interesting that Julia has recently visited Hertfordshire Fisheries and found it to be acceptable. I would be interested to hear Linda's response to some of these questions if Julia was able to speak to her.

I just ordered the following Kindle versions of the following based on the reviews:
Axolotls, Mexican Salamanders as Pets. Axolotls care, facts, diet, aquarium, habitat, breeding, diseases and where to buy all included. The Axolotl Complete Owner's Guide.
Elliott Lang
Axolotl. Facts & Information: A Complete Pet Owner's Guide.
Lolly Brown

 
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