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My young Notophthalmus are growing up...

slowfoot

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Just a quick update for the month:

At least one eft is getting nice and bigl. He's the only one I see regularly. I think there are still three in the enclosure, but two of them almost never emerge from hiding. The largest eft is often out after I feed or mist them, though he still 'runs' from me when he sees me coming. He's growing really well, and definitely eating, which is a big step for me - I could never get the efts from previous breedings to eat. I'll find out soon how many efts are still alive in the enclosure after I move them to a new terrarium.

The smallest larva is still a larva! He's gotten bigger, but shows no other signs of wanting to leave the water. The bloat problem looks better, though his belly still looks odd to me. I tried to get a picture of it, but he goes crazy when he thinks he's about to be fed so I can't get a good shot. Otherwise, he's eating extremely well. I've started feeding him killed termites in addition to the frozen bloodworms. He's very easy to hand feed now. I still think his chances of making it are pretty slim, but he's a fighter.
 

slowfoot

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Time for another update:

I've now confirmed that there are two efts in the enclosure - both of them were out foraging this morning. They look nice and fat, and are a little bit over an inch long. They've grown more in girth than in length. I haven't seen the third metamorph at all, but it's possible he's still alive in there.

I'd like to start them on a more varied diet - termites are great, but I don't know if they'll provide everything the little guys need. I'll try cutting tiny earthworms up. Handfeeding will be difficult because they still hate me, but I want to give them the best chance possible. I've grown quite attached...

The larva is still a larva! He's changed color slightly - becoming paler and more uniformly colored - but his gills are not receding. The bloat problem seems to be completely cleared up and he's eating like a little pig. I would actually really love it if this guy became neotonic. I'm thinking of moving him to a much larger body of water - possibly his parents' old 10 gallon - to encourage him to stay in the water where life is good :D

Anyway, sorry for the lack of pics - I just didn't think a picture of my eft's retreating butt would be very interesting. They never stick around for the camera.
 

slowfoot

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Update time!

Reading through past updates, I realize that they're all pretty much exactly the same. Hopefully, today's will be more exciting.

I noticed the male newt doing the hula dance when I looked into the adults' tank this morning. I'm sure 'hula dance' is not the scientifically correct term, but that's what my Master's advisor always called it :D Anyway, courtship has started quite a bit earlier than last year and I'm hoping (and also dreading) that they lay again. I'm going to make an effort to give them away at the egg stage this time. I just don't have the time to look after so many larvae properly.

Speaking of larvae, my last larva remains, well... larval. He looks different, though: his gills are definitely much larger than they were before. I tried to get a picture of him this morning, but he's in a shy mood. He's also gotten bigger overall, but the gills have grown considerably compared to the rest of him. They're also a lot redder and his body color is changing slightly - becoming more greenish with more distinct dots. He's now eating live blackworms, and is still being handfed frozen bloodworms and termites.

The efts are doing well - they're much more active now. In the next few days I'm going to be moving them into a semi-permanent home: their parents' old 10 gallon. I'm positive that there are only 2 efts now, but maybe I'll find a surprise when I move them.

Anyway, the saga continues :)

eta: Okay, that was quick! The fatter of my two females just picked up a spermatophore. And the other one seemed interested as well. Mr. Newt doesn't even have nuptial pads yet!
 
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slowfoot

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I've successfully moved the two efts to their new home. It was a little stressful for them, I think, but they're well settled now. I found only two (as I expected). Both seem to be doing fine. I've put the tank in the spot that their parents used to occupy - right next to my computer - so hopefully they'll get more used to having a giant monster staring at them all the time.

Here are a few shots of the new place. I transferred most of their old cage furnishings into the new one, so there are some familiar hiding places.

efthome2.jpg
efthome3.jpg

Got a picture of the larvae yesterday. He's really gotten a lot more skittish over the past couple of weeks. Still eating well, though.

larva1.jpg

My adult females have started laying eggs... and eating them. I'll intervene once they really get going.
 

antcatcher11

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Maybe the larvae will be neotonic! lol! Awesome updates to! I wish efts were easier to care for so I could keep the one I found. :D
 

slowfoot

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Okay, question time:

My remaining larva has started losing his gills. It's been a really quick transition. However, he looks really different than my other larvae looked at metamorphosis: his body color is different, and he's got a huge tail that extends up onto his back. So, I'm stressed that either (a) there's something wrong with him, like an infection or fungus of the gills, or (b) he might go right from larval to aquatic.

If it's a disease, I don't really know if I can do anything about it - his water temp is already super chilled and he's so tiny, I'd be afraid to try anything. If he's just changing, how can I tell? I don't want to accidentally drown him :confused:

In other news, I tried feeding blackworms to my efts last night. They both seemed really interested, and kept sticking their noses in the bowl, but I don't think either of them ate any. Unfortunately, handfeeding is still out of the question because they hate me. Termites are going to be harder to get as the weather gets colder, so I'll have to find an alternative food source.

Oh, the joys of caring for young newts!
 

Jennewt

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For the remaining larva, just provide a land area to climb up, and I think he will morph normally like the others.

I would recommend starting some fruit fly cultures, and maybe some of the small white woodlice. Also, ask local pet shops if they can special order pinhead crickets. In my experience, dorsalis efts aren't willing to put their feet in water, and thus may not be able to take blackworms.
 

slowfoot

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Thanks, both of you.

I lowered the water level and added a few large rocks to his place. Hopefully, he'll be able to find his way out of the water if he needs to.

I tried fruit flies about 3 months ago for the efts, but they refused to eat them. I can always try again. My husband's an entomologist so he can hook me up with a steady supply of mutant drosophila. Blackworms would be so easy if they would just eat them, though :(
 

antcatcher11

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Cool that your husband is an entomologist! What does he focus of studying? Also have you tried other insects that are small and easy? I am sure that white worms would attract attention though they aren't good long term foods...
 

slowfoot

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Cool that your husband is an entomologist! What does he focus of studying? Also have you tried other insects that are small and easy? I am sure that white worms would attract attention though they aren't good long term foods...

Hey Joey,

Sorry I didn't check my own thread :eek: He studies apple maggot flies. I know they sound gross but they're actually pretty cool because they're a new species.

I actually have some Drosophila now, though the newts don't seem to know what to do with them. Also, false alarm on that larva apparently - he's decided not to undergo metamorphosis. Unfortunately, he seems to have entered the awkward teenage stage: he hates me now, too. I think I'll just let him hang out and see what he wants to do.

larvae3.JPG
 

slowfoot

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He looks great Erin, thanks for the update! It's pretty funny, I still have a larva in the water too...

There's always one... ;)

You should post some pictures of your guys - I'd love to see them and it would be nice to have something to compare my babies to.
 

antcatcher11

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It looks like he doesn't want to conform with her siblings! I am really starting to think she is neotonic. The color in the pic was orange like. Is that what it really is in person? Any way your making me addicted to notos! lol! :grin:
 

slowfoot

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It looks like he doesn't want to conform with her siblings! I am really starting to think she is neotonic. The color in the pic was orange like. Is that what it really is in person? Any way your making me addicted to notos! lol! :grin:

He/she (I should just give it a name!) is a very nice orange, but maybe not quite as orange as that last pic due to the odd lighting ;)

Speaking of color, I was staring at him/her today, trying to decide if it's ever going to come out of the water, and I noticed that his/her coloring is definitely more adult-like now. Even compared to the 2nd to last pic I took, it looks different. Maybe I shouldn't be calling it 'the larva' anymore. Anyway, here's the little guy today:

teen.JPG

Look at that cute face!

Anyway, I was also thinking about how the 'broken stripes' on my efts and larva are not red like their parents' stripes, but more of a bright orange. I wonder if that's the same as the firebelly situation: captive bred firebellies tend to have orange bellies, rather than red. Or maybe these guys just don't get the red until they're adults.

Has anyone ever seen a broken-striped eft in the wild? I tried looking it up on Web of Science, but the only paper I could find said this population doesn't have an eft stage, which is... odd. Things to ponder...
 

antcatcher11

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Well, I think the color isn't the same as in the wild because they are missing a certain prey item. I usually see a lot of those water striders where amphibians are. Any way a name would be very helpful! lol!
 

slowfoot

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No real update, just a couple of eft pictures from tonight. They're getting so big (1.5 inches ;))

bigeft.JPG

bigeft2.JPG
 
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  • Shane_Yogurt:
    yeah, im heading over tomorrow morning to move him to this house and feed him. Thanks for the help!
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  • Shane_Yogurt:
    So my axolotl tank cycle just crashed and while i was in the middle of a water change my bucket overflowed and spilled water all of the ground in my brand new home. This is going super well 👍
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    ooff
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    good luck recycling the tank!
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    do the classifieds still exist?
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    nevermind! off my game tonight
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    Im so frustrated right now. My axolotl WONT eat and my tank still isnt looking too good. Some extra stress i needed.
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    Sorry to hear that Shane. Did you post about it?
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  • Shane_Yogurt:
    No, I havent. Im not really sure why he wont eat. Hes in a 1 gallon tub and still a juvenile. When i offer food he swims away from it. Does he need some extra time? or is this something I should be worried about.
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    Hello everyone! I’m new in this world and i need some advices please! I have 2 axolotl babies and currently the water from the tank is from bottled water ( all parameters are good) but i want to change 50% of the water with city tap water. My question is how to change it? Do i need to get axis out, do the change, add the prime, wait (how much?) until its dechlorinated or i can add the tap water directly into the tank with axis in it, and add the prime conditioner? Thank you!!
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    1. You dont need to take them out of the tank to change the water as long as you pour it in slow as to not rattle them around too much
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    2. add the prime to your tap water, for most conditioners the consensus is 5 minutes of waiting time
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    3.After 5 minutes it should be safe to add
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    Thank you so much !!
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    I private messaged you a bit clearer instructions just in case
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    Where can I get blackworms?
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    Ebay or Eastern Aquatics
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  • Sylvia88:
    Hello I'm wondering if fridging axolotl is necessary when giving it a salt bath? My fridge is unpredictable it just changes from freezing temperature to melting by itself. And driving me crazy. So I would not be keen to put my axie in these because of the sudden temperature changes it may experience. Can I leave him in a clean dechlorinated water tub in some of the room? Would I then need to refrigerate the salt water ? Or would I just keep it in a same room temperature?! I have everything ready for him to get a salt bath but just wanted to check about this fridging before I do ( waited for approval to join the forum:)
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  • Sylvia88:
    FYI I noticed a white fluffy strings on his gills yesterday. And looking through the forum and some pictures it looks like fungus .
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