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Alice28

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Hello everyone I hope someone on here can help me. My children brought me an axolotl for my birthday I didn't know they were planning to but I mentioned I liked them. They brought it from someone off gumtree with the tank etc apparently I am the third owner .... Anyway when they turned up with my gift I panicked ! I know a little about the tank cycling system but I had no chance to do this. I de chlorinated the water using a liquid. Introduced him to his tank by leaving the fish bag he was in submerged in the water for about 20 minutes. Water temp is a good 14 degrees steady. I assume as its his old tank and filter it will have some beneficial bacteria and have been cycled so that's a plus. I know this isn't ideal but I need now to give this little chap the best I can. He is eating earth worms about 4 small ones for the past 3 days as he won't eat the pellets he came with. I have had him since Sunday so not a week yet. The thing that is worrying me is he won't move. I mean I watch him on and off most of the day and he just sits there. He isn't crumpled up he simply sits behind a plastic plant and does nothing. Is this normal. ? I put it down to shock and the move but like I say he is eating well. Could anyone offer me any advice. I am researching and reading all I can buy I can't find out how active these little chaps should be. It's irresponsible the way he has been treated in well aware of that. I can't change what's happened so I need to do my best here on ... Thank you.
 

Calgarycoppers

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First Congrats !!

Second adults are lazy beasts but let get you set up for success to prevent any issues.

Did he come with a test kit ?
You need to ensure the tank is cycled with daily testing as ammonia and nitrite are toxic at any level and cause burns.

Earth worms are the best food - feed until he refuses anymore - if he refuses worms out right dip in boiling water as the slime coat can be a problem and some times dipping in fresh garlic juice or seachem garlic guard helps.

I can post my big care guide with all the links to other mini handouts if you'd like
 

Alice28

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Oh thank you so much. He has actually moved this afternoon it's like he knew I was talking about him 😂. I know it may sound silly but we have an African clawed frog which floats about but is really quite active so I guess I was worried about this little chap being so slow but if that's normal im happy ! I have a test kit and tested it yesterday all was zero ( nitrates nitrites and ammonia) the water we have here is hard water which I believe is good. I have a friend who keeps and sells fish and he advised me to change about 20% of the water on Sunday ( that will be after a week ) and I will keep testing regularly. But any advice you can offer I'll gladly accept thank you so much 🙂. He has nothing on the floor of the tank would you advise sand or slate tiles ?
 

Calgarycoppers

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if your Nitrates are zero that concerning. It means the filter may not be cycled. Please test daily.

If your friend can bring you some seeded media or from another tank that will help a ton.

Axolotls are an extremely high bioload - I recommend testing before water change. Depending on your readings depends on the amount. I change 33-75% weekly in my tanks - I have 10 axolotl tanks lolol
 

Alice28

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Ok I will test every day. I really want to get this right. My friend advised me about the filter he said it will need to be cleaned out but if it's a sponge filter and it's been used before with this tank and axolotl then I shoukd maybe cut the sponge in two and clean one half thus keeping the good bacteria ( if there is any ) and rotate this so the filter keeps working but is maintaining the balance in the tank. I hope I am making sense. This is all so new to me but I am so happy he is looking more comfortable and moving about a bit. I'll keep digging up the worms ,!
 

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I use a hang on the back and a sponge filter and only clean 1 or the other every other month - I make sure both filters are rated for at least 1.5-2 times the size of the tank.

I prefer canister or Aquaclear - Only use sponge and ceramic bio media.
When you do a clean on the sponges only use old tank water to squeeze them in or dechlorinated water as tap water will kill the bacteria. the ceramic bio media never really needs cleaning. You do not need any ammonia rid or carbon or anything. You can use Purigen if you want.
 
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To help with water parameters I would recommend getting live plants! Sand works great for plants and axies, so that’s what I would advise for a substrate. Best of luck!
 

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Thank you so much. So update. ... I checked again the water perimeters. Ammonia 0 nitrite 0 but nitrates 30+ yikes !! I took 10ltres of water out and replaced should I wash filter sponge ? I looked at it, it's a big filter 3 removable sponges in trays that lift out. Thank you all. Also is it normal for the axolotl to eat a worm then regurgitate im only giving small ones but it kind of struggles a bit but eventually they go down 👍
 

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30-40 is still safe and yes a water change is the right thing - if you want the number in half change half the water.

If you want to wash the filter sponge only do 1 every month and always use tank water to squeeze it out in or dechlorinated water.

As for worms. yes many do this as many species of worms have a very bitter gross slime coat. You can try dipping in boiling water for a few seconds before feeding. or soaking in some garlic juice for a few seconds.
 
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