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New To Axolotl..HELP PLS

A

albino

Guest
Hi all, im new to the axolotl world although have done alot of research. I have purchased a 4ft enclosure.

Wondering what is suitable for substrate? gravel etc?

I have heard that ammonia balls keep ammonia levels down.. is that true?

I also heard that with axolotl that you dont need to wait a month till the bacteria has been established..

Can i please get some opinions on this..

thanks.

P.S. i have a friend whos axo has white gills which were previously red..i think its fungus..hes using a substance that contains malachite green..dont know what will work and what to do..

Any help greatly appreciated.
 
M

mary

Guest
ok, you should wait a while for bacteria and stuff to get all settled in - but i don't think a month is necessary.

malachite green is really bad for axolotls (any one please correct me if im wrong/confussed).

Also i use gravel on the bottom of my tank - i hand feed my axis so it's not really a problem with them eating it. but if you are planning on using food that they have to eat off of the ground - use somthing bigger that they can't swallow. I've heard sand is good, but i've never used it so i don't know.

hope this helps.
 
C

cpr153z

Guest
how long do you think i should leave the setup running for before adding axos? about 1 week?

I have a brand new ammonia ball i havent used, should i add that to the tank? and add the axos straight away? since it gets rid of ammonia?

Ill need ammonia/nitrite/nitrate testing kits right?

What happens when the levels of ammonia/nitrite or nitrate get high? what can be done to fix it?

Also, ammonia and nitrate should be 0 shouldnt it ?
 
M

mary

Guest
I'm talking to you in chat right now - so i'll answer your questions (if i can) there
 
K

kim

Guest
All set ups should be left for one month. This lets the water do it Cycling etc otherwise you may have a build up of toxins that can be dangerous to even fish.

I had samll gravel, but since my Spunky passed away and it was what i thought the cause was(ened up not being gravel it was an infection) i took it out and put sand in there.

Ive not/used an ammonia ball so i cant comment.

You should have an air stone and a filter in the tank as well.

BTW white gills arnt a good sign at all!

I have also heard that malachite green is not advised to use with axos.

I have an all in one test kit. i test once a week and keep an eye on the results. And yes they should really be o.
 
C

cpr153z

Guest
Ammonia balls are known to keep ammonia away..

If ammonia levels and nitrite levels are too high what brings them down? :/

With an ammonia ball in there will the tank cycle while amonnia is leaving?
 
K

kaysie

Guest
For doing 'a lot of research', you sure have a lot of questions.

If ammonia/nitrite levels are high, a water change will bring them down. after your tank is cycled (and if you have live plants to help reduce these), you'll probably only need to do a 20% water change every 2 weeks or so. But you need to keep an eye on levels while the tank is cycling.

read http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/waterquality.shtml and http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/cyclingEDK.shtml

these should answer your questions
 
J

jenny

Guest
ok i feel really bad! all this talk about chemicals etc....my tank i just filled with water and put them in then sorted the filter the next day...i did wash the stones first though! lol but they have been there a month and are fine. the tank is really slimey though i need to sort that (but stil waiting for my mum to sort chest of drawers out so i can clean the tank and fill water to top but cant now cos itl be to heavy etc etc...sounds like im makin excuses but itd just be so much easier)

with these test kit things u can buy that cost like £18 do they only test once or can u do numerous tests??
 
J

jenny

Guest
i used the gravel cleaner on it for a bit yesterday and omg the c*** that came out of it! dead worms n everythin! its just way to much to gravel clean! i REALLR REALLY REALLY want coloured gravel thats like one inch big!

just outa curiosity....i have big pieces of slate rock in there and have made like hidy spots by slanting one on another...liz used to go under it now she seems to go rest on top of it instead. is this just that she has found a new spot to rest or does this mean anythin cos of the water?
 
K

kim

Guest
Jenny stop worrying about everything.

She only changed her 'place'.

You are also best to clean the tank with the cleaner everytime you feed them... it makes the tank stay cleaner and stops the build up of toxins etc.

You can find out how many testes these tset kits do by reading the side of the box mine does around 200. But you need to test once a week or at least every 2 weeks and keep a record of it.

And one more thing any water you put in the tank either must stand for 24 hours or you have used declorinator.
 
K

katy

Guest
yeah jenny, i only had my tank set up for a day or two before i got my first axy, so you're not the only naughty one ;)

big stones are actually harder to clean than little gravel because there's more space for the food/etc to fall into. i had to add sand to my tank to fill the space between the river stones, and now it's heaps easier to clean.
 
C

cpr153z

Guest
if u put ur water in for a day or two then put ur axys in dont they die or get sick?

or can u keep the ammonia down by doing water changes? will it still cycle tho?
 
L

leah

Guest
Cpr- "Cycling" is the process of building up nitrifying bacteria in your tank. As waste decomposes in the water (leftover food, poop, etc.) it creates ammonia. Ammonia is highly toxic to fish, shrimp, axolotls, ANYTHING that's living in the water. Ammonia toxicity also increases as the pH and temperature of a tank increase. Axies like cold water and a slightly higher than neutral pH, so people who say it's less toxic to them may be right, but it's still deadly if the levels get too high. Ammonia burns their skin and gills and eventually weakens their immune system, leaving them open to all kinds of scary infections. Columnaris, for one, loves to grow in cold, slow circulating water (ideal for axies!), and it's a quick, opportunistic killer that's hard to treat and eradicate afterwards so yeah... ammonia is dangerous!

The nitrifying bacteria, or the beneficial bacteria in a tank get rid of this toxic ammonia by converting it to nitrite. Nitrite is also deadly- it affects the oxygen carrying capabilities of the blood by reducing the blood's ability to absorb oxygen. This means your axolotl, who'd already be stressed from the ammonia peak, now has to contend with low oxygen levels in addition to a weakened immune system. Some airation in the tank would help a bit, but I personally wouldn't risk cycling a new tank with ANY animal in it. Better to wait till everything's settled!

The next and final step in the cycle is the conversion of nitrite into nitrate (watch these two similar words, people get them confused.) Nitrate is generally considered "safe" to aquatic life-forms, but you still have to monitor the nitrate levels and keep them under control. THIS is where your water changes come in.

* * * *

You'll read some places that you should put some zebra danios, or a few goldfish in a tank to start the cycle. This will work, because all fish produce waste for the bacteria to break down, but it's cruel and will probably kill the fish. Instead, throw a piece of shrimp into the tank, and leave it alone. Doing water changes during the cycling process lengthens the time the tank will take to cycle, and if there's nothing in the tank, you don't really have a reason to change water anyway, so DON'T. Your filter should be running at this point as well.

For a tank your size, it WILL take AT LEAST a month to cycle. Bigger tanks take longer than small ones, because they need to build a larger bacterial population. You'll know your cycle is complete when your ammonia levels read ZERO, your nitrite levels also read ZERO, and your nitrate reads LESS than 20. You should be testing often to monitor these levels throughout the cycle, so you'll know when it's done. You'll see an ammonia peak first, then the nitrites will skyrocket, and finally, no presence of either ammonia or nitrite.

20 or less nitrate is safe, but you'll need to do regular water changes to keep them under control- makes sense if you think about it. There's nothing converting the nitrate into a different form, so as more and more ammonia/nitrite gets converted, the nitrate just keeps building! Keep up with weekly 10-20% water changes, and you'll be fine. Water changes also help prevent buildups of any heavy metals or other toxins that you can't test for (these would build up if you were only topping up evaporated water, rather than removing old water)and will help keep algae under control.

You'll also need to vacuum the gravel lightly with each water change, to get the crud out. You should rinse your filter media (sponge, and carbon if you use it) in TANK water with water changes as well. I say to rinse these in tank water, because a lot of the biological filtration (bacteria) happens inside your filter. Bacteria grow in the sponge, and rinsing with TAP water would kill the bacteria. When adding new water to the tank, always make sure it's been dechlorinated, and try to match the temperature and pH of the new water with that of the tank. The less fluctuation in the system, the better, as a stable environment encourages a healthier, bigger bacterial population.

* * * *

It sounds like you're doing a great job researching your axolotls before getting them, which is great to see! Have you decided how many you'll get? I haven't had mine for long, but I'm already addicted and planning on getting another!
Good luck with yours, I'm sure you'll do a fantastic job!
biggrin.gif
 
L

leah

Guest
I should have added- ammonia balls and other products that say they remove ammonia/nitrite/nitrate, aren't all proven to work, and are no substitute for a properly cycled and stable tank. It's worth the wait in the long run, for your axie's health and your peace of mind.
 
C

cpr153z

Guest
thanks alot Leah!!

So keeping an ammonia ball in there until cycling starts up is no use? it will keep the ammonia down while cycling starts up wont it? sorry for the questions, jsut want to understand everything to the fullest!
 
L

leah

Guest
Glad to help
happy.gif


How do the ammonia balls work? Do they absorb ammonia, or change it into a non-toxic form? I've never used them myself, so I couldn't recommend it...

Keeping the ammonia down until/while it cycles through water changes or other (chemical) means can only slow the process, from what I know. Ammonia in itself isn't bad, as long as there are no fish/animals in the tank while it's present. If you MUST have your axolotl while the tank cycles, I'd keep it in a bucket o tupperware container and change the water daily, while the tank cycles.

There is a product that does work "instantly" to cycle a tank, called Bio-Spira. It's basically a bottle full of LIVE nitrifying bacteria in solution. Adding Bio-Spira to a tank will cycle it within a day or two, but you might not be able to get it in Australia. The other thing to ask, if you can get it, is how it was shipped to the store. I've seen pet shops ship it in... FROZEN. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the bacteria don't take well to being frozen?! Dead bacteria are no good, and to my knowledge this is the only product that actually lives up to it's claims.

Amquel Plus (make sure it's Plus, not regular Amquel) detoxifies both ammonia AND nitrite and is good to have on hand in case of an emergency. It only detoxifies though, it doesn't remove it, so it's not a long tern solution to dealing with toxins.

You can technically put an axolotl into a new tank, but why risk it? It may live through the cycle, but will be more susceptible to disease afterwards because of that. If you've got the time to cycle without the axolotl, go for it. See if your pet store will hold the animal for you while you prepare for it. Most stores will be ecstatic to have found such a responsible customer, and if not, I'd go with the bucket and 100% daily changes for the bucket- just leave the tank to do it's thing
happy.gif
 
C

cpr153z

Guest
Thanks alot Leah, well the petshop does not want to hold the axys, and its a very nice colour..i might purchase it and leave it in a tupperware container since i have 10+ of them lol..ill send pics tommorow, i get my digital camera back hehe..my friend borrowed it
sad.gif


By The way, i have a tropical fish tank already setup with fish etc..theyre fine..its been established for about 4 weeks now..ill get kits and test for ammonia etc..they are fine, i left the tank to cycle for 3 weeks..but it was my first time so not too sure if its the same with axys..

Thanks for ur help Leah!! :D:D:D:D Ill post pics of the axy tommmorow..by the way its blue ! :D bet u never seen one like that haha..bye for now
 

dot

Member
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cpr -

I already told you in chat not to fuss around with any chemicals while you're waiting for your tank to cycle. Relax. Just let nature take its course, or like Leah said, look for a product that will cut down on the prep time if you really can't wait to get your axolotl. If you're still having trouble keeping your ammonia levels down once you've let an adequate amount of time to pass for cycling, then start considering chemical intervention, but I would suggest asking people here first, as everyone here is very knowledgeable.

There are at-home tests for ammonia and pH that you can get to test your tank water, which will come in handy for you and I suggested that you get them. I'm not really sure where you're getting the idea that ammonia levels are going to skyrocket to dangerous levels in a tank where there's nothing in there to create that amount of waste, but unless there's a problem with the water you're using, the gravel, plants and other things you wanted to put in your tank shouldn't affect ammonia levels. Live plants will oxygenate the water and fake plants will provide breeding grounds for the bacteria.

I know you're anxious, but you've gotta relax and everything will be fine.
happy.gif


EDIT:
And for the love of all things holy - don't mix fish with your axolotl! Fish, goldfish in particular, create a lot of ammonia with their waste and goldfish are known to be quite aggressive and will nibble at your axolotl's gills.

(Message edited by dot on August 12, 2004)
 
C

cpr153z

Guest
thanks Dot, not using any chemicals, im setting up a tank while keeping the axy in the tupperware container. I purchased the test kits for Ammonia/Nitrate & Nitrite.

Will test it tonight.

thanks for help guys! and gals :p lol
 
C

cpr153z

Guest
hey peeps, did not purchase the axolotl..tested water for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate.

Ammonia = 0.50
Nitrate = 0.25
Nitrite = 20ppm

is 0.25 and 0.50 high levels and toxic to axys?

And by the are the results of the test signs that the bacteria are starting up?
 
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  • Shane_Yogurt:
    its around 3 small pieces in the tank. Since i've just moved homes, my axolotl is still at my old house. Yesterday i fed him bloodworms and he missed a few. I couldnt get them out without a turkey baster and decided to let them sit because i was gonna move him to the house tomorrow. But now its late and I dont have a car and my dad wont drive me. Will he be fine?
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  • melon:
    I would think so i would just try to get them out tomorrow
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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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  • the:
    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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  • Shane_Yogurt:
    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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  • John:
    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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  • JulMl:
    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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  • Asmold1:
    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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  • Asmold1:
    2. add the prime to your tap water, for most conditioners the consensus is 5 minutes of waiting time
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  • Asmold1:
    3.After 5 minutes it should be safe to add
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  • JulMl:
    Thank you so much !!
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    I private messaged you a bit clearer instructions just in case
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  • tammyaxie:
    Where can I get blackworms?
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  • John:
    Ebay or Eastern Aquatics
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    Does anyone know someone who can ship axolotls to hawaii? I recently did a water change and my axolotl died and there are no axos for sale right now.
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