Newbie Axolotl owner with questions

Wjouet

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Hi all,

I'm a (soon to be) newbie Axolotl owner with my son - we have a golden Axolotl on hold at my local reptile centre while I set the tank up.

I have a couple of questions - hope someone doesn't mind answering for me.

1) The tank I have is 36" long, 12" wide and 18" high - I've been told that is definitely big enough for one Axolotl, but wondered if that is big enough for two ?
2) How high do you fill the tank with water ? In my local reptile centre they only half fill their tanks, but in a lot of the pictures I have seen the tank is full. My understanding is that Axolotls stay at the bottom of the tank, so don't need a lot of water height in the tank.
3) I've decided to use fine sand at the bottom of the tank, and have purchased this from Amazon --> Pettex Roman Gravel Black Sand 8 kg: Amazon.co.uk: Pet Supplies Can anyone confirm that this sand is suitable please ? I haven't received it yet but the description states its very fine sand, which I understand would be ok.

Thanks in advance for any replies.

Warren
 

JaceW/Lifer-Log

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That tank is great for two, make sure they are the same size because they often nip at smaller lotls. lotls are much more active than one at first thinks, they will utilize most of the tank, I've seen lotls swim vertical laps and even breathe air. So no matter how you fill, half or full they will use all of it. normally people use a full tank because it stays cooler easier. (which is important) I'm not sure on the sand that isn't my forte.
 

Murk

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Hiya. Your tank would then be about 30 gallon, right?
The general rule of thumb is a minimum of 20 gallon for the first axolotl and 10 additional gallon for every additional axolotl. So this would be OK, but especially if they're fully grown it would be near the minimum.

I agree with JaceW/Lifer-Log that the axolotls being the same size (and gender!) is the most important.

Also agree on filling it fully, if possible - if you have a lid. If it's a lidless tank, keep the water at least a few inches below the top. Spooked axolotls can jump.
Depending on the individual, they will indeed probably use the height. Decorations, plants or hardscape can help them utilise the height fully.
The more water you have, the more stable it will be anyway (temperature, as JaceW/Lifer-Log said, but also all other water quality), so that's always a good thing.

As for the sand, Amazon is a weird website. I'm not sure if this is gravel or sand, and all the reviews talk about a completely different (white) product instead. Maybe that's me.

Fine sand is generally OK. The axolotls will probably eat some of it, which might lead to impaction, but as long as it's fine and smooth sand that is rare. Don't use gravel, course or rough sand. All stones (or decorations) need to be larger than the axolotls head, or they'll swallow it.
 

Wjouet

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Hi both - thanks for your replies.

Quick update, the sand arrived today, its quite fine, granules smaller than 1mm, so guessing thats ok to use.

Out of interest, what do you have on the bottom of your tank ? I was going to go for bare glass, but keep hearing thats not a good thing for them due to not being able to grip properly. Other than fine sand, I wasn't sure what else to use ?
 

Calgarycoppers

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1) - yes its big enough for 2 of the same sex - 33 g tank - minimum 2 sq ft of floor space for 1st axo and an addition sq ft per axo added
2) completely full - you need the volume to offset the ammonia nitrite and nitrate - you will have issues if you try and use a small volume of water
3) should be fine from the picture

Have you researched Cycling your tank? you need several weeks 4-8 weeks to completely cycle your tank before adding your axolotl.


Hi all,

I'm a (soon to be) newbie Axolotl owner with my son - we have a golden Axolotl on hold at my local reptile centre while I set the tank up.

I have a couple of questions - hope someone doesn't mind answering for me.

1) The tank I have is 36" long, 12" wide and 18" high - I've been told that is definitely big enough for one Axolotl, but wondered if that is big enough for two ?
2) How high do you fill the tank with water ? In my local reptile centre they only half fill their tanks, but in a lot of the pictures I have seen the tank is full. My understanding is that Axolotls stay at the bottom of the tank, so don't need a lot of water height in the tank.
3) I've decided to use fine sand at the bottom of the tank, and have purchased this from Amazon --> Pettex Roman Gravel Black Sand 8 kg: Amazon.co.uk: Pet Supplies Can anyone confirm that this sand is suitable please ? I haven't received it yet but the description states its very fine sand, which I understand would be ok.

Thanks in advance for any replies.

Warren
 

Wjouet

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1) - yes its big enough for 2 of the same sex - 33 g tank - minimum 2 sq ft of floor space for 1st axo and an addition sq ft per axo added
2) completely full - you need the volume to offset the ammonia nitrite and nitrate - you will have issues if you try and use a small volume of water
3) should be fine from the picture

Have you researched Cycling your tank? you need several weeks 4-8 weeks to completely cycle your tank before adding your axolotl.
Thanks for the reply - yes, I've researched cycling. I kept fish for years, so have an idea know what to do from setting up plenty of aquariums - from what I've been told, its pretty much the same
 

Calgarycoppers

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It is similar except you can NOT do fish in cycling with axolotls as they are extremely prone to ammonia burns and nitrite/nitrate toxicity.
Also using a heater to do the cycle but then slowly reducing temp down to safe axo level or you could kill your beneficial bacteria.

Thanks for the reply - yes, I've researched cycling. I kept fish for years, so have an idea know what to do from setting up plenty of aquariums - from what I've been told, its pretty much the same
 

Wjouet

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It is similar except you can NOT do fish in cycling with axolotls as they are extremely prone to ammonia burns and nitrite/nitrate toxicity.
Also using a heater to do the cycle but then slowly reducing temp down to safe axo level or you could kill your beneficial bacteria.
Ah ok, thanks for that - I was going to add one or two fish from my existing tanks to help with the cycling, then remove them once the tank was cycled and before adding the Axolotl.
 

Calgarycoppers

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You need a really strong cycle - we tend to recommend feeding ammonia to 4ppm daily while using heat and nitrifying bacteria supplement.

You can give the media from one of your established tanks a good squeeze/rinse in the tank - yes it will seem dirty but thats where all of your bacteria is housed.
 

Wjouet

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I've also thought about putting the sponge filter that I will be using in my Axolotl tank into one of my existing aquariums and running that (alongside the existing filter) to start seeding bacteria to it - do you think that would work ?
 

Wjouet

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Also (and sorry for so many questions) do you know if something like Tetra Safestart would work ?

I always have a bottle around in case I have an emergency in my fish tanks and need to set up a quarantine aquarium quickly, so could also use that in the Axolotl tank if thats safe / a good idea ?
 

DragoTheAxie

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I have a bare-bottomed tank and it works just fine. Also if the axolotl you are getting is less than 5 inches then even fine sand is not okay because they could get impacted. After that, it's safe to add sand but I personally don't think it's necessary.

You could also use tiles if you are concerned with grip as they are easy to clean and provide grip.
 
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    Hi guys! I’m new to this site and a new axolotl owner. I’ve had my baby (his name is toothpick) for about a month or so now. I finally got a water testing kit and I tested the perimeters earlier today. My ammonia was at 3 ppm and my nitrite was at 2 ppm. This freaked me out because I know they are supposed to be at 0 ppm. I did a water change a little bit ago and it went down to ammonia 1 ppm and in between 1-2 ppm nitrate. I change 50% of my water weekly and clean up any pieces of waste or excess food with a turkey bastwr everyday. Could this just be because the tank isn’t fully cycled yet? Should I be concerned? Toothpick hasn’t shown any signs of distress
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    madcaplaughs: @Paige1warren You need to tub your axolotl and perform 100% daily water changes. Your tank is... +1
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