Overweight Axolotl

Asksalotall

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Hi All… I rehomed (my first) male Axolotl this week who is looking rather on the large size. His abdomen is significantly wider than his head. He had been kept with goldfish and had been eating them as well as being fed two earthworms per day. I assume need to drop the frequency of feeds… he is about 7 inches long, very active and responsive to my presence. I have successfully kept tropical fish for over twenty years so I am good with ensuring good water quality and have fans setup to lower the water temps (currently 71F I know a little hot but we did have a heat wave here in the UK… it has now dropped off significantly).

I am wondering if there will be any adverse impact from dropping his feeds to one worm every 3 days? Or should I reduce more slowly?

Your expertise and wisdom is greatly appreciated.
Cheers Dan (Asksalotall)
 

AMurry24537

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Hi All… I rehomed (my first) male Axolotl this week who is looking rather on the large size. His abdomen is significantly wider than his head. He had been kept with goldfish and had been eating them as well as being fed two earthworms per day. I assume need to drop the frequency of feeds… he is about 7 inches long, very active and responsive to my presence. I have successfully kept tropical fish for over twenty years so I am good with ensuring good water quality and have fans setup to lower the water temps (currently 71F I know a little hot but we did have a heat wave here in the UK… it has now dropped off significantly).

I am wondering if there will be any adverse impact from dropping his feeds to one worm every 3 days? Or should I reduce more slowly?

Your expertise and wisdom is greatly appreciated.
Cheers Dan (Asksalotall)
I'm by no means an expert in this kind of situation, but I would imagine that a slightly more gradual drop-off would be better. Though the weight issue seems pretty urgent, any kind of rehoming comes with it's own stresses already. That plus the high temperature and then suddenly dropping to a more normal feeding schedule might be just a bit too much for the little guy. I'd personally probably start with one worm a day, see how he does, and then reduce it further from there. I'd also recommend doing whatever you can to stabilize the temperature ideally between 63 and 65 F. As I'm sure you know, the temperature should not exceed 70 F, but big temperature swings can also cause some problems.
 

Asksalotall

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Thank you… despite the heatwave luckily the temperature of the tank has remained quite stable. It is now at 66.6F and falling gradually.

I will not be so drastic with his diet and monitor how he goes 👍
Really appreciate you taking the time to respond
Thanks
 

faebugz

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I agree, definitely go slow reducing the feedings. Monitor him carefully for signs of stress. I notice some bite their tail, some curl their tail, others curl gills forward.

How frequently was he eating goldfish?

Maybe try giving him 2 smaller worms a day to start, to give the illusion of more (or to maintain his metabolic speed). Stress will do more harm than a couple more weeks being fat, let him settle in before you put him on a serious diet.

Just for curiousity's sake, do you have a picture?
 

Asksalotall

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I agree, definitely go slow reducing the feedings. Monitor him carefully for signs of stress. I notice some bite their tail, some curl their tail, others curl gills forward.

How frequently was he eating goldfish?

Maybe try giving him 2 smaller worms a day to start, to give the illusion of more (or to maintain his metabolic speed). Stress will do more harm than a couple more weeks being fat, let him settle in before you put him on a serious diet.

Just for curiousity's sake, do you have a picture?
Thank you faebugz... my profile pic is a phot of him (my son has my phone at the moment but I will share a better image later :)). Not sure the frequency of goldfish consumption but the family from whence he came were quiet traumatised by the frequency.

The water temp has stabilised at just over 65F now and he is eating.

Thanks again.
 

faebugz

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Thank you faebugz... my profile pic is a phot of him (my son has my phone at the moment but I will share a better image later :)). Not sure the frequency of goldfish consumption but the family from whence he came were quiet traumatised by the frequency.

The water temp has stabilised at just over 65F now and he is eating.

Thanks again.
Bahahaha he looks awesome!! Like a big roly-poly ball 😆 definitely needs to trim a bit of weight, but at least he looks adorable.

Poor guy. Just wants to munch some goldfish and everyone freaks out for some reason 🙄

He's lucky though, if they're young when they're put in with adult goldfish it's very much the opposite experience.
My axolotl Lavender came from my neighbours goldfish tank after he died, poor thing was barely 4 inches long and didn't know how to walk properly, even though he had her for a year. She had been hiding in decorations and surviving somehow despite getting not getting intentionally fed and having to cope with intense current, gravel, big plecos and algae eaters sharing the hiding spaces, and big goldfish if she went in the open. She's a trooper for sure, almost 12 inches now a year later :)

Anyway I went on a rant! Thanks for the kind words.

I wouldn't stress too much about temperature unless you pass 70° easily.
60°-65° is ideal
65°-70° is acceptable but not as good
70°-75° is danger zone! Lower it asap
75°+ can kill your axolotl and causes serious stress

If you're having trouble keeping the temperature down, here's some tips:

Water cools via evaporation, thus a larger surface area plus disruption is the best way to cool the tank. Ditch the lid if you have one, use mesh instead. Always use mesh! They can and will jump.

Use a long bubble wall to disrupt the surface. You can use the filter, but axolotls don't like a lot of current so tread carefully

larger tank = slower changes in water params. I found 20gal to be really difficult to keep cool when temperatures rose above 70° in the room, but my new 30gal long is staying much more stable.

Heat rises. Keeping the tank on the floor can lower the temperature by a few degrees

A fan blowing across the top will cool it as well. Make sure the room also has good airflow.

I keep a couple water bottles filled with tank water in the freezer for emergencies, you can just plop them in as is to cool the water. You can also do large water changes if you need to lower the temp fast.

sorry, that was a lot of info you didn't ask for! I just know I looked everywhere for those answers when I started so I thought you may find them useful as well:)
 

Asksalotall

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Bahahaha he looks awesome!! Like a big roly-poly ball 😆 definitely needs to trim a bit of weight, but at least he looks adorable.

Poor guy. Just wants to munch some goldfish and everyone freaks out for some reason 🙄

He's lucky though, if they're young when they're put in with adult goldfish it's very much the opposite experience.
My axolotl Lavender came from my neighbours goldfish tank after he died, poor thing was barely 4 inches long and didn't know how to walk properly, even though he had her for a year. She had been hiding in decorations and surviving somehow despite getting not getting intentionally fed and having to cope with intense current, gravel, big plecos and algae eaters sharing the hiding spaces, and big goldfish if she went in the open. She's a trooper for sure, almost 12 inches now a year later :)

Anyway I went on a rant! Thanks for the kind words.

I wouldn't stress too much about temperature unless you pass 70° easily.
60°-65° is ideal
65°-70° is acceptable but not as good
70°-75° is danger zone! Lower it asap
75°+ can kill your axolotl and causes serious stress

If you're having trouble keeping the temperature down, here's some tips:

Water cools via evaporation, thus a larger surface area plus disruption is the best way to cool the tank. Ditch the lid if you have one, use mesh instead. Always use mesh! They can and will jump.

Use a long bubble wall to disrupt the surface. You can use the filter, but axolotls don't like a lot of current so tread carefully

larger tank = slower changes in water params. I found 20gal to be really difficult to keep cool when temperatures rose above 70° in the room, but my new 30gal long is staying much more stable.

Heat rises. Keeping the tank on the floor can lower the temperature by a few degrees

A fan blowing across the top will cool it as well. Make sure the room also has good airflow.

I keep a couple water bottles filled with tank water in the freezer for emergencies, you can just plop them in as is to cool the water. You can also do large water changes if you need to lower the temp fast.

sorry, that was a lot of info you didn't ask for! I just know I looked everywhere for those answers when I started so I thought you may find them useful as well:)
You just made me LOL... thank you for all the info (really helpful) and for reducing my anxiety. We had a few days heat wave in the UK (basically what we call summer) but now it's dropped. I have a fan and it seems that the temps are much better now the weather has cooled. :) have a fantastic day and speak again I hope
 

faebugz

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You just made me LOL... thank you for all the info (really helpful) and for reducing my anxiety. We had a few days heat wave in the UK (basically what we call summer) but now it's dropped. I have a fan and it seems that the temps are much better now the weather has cooled. :) have a fantastic day and speak again I hope
No problem, it was nice to chat with you! Don't worry too much, lavender regularly hit 70°-75° last year while I was learning how to care for her, and she never had any issues at all besides obvious stress. You'll be okay, you're in a great climate for them :)
 
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