Raising C. pyrrhogaster fully aquatic.

Chinadog

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When my females started laying i collected the 1st 10 eggs i could find and raised them away from the adults. Up to now they've done really well on a diet of live daphnia and black mosquito larvae and i still have all 10 although one has lost a leg somehow!
Anyway this morning while cleaning their tank i noticed one starting to lose its broad tail and its gills starting to shrink so it looks like i'll soon have my 1st morphs. After reading everything i can find i've decided to try and raise them fully aquatic purely because it's easier for my partner to feed them if i'm working away from home. At the moment they have about 4" of water that's stuffed with elodea so they can reach the surface with ease, most of them have learned to hunt the mosquito larvae at the surface so thats where they stay mostly!
In the past i've raised lots of axolotls but i've never had to care for morphs so any advice is very welcome. I think it will be difficult to see them being forced against their instinct to stay aquatic but hopefully it be long before they give up and start growing!
Thanks in advance for any input :happy:
 

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Chinadog

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Thanks for the links, it's boosted my confidence a lot! Those C. orientalis are amazing, If mine will eat frozen food life would be a bit easier, i haven't tried it before as i assumed they were attracted to movement and i didn't want to risk polluting the water if they refused it.
 

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A good way to get them to eat the frozen stuff is to add it with the live stuff at the same time ,then they get the taste for it .
 

Chinadog

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After 2 days climbing the glass the 1st morph went back underwater by choice and has stayed there ever since! i haven't seen him eat yet but there's plenty of live daphnia and mosquito larvae to tempt him when he's ready. Looks like i've failed to get their bellys red at the moment but as soon as they're feeding i'm hoping to wean them onto frozen brine shrimp so maybe that will help!
 

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Azhael

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Congratulations!
I don´t know what the rest of the tank looks like, but judging by the photo, i would add even more plants. They are REALLY clumsy swimmers as juveniles and they can get tired and drown if they basically can´t "walk" through vegetation, so if you have any sort of open areas, clog them with more plants xD
The brine shrimp will help with the colour but remember to offer variety.
 

Chinadog

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The rest of the tank is pretty much a ball of elodea, but i was worried that they might get trapped if it was too dense? i can get more elodea or hornwort in the morning or i could lower the water level i suppose when i do a water change later to get the plants packed tighter for now.
 

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Well, my 1st little morph seems to have taken to aquatic life for now and seems quite confident prowling round along the bottom and clambering up the plants for air. I've seen him lunge at the daphnia but miss so i'm really willing him on to make his 1st kill! Also i've added more hornwort today so the tank really is stuffed with plants now.
Morph number 2 is still at the glass climbing stage but i'm hoping he'll soon follow his sibling back to the water, the other 8 larvae are much bigger than the morphs but show no signs of changing just yet.
 

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I´m glad to hear everything is going well :)
Don´t expect them to be able to catch Daphnia just yet...they are way too clumsy and will only catch one if it crawls inside while they yawn. Until they acquire a certain size and the tail starts to flatten, they are unlikely to be quick and dextrous enough, but don´t worry, that day will come sooner than you think. From then on raising them will be just like taking care of adults.
 

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After trying and trying my 1st little guy has finally started taking slices of earthworms from my tweezers :happy:. i don't know if he's been feeding himself or not but i haven't seen him catch anything despite his best efforts!! I've also started tweezer feeding the remaining 8 larvae with bits of worm so hopefully they'll be used to my giant hand and the tweezers if they ever decide to morph! Meanwhile the 2nd newtlett seems more reluctant to go back to the water and is still climbing the walls and refusing food, i've been gently placing it back on top of the weeds in the water but his mind seems made up for the moment! i really don't want to start feeding it out of the water because it will have one less reason to go aquatic again. Thinking on i'm glad they all didn't morph at the same time, at least ive got just 2 to practice on before the rest start hanging from the sides like geko's!!
 

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I find making aeroplane noises with the tweezers helps!:D He actually dropped this piece but went down to the bottom to find it and swallowed it on the 2nd attempt :happy:
 

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would white clouds or cherry shrimp pose a danger to newt larvae?
 

Chinadog

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I don't know anything about the shrimp but newt larvae are pretty much helpless when they hatch and would most likely be torn to pieces by the fish. Please don't try it, it's a very bad idea!
 

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7 out of the 10 larvae have now morphed and all seem healthy but only the 1st one has returned to the water, he is very small compared to the others but eats like a pig and is getting bigger! The other 6 really hate the water and have been climbing the sides for over a week now and are still refusing food, although they were very well fed larvae and are still quite plump. I wonder if there's a point where i should give up and move them to a more terrestrial set up or weather hunger will force them back to the water?
 

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Squirt88

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I'd give it a few more days or maybe a week, at the moment they are looking great, I'm so jealous. Update?
 

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May I ask what plants you have in there with them?
 

Chinadog

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At the moment all 10 babies are still avoiding the water like the plague, they climb the glass time after time or tip toe over the plants from one side to the other! They are all feeding from tweezers but anything in the water goes untouched. i've tried tempting them with live bloodworms in a jar lid but if it means getting wet they don't want to know! They are growing though so there might be a point where they give in soon or maybe i should put them some islands in and let them be more terrestrial? These are the the 1st babies i've tried to raise so i'm learning as i go at the moment!
The plants are just Elodea and Hornwort that have grown into a ball, i'll get some new pictures later today :happy:
 

Chinadog

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Well, i've caved in and given them some land areas and hiding places, they have calmed down and seem to be easier to tempt with the tweezers. As these are the 1st morphs i've ever tried to raise maybe i will learn more about their behavior by letting them do what comes naturally! If the parents breed again next year i will definitely try the aquatic route again and hopefully i'll be a bit more confident in dealing with newtlets! Strangely they seem more willing to get wet now when they need to get to one island from another!!
 

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New to this site and just browsing. Those are some braw looking we guys!:happy:
 

Chinadog

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Thanks! They are lovely looking creatures! I wish i could get some pictures of them being fed, the older ones are absolute killing machines and will fling themselves at the tweezers with their mouths open and grab the food! They've even ambushed me from under a leaf when i've been trying to tempt the shyer ones to feed with the lights off:eek:
 
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    They are about 2-3 inches long and I have them in a bare bottom tank
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    @MuggleMiChu I would say try live black/blood worms untell they are full or just turn there head away ( that's what mine do) if that does not work try to get some live brine shrimp and see if they eat that. baby axolotl prefer live food over frozen food as the frozen food is too cold for them or they can't eat it in one go( that's if you do the blocks) mine eat chopped up frozen thawed shrimp. as for them not eating from what I have experienced with my second axolotl, I got her when she was about an inch long and she ate every day, when they start getting 3-4 inches long they will gradually slow down there eating. and if you really want to do substrate I would do sand because if they do ingest a little bit it won't hurt them.
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