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Recommendations for tank redo

Binditheaxolotl

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So, I’ve been wanting to redo my tank for a while for my Axolotl, Bindi. I had had her for a year last july. For my birthday, I was gonna do my room but since tank stuff is so expensive, I wanna deck out her tank. She’s pretty big, 9-10 inches, she’s never stretched out straight though so it’s hard to tell. If you guys could leave recommendations on aquarium decor like hides, without sharp edges but are still really cool looking, plants, etc and where you got the stuff that would be great, also price if you remember. I also am planning on getting black sand bc she’s leucistic to make her pop, but most I find are gravel. Any recommendations about these things would be amazing!! Thanks!
 

Binditheaxolotl

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So, I was on petcos website looking for black sand. Would this sand be okay? Petco says it is but… I don’t necessarily trust them😂
 

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Invadetor

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So, I was on petcos website looking for black sand. Would this sand be okay? Petco says it is but… I don’t necessarily trust them😂
For what I have learnt from my mistakes is that they (and pretty much every fishes and shellfishes) prefer an aquarium with some hiding spots that reassemble their natural habitat, so in this case the lake of Xochimilco.
I've not found any image in the internet on how the Lake looks underwater, but I guess it looks something like this: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/00/Axolotl_ganz.jpg.
In few words add thin sand, some live plants (most plants they like can be easily found in Pet Shops) and big rocks and wood pieces, and try to make it look like their natural habitat.
All of this (plants/wood/rock) can cost a bit, but it depends mostly on the size of your aquarium (small aquariums are cheap to fill, while big aquariums are expansive to fill), I managed to fill my 4 gallons Shrimp tank with about 50Euros, but you don't really need to fill 100% your tank, until it has some plants, hiding spots and is not dangerous it is gonna be good.
Said all of that, I'm waiting for answers myself for this question, saw that I'm worried that quick changes in the Environment might scare and even kill of shock the Axolotl... so for what I know remove and add stuff slowly day by day.
Anyway good luck with your Axolotl!
 

WaterLily05

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What a fun idea! Happy birthday! LOVE your axolotls name! I too am using my coming birthday money for my axolotls.

Black sand is perfectly fine for your axolotl. I find the stuff sold at Petco is very expensive, especially when you need enough for a 20 gallon or larger tank! I recommend looking into fine grit black blasting sand at your local tractor supply. It is aquarium safe and about $10 for 50 pounds. I think that 2 pounds per gallon is typically good for a planted tank, though I usually go for a bit extra. For example, I am using 100 pounds instead of 80 in my 40 gallon tank. If you have a 20 gallon or larger, you will be fine using a full bag.

Plants are my favorite part of designing a tank. Because axolotls prefer low or no lighting, you want plants that can tolerate that. Some wonderful options are Anubias (tons of varieties), swords (tons of varieties), floating plants like duckweed or fairy moss (azolla), hornwort, anacharis, or Java ferns (several varieties). You could get away with floating plants with higher light needs, like water lettuce, water hyacinth, or frog bit, if they densely cover the top. That way the higher lighting doesn’t affect your axolotl. For plants, I highly recommend checking out My Fish Stuff. It is an online store and also an ebay shop. I have ordered from them twice and received massive, beautiful, healthy plants at great prices. This was a $15 order of one Anubias barteri and one echinodorus bleheri (amazon Sword). As you can see it came as much more than one plant of each! They have different deals on their Ebay than on their website, so it depends on what you are buying. They have lots of different Anubias and Sword options.
F9BC861C-6127-4882-8D5A-064FE6744E40.jpeg



for hides, you can do different rocks or drift wood if you want to go natural. If you want it to just be fun and colorful, you can shop around on Etsy. There are these fun hides for about $25. Biggest thing you want to look out for is that your axolotl can fit and that it is aquarium safe!

 

WaterLily05

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For my birthday, I was gonna do my room but since tank stuff is so expensive
What is your typical birthday budget? Shop right and you may have a bit of money for both! I am setting up an axolotl tank right now, and through shopping around and finding deals I was able to get my 40 gallon tank for $50, my stand for $105, the filtration, lid, and other equipment for $30. Because of sales and deals I found, I got over $100 off those prices and ultimately only payed about half as much as the original costs. The entire setup cost me about $100, so I budgeted myself $100 for decor. That is all out my own money though.
 

Invadetor

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What is your typical birthday budget? Shop right and you may have a bit of money for both! I am setting up an axolotl tank right now, and through shopping around and finding deals I was able to get my 40 gallon tank for $50, my stand for $105, the filtration, lid, and other equipment for $30. Because of sales and deals I found, I got over $100 off those prices and ultimately only payed about half as much as the original costs. The entire setup cost me about $100, so I budgeted myself $100 for decor.
Woah, that's incredible!
I spent around 430 Euros for my 30 gallons tank, with everything from equipment, stand and decorations... now I kind of feel scammed lol, ahahahahahah!
 

WaterLily05

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Woah, that's incredible!
I spent around 430 Euros for my 30 gallons tank, with everything from equipment, stand and decorations... now I kind of feel scammed lol, ahahahahahah!
Wow! I believe that is almost $500 USD! Sometimes the price is worth it for the quality of the equipment, other times it’s not got quite that much value. I have learned to be patient and wait for Petco to do their half off all tanks sale. In addition, every order of $50 or more I got a $25 gift card because of this limited time offer they are doing. I simply did part of my order on each of my family members accounts and got 3 separate gift cards. They are also running $30 off $100 select items, and my mom has to buy a pond de icer (which is one of the select items) for our koi pond so she is going to use my gift cards and give me cash.
 

Binditheaxolotl

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Wow I’m so glad this thread blew up so quick!! Thank you all for your replies, they’ve been super helpful. @WaterLily05, I looked into the black blasting sand online at my tractorsupply but it appears to be made out of coal slag, which I thought is bad for axolotls? Also, yes I’m going for a more natural look. Currently her tank is 20 gallon long with aqueon 50 and a 40 gallon sponge filter. Right now her hides are pvc pipes and her plants are all fake, so I’m needing a change😂
 

Binditheaxolotl

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I forgot to add, I also want to add a couple of cherry shrimp. I have 90 gal of filtration, how many should I add? Do you have to feed them or do they just eat the algae, if not do you just feed them the typical shrimp food pellets in store? Sorry about all the questions!
 

Binditheaxolotl

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Ive been browsing online since I woke up and I think I’ve settled on a decoration, and i’ve found a look for my aquarium I’m going for
 

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Invadetor

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I forgot to add, I also want to add a couple of cherry shrimp. I have 90 gal of filtration, how many should I add? Do you have to feed them or do they just eat the algae, if not do you just feed them the typical shrimp food pellets in store? Sorry about all the questions!
You can add around 60-100 Red Cherry Shrimps in a 20 gallons (5-10 per gallon) when there is nothing outside them, unfortunately you have a really high chance that the Axolotl might think of them as snacks and eat them, or if they are too many they might scare the Axolotl.
Outside that, Shrimps eat pretty much anything, from their own molts or dead comrades, to algae or most types vegetables and Shrimp pellets... said that they love a lot of plants that require strong lights or warmer temperatures, which both are annoying to the Axolotl.
Outside that Shrimps require warmer temperature (even though they can tolerate lower temperature), and a slightly different PH from the Axolotl.
If you want Shrimps, but also don't want to spend too much money, you can easily do a 3 or 5 gallon tank, and fill it with Neos Shrimps, with about 100 Euros (Tank, Equipment, Live Decorations, Water and Shrimps).
 

WaterLily05

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Wow I’m so glad this thread blew up so quick!! Thank you all for your replies, they’ve been super helpful. @WaterLily05, I looked into the black blasting sand online at my tractorsupply but it appears to be made out of coal slag, which I thought is bad for axolotls? Also, yes I’m going for a more natural look. Currently her tank is 20 gallon long with aqueon 50 and a 40 gallon sponge filter. Right now her hides are pvc pipes and her plants are all fake, so I’m needing a change😂
It is completely aquarium safe. Coal slag is chemically inert, which means it doesn't have the ability to change your water parameters or leech dangerous chemicals into the water. For a 20 gallon long you could likely use a full 50 pound bag. I know some people don't like the idea of having extra haha. I have heard that it is dusty, so you want to rinse it. The biggest concern people seem to have with it being in an axolotl tank is it being sharp and scratchy on their skin. I have never actually heard of this being a real problem though. Getting the fine grit one should avoid this altogether. I would honestly think the larger grain size of the petco or petsmart sands would be rougher.


I forgot to add, I also want to add a couple of cherry shrimp. I have 90 gal of filtration, how many should I add? Do you have to feed them or do they just eat the algae, if not do you just feed them the typical shrimp food pellets in store? Sorry about all the questions!
Cherry shrimp do best in a well established planted tank. There is a lot of plant matter and bio film for them to munch on, and they will also snack on leftovers from the tank's main inhabitant. You can also supplement their diet with small shrimp pellets from your LFS (local fish store). As for numbers, in a 20 gallon with an axolotl you could probably have 50. Start with 20 and they will reproduce quickly. They do appreciate higher temps than an axolotl tank offers though, and the axolotl is very likely to munch on them. They are so small I don't think eating them would hurt your axolotl though.
Ive been browsing online since I woke up and I think I’ve settled on a decoration, and i’ve found a look for my aquarium I’m going for
That is beautiful! You will have to post pictures so we can see it when it is all done :love: :love: :love:
 

Binditheaxolotl

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It is completely aquarium safe. Coal slag is chemically inert, which means it doesn't have the ability to change your water parameters or leech dangerous chemicals into the water. For a 20 gallon long you could likely use a full 50 pound bag. I know some people don't like the idea of having extra haha. I have heard that it is dusty, so you want to rinse it. The biggest concern people seem to have with it being in an axolotl tank is it being sharp and scratchy on their skin. I have never actually heard of this being a real problem though. Getting the fine grit one should avoid this altogether. I would honestly think the larger grain size of the petco or petsmart sands would be rougher.



Cherry shrimp do best in a well established planted tank. There is a lot of plant matter and bio film for them to munch on, and they will also snack on leftovers from the tank's main inhabitant. You can also supplement their diet with small shrimp pellets from your LFS (local fish store). As for numbers, in a 20 gallon with an axolotl you could probably have 50. Start with 20 and they will reproduce quickly. They do appreciate higher temps than an axolotl tank offers though, and the axolotl is very likely to munch on them. They are so small I don't think eating them would hurt your axolotl though.

That is beautiful! You will have to post pictures so we can see it when it is all done :love: :love: :love:
I definitely will!! Planning on starting it in December. So after browsing the forum, toxic gas pockets apparently form in thick sand. What are these and is there a way to prevent them?
 

WaterLily05

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I definitely will!! Planning on starting it in December. So after browsing the forum, toxic gas pockets apparently form in thick sand. What are these and is there a way to prevent them?
These gas pockets are when air bubbles trap in the sand, and start the build up toxins from the tank I think. When they get disturbed, they can release the toxins into your tank and cause a spike in ammonia or nitrates. I put your tank dimensions into a sand calculator and 50 pounds of sand should get you a nice 3 inch coverage on average. This depth of sand is what is generally recommended for planted tanks and is rarely deep enough to have the sand pocket issues.
 

Binditheaxolotl

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These gas pockets are when air bubbles trap in the sand, and start the build up toxins from the tank I think. When they get disturbed, they can release the toxins into your tank and cause a spike in ammonia or nitrates. I put your tank dimensions into a sand calculator and 50 pounds of sand should get you a nice 3 inch coverage on average. This depth of sand is what is generally recommended for planted tanks and is rarely deep enough to have the sand pocket issues.
Ah okay, thank you! I’m planning on adding some hornwort/coontail to cover up the sponge filter along with some Amazon swords, so hopefully the hornwort will take care of that if it happens. Regardless, nothing a quick water change can’t fix. Got a picture of whose tank is gonna be upgraded😁
 

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WaterLily05

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Ah okay, thank you! I’m planning on adding some hornwort/coontail to cover up the sponge filter along with some Amazon swords, so hopefully the hornwort will take care of that if it happens. Regardless, nothing a quick water change can’t fix. Got a picture of whose tank is gonna be upgraded😁
AHHH she is just too cute! I can't wait to see her tank when it is finished :love: :love: :love:
 
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  • melon:
    I think it is always best to get them out asap but probably two days or so.
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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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    ooff
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  • the:
    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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    2. add the prime to your tap water, for most conditioners the consensus is 5 minutes of waiting time
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    3.After 5 minutes it should be safe to add
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    Thank you so much !!
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    I private messaged you a bit clearer instructions just in case
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    Where can I get blackworms?
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    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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