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Seeking Advice

EasternRomioi3

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Hey gang, it's been a while since I've posted and that's mainly due to my axolotl doing so well, that was, until like a month or two ago. She stills eats earthworms with no hesitation but she rarely bites for her pellets. I even got tweezer so I can hold them in front of her, even when I put them on her nose, she doesn't seem to care anymore. I am very concerned. Can an axolotl survive off an earthworm once every two days or should I give her one every day to make up for the lack of pellets. Any tips to get her to eat again? Usually I drop them in right above her, they float down and she instinctually lunches for them. Not anymore. She doesn't even try to bite me when I'm cleaning her tank anymore. Sometimes when I'm moving stuff around she'd nip at me. She's also been somewhat irritated, I noticed her trying to scratch her side like a dog, she's got no gill fungus, no injuries on her side, I don't know if she's just itchy or what. Did I water change today and fed her a worm, she took it without any hesitation. Could she just be tired of pellets?

One other thing, she's been digging in the sand a lot lately, oh and she's almost four years old. Her water hovers around 62 degrees Fahrenheit and likes to put her face into the bubbles from her sponge filters. Any suggestions at all would be appreciated, especially on how to get her to eat her pellets or finding a secondary source for her. It's weird, I remember two weeks ago being real stressed out over this pellet embargo she's doing then one day I said "no, we're doing pellets" and I dropped nine in and she sucked them all up but I gave her two big ones today and she just sat there with them on her nose. Let me know if you have any advice, thanks in advance.
 

jclee

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Maybe she just prefers the earthworms and is filling up on those? You could try salmon pellets only for a while (a week or two) to confirm it or rule it out, while you watch for any other changes.
 

EasternRomioi3

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Maybe she just prefers the earthworms and is filling up on those? You could try salmon pellets only for a while (a week or two) to confirm it or rule it out, while you watch for any other changes.

So you don't think it's anything to be super alarmed over? Before going to work today, I put three Hikari sinking carnivore pellets in her food dish and by the time I got home, 5 hours later, she didn't eat them. I have a little bowl I put in her tank that I throw the pellets on, so she doesn't suck up a mouth full of sand.
 

JM29

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+1 with Dr. Phil
Me and all my friends who keep axolotls provide them almost exclusively earthworms (more difficult in summer)
Moreover, pellets tend to pollute the water (probably too much phosphorus)
 

axolotl nerd

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+1 with Dr. Phil
Me and all my friends who keep axolotls provide them almost exclusively earthworms (more difficult in summer)
Moreover, pellets tend to pollute the water (probably too much phosphorus)
I also feed almost exclusively earthworms, or they’re at least the main staple my lovely mudkip gets, on top of the occasional bloodworm cube as a treat and pellets if I’m completely out of worms and need to go get some. earthworms are 100% her favorite though - highly recommend them
 

EasternRomioi3

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Oh man, I'm glad so many of you answered and helped out. I don't feel bad about giving her worms only.

I did make her one of this Rhipashy grub pies or whatever they're called for her birthday last you but I had to take her out and put her in her tub because it was far too messy, though she ate it no problem.

Thanks again. Well, if she wants to transition towards more worms, and clearly she does, what does that mean for her feeding schedule, she's about a foot long, almost 4 years old, I usually give her only one worm every two days, worm is usually three or four inches long but if I have only puny ones left, I give her two.
 

Dr. Phil

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Oh man, I'm glad so many of you answered and helped out. I don't feel bad about giving her worms only.

I did make her one of this Rhipashy grub pies or whatever they're called for her birthday last you but I had to take her out and put her in her tub because it was far too messy, though she ate it no problem.

Thanks again. Well, if she wants to transition towards more worms, and clearly she does, what does that mean for her feeding schedule, she's about a foot long, almost 4 years old, I usually give her only one worm every two days, worm is usually three or four inches long but if I have only puny ones left, I give her two.
Just keep doing what you are doing. You can stuff them some days and the let them go 3 days or more. Probably more like what happens in nature, anyway.
 

EasternRomioi3

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@Dr. Phil

Thanks, I appreciate it. But I don't know what's up, she threw up at some point over the night. She's had 3-4 weeks this entire week and threw up just the one last night. Am I overfeeding her now? I've been trying to clean her tank more than once a week but I don't always have the chance. Her gills are pretty withered too, I'm not sure what's up. She's got a very fully cycled tank. The ammonia was super high because she threw up, that would have withered her gills, right? The filaments I mean, her stalks are fine.
 

Dr. Phil

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Three or four worms in a week doesn't sound like overfeeding to me. I don't see how throwing up a worm could seriously alter ammonia levels unless the tank is tiny. Give her a rest from eating for half a week or so. Do a partial water change and wait for her to become interested in eating again.
 

EasternRomioi3

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She's in a 20 gallon tank, it's not super big. I have two sponge filters in, and I was already planning to clean her tank in the morning, so her tank was at the end of its limits, you know what I mean? As soon as she got the water change she perked up and has been swimming around, happily. She's got more filaments already on her stalks. I honestly think she's having a hard time eating because of the bumps on her mouth and throat. She got cut when she was real small and those bumps are where the cuts were. She also did two real big yawns yesterday and she rarely does that, so I don't know if her mouth is irritating her or not.
 

Dr. Phil

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20 gallon is a fine size for a single critter. At four years, she's in her prime. Don't sweat the small stuff, eh? Axolotls have all kinds of behaviors, (yawning, hanging out at the top, staying motionless for hours on end, going for gulps of air, not eating for long periods of time, snapping every time you walk by the tank, etc.). They are pretty tough animals and will live a long time with the kind of care you are providing. Get used to seeing new behaviors now and then. If she is eating and pooping and looking up in the gills, she's fine. If she looks down in the gills every now and then...well...so do most of us; she'll perk up! Cheers and happy New Year!
 

EasternRomioi3

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Well, you mention the gills, here's something, since it started to get cold, about late October, her filaments have shrank. Over summer she had this long, fluffy strands but now they're so short. Her stalks look fine, just the filaments. Gave her a water change today, and she woke up and is now exploring. She general swims around and digs in the sand after I clean her tank, like she's figuring out everything that's "new" with her tank.

Oh and I did feed her a 2 inch long worm yesterday, she ate it, didn't throw it up, no issues.
 

Dr. Phil

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I wan't to emphasize that I am NOT a pro!

I've been keeping axolotls for about six years and am still learing. I recently had one that lost her gill filaments for many months, for reasons unclear. She finally regrew them.

I have a totally unsubstantiated theory about gill filaments. It seems they are desiigned to provide maximum surface area for gas exchange (and probably allow the sensation of dissovled chemiclas). When the water gets cooler, oxygen dissolves more readily in water, so gill filaments may not be needed as much. As the water temperatyre rises, dissolved oxygen levels drop and this may favor filament development. I hope someone with more knowledge will correct me if this is wrong-headed thinking.

As long as your water parameters are good and your critter is eating and pooping, don't worry about it, in my humble opinion.

Cheers!
 

EasternRomioi3

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@Dr. Phil

Hey, sorry, been a long month but I wanted to comment on this. Your theory with the gill filaments, I think that's true. My girl is doing fine, no issues, water quality is perfect, and the temp only changes when I need to do a water change. In the summer, since we have no AC, I have to cycle in ice packs and that's when her gills are at their fluffiest.
 
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    Guys, my house is too hot, the salamander cage is sitting at 73 degrees and I know 75 can kill them. WTF DO I DO. Im in a tin damn can of a house that boils int he summer. We didnt know. First summer here. We have AC in ONE room, terribly sealed rokm though. Is that all I can do? Move the tank to my parnets room for now?
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    how was the measurements taken, liquid or strip, if its liquid then you count how many drop it takes to change colour, each drop is one degree, if it is strip then you divide the number by 17.9 to get the degree.
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    hey, my axolotl has bumps on his/her back, is that ok?
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