Stunted axolotl

Chief-yoom

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I purchased an axolotl a few months back from what I thought was a reputable breeder, turns out the axolotl was only 3 inches at almost 6 months old. I was a total beginner, and didn’t have really much outside help. His gills were burned away, he was deathly thin, he had a shedding slimecoat, ammonia burns and a fungal infection. He would barely eat anything. Almost never pooped.

Fast forward to now and he’s doing a lot better. He eats extremely well, on a diet of mainly blackworms and lately some tiny cut up nightcrawler pieces. He is not longer thin, gill filaments are fluffing out, no more burns or slimecoat issues etc. My only concern is that in three months, he’s only up to 4.5 inches from about 3. He’s rubbed, 100% water changes daily, and I feed him as much as he’ll eat twice a day. Why is he barely growing? I love him so much, and I really want him o be able to go into my tank with my other axolotl since I have nowhere else to put him. Another concern I have, is that all of his toes, his tail tip, and his gill filament tips are black. His toes have been black since I got him. Could this be a bacterial infection?

His legs don’t look stubby like a dwarf’s would, but is there anything I can do to help him grow faster?I’d love to take him to a vet, but there are literally no exotic vets near me. When I look up exotic vet on my map app, nothing even comes up.

Does anyone have any advice for my little buddy? Is he doomed to stay tiny and in a tub forever?/: I attached some photos of the black spots, but the camera doesn’t pick it up super well. I really, really appreciate any help. I love him so much and have grown so attached to my first baby that I nursed back to health. I want to do anything I can for him.
 

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Calgarycoppers

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You may have mini from being starved and neglected in those first few months. It happens more often than you think.

Dwarfs have a disproportionate appearance whereas minis are proportionate just 6" or under as adults.

Black toe tips do not worry about and dark spots on gills is likely just pigmentation.
 

Chief-yoom

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You may have mini from being starved and neglected in those first few months. It happens more often than you think.

Dwarfs have a disproportionate appearance whereas minis are proportionate just 6" or under as adults.

Black toe tips do not worry about and dark spots on gills is likely just pigmentation.
Thank you so much for your reply. So if he’s about 6 inches it’s likely he’ll be able to eventually go on sand in the tank when he’s fully grown? I believe my other is going to be around 8 inches fully grown, since she’s pretty old and on the smaller side.
 

Chief-yoom

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You may have mini from being starved and neglected in those first few months. It happens more often than you think.

Dwarfs have a disproportionate appearance whereas minis are proportionate just 6" or under as adults.

Black toe tips do not worry about and dark spots on gills is likely just pigmentation.
Also, sorry if you don’t know this, do mini’s have a good lifespan yet? Or should I expect to lose him after a year or two?
 

Calgarycoppers

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Yes as long as you get 5-6" fine sand is perfectly fine.
Provide lots of hides so the smaller one doesn't become a snack.
Minis do okay but need to always watch for constipation is my experience. so always have a good amount of fat in the diet.

Thank you so much for your reply. So if he’s about 6 inches it’s likely he’ll be able to eventually go on sand in the tank when he’s fully grown? I believe my other is going to be around 8 inches fully grown, since she’s pretty old and on the smaller side.
 

Chief-yoom

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Yes as long as you get 5-6" fine sand is perfectly fine.
Provide lots of hides so the smaller one doesn't become a snack.
Minis do okay but need to always watch for constipation is my experience. so always have a good amount of fat in the diet.
Thank you so, so much. You’ve really put my mind at ease. I want to do right by him and let him have a good life, and I was worried I may be doing something wrong. I really appreciate your help<3
 
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  • Murk:
    Hi Nerdybirds - open a thread, that usually gets more views and also allows you to post pictures and give more background information: water parameters, age, etc.
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  • Roadrunner:
    My axolotl can you all take a look at that thread, I am freaked out about my axie
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  • MVM1991:
    His gills seem kinda small, I don't think that's normal but I'm not a huge expert on axolotls
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  • Roadrunner:
    Yeah his gills is kinda small and it can be caused by nitrate level, I am taking care of it atm, I am worried about his weight, is he only overfed or are there any kinds of problems there ?
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  • MVM1991:
    Well, again, I'm no expert. But I did just read axolotls are supposed to have a body about as wide as their head. The gills I'd say are the biggest problem, which could reduce oxygen intake, which could make a whole mess of problems.
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  • Roadrunner:
    Thanks for the help then, I will deal with his gills in no time
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    Bri the axolotl mom has left the room.
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  • nerdybirds73:
    Any one have advice on feeding a tubbed axolotl?
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  • nerdybirds73:
    mine hasent eaten in weeks and im not sure what to do
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  • LauraLobster:
    Hello, I am a new owner of a 3 month old axolotl, and although I have done a lot of research on axolotls, I can barely find any for babies. If anyone can help me with these questions, I would be super happy. How many hours do baby axolotls tend to sleep per day? How many times should I feed it and what would be considered too much (it's current diet is freeze-dried brine shrimp and blood worms, and I currently feed it around 3 bloodworms since they are not that big)? How many times a week should I change the water and how? I have a good filter and use Prime as my conditioner to remove the chlorine and other chemicals, but I still need to figure out how to deal with ammonia and such in the water. How do I clean it's waste (should I use a dropper to easily pick it up)? I need a better cooling system because currently I use ice packs on the side of the tank and I make sure to angle my ac so that it hits the tank.
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  • LauraLobster:
    I also leave the lid open during the day so that evaporation can cool down my tank. I want to buy a fan, but since winter is coming I won't have to buy one yet. Lastly, what water testers are effective and affordable for a broke student like myself? Please, if anyone has any advice I will love to hear it. I care for this creature too much at this point, but I have no one to help me with caring for it other than the internet :,)
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  • EmilyP:
    Hi LauraLobster I am a new owner of axolotls myself and have been getting advice from things like this, I feed mine twice a day on blackworms and brine shrimp blood worms are more of a treat food, a question on where you are keeping you axolotl are you keeping it in the main tank or in a tub also if in the tank did you cycle it first? and if not i suggest tubing it until the tank it cycled, mine are still tubed since I was given bad advice by the shop people about cycling my tank and am still in the process of cycling it. I use pipettes to clean up the mess of my axolotls. I use the API mater test kit for freshwater tanks I am also a student and had to look around to find it the cheapest I could.
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  • AnimeDan:
    Hi LauraLobster, like you I got my first ever Axolotl back in July. Iv found that he has enjoyed and eaten red wigglers well. They are a good source of protein and help provide the nutrients a young lotl needs to grow up big and strong. You will probably need to break it up into smaller pieces until they get bigger but they are what I have primarily fed my buddy since I got him. He’s actually so picky that he won’t even eat his pellets anymore and will hold out till he gets his favorite wormy.
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    Hi I would like to know how you treat nea
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    Hi I would like to know how you treat newt inflamtion I've got one and recently it's started to develop an inflammation on its throat can someone please tell me how you treat this I've also checked if he had something stuck but I didn't se anything
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    Anyone have any Notophthalmus viridescens for purchase to a loving home?
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    Hey, can anyone recommend a good fan/cooler in UK?
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    I’ve got proven female axolotls available if anyone is interested.
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    Hey, does anyone know if shale is ok for long-toed salamanders?
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  • MVM1991:
    As long as its cleaned yeah! You can even make overhangs if you have enough pieces to make nice caves and platforms
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  • Mark.H:
    Ok, thanks!
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  • MVM1991:
    My pleasure! River rocks work well too, and go rather well with all kinda lung less salamanders,
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  • Mark.H:
    Great! I'll use some of those too. Thanks for the help. :)
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    Mark.H: Great! I'll use some of those too. Thanks for the help. :) +1
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