Question: Suddenly fighting Axies?

malloritaylor

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Hello!

I'm a new axie owner, I've had my golden (Petie) for about 9 months and he's been such an amazing little dude. He's a great swimmer and he loves to play in the live plants. I recently brought home my leucistic (Eileen) about 3 months ago. They are both sharing a 10 gallon right now as they are both VERY small still. Petie is only about 3 inches long, Eileen is 2 inches. They both have plenty of hiding spots and plants within the tank. They will be moved into a 30 gal I have set aside once they get a bit bigger.

When I first brought Eileen back, she had a limp leg because she was getting picked on in the tank at the store. That leg fell off and is now almost fully grown back. Petie took to her right away and they both shared food well and were fond of swimming into each other and just hanging out.

The problem is that 2 days ago I saw that Eileen's other front arm was limp. It fell off the next morning. I've never seen Petie go after her so I assumed he had simply accidentally mistaken her leg for food. However, this morning I woke up and found that the tip of her tail had been bitten off! I watched them as they ate this morning and everything was fine. Petie didn't seem aggressive toward her at all and Eileen didn't seem to avoid him at all. She has a good appetite still and is still able to swim well without her leg. But with all her missing bits I can only assume they're now suddenly fighting when I'm not in the room! They've never fought before!

Do they need to be separated? Can aggression come and go so suddenly? I've never used a divider before but I could do that. I would just hate for their individual spaces to suddenly be cut in half. How can I help Eileen heal faster? If anybody can offer me any advice I'd be really grateful!
 

Wysper

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I find it hard to believe you have had Petie for 9 months and he is still only 3 inches long.... I have 4 axolotls that are 9 months old, and they are 8-9 inches long (each, not total)

Can you provide pictures of their size comparison for further informative purposes?

If she needs to heal up I would suggest moving her to another tub/tank with cool clean dechlorinated water and 100% daily water changes until she has a good deal of regrowth done.
 

malloritaylor

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Thanks for responding, I've attached an image, pencil for scale, That was taken about a week ago before all the fuss happened. I'll admit I've only been eyeballing them for size but they're definitely not very big yet. They both have big appetites so I'm not sure on that front.

If I'm separating her, will a bare bottom setup be ok? If it needs to be 100% water changes.
 

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Wysper

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Yes, a barebottom set up would be perfect for her. Their size difference is a problem, as far as I can see. They are both still very young (at least that is how they appear) and I am not surprised Petie is becoming a bit aggressive towards her. I would separate them immediately.

Personally, with them both being so small yet, I wouldn't have them on a sand bottom at all. Some of those pieces look quite large and sharp.. if they accidentally swallow them while feeding (or in the course of general axie behavior) it could cause a major impaction and result in torn innards and possibly death. :-(

I really don't see how the one can be over 9 moths old at that size! What do you feed them? How often? How much?
 

Trina

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There is a definite size gap with the two. I would seperate them as well. Also, I removed all of my sand in my guys tank because he was only 4 inches and eating it accidentally. Bare bottoms are alot easier to clean too :)

They look really small to be that old. Very cute babies though :)
 

Felixtacat

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I would separate them immediately, babies can be a bit notorious for mistaking each other as food, and the size difference is a little too big to be safe as you've seen. You could put a divider in there to separate them, but if the babies injuries are bad enough I'd go ahead and get another tank. You might as well get at least a 30 gal if you're buying another tank since that's the minimum the two of them will need as adults :) And like other people said, I would avoid sand for now. Good luck!


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CarysR

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Are you feeding your axolotls enough? My little albino looked the way yours does now at 2 months old. I fed her basically all she could eat every day for close to 4 months and by the time she was 6 months old she was almost 9 inches long. I've cut back to feeding 3 times a week now and her growth rate has slowed, but I can't image a 9 month old axololt only being 3 inches long.
 

malloritaylor

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Thank you for responding everybody!

I alternate feeding them shrimp pellets and bloodworms with a feeding every other day. I can certainly feed them more, they always finish what is in the tank, but I have been warned about overfeeding as well! Is the best practice to just feed them until they stop and then get rid of the excess in the tank? They're not like fish that would just eat themselves to death if given the chance?

I got Petie for my birthday last May so I guess he is only 8 months? My mistake. He's doubled in size since I've had him but they did both come from a store instead of breeder so I wonder if that has something to do with it? Eileen was by far the smallest in the tank they had her in, and she came to us in pretty rough shape :( I have no way to tell how old she is but she's only been with us a couple months so I'm not sure if she's smaller than average. Although it sounds like they both are!

They are separated now, and I think I am going to get rid of the sand! I have witnessed them suck in little sand chunks before. They always spit it out but I'd rather play it safe. I seem to have gotten some questionable advice from my local pet store :eek:

Thank you for all the advice! Hopefully these little babies will start thriving!
 

Canecorsonewt

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I cant say sand is bad or not for axolotl's i dont have any axolotl's. I do have sand in my newt tanks with no problems, they are only 6 inches long tops. They Spit out sand will eating every time i watch them eat. Raised a handful of juveniles with sand bottom watched them eat white worms off the sand will spitting out sand and not the white worms.

I have 4 larvae,when they hatched i put in my shrimp tank, it has sand bottom. They have been in there for 2 to 3 weeks now, dont know what they eat in their but i have seen them resting on the sand. I do use caribsea sand if it matters.

Does anyone know if there's sand in the bottom of lake xochimilco, there natural habitat?
 

Canecorsonewt

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Dont know about axolotl's but with my newts they eat till there full, then walk/swim away. I feed extra because my female can be a pig, my male wait's till she's done until he starts eating and she can eat a lot so i feed extra and suck out the leftover food after he leaves there feeding area.
 
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