isobel - I would use caution with any live food purchased directly from a pet store. Like feeder fish, feeder shrimp don't receive the best of treatment from most pet stores.
Feeder shrimp could introduce parasites or disease to your axolotl.
As with feeder fish, I would recommend that you breed your own shrimp at home if you choose to use them as food.
Ghost shrimp will breed if they have their own tank with a sponge filter or a cover on the intake of the filter so the young are not sucked up the intake. They require cover, like javamoss, good water quality and proper food.
If you are interested in breeding ghost shrimp "google" for more information.
Help. I am new to this and have 2 questions. First, how do you add a new question without joining a discussion already in progress? So, sorry for just adding to yours. I am lost in this. Secondly, my axolotls stopped eating 8 days ago. Prior to that he was eating great. I was feeding him Tetra's Reptomin and another floating food (can't remember the name right now). I have tried frozen bloodworms. The water temp is 60 degrees F and I use a Whisper Filter 20i. I have stopped the filter at night and only run it during the day in case that is stressing him out. Please help.
Have you tested your water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? If you don't have a test kit most pet stores will test those for you.
Does your tank have gravel that is small enough to be swallowed by the axolotl?
I would suggest removing your axolotl from the tank and putting it in a food safe container (like an ice cream bucket) with a lid, and fresh decholrinated water that is the same temperature as your tank. Then put him in the fridge.
You do not need to cut holes in the lid (unless you feel better doing it). You can cover him with a towel or tape your fridge light switch down to keep the light from scaring him.
Keep extra water in the fridge to change his water with so it is the same temperature.
Keep his water clean and offer him food daily. As Ester suggested night crawlers are usually an axolotl favorite.
Thanks to all who responded. I will try something that wiggles and let you know how that goes. I was given my axolotl in June by someone that was moving. I have a pH tester and the pH was 6.8 and alkalinity was 80 ppm. Is that good or bad? The gravel in the tank is fairly large so I don't think he swallowed any pieces.
Since I am new to this,Cynthia, please explain the purpose in putting my guy in the fridge in order to get him to eat? Such a strange idea! I am willing to try anything to help him. It's killing me worrying about him. Thanks to all and I will let you know. I really appreciate the help. Lori
Sorry to post again but I was reading about recycling and realized that I might have created the problem with my guy not eating. When I returned from my trip a week ago Sunday, I cleaned the tank completely - emptied the water, washed the rocks, etc. I did not recycle; just put him in there right away. Could I have created the problem? I will buy a testing kit tomorrow.
yes it very well could be the problem, most likely in fact. take him out and put him in the fridge/bucket changing the water completly every day, make sure its the same temp as he is in though.
placing the axie in the fridge slows down their metabolism thus slowing any bacteria down in the process. whatever you do you need to take him out and put him in nice clean water.
also on your food for him, im sure reptomin is for reptiles so probably isnt the greatest for your little man. try and get some specifically designed axolotl pellets, bloodworms, axolotl frozen food, theres alot more but naming all of them will take AGES!!
you never need to clean your tank completly, water changes once a week of about 25% will suffice along with a gravel siphon if you feel the need.
Well, I tested the water and everything is good based on what I have read in this forum. Turned off the filter so the water flow isn't bothering him. I tried earthworms tonight, no good. So, I have tried all the foods that I know of. My local store is ordering some pellets designed for axolotls but that will take 10 days. Very desperate at this point. I'm sure I am as stressed as my guy is. And, tonight he is floating and can't stay on the bottom of the tank. Unless, anyone has any other ideas, I am very worried and upset. Going to look for a container for the fridge since that seems to be the only thing I haven't tried. Just doesn't seem right to put him in such a cold place. Help.
The fridge is fine but do realise that axies can go for a long time without food. Putting him in the fridge will slow down his metabolism which in turn slows down any bacteria that could be causing the lack of interest in food, but being in the fridge will also stop him from eating. You will need to take him out, let the water cool to room temp and then try feeding again. Turning off your filter isnt the best idea as it holds alot of the bacteria helping your cycling along. Do you have any other tanks you could grab a hand full of gravel etc from to put in your tank to start off the bacteria colony?
Sharn - axolotls will eat when they are in the fridge, not as often, but they will eat. I would not take them out to "warm them up" unless they were finished being in the fridge. Instead I would offer food every day while they are in the fridge. This way you would avoid temperature swings that could stress them more.
Lori- As Sharn said the fridge could slow down a possible infection in his gut enough to give him the time he needs to get better.
This link: http://tinyurl.com/c9j2n
will download a pdf newsletter from the axolotl colony. Scroll down to page 18 to an article called "practical axolotl". It will explain the benefits of putting your axolotl in the fridge.
Thanks so much for always responding to my questions. I have another one. He has several white spots on his skin. Recommendations on what to do?
Also, an article in The Axolotl Newsletter (Aug 2000), talks about antibiotics if they are floating or tilted in the water or not eating. What would you use? The article also talks about adding salts. Somewhere in this forum, I thought I remember someone saying not to use salts. Help.
Sorry, I guess that was more than one question. Also, just realized my guy looks alot like the picture under your name, only mine has spots.
Thanks again, Lori
Lori - Could you take picture of the white spots and post them? Are they fuzzy white spots?
Some of my axolotls have white spots that are part of their coloration not a disease or parasite.
I do not recall a post in the forum that says not to use salt. Salt is a safe (when used properly) and effective way to treat axolotls with fungus and other skin problems.
If one of my axolotls were not eating I would put it in the fridge and leave it there until it was eating again, needed put down, or died on its own.
If it did not show any progress after 5-7 days in the fridge or took a turn for the worse I would consult a vet in conjunction with the axolotl information available for injections of what was deemed the most effective for the symptoms.
Did you test your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate?
The spots are fuzzy white spots. I have had him since May and he has had these the whole time. But, there seems to be one on his back, near the neck, that looks new. Not sure. I will try and take a picture and post for you to see. Then if you think they are a disease or parasite, I will figure out what to do.
Still not eating. When I checked on him today, there was a glob of black stuff in the water. It broke up when I touched it. Was that waste? Not sure since he hasn't eaten now for 2 weeks. He's been in the fridge for 4 days and I am changing the water (non-chlorinated) daily. Been trying to hand feed him with an earthworm and frozen bloodworms daily. I left them in with him tonight to see if he eats overnight. He seems stable and not getting worse, but still not eating.
I tested the water in his tank prior to putting him in the fridge and all was well.
Hopefully, he will be better by the end of the week. Not sure there is a vet here in Alaska to help me with my axie.
Again, thanks for responding.
My axie is acting woerd he was a rescue as stated in a different post he got better and now seems to be deteriorating again...again all tank conditions are OK and as should be. He seems to have some black dapple like pattern under his bottom lip? Is that normal? And his two back feet have a little wierd growth? Almost? Tiny tiny tiny lump. His capillaries in his feathers also appear darker and more visible. Any help would be appreciated