Axolotl....

Keep herptiles or something else which isn't a fish?

Postby Indigo Blue Fish » 2005-11-24 21:20

I'll post what I can find out, please add anything else that may be relevant - The Manageress has decided she wants an albino one as an instore pet - and I don't know ANYTHING about them! :blush:
(I know that if you leave adults in with guppies/goldies they eat them when they get hungry - and I also found out a more humane way of feeding is to give them ground up fresh fish -or defrosted - mushed into a pellet... Oh and they come as albinos too.)
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Postby Mick e. t. » 2005-11-24 21:27

Check this site<a href='http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/4301/calixto.htm' target='_blank'>Axolotl Mexican Salamander</a>
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Postby KittyKat » 2005-11-24 21:34

<a href='http://www.aqualandpetsplus.com/Amphibian,%20Axolotl.htm' target='_blank'>this isn't the most pleasant of all sites, but some reasonable info</a>
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Postby saracen » 2005-11-24 21:48

<!--QuoteBegin-Kats link+--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Kats link)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteEBegin-->Can You Handle Them?  You can try.  Axolotls dislike being grabbed.  We do not recommend handling axolotls (or other amphibians) any more than necessary.  Scraping their skin can cause bacterial and fungal infections.  And keep all raw amphibians out of your mouth.[/quote]

Why would I be putting a raw amphibian in my mouth?
:insane:
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Postby Indigo Blue Fish » 2005-11-24 22:00

eeeew Saracen!
Am finding out loads on these amazing animals! Thanks for the tips and sites! Have found an amazing site on them : <a href='http://inky.50megs.com/careandfeeding.html' target='_blank'>Inky's axos</a>
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Postby Indigo Blue Fish » 2005-11-24 22:06

I picked up a great tip too - 'cause they use the force of their HUGE mouths to suck in food, they often suck in gravel too - and swallow it. (Eventually they'll pass it again - but still...) So... Use marbles over the top of the gravel! It's more difficult for them to manage to eat - and will spit them out.
One Axo managed to swallow one, retained it for about 9 months! (and then spat it back out)
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Postby Indigo Blue Fish » 2005-11-24 22:10

This bit had me in hysterics....
"When I feed them the tubifex worm cubes, I first immerse the cube in the tank and squeeze most of the air out. This makes the cube smaller and softer, and also decreases the chance that the axolotl will float to the top like a balloon and flow around with the current until he burps. (While I admit it is very funny to see, it clearly annoys the axolotl.)"

:lol2:
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Postby saracen » 2005-11-24 22:14

*saracen rolling round in hysterical giggling heap*

:lol2:

I've gotta get me one of these! If only for the comedy value of the research!!!!!!!!!!

*goes back to giggling on the floor*
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Postby Innes » 2005-11-24 22:22

from time to time axolotles (and other amphibians) swollow too much air, especially when eating.

they float about for a bit then burp it up and are like nothing ever happened lol.
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Postby KittyKat » 2005-11-24 22:28

:lol2:
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Postby saracen » 2005-11-24 22:37

Ooh! If you did the marble thing, you could completely get rid of gravel, get coloured ones, and light it from underneath! That would make a cool set up for in your shop.

Just make sure you don't overinflate him, so he gets to appreciate his marbles!
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Postby Indigo Blue Fish » 2005-11-24 22:46

:D
Well - so far I have found...

20gallon tank, preferably with cover. (Helps block excess light, just the light for your plant(s).)
They can grow to 30cm long, and like cool water, about 17-20C. Their metabolism alters according to temp, so if it's too cool, they can't digest their food in time.
Also, the pH needs to be pretty neutral. Their skin gets easily damaged.
The filter doesn't want to be strong enough to knock them about, but aeration needs to be good, as does the biofilter - they produce lots of ammonia.
A 20% WC a week does them a world of good, and regular swishes with net removes larger debris.
Elodea is good for them to hide in, and will help reduce Nitrates. They also like to spawn in it, but WILL dig it up looking for food. Umbrella fern may be good too - it has good surface cover (thus minimizing your tanklight - enough to sort Elodea.) but it may get knocked over in vigourous bursts of swimming.
Hiding places are essential - as long as they aren't going to run into any sharp edges. Hideyholes must be dark - as they have no eyelids, but like to sleep.
They reccommend covering your gravel with marbles (the toys, not the stone) to help stop him/her swallowing gravel until you've taught them to look up at feeding time - hand feeding helps stop them eating gravel too.
Frozen bloodworm and Brineshrimp goes well, as does dried tubifex worms. Also, there is a type of WetPellet made of fish that is supposed to be good for them. (Not neccessary, but good.)
They are intelligent and curious, you can teach them responses - if you tap on the side every time you are about to feed them, whenever you tap, they will look up for dinner.
Oh, and they can regrow whole limbs. Alright, so it may not be quite the same size and colour - but it still works!
The only real problem they may suffer is a fungal infection, easily treated with Mercurochrome or Malachite green(Zinc free) - but always read instructions, as adding even a teeeeeny bit too much can burn their delicate skin.
Hehehe.
Yes - I think we shall get an Albino.
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Postby Indigo Blue Fish » 2005-11-25 21:39

OK - update - have found the tank (only ?25!) - but it will need a lot of work.

(I need to set it inside the cabinet - so will need to build a block to stand it on to raise it slightly, and ensure the shelf above is pull-out-able with a lip to stop stuff - jewellery ect - falling in.)

Empty it can carry about 15gal (US) Imperial - 12. (Litres 56ish)
So for sake of arguement, when stuff in we'd better call it 10 imperial.
(Can keep no more than 2 in it then. But that's fine - only want one. I can't work out whether it's two for 10 US Gal, or two for 10 imperial - I think it's imperial... but that doesn't really matter, I'll stick with Imp for safety.)

But - it has no light, no filter and well... it's just a glass box really.

However - have seen a starters setup lighting system (only need a low watt light - just for plants and visuals) for about ?20 - so will rig this into a waterproof board of somesort and pop it on the top like an impromtu hood. (Leaving a hole for pump wire of course...)

I'll just get another PF2 by Interpet - they are good for everything - and allow the outflow to provide all the oxygen I should need. The Viuan system rocks - and it creates a waterfall effect - pulling air in. (Will angle it into a corner if poss - to save the current being too strong and annoying him/her.)
Also, I found an ammonia ball (to absorb ammonia) for about ?8 (have to order online) - will give this a whirl whilst bacteria set up properly. Will also kickstart this by using sponge out of MY PF2, and a dose of my bacterial fluid.
Will see if I can get away with an umbrella fern, and maybe some Elodea to help with Nitrates. Also getting some nice chunky smooth gravel too. And perhaps a big cave sort of thing for it to hide in.

Anything I missed?

Oh yea - the Axolotl... :blush:
(I can order any axo's about 5miles away from here - ?19.99!!!)

Oh, and Saracen - if I use just marbles - the bacteria won't thrive as well, because the gaps will be too big. But it's a good idea, as long as you syphon thoughroly. (But I'm lazy - so I'll stick with cunky gravel)
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Postby Indigo Blue Fish » 2005-12-03 21:20

Ok - since I last submitted - lots has been going on with this...

We have the tank. A nice 2foot by 1 by 1, enough room for two, but we're only going to have one. Best bit - it had ?5 off, as was last of stock at K&Rs.

We have the custom made hood! (Arrives Monday)
Created from clear perspex with a black moulded plastic trim, it should just fit over the edges of the glass. Best bit - FREE! (Next time, ?14 - still good!)

We have an Axolotl house!
B&Q I found a nice peice of Pipe joint - a Y shaped peice, and a short L shape that fit nicely together. Needs filing down a little, reduce the sharp internal edge, but it looks lovely. Cost: ?10.07. Best bit - Black and just the right size.

Picked up a mastertest (same as the one I use) in Pets at Home for only ?17.99 - if you look online, the one I use (Aquarium Pharmaceuticals.Inc PA) is ?23 ish.

Found first bag of black gravel too - about 8mm gauge "Eclipse Black" smooth. K&R said He'll order another bag too.

This is looking good folks.

I'm going to run an animal-free cycle, but I will be putting some Elodea in and the old sponge from my filter into the new filter.
Any tips?
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Postby KittyKat » 2005-12-03 22:21

:getpics:
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