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My Other Pets - Axolotls

Author Topic: My other pets - axolotls  (Read 10489 times)

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Online Littlefish

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My other pets - axolotls
« on: March 09, 2016, 09:57:01 PM »
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Whilst suffering from multiple tank syndrome I also got distracted by these little ones.
This tank contains 3 juvenile axolotls (2 copper and 1 wild type).
None have names yet, and probably wont until they are old enough to know the sex.

Offline Paddyc

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2016, 10:01:44 PM »
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I have never even known about Axolotl's til I joined thinkfish... they are really curious looking wee things! You have a tank just for these guys iirc...?

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2016, 10:10:21 PM »
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I also have 3 others who are almost full grown, which I got last week from someone who was getting rid of theirs because they didn't like handling the live earthworms at feeding time and their mum was getting a bit fed up of having to do it.
These are around 20cm (approx. 3 times bigger than the juveniles) and I have 1 wild type and 2 leucistic.

They are in species only tanks, with the juveniles in a different tank to the older ones because larger ones will snap at/bite/try to eat pretty much anything smaller than themselves.

Offline Paddyc

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2016, 10:16:48 PM »
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They're so unusual looking but in a cool way!!! I really need to find a place where I could see them in the flesh...

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2016, 10:28:05 PM »
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They are really weird, but quite amazing with their external gills as well as internal lungs, and being neotenic - reaching maturity whilst still retaining the juvenile form.
Basically this is what juvenile salamanders loo like before they mature and move on to the land.
There are a few cases of axolotls maturing into land animals, but they don't always survive the transition since they have evolved into permanent amphibians.
They are likely to be in an aquatics centre that also deals with amphibians and reptiles. There is one 20 minutes away from me, and they are great for live earthworms etc. which standard aquatics centres don't stock. Unfortunately they didn't have any copper ones.

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2016, 10:53:23 PM »
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All axolotls are old enough to now be fed earthworms, etc., even though I have to cut the worms into small pieces for the juveniles.
When they were very young they ate bloodworms, and they are very messy eaters, which could have caused water problems. So, as well as using the syphon after every meal, I also got them to eat out of a dish/jar lid, to try to reduce the amount of mess.

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2016, 11:07:26 PM »
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The larger axolotls are still quite shy as they are settling in, but I managed to get a pic of the wild type and a leucistic.
Axolotls are not the most gracious of animals. They seem to enjoy sitting in the plants and end most of their swimming adventures by hitting something face first, sometimes with entertaining consequences.

Offline fcmf

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2016, 01:39:07 PM »
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They're so unusual looking but in a cool way!!! I really need to find a place where I could see them in the flesh...

A bit of a drive for you, Paddy, but you might find some here http://www.nemoaquatics.co.uk/ or here http://www.edenaquaticsandreptiles.co.uk/ although am quite sure somewhere closer to you might have them.

Offline Paddyc

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2016, 05:47:34 PM »
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They're so unusual looking but in a cool way!!! I really need to find a place where I could see them in the flesh...

A bit of a drive for you, Paddy, but you might find some here http://www.nemoaquatics.co.uk/ or here http://www.edenaquaticsandreptiles.co.uk/ although am quite sure somewhere closer to you might have them.

Not as far from me as it may seem... Under an hour round-trip  :)

I can see myself doing a wee tour of the Central Scotland fish shops. I work at Glasgow Airport and there are a handful out that way also  :)

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2016, 05:53:14 PM »
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Sometimes they are a bit crowded and inactive at the shop, but still strangely adorable.
You could also have a look on you tube as they do tend to swim/move in quite an uncoordinated/amusing manner, and their table manners are funny. Mine go crazy for earthworms and prawns.

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2016, 09:46:44 AM »
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Well, the apparently "almost mature" axolotls that I picked up the first week of March have settled in so well that while I've been waiting for them to show signs of obvious maturity they have gone ahead and decided to breed.
Noticed some blobs in the sand while I was feeding them this morning. Got them out of the tank and headed for appropriate website to find out that they are spermatophores, which the male lays during the mating process. So, not only have I spent some time this morning cleaning up the equivalent of axolotl dirty sheets, I'm also going to have to change one of my tanks that I was cycling for more fish into an axolotl segregation tank because the website says that it's not a good idea for axolotls to breed before they are 18 months old because the energy expenditure is quite large considering they are not fully grown yet.
I have 2 x 70 litre tanks available, just need to get some decor/hides, etc. and might actually separate all 3 until I am 100% sure I know what sex each one is.

If the female has been fertilised she will lay eggs any time within the next day or so. I'd best get a wriggle on with setting up the other tanks.

Frisky little feckers.  ::)

Offline Fiona

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2016, 09:55:16 AM »
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You could end up having masses, what would you do with them?

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2016, 12:58:14 PM »
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Currently trying not to think about it.  ::)



Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2016, 04:46:33 PM »
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All separated now. Will check tanks for eggs for next few days and see what happens.
Ooops.  :-[

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls - panic over
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2016, 09:02:59 PM »
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3 older axolotls still separated, and no sign of eggs in any of the tanks.
Wondered why the male had "done his thing", and thought there must have been a receptive female in the tank, so posted on the axolotl forum to ask if anyone else had seen anything similar.
The reply from someone who currently has 3 tanks containing 14 axolotls in total, was reassuring and entertaining in equal measure.

"Males do not need a reason to try courting and depositing spermatophores. They are optimists, they will deposit whenever they feel conditions are right, and will court any other axie in the vicinity. I have one try and chase his reflection and then nudge a log. They are not smart."

Will keep the three apart until I know which ones can share tanks, then try to free up at least one tank to perhaps get the fish I was planning on.  ;D

Offline Paddyc

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2016, 09:58:56 PM »
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Hehe that's a good wee post from that lad, good to see you getting such great advice on your unusual pets!  :cheers:

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2016, 10:27:24 PM »
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It made me chuckle.  ;D

Offline Extreme_One

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2016, 11:54:30 PM »
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lol  made me chuckle too.


Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2016, 06:44:43 PM »
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My juvenile copper and wild type axolotls are growing nicely.
They can share the same tank for several months longer, until I have to worry about when they mature.

The older ones, 2 leucistics with freckles and a wild type, all matured into males.
I'm currently working on their new 200L tank and when that is done they can all get back together again.

Offline Richard W

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2016, 06:53:26 PM »
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What sort of temperatures do they need?

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2016, 07:33:11 PM »
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Relatively cool temperatures.
Ideally 16c - 18c, but are quite happy with lower temperatures. Below 10c their metabolism slows, above 23c is very stressful for them and can lead to death.

Offline Richard W

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2016, 07:53:08 PM »
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I might consider them if I get round to repairing a tank which sprung a leak and has been empty for a couple of years. It's in a fairly large north-facing room which never gets too hot, even in the middle of summer and is only kept "lukewarm" in winter, not more than 18c. I have plenty of time to read up on them as I won't get round to fixing the tank until autumn.

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2016, 08:09:11 PM »
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They are adorably weird little things.
There's plenty of information on the internet, but if you have any questions please feel free to ask.  ;D







Offline Fiona

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2016, 12:43:01 PM »
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I just had a little read about them, fascinating creatures! They can regrow lost limbs apparently.

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2016, 03:41:05 PM »
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Correct, which is why they are used so much in scientific research. One of mine had lost the tip of one of his gills, which has now grown back, but is branched.
They are critically endangered and possibly extinct in the wild (basically 1 area of lake in Mexico city), but will never be completely extinct due to breeding for scientific research and the pet trade.
They also have both external gills and internal lungs.
They are neotenic - they reach sexual maturity whilst still in the juvenile form.
Their eyesight is not good, they are goofy, look like a cartoon character and are far from graceful.
They are adorable, cute, amazing, and are pretty much guaranteed to raise a smile or chuckle with their antics.


Offline Fiona

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2016, 04:30:50 PM »
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Cute definitely, not cute enough to compensate for the poop size as far as I'm concerned though  ;)

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2016, 04:39:46 PM »
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Fair point.  ;D
That is the only time I've seen one that big, which was why I took the picture. That one was when they first tried pellets. The wild type scoffed loads, leading to the epic pooh.  :o
Normally they are just a little blob, about the size of a finger tip.  :)

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2016, 09:25:03 AM »
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This morning I found Chunky Monkey waiting for his breakfast...whilst standing in a bowl of axolotl pellets.  :-[
He's not bright, but he is cute.  ;D
I've now changed his bowl to one that is larger and more shallow and he seems to have got the hang of it.  :)

Offline Sue

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2016, 11:04:40 AM »
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We had a trip this morning to Redcar. My husband likes the fish counter at their Morrisons and I like the fish shop round the corner. I went in there for some dry goods and they had 2 axolotl tanks, the first time I've seen them in the flesh. The top one had three fully grown axies (2 greyish, one white) while the lower tank had babies, 2 to 3 inches long.
I can now see why you like them so much  :)

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2016, 12:20:23 PM »
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The little ones are so cute it's crazy.
The older ones are weird bundles of adorable.
All daft as a brush, with poor eyesight, constantly walking and swimming into things, and often found relaxing in the strangest of positions.
 ;D

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2016, 08:26:41 PM »
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El Bandito says
"I am Godzilla, Destroyer of Cities! RAAAWR!"
"Fear me, puny humans"
"Phew, that's enough, my back is killing me"

Offline fcmf

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #31 on: May 27, 2016, 12:17:41 AM »
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Very cute. I'd love to see a video of them moving around (hint, hint)...

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2016, 08:33:54 AM »
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They are not the most active of pets, and don't like having light on in the tank, but I'll see what I can do. I hope to be moving them to a different part of the room and into planted tanks over the next month or so, and perhaps they will be a bit more active when investigating a new environment.
I would try to video feeding time, but I'm not sure I have enough hands for that.

Offline ColinB

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2016, 01:46:44 PM »
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Not often Axolotles make the news......

Clickety-click.

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #34 on: June 02, 2016, 05:56:33 PM »
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Wow, very rare, and slightly stranger looking than standard axolotls. I might have to read up on these to see if they ever get to terrestrial salamander stage or not.

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #35 on: June 25, 2016, 07:36:07 AM »
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The axolotls have been moved to their new tanks. These are the ones with the 3D backgrounds, and I have changed to live plants. I've been trying to get them used to having tank lights on sometimes, mainly so I can get some pictures of them.  :)
The juvenile axolotls are called Ben & Jerry (coppers) and Chunky Monkey (wild type)
With the lights on one copper has made a dash to the back of the tank to hide in the log, the wild type has decided to hide in the plants. Other copper doesn't really seem that fussed.
The wild type comes back out eventually. Hello Chunky Monkey.
The mature axolotls are are far more relaxed about the whole thing, or too lazy to move and hoping to be fed.
Clockwise from the top - Dafydd (wild type in plant), Pringles (leucistic in hide) and El Bandito (at front).


Offline Fiona

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2016, 11:31:18 AM »
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I love the effect of the background Donna, well worth the hassle it gave you. It that cave home made?

Online Littlefish

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Re: My other pets - axolotls
« Reply #37 on: June 25, 2016, 12:01:13 PM »
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Thanks Fiona.
Doing the second tank was easier as I knew how messy it was going to be, and how long it would take.
The cave isn't home made, I think I got it on Amazon. It seems very popular in both tanks, even though they are all so big now that their a**e ends hang out at the back.  ;D
Sometimes they even sit on the top, amongst the plants.

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