Axolotl For 20 Gallon Tank?

Esimm03

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Hi,
I was thinking about getting an axalotl in my 20G tank... Would this size be sufficient?
I currently have a few fish in this tank (krib, some mollies, an adf and some zebra danios) would they get along with the axalotl or do I need to rehome any of them?

Also, what other species of fish/Inverts can they be kept with ?

Thanks,
Ethan
 

Alexolotl

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If you want an axolotl, you’ll have to get rid of everything else in the tank.
Axies can’t really be kept with anything but their own kind, and you could only fit one.
You have to be careful that there is very little current, and that the temperature is cool. You might need a chiller for this.
Lastly, you can’t have gravel or a good deal of decor with them. They almost certainly will swallow pea gravel and get intestinal blockages, and they don’t need much decor aside from hiding places. You could just get a few really big PVC pipes for that too.

You’re really best off having a bare-bottom tank with a sponge filter and a few hiding places, and nothing else if you want an axolotl.
 
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Esimm03

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If you want an axolotl, you’ll have to get rid of everything else in the tank.
Axies can’t really be kept with anything but their own kind, and you could only fit one.
You have to be careful that there is very little current, and that the temperature is cool. You might need a chiller for this.
Lastly, you can’t have gravel or a good deal of decor with them. They almost certainly will swallow pea gravel and get intestinal blockages, and they don’t need much decor aside from hiding places. You could just get a few really big PVC pipes for that too.

You’re really best off having a bare-bottom tank with a sponge filter and a few hiding places, and nothing else if you want an axolotl.
Ok, my tank is a fairly heavily planted tank, with a sand substrate and some large pieces of driftwood.... Would that need to go or should I buy more smoother pieces? And will the plants need to go too?

The canister filter doesn't provide much flow .. so I have an empty filter to provide flow... Could I keep the nerite snails that are currently in there?

I think I'd like it to look as natural as possible (aka no horrid 'no fishing' or sharp fake coral).

Asides from that is there any fish I could keep it with? Like an African butterfly fish or a top dweller?

Also, what would it eat? I feed my current fish frozen bloodworms, would it eat the same?


Thanks,
Ethan


Edit: by cool how cool do you mean? Cold water cool? The tank is around 26°C at the moment with a heater.
 

Alexolotl

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Ok, my tank is a fairly heavily planted tank, with a sand substrate and some large pieces of driftwood.... Would that need to go or should I buy more smoother pieces? And will the plants need to go too?

The canister filter doesn't provide much flow .. so I have an empty filter to provide flow... Could I keep the nerite snails that are currently in there?

I think I'd like it to look as natural as possible (aka no horrid 'no fishing' or sharp fake coral).

Asides from that is there any fish I could keep it with? Like an African butterfly fish or a top dweller?

Also, what would it eat? I feed my current fish frozen bloodworms, would it eat the same?


Thanks,
Ethan


Edit: by cool how cool do you mean? Cold water cool? The tank is around 26°C at the moment with a heater.
Ok, multiple things I’ll point out. Firstly, I don’t know about plants but the driftwood might need to go. You’ll have to look into that further. Ask around on our amphibians subforum. For decor some really large and smooth river rocks could work. Sand MIGHT be ok, but you’ll have to ask those who’ve got more experience.

No, do not add an additional filter. With axies you DONT want flow, so your current filter is fine. Not sure about nerites but you should err on the side of caution and remove them, because your axie will almost certainly see them as food. They don’t have great vision and a nerite is well within their usual prey size.

As I said earlier, NO FISH. No nothing at all. Any fish would find it easy to pick on an axie’s fragile gills, or would get eaten. That and they would make he tank overstocked, as axolotls are very messy. Plus African butterflyfish need a 50 gallon tank minimum IIRC. Any inverts will almost certainly get eaten, and if they’re big enough not to get eaten they’ll harm your axolotl.

For food, bloodworms are only as a treat, once per week. You want to get soft axolotl pellets as the primary food with a few earthworms here and there. Just heavily rinse the ones found at stores used as fishing bait. Bloodworms make a terrible main food for fish. Very unhealthy. I recommend you switch your fish over to pellets ASAP.

Remove the heater once you switch over to an axolotl. They need about 16 to 18 degrees Celsius. Most people will need a chiller, you might not depending on where you live.

Good for you for trying for a natural environment, I dislike the fake decor type tanks myself and natural is always better. Can I possibly get a photo of your tank so I can see what you have to work with?
 

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Honestly it sounds like it might be better if you got a 30 gallon for the axolotl. Your current setup sounds great but you would have to change it quite a bit and rehome all your fish to get an axolotl. If you got a new tank you could set it up from the start for an axolotl.

Edit: by cool how cool do you mean? Cold water cool? The tank is around 26°C at the moment with a heater.
Cold water. Like below 20c. I think around 16c is ideal.
 
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Esimm03

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Ok, multiple things I’ll point out. Firstly, I don’t know about plants but the driftwood might need to go. You’ll have to look into that further. Ask around on our amphibians subforum. For decor some really large and smooth river rocks could work. Sand MIGHT be ok, but you’ll have to ask those who’ve got more experience.

No, do not add an additional filter. With axies you DONT want flow, so your current filter is fine. Not sure about nerites but you should err on the side of caution and remove them, because your axie will almost certainly see them as food. They don’t have great vision and a nerite is well within their usual prey size.

As I said earlier, NO FISH. No nothing at all. Any fish would find it easy to pick on an axie’s fragile gills, or would get eaten. That and they would make he tank overstocked, as axolotls are very messy. Plus African butterflyfish need a 50 gallon tank minimum IIRC. Any inverts will almost certainly get eaten, and if they’re big enough not to get eaten they’ll harm your axolotl.

For food, bloodworms are only as a treat, once per week. You want to get soft axolotl pellets as the primary food with a few earthworms here and there. Just heavily rinse the ones found at stores used as fishing bait. Bloodworms make a terrible main food for fish. Very unhealthy. I recommend you switch your fish over to pellets ASAP.

Good for you for trying for a natural environment, I dislike the fake decor type tanks myself and natural is always better. Can I possibly get a photo of your tank so I can see what you have to work with?
Ok, I'll ask about the driftwood, maby ill see if I can find some root type structure and file off the sharp bits, without the extra filter the tank has VERY little flow and I'm concerned about dead spots messing with the peramiters.

I'll just get an axelotl then If I get one, more reason to setup more tanks. I feed mine a flake every day and a bloodworm cube every few days, I think the pellets are tetra colour pro or something.

I tried fake coral and waving crabs/pirate ships once, it looked really tacky and horrible.... So I got the real stuff and it looks much better, there's a running joke in my family to get a "no fishing sign and put it in one of my tanks when I'm not around and see if I notice it.

I've been traveling for the past few weeks (got someone to look after the tanks) so will dig an older pic out, the only thing that would have changed is that I rehomed a bunch of fish, but that won't affect the scape. This pic is during a water change, you can kind of see the scape but I'll see if I have a better one.

It may be a while before I get an axalotl, as I need to find the right homes for my fish, if I rehome them (don't want them going to any old pet store)



Ethan
20180804_112205.jpg


Honestly it sounds like it might be better if you got a 30 gallon for the axolotl. Your current setup sounds great but you would have to change it quite a bit and rehome all your fish to get an axolotl. If you got a new tank you could set it up from the start for an axolotl.


Cold water. Like below 20c. I think around 16c is ideal.
I don't know I have the space/money right now to get a 30G, I recently set up a reef and all my money has gone to coral, I may see if I can find any cheap second hand 30Gs

I always though of axelotls as tropical

Better picture, taken after a rescape - hence the foggynes... But it's the scape I have now
Screenshot_20180819-222241.jpg
 

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Your tank looks like a 20 high to me, just judging by the photos. A single axolotl should live in a 20 long, as they require more floor space than they do depth. While they will occasionally swim around, they spend most of their time sitting around, on, or under things.

If you purchase a juvenile, here's the recommended setup:

-Min. 20 gallon long tank, BARE BOTTOM (axies under 3-4" should be kept on bare bottom to avoid impaction in their gut due to eating sand- absolutely never use gravel)
-Filter with low flow (canister or hob, doesn't matter as long as you can tweak the output)
-Sponge filter (axies are messy and poop A LOT, so the more space you have for bb to grow, the better)
-Chiller (my axi tank sits around 65° f, and never exceeds 68° at the highest- small affordable chillers can be found on amazon)
-thermostat controller (if the chiller doesn't come with one)
-2 or more hides (axolotls like caves, and need them to feel secure and avoid stress)
-Axolotl pellets (can be found online, and are an acceptable staple- other choices include blackworms, red wigglers, earth worms, raw shrimp, raw fish, etc. Blood worms should be a treat only)

Oh, and to address some of your questions.

- As long as the driftwood is smooth and doesn't have anything that can cut the axolotl, it is an excellent thing to have in the tank. Tannins can act as a natural healing agent for their slime coat.

- You can't house ANY other critters with axolotls. They will try to eat them, and something like a snail shell would cause impaction and likely kill your axie.

*** However, if you properly quarantine them, small feeder guppies and ghost shrimp can be added to the tank as snacks for your lotl fo hunt. It provides excellent enrichment! But be sure you quarantine, because axolotls can get parasites from fish.
 
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Esimm03

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Your tank looks like a 20 high to me, just judging by the photos. A single axolotl should live in a 20 long, as they require more floor space than they do depth. While they will occasionally swim around, they spend most of their time sitting around, on, or under things.

If you purchase a juvenile, here's the recommended setup:

-Min. 20 gallon long tank, BARE BOTTOM (axies under 3-4" should be kept on bare bottom to avoid impaction in their gut due to eating sand- absolutely never use gravel)
-Filter with low flow (canister or hob, doesn't matter as long as you can tweak the output)
-Sponge filter (axies are messy and poop A LOT, so the more space you have for bb to grow, the better)
-Chiller (my axi tank sits around 65° f, and never exceeds 68° at the highest- small affordable chillers can be found on amazon)
-thermostat controller (if the chiller doesn't come with one)
-2 or more hides (axolotls like caves, and need them to feel secure and avoid stress)
-Axolotl pellets (can be found online, and are an acceptable staple- other choices include blackworms, red wigglers, earth worms, raw shrimp, raw fish, etc. Blood worms should be a treat only)

Oh, and to address some of your questions.

- As long as the driftwood is smooth and doesn't have anything that can cut the axolotl, it is an excellent thing to have in the tank. Tannins can act as a natural healing agent for their slime coat.

- You can't house ANY other critters with axolotls. They will try to eat them, and something like a snail shell would cause impaction and likely kill your axie.

*** However, if you properly quarantine them, small feeder guppies and ghost shrimp can be added to the tank as snacks for your lotl fo hunt. It provides excellent enrichment! But be sure you quarantine, because axolotls can get parasites from fish.
Sorry for the late reply, saved this as a draft rather than send the other day,

My tank is a little longer than it is high, would it be suitable?

I'll double check the driftwood for any sharp bits on....

I haven't checked for chillers yet, will do in a bit, is there any specific brand you'd recommend? As I don't want to get a bad one that breaks after 5 minutes .

I have another tank I can dump some of the smaller fish and inverts in so I don't have I rehome all of them if I get an axalotl, so it would be on its own.

I think I'll feed it prepared food, as I don't like feeding live food... I'll see what my lfs has in the way of axalotl pellets.


Ethan
 

BottomDweller

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My tank is a little longer than it is high, would it be suitable?
20 gallon highs are longer than tall but for an axolotl you need a 20 gallon long minimum. Bigger would be better.
I think I'll feed it prepared food, as I don't like feeding live food... I'll see what my lfs has in the way of axalotl pellets.
Can you get frozen foods? A diet of just pellets isn't great for axolotls.
 

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@Esimm03 ok, here's what I would do if I were you right now.

1. Move the fish and inverts out
2. Take out the driftwood, mostly because it's huge. Replace large decorations with a hide made for turtles. It will provide your axi with a safe place to chill and get away from the light (they don't have eyelids, so they prefer darkness)
3. Leave the sand and live plants, but make as much of the floor space you have available to the axi.
4. Buy a chiller. They are pricey, but there are some fairly inexpensive options on Amazon. You just have to do some looking. Also, fans placed above the tank, aimed across the surface of the water can help lower the temp by evaporation.
5. Get pellets, and a supply of frozen mysis and/or brine shrimp. You can also order repashy online to make gel food that is good for axolotls. Bloodworms (frozen) can be given occasionally as a treat
6. Introduce juvenile axi to tank. Make sure cycle is stable.

Most importantly, while the axi is very young, this tank will be fine. However, it will still need the 20 long once it's an adult. They grow up to a foot long, and really need the floor space, trust me. So, while your baby grows up, save up for a 20 long and make a plan to transfer to that once your little one hits about 6-8 inches. That gives you around 6 months to make the adjustments.
 
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Esimm03

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@Esimm03 ok, here's what I would do if I were you right now.

1. Move the fish and inverts out
2. Take out the driftwood, mostly because it's huge. Replace large decorations with a hide made for turtles. It will provide your axi with a safe place to chill and get away from the light (they don't have eyelids, so they prefer darkness)
3. Leave the sand and live plants, but make as much of the floor space you have available to the axi.
4. Buy a chiller. They are pricey, but there are some fairly inexpensive options on Amazon. You just have to do some looking. Also, fans placed above the tank, aimed across the surface of the water can help lower the temp by evaporation.
5. Get pellets, and a supply of frozen mysis and/or brine shrimp. You can also order repashy online to make gel food that is good for axolotls. Bloodworms (frozen) can be given occasionally as a treat
6. Introduce juvenile axi to tank. Make sure cycle is stable.

Most importantly, while the axi is very young, this tank will be fine. However, it will still need the 20 long once it's an adult. They grow up to a foot long, and really need the floor space, trust me. So, while your baby grows up, save up for a 20 long and make a plan to transfer to that once your little one hits about 6-8 inches. That gives you around 6 months to make the adjustments.
Ok, I'm heading home at the moment to will see what my lfs charges for all the equipment, food and chiller (I'll check Amazon too) and base a decision off of cots... My only issue is space, i bought this tank as it fit my space perfectly, and there isn't much space for anything longer, unless I rearrange the room.

Would it help if I had floating plants like frogbit? To help dim the light that reaches the axelotl?

My lfs get them from a local breeder, so they would be young ones.

The tank is very stable, Its been running since Christmas, and has over 1.5L of bio filtration, in addition to the sponge filtration.... How sensitive are axelotls to peramiters?

Thanks,
Ethan
 

PatientStars

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Ok, I'm heading home at the moment to will see what my lfs charges for all the equipment, food and chiller (I'll check Amazon too) and base a decision off of cots... My only issue is space, i bought this tank as it fit my space perfectly, and there isn't much space for anything longer, unless I rearrange the room.

Would it help if I had floating plants like frogbit? To help dim the light that reaches the axelotl?

My lfs get them from a local breeder, so they would be young ones.

The tank is very stable, Its been running since Christmas, and has over 1.5L of bio filtration, in addition to the sponge filtration.... How sensitive are axelotls to peramiters?

Thanks,
Ethan
You can use frogbit if you want, but axolotls do come up the surface for air occasionally (they have both gills and lungs), so you'll just have to make sure there is some clear space for them to surface.

Axies are very sensitive to parameters. They don't have any type of scales like most fish do, just a slime coat. This makes them very susceptible to ammonia burn. Frequent cleaning, water changes, and parameter checks are a must.
 
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Esimm03

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You can use frogbit if you want, but axolotls do come up the surface for air occasionally (they have both gills and lungs), so you'll just have to make sure there is some clear space for them to surface.

Axies are very sensitive to parameters. They don't have any type of scales like most fish do, just a slime coat. This makes them very susceptible to ammonia burn. Frequent cleaning, water changes, and parameter checks are a must.
Ok, I'm used to keeping the peramiters in check... As I've got a reef, I'll make a decision once I've priced everything up... I'm also worried as I have some big exams coming up... So may not have much time for maintenance, if I don't I won't get one.

Ethan
 
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