Help Just Found Eggs In My Axolotl Tank

Sheena-Phx

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First off, not sure where to post this, as they aren't fish, but they aren't amphibians, I apologize for that.

Now for the story. I have 3 Axolotls that are about 16 months old. I was under the impression that they were all males, so didn't have any immediate plans for breeding, though it was on my long term list of things to accomplish.

This morning I woke up to a tank full of eggs! They are everywhere. So much for an all boy tank... I have 2 adults in that tank at this very moment, just moved one of them last night. It's a 20 gallon long fully planted. I have done some quick research online to find out what my approach should be to hatch the eggs. I know I need to separate them from the adults. But I'm not sure which method I should use.

One site said to let them hatch in a fully planted tank so that they are less likely to eat each other once they hatch and have protection from one another to an extent. But I know I need to remove the power filter from the tank, as the little ones don't do well with water flow. So I'll need to get a sponge filter in there. I also know that I'll need to do huge water changes almost daily with the babies, so that will be a pain with this setup, and the plants may hinder their ability to find food throughout the tank. Thoughts?

Another person hatches and raises them in an empty bare bottom tupperware container, then separates them into other bare bottom plastic containers as they grow. This would make water changes easier, and they would be able to get to their food fairly easy, but seems cannibalism would sky rocket with being constantly exposed to one another in an empty container. Thoughts?

I would love to talk to someone who has personal experience hatching Axolotls. I am about to set up another tank right now for my adults to get them out of their current tank. Thinking I may leave the eggs where they have hatched in the planted tank, and simply remove the parents. This would be easier than trying to remove each and every single egg, and they will have plants in there, but I want to do what is best for the eggs and babies, no matter the effort involved. I just have zero experience with this right now. Has anyone hatched Axolotls? What method do you use, and how did you go about everything? I know they take around 21 days to hatch depending on temp, I leave my tanks ambient, so they are cold right now. I also know that they need live food. I have Micro Worm, Walter Worm, and Banana Worm cultures already, but I've heard they don't grow well with this as a staple. I have never done brine shrimp and don't want to if it can be avoided. I would rather find a way to get a Daphnia culture going somewhere. What have you guys had luck with? Any and all information, advice, and wisdom is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much in advance!

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Demeter

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I’d look into other worm cultures. White worm and grindal worms should be decent meals for baby axolotls. White worms grow to about 1in and grindal worms stay closer to half that, both seems to stay alive in the water for more than a day.
 

TWiG87

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Wow congrats, I would love to see a baby axolotl. Is there a way to tell if the eggs look fertilized?
 
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Sheena-Phx

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Thank you everyone. I'm excited as well. Mostly stressed, but there is the potential for excitement if I can make this happen. Lol. From what I've gathered, if they lay the eggs, then they are fertile. Females typically absorb eggs if there is no male and will not release them. I should be able to see growth over the next week. I will be taking lots of photos, and documenting anything interesting here. Fingers crossed they hatch! I have no idea what I'm doing! Lol. I did read that the axolotls can eat white and grindal worms once they are a little bigger, but that those 2 particular types are considered to be too fatty to use to much benefit. Trying to figure out a good and easy first food and go from there. I can't seem to find Daphnia eggs in a good number at a good price that would be here in time for me to hatch and get a culture going. Anyone have any idea where I might find them? I already checked Ebay, and that's a no go it seems.
 
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Sheena-Phx

Sheena-Phx

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Okay, have another 20 set up for the adult axies and I'm about to move them over. But now I'm freaking out because I read that babies can become compacted from being on sand, and the tank where the eggs were laid is nothing but sand. What in the world am I supposed to do with that? I got mine when they were 3 months old and I put them on sand with no issues, but they already had their legs and everything of course, so not sure if what I am doing will be dangerous for them or not. Has anyone raised baby axolotls on sand before with success? Would love to hear from a fellow Axolotl keeper!
 

Corydork

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I’m not sure if there’s another person that’s bred axolotl on here...
I know we have a lot keepers on here though.
Just knowing how clumsy axolotl can be, I’d believe it if someone said that they’d eat sand by accident. It’s always best to play it safe with fry (or whatever you call a baby axolotl). If we can’t find someone that can help you through the process, then this is a great place to find people that can dig in and do some research with you.
 
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Sheena-Phx

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I appreciate that Corydork! I love this community, and this is exactly why I am here for some insight : ) . I know my adults will sometimes miss their food(live and moving) and get a mouthful of sand, not the most graceful eaters in the world, that's for sure. Lol. So, that's why hearing about the babies and getting compacted is concerning. I have approximately 21 days to figure this out, hoping I won't have to try and remove the eggs one by one, but we will see. Fingers crossed that someone on here has bred Axolotls!
 

NanaT

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I personally know someone who has bred these adorable little ones. I will call her tomorrow and ask her to come on here. She works at my LFS.
 
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Sheena-Phx

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NanaT that would be absolutely amazing! Thank you so much. I'm completely in the dark right now and I absolutely hate googling things when everyone has an opinion but no experience. Lol. Please let me know what you find out or if they can come here. I would greatly appreciate the help.
 

chromedome52

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Just to note, Axolotls are amphibians. They just don't mature into the air breathing stage that most amphibians get to.

I've never kept them, so I am no help on care for the animals or the eggs. However, I assume that the egg care would be similar to that for frogs.
 
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Sheena-Phx

Sheena-Phx

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chromedome52 said:
Just to note, Axolotls are amphibians. They just don't mature into the air breathing stage that most amphibians get to.

I've never kept them, so I am no help on care for the animals or the eggs. However, I assume that the egg care would be similar to that for frogs.

Thank you for that information : ) . But my definition of amphibian is different than Googles it seems. It used to be that "amphibian" meant that the animal lived both in and out of water. Lol. But I'm not here to argue that point. As far as being similar to Frog eggs, yes that is true to a sense. But their care is completely different once they hatch. I'm not concerned about the eggs at the moment, I'm concerned about what comes after that. Lol. Tadpoles/Frogs are much easier to raise. I've done that. The eggs are the easiest stage it seems. I don't have to do much at this point except prep for them hatching.

As a side note I also remembered that I have an empty 40 gallon reptile tank(Not as tall as a standard 40 gallon aquarium) and was wondering if maybe I could transfer the eggs to that, or the babies to that once they hatch, since there is more floor space. I would have to buy another rack to put it on. I could leave it bare bottom(not having to worry about the possibility of the sand issue) but put some floating plants in there that wouldn't need a substrate, so that the tank is not completely empty.

Another thought I had was maybe building dividers out of canvas mesh so that I could give them their own little area in the 40 gallon. Not sure what I would do about filtration, because the water would have to be kept lower for the dividers. But I would still be able to do do the water changes since the mesh would allow water in and out. Thoughts?

Or should I just leave them in the planted 20 gallon? I need to try and count the eggs. Maybe that will help determine what I should do. I know I'll have to separate them as they grow. I'd love to hear ideas about how I should do that. I don't have a lot of horizontal space right now, I've already filled my house up with all my tanks, lol. Maybe I need to get another fish rack either way. That way I would have the ability to use the 40 gallon, and individual containers. Any idea what type of containers I should use? I'm trying to think of some type of plastic cups that would be wide at the bottom to give them space, but small enough so that I could have tons of them... Still thinking on that one.

No change in the eggs today, though it's only been a day. My sponge filters came in, so I'm going to swap some sponges from other cycled tanks and put a sponge filter in the 20 gallon where they are now. I removed the power filter yesterday and put it with the adults in their new 20 gallon. Going to go install that now and try and get some type of form of an egg count. : )
 

Blueberrybetta

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Posting so I can follow ! I love axotls but have no clue about them lol , hope to see babies !!
 
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Sheena-Phx

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Alright, sponge filter is up and going with 2 cycled sponges instead of the new ones that they arrived with. Also just finished the count and I have at least 108 eggs..... I can't count quite all of them because I'm trying to not disturb the tank too much. Lol.
 

TWiG87

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Sheena-Phx said:
Alright, sponge filter is up and going with 2 cycled sponges instead of the new ones that they arrived with. Also just finished the count and I have at least 108 eggs..... I can't count quite all of them because I'm trying to not disturb the tank too much. Lol.
Awesome, I hope it works out! Would love to see some babies
 

chromedome52

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You are confusing amphibious with Amphibian. Amphibians are members of the Class Amphibia. It is a scientific classification, like Osteichthys for fish, or Mammalia for mammals.There are amphibians that live their entire lives on land, and some that breath air but still spend their entire lives in the water. The Axolotl and Mud Puppy are unusual in that they retain their gills through their entire lives, breathing in the water.

Found a really good looking site, axolotl.com, with detailed information. Looks like you have at least a couple of weeks before anything starts hatching. Good Luck!
 

NanaT

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Sheena-Phx said:
NanaT that would be absolutely amazing! Thank you so much. I'm completely in the dark right now and I absolutely hate googling things when everyone has an opinion but no experience. Lol. Please let me know what you find out or if they can come here. I would greatly appreciate the help.
I haven't heard back from my friend yet. I will let you know as soon as I do.
 

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Sheena-Phx
My friend said that she will be getting her Axolotl baby care sheet back up on her website. Her Facebook is K&C Geckos K&C Geckos
She is breeding geckos right now but is happy to help Axolotl breeders.
(Mike said I could post her info)
 
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Sheena-Phx

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Thank you for the info NanaT, I will go check that out.

I went to bed last night with no change to the eggs, and woke up this morning to what looks like little heads forming(Day 4)! Very fascinating. I took some pictures for everyone. I have another concern though. Now that I took out the power filter from their tank and replaced it with 2 double sponge filters(each one is for up to 30 gallons with 2 sponges per filter), I've lost a lot of my water flow, so I have a lot of detritus/plant matter/mulm/something(!!) settling on the eggs and the rest of the tank. I'm wanted to do a water change today, but I'm afraid of dropping the water level because some of the eggs are near the top of the tank. What should I do? I don't want to risk the eggs, and expose them to air. I'm also wondering if whatever is settling on the eggs will hinder them in any way as they develop or hatch later.

I discussed with my husband the idea of getting another fish rack and setting up my low 40 gallon on one shelf, individual containers for aggressive or larger babies on another shelf, and dedicating a third shelf to hatching out brine shrimp. I caved and ordered some eggs. Going to build a hatchery it seems. Ugh. Didn't want to do that, but seems like it will be best. Who on here hatches Brine Shrimp and can give me the ins and outs of it? I only do the worm cultures, but those are easy. I've always avoided the Brine Shrimp because it seems more complicated with having to deal with it daily. But oh well. Any advice would be appreciated. I'm thinking of going the route of The King of DIY after watching his video on Youtube. But I think I would only want to have 2 batches running, not 5. Does anyone here do something similar? I'm not sure if water bottles would hatch enough at a time for 108 babies, if I should run 2- liter bottles instead of water bottles? I have zero experience with this, so any input would be appreciated.

Here are the pictures I took this morning. When you look closely it seems as though some of them are turning into a crescent shape getting more of a body type look, and some of them also have a little bulge at one end, which seems to resemble their little heads with where their gills will sprout, because a couple of them look bumpy. Possibly baby gills forming? I don't know, but it's the cutest thing to watch happen. The kids are so excited to be able to see them develop. Fascinating. : ) You can also see the matter that is settling with the lack of water flow. : ( Hope it doesn't hinder them.
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